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Senior PA official: Palestinian state in West Bank just a phase

Fatah Central Committee member Tawfik Tirawi would accept a state in '1967 borders' - but with end goal of destroying Israel completely.

Ari Soffer,

Fatah leader Tawfiq Tirawi
Fatah leader Tawfiq Tirawi
Flash 90

A senior member of Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas's inner circle has insisted that any "two-state solution" with Israel would merely be a "phase" in the ultimate dismantlement of the State of Israel.

Fatah Central Committee member Tawfiq Tirawi made the comments in a recent interview with Ma'an TV - the same interview in which he made widely-publicized comments defending Nazi leader Adolf Hitler as "not corrupt" and calling him "daring."

Tirawi began by expressing satisfaction with the ongoing "intifada" - referring to the wave of terrorist attacks against Israelis - which he said had succeeded in "uniting the Palestinian people" in "all of geographical Palestine," which he identified as including not only Judea-Samaria (West Bank) and Gaza, but the rest of Israel as well.

When his interviewer suggested there could still be a Palestinian state limited to the "pre-1967 lines," Tirawi said he agreed, but only as a first step.

"A Palestinian state in the 1967 borders (sic), with Jerusalem as its capital, is just a phase, as far as I'm concerned," he said, in comments translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

The interview provided an interesting insight into the subtle strategic and political differences between Fatah and other Palestinian factions such as Hamas.

Whereas for Hamas any Palestinian state - even as an interim stage - limited to Judea, Samaria and Gaza would be illegitimate until all of the rest of Israel were incorporated into it, Tirawi says he would still accept such a state - if only as a basis for continuing the war against Israel.

"Don't think that there can be a solution to the Palestinian issue by establishing a state, the borders of which are limited to the West Bank and Gaza," he said.

He also opined that the Jews of Israel could stay - but as a minority in an overwhelmingly Arab "Palestine." While differing from Hamas's open rhetoric of annihilating, expelling, or throwing into the sea all Jewish Israelis, the political end-goal of dismantling the State of Israel and ending Jewish political independence would be the same.

Tirawi's view of a "two-state solution" is in line with those of other senior Fatah officials, many of whom openly talk in Arabic of destroying Israel "in stages".