Jibril Rajoub
Jibril Rajoub Israel news photo: Flash 90

Palestinian Authority and Fatah leaders continue to assure Palestinians that participating in a peace process does not mean the end of Palestinian warfare against Israel, but only that the use of violence is on hold. This is the official position of the PA leadership, according to Palestinian Media Watch.

Palestinian Media Watch has documented that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas himself has said a number of times that he opposes violence against Israel only because it is not currently in the Palestinian interest. He has given two main reasons for this. First, Palestinians are not prepared militarily, and second, a war would heavily damage the infrastructure in the Palestinian areas.

The following are some of the recent statements by Palestinian leaders about the use of violence in the future:

On the TV program Personal Encounter, Official PA TV, Sept. 30, 2014:

Deputy Secretary of the Fatah Central Committee Jibril Rajoub: "They [Hamas] tell you: 'The weapon of the Resistance.' Brother [Hamas], your weapon, the weapon of the Resistance, is sacred to us. We will not harm it, go after it, or keep track of it. But could you store it away? At the moment of truth, we will all enlist together, we will all fight together."

Al-Quds, Oct. 3, 2014:

"Deputy Secretary of the Fatah Central Committee Jibril Rajoub stressed that the Palestinian leadership had decided to close the subject of bilateral relations with the occupation (i.e., Israel)... He added that the Fatah Central Committee had decided that future relations with Israel would be as those between an occupier and a people under occupation; that is, between enemies. Rajoub stressed that [although] the Palestinian leadership would not oppose the weapons of the Resistance, 'they must remain in storage, without military demonstrations in the streets, and when there is an attack, the battle will be one in all the Palestinian territories, in which all members of the Palestinian people will participate.'"

Official PA TV, Sept. 23, 2014:

Abbas' advisor on NGOs, Sultan Abu Al-Einein: "Our Palestinian national unity (i.e., between Fatah and Hamas) is our weapon against the Israeli enemy. We agree to the option of resistance in all its forms - we [Fatah] are the pioneers of the armed struggle. It's wrong to think that Fatah has abandoned the rifle or thrown away the rifle. We are giving peace a chance, but our rifle is still loaded with bullets... The time has come to agree on a system - if our [people] are killed, so theirs will be killed."