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Violence-Diplomacy strategy
Violence-Diplomacy strategy
Palestinian leaders from both Fatah and Hamas argue that terrorism -- including ‎suicide terror against Israel, which they call “resistance” or “armed struggle” -- is a ‎legitimate political tool. PA leaders quote UN resolution 3236, which "recognizes the ‎right of the Palestinian people to regain its rights by all means." The PA interprets "all ‎means" as including violence against civilians. However, the PA ignores the ‎continuation of the resolution, which states that the use of "all means" should be "in ‎accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations," ‎which prohibits targeting civilians, even in war. ‎

The PA not only legitimizes its use of violence against Israel, it employs a strategy that ‎combines violence with diplomacy, timing it to achieve optimum political impact. ‎
Fatah Committee member Tawfiq Tirawi explained this policy on Ma’an TV:‎
‎“In the Fatah political program of the Sixth Conference [in 2009]… it says ‎liberation of the lands and resisting the occupation through all means of ‎resistance. We haven’t omitted any type of resistance. However, we know ‎that for each method of resistance there is a right time and circumstances, ‎which are not right for another method. Since we are interested in a [political] ‎achievement, in a state, freedom, and independence for the Palestinian people, ‎we know what the interests and basic principles of the Palestinian people ‎are. Hence, we want to realize its interests, and not to concede our basic ‎principles. These might be temporary interests or achievements until conditions ‎are ripe to end all other issues.”‎ ‎[Ma’an, independent Palestinian news agency, Feb. 11, 2015]‎

Muhammad Dahlan, a former Fatah MP, described it as follows:‎
‎“This is our right, our legal right (i.e., referring to the use of violence). The ‎international community affirms it for us. But it is the responsibility of the ‎leadership to use it when it wants, in the proper place and at the proper time. We ‎cannot leave in the hands of youth who use their own judgment. This is the ‎difference between [PA] using this right and just anyone using it.”
[Official Palestinian Authority ‎TV, July 22, 2009]‎
‎Click to view
Since the primary motivation for Palestinian terror is the advancement of political goals, ‎the PA employs a strategy of alternating violence and negotiations. They often refer to ‎violence as “seeding,” meaning that terror is used to inflict suffering and fear on Israeli ‎society and the international community, after which the terror is stopped temporarily, ‎in order to let diplomacy “reap” the fruits of the terror. The ongoing threats of renewed ‎terror are seen by Palestinians as a primary motivation for Israeli leaders to give in to ‎Palestinian demands.‎
Fatah spokesman Ahmad Assaf explained:‎
‎"Fatah… [is] the only movement that successfully employed all types of ‎resistance in order to achieve the goal… Fatah did not say that its only option ‎was armed struggle. We always said, 'the rifle sows and diplomacy reaps.'... The ‎rifle always had one target, and it was a political target: achieving the ‎Palestinian people's goals of freedom and independence. That is why we went ‎down two parallel paths: armed resistance and political activity.”‎
‎[Official Palestinian Authority TV, Dec. 31, 2012]‎

Similary, Diab Al-Luh, member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council explained:‎
‎“We have learned in the struggle that there is a stage of planting and cultivation. ‎The struggle of the rifle seeds and the diplomatic struggle reaps. We, the ‎Palestinians, have planted in the many years of our struggle, our Martyrs (Shahids), our wounded and our brave prisoners, who have planted productive ‎seeds.” [Official PA TV, Dec. 5, 2004]‎

Click to view

Mahmoud Abbas himself has also stated the importance of timing violence properly. ‎The criterion he stressed was the potential to be successful:‎
‎“Now we are against armed conflict because we are unable. In the future ‎stages, things may be different. I was honored to be the one to shoot the first ‎bullet in 1965 [Fatah terror against Israel began in 1965], and having taught ‎resistance to many in this area and around the world, defining it and when it is ‎beneficial and when it is not.” [Al-Dustur (Jordan), Feb. 28, 2008]‎

Thus, the use of Palestinian terrorism is determined by its profitability and the PA’s ‎capabilities. Former Prime Minister Ahmad Qurei (Abu Alaa), when asked if the ‎Palestinians should be using armed “resistance,” stated: "I see and analyze. And if it ‎‎[resistance] gives me [benefit] without costing me, yes." [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 5, ‎‎2010]‎

Palestinians across the political spectrum view “armed resistance” as a legitimate ‎political tool. An article in the official PA daily described Yasser Arafat as the champion ‎of this model, and the “expert on the timing of seeding the [armed] struggle and reaping ‎diplomacy.” [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 9, 2006] Hamas has also supported the strategy ‎of alternating violence with diplomacy: “Praise to Allah, we [Hamas] have demonstrated ‎glowing success in combining diplomacy and resistance.” [Hamas representative ‎Ayman Taha, Al-Rissala, May 17, 2007]

The following section documents statements and attitudes on the violence-‎diplomacy strategy, across the Palestinian political sphere:‎
PA says terror attack not resistance and against national interests 
Source: WAFA news agency, Sept. 1, 2010
Headline: “Abbas Condemns Military Operation in Hebron”
     “WASHINGTON, August 31, 2010 (WAFA)- President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Leadership condemned Tuesday the military operation in Hebron, stemming from condemnation of any acts against Palestinian or Israeli civilians.
In a press release, the Palestinian Leadership confirmed that the target of the operation which Hamas hold responsible, is overcrowding the political process. It could not be considered as an act of resistance, since Hamas stopped the resistance in the Gaza Strip and pursued the people who wage resistance.” [PMW emphasis added]
PM Fayyad: shooting of Israelis "contradicts Palestinian national interests" 
Source: WAFA news agency, Aug. 31, 2010
PA news agency: The National Authority condemns the shooting operation in Hebron and sees it as contrary to Palestinian interests. Prime Minister Dr. Salam Fayyad said that the operation which took place on tonight in the Hebron area, and its timing, harm the efforts being made by the Palestine Liberation Organization to gather international support for the Palestinian position…
PA spokesman: Hamas attack serves Israeli interests  
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Aug. 31, 2010
PA TV News broadcast at 10:30pm, about 3 hours after the attack:
1. “The President [Abbas] met in Washington with the American Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, as a prelude to the launch of direct talks”
2. “Four settlers killed in an attack in Hebron, for which Hamas has claimed responsibility, and occupation forces have sealed the area and are carrying out a wave of invasions into adjacent towns”

PA TV news reader: “In response to the killing of four settlers near Hebron, an official spokesman expressed, on behalf of the Palestinian leadership, a denouncement of any operation [amaliye] which targets Palestinian or Israeli civilians. He emphasized that such operations serve only the interests of the occupation, to deflect attention from the commitments of the peace process and to continued settlement in Jerusalem and in the rest of the Palestinian territories. Four settlers were killed this evening in an incident of shooting towards their car in the vicinity of the town of Bani Na’im in the Hebron
PA Minister: Violence and war still an option 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Aug. 20, 2010
Friday sermon by Mahmoud Al-Habbash, PA Minister of Religious Affairs at the mosque at Mahmoud Abbas’s offices in Ramallah. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas was in the audience:
     "Jerusalem is not just a city. Al-Aqsa is not just a mosque. Jerusalem is the key to peace, and Jerusalem can ignite a thousand and one wars. Unless the issue of Jerusalem is solved, so that it returns to its owners; unless Jerusalem will be Palestinian, as it was throughout history, the capital of the Palestinian state and the capital of the Palestinian people, the place which is the object of heartfelt longing and which all Muslims aspire to reach; unless Jerusalem is like that way, there is no peace. There is no peace without Jerusalem. There is no stability without Jerusalem. If Jerusalem is dishonored, if Jerusalem is disgraced, if [Jerusalem] is lost, it may leave the door open to all possibilities of struggle, all possibilities of war. The term 'war' cannot be erased from the lexicon of this region as long as Jerusalem is occupied, as long as Jerusalem is disgraced, as long as the residents of Jerusalem are being targeted. It's not possible; Jerusalem has to return to its owners. And we are its owners."
PA: Armed conflict is function of profitability 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 5, 2010
Interview with Ahmad Qurei (Abu Alaa), former Palestinian Authority Prime Minister, head of the PLO's Jerusalem Department, on the conflict with Israel:
Qurei: "All the options are open, as I see it. Negotiations, political activity, popular activity and [armed] resistance - and we must continue with it."
Question: "Today, what is the [best] option, in your opinion?"
Qurei: "All of the above."
Question: "Including [armed] resistance?"
Qurei: "I see and analyze. And if it [resistance] gives me [benefit] without costing me, yes."

Note: The interview originally appeared in Al Sharq Al-Awsat (London) and was reprinted in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida.
Abbas supports diplomacy now because it is the only option 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 6, 2010
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, at a meeting with writers and journalists in the home of the Palestinian Ambassador to Jordan:
     "'We don't accept the statement [of Hamas]: a [Palestinian] state of resistance and refusal. What we hear from everyone is that the basis is negotiations, at a time that the entire world agrees about this, despite the absence of other options, we either have negotiations or no negotiations, what has put Israel in the corner.
We are unable to confront Israel militarily, and this point was discussed at the Arab League Summit in March in Sirt (Libya). There I turned to the Arab States and I said: 'If you want war, and if all of you will fight Israel, we are in favor. But the Palestinians will not fight alone because they don't have the ability to do it.' He (Abbas) said: 'The West Bank was completely destroyed and we will not agree that it will be destroyed again,' in addition to 'the inability to confront Israel militarily.'"
Fatah spokesman says "Fatah will not restrain itself for long" 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 1, 2010
     “Fatah spokesman, Osama Al-Qawasmi ... said that the situation in the occupied territories is in danger of exploding as a result of the Israeli settlement policy, which is gathering speed. He emphasized that Fatah will not restrain itself for long concerning these provocative steps... He emphasized that the Palestinian people, having remained resolute in the face of all international plots against the composition of its national identity and against its presence upon its land, will not submit to and accept the policy of dictates and establishing facts on the ground, which Israel is trying to enforce... Al-Qawasmi emphasized that the Fatah movement will not stand by idly in the face of these Israeli provocations and threats [the continued building in East Jerusalem]. He warned that the situation is no longer tolerable, owing to the Israeli policy which is targeting the land, the people, and the places that are holy to Islam and to Christianity.”
Fatah Central Committee member: Negotiations are "tactical" and "temporary" 
Source: Al-Dustour (Jordan), June 10, 2010
     "Dr. Nabil Shaath, Commissioner of International Relations and member of the Fatah Central Committee… stated that the decision to renew negotiations was a tactical decision, i.e., a temporary, defensive decision… and it is dependent upon the possibility of attaining tangible results for the Palestinians. He concluded: 'Even the resistance uses defensive tactics in order not to miss opportunities.'"
Fatah Central Committee member: Palestinians will return to violence when it is in "our people's interest" 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 7, 2010
     “Dr. Nabil Shaath, member of the Fatah Central Committee… emphasized that ‘the Palestinian people has the right to defend itself, and it has the right to act in the way of the armed struggle. We have acted in this way for 100 years. Fatah led it [the armed struggle] for 23 years, and Hamas adopted it for 15 years. We are proud of all of our Shahids (Martyrs), and it is our right to return to the armed conflict whenever we view that as our people's interest.’"
PA editorial: Armed struggle not possible now, so choose popular struggle 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 24, 2010
     "I have no doubt that the occupation is destined to pass from the world... I also have no doubt that out of the options for the national struggle to be rid of the occupation, the popular struggle is the one that is needed, since the option of the armed struggle is impossible at the present time."
PA leader Zaki: Armed struggle still option if negotiations fail 
Source: Al-Ghad (Jordan), May 22, 2010
     "Abbas Zaki, member of the Fatah Central Committee, does not believe that a Palestinian-Israeli agreement will be achieved in the shadow of the extreme right-wing [Israeli] government, but he leaves the door open to a 'return to [UN] Resolution 181 and to all forms of the struggle, including the armed struggle, if the negotiations fail: the door is open to a return to the UN, such that Resolutions 242 and 338 will no longer have any value, and there will be a return to Resolution 181 [of November 29, 1947], which is the Partition Plan and the birth certificate of the State of Israel and of the Palestinian State. In addition, [there will be] a return to UN Resolution 3236, which grants the Palestinian people the right to all forms of the struggle, including the armed struggle...’ He called for ‘a gathering that will bring together the Fatah and Hamas leadership, under Mahmoud Abbas'... and added: 'We are in favor of anyone who defends the homeland and bears arms in order to defend it, because he supports the idea of Fatah and of the resistance. Likewise, we stand with anyone who comes out against the Zionist lobby and isolates Israel and puts it in a corner.'”
Fatah MP: We do not reject armed struggle even if it is not current focus 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 21, 2010
     “Dr. Nabil Shaath, Fatah Foreign Affairs Commissioner... said: 'The popular struggle is a fundamental principle whose importance equals that of the armed struggle, since it is the responsibility and task of all the people. The current distancing from the armed struggle does not mean its absolute rejection… He noted that the difficulty of the conflict required the Palestinian people to diversify its activities of struggle – along with an emphasis on the importance of the armed struggle, which laid the basis for the existence of the state and contributed to maintaining the right and presenting it to the world – especially since the armed struggle at the present time is not possible, or is not effective, because of the difficulties with which the Palestinian people contends: the internal division, the ongoing siege imposed on the Gaza Strip, and the intensive settlement attack against Jerusalem."
Fatah MP: Armed struggle is our right, but is not possible now 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 20, 2010
     "MP Dr. Nabil Shaath, member of the Fatah Central Committee and its Commissioner of Foreign Relations… emphasized that Fatah's stated strategy for the struggle is to adopt the growing popular and 'non-violent' struggle against Israel, because of the inability to engage in the armed struggle, which has become undesirable now, although it is the right of the Palestinian people, which all international treaties and resolutions have guaranteed... 'I have said this to the leaders of Hamas, I have said to [Hamas PM] Ismail Haniyeh during my meeting with him in Gaza, that Arab, regional and international conditions do not permit us to engage in the armed struggle, and that our efforts must be concentrated on strengthening the non-violent resistance…'
Shaath emphasized that the non-violent struggle is no less honorable than the armed struggle, and that it does not signify submission to Israeli demands."
Senior Fatah member: Violent resistance not possible now 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Apr. 18, 2010
Azzam Al-Ahmad, Fatah Central Committee member:
     "[Mocks Hamas for their claim that they are carrying out resistance:] Where? On Mars? Was the volcano in Iceland a result of their action? Where is the resistance that they are talking about? We speak honestly. We are now calling for (non-violent) popular resistance, and we are actively doing it. We are actively doing it because the circumstances right now do not allow us to do anything beyond this (i.e. violent resistance). If [Hamas] are referring to the armed struggle, let them update me and I'm ready to join if they're doing something, but I know that they're detaining anyone trying to shoot a single bullet from Gaza towards Israel."
Fatah leader: Palestinians not restricted in battle against Israel 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Apr. 2, 2010
Jibril Rajoub, member of the Fatah Central Committee: 
     "We have a resolution of the [2009 Fatah] Congress that our battle with the Israelis is open, and our options are not limited to popular resistance."

Note: PA TV News broadcast with report on the detention and release of Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki. Click here to view
Fatah will use armed struggle and non-violence 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 3, 2010
At a political conference held by the Institute for Development Studies in Gaza, politicians and spokesmen emphasized the importance of taking bold violent and non-violent decisions to end the internal Palestinian discord:
Headline: "At political conference in Gaza organized by the Institute for Development Studies on the subject of dialogue – demand to take bold decisions to end the [Hamas-Fatah] discord and to agree to national reconciliation"
     “Ashraf Jum'a, a member of the Fatah parliamentary faction in the Legislative Council (Palestinian Parliament) … stated that political changes had come about following the events of June [2007] in Gaza [Hamas takeover] and following the war, and that Fatah was clear about its political approach, insofar as it announced at its Sixth Conference its adherence to the armed struggle for the liberation of Palestine, and has also adhered to the platform of President Mahmoud Abbas since 2005 – turning to a political process and to non-violent resistance."
Fatah prides itself on deadly terror attacks 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 6, 2010
Headline: "On the 45th anniversary of its founding: Fatah is still the leader of the national struggle and the foundation stone of the Palestinian State"
     "Fatah has the greatest number of prisoners in the jails of the Israeli occupation... In addition, it is the largest faction that has sacrificed Shahids (Martyrs) from among its commanders and members [in the past] and until a few days ago, when special forces of the Israeli occupation army executed three of its members in Nablus [referring to the three terrorists who were killed by Israel two days after they murdered Rabbi Meir Chai in Dec. 2009]."
Fatah: Armed struggle is our right 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Aug. 17, 2009
Sultan Abu Al-Einein, member of the Fatah Central Committee and Secretary of Fatah’s Lebanon branch:
     "Mahmoud Abbas said in front of the entire [Sixth General Fatah] conference : 'Any people whose land is occupied has the right to carry out resistance in all its forms, to carry out a national struggle in all its forms, including the armed struggle.' I want to say: Any people that willingly relinquishes its right to carry out resistance in all its forms – all its forms! Including the armed struggle! – is not worthy of existence. Any people whose land is occupied! It's a right bestowed upon us by . . . international law. It's a right that is given to us, and we will not abandon it.
We want peace, but not a peace of obedience, not a peace of submission, and not a peace that is based on the Palestinian people receiving a state that is a small settlement or an economic colony. We will not accept that . . . . The international community must be aware that the option of negotiations is our option and our decision, but it won't be the sole option forever."
Official Fatah platform: Resistance in every manner 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Aug. 10, 2009
Mahmoud Al-Aloul, member of Fatah Central Committee, in a PA TV News broadcast:
     "The Fatah Sixth General Conference approved the movement's political platform. The platform emphasizes the right of the Palestinian people to resist the occupation in every manner. A member of the Conference, Mahmoud Al-Aloul, submitted a document comprising five points, focusing on Fatah as a movement for national liberation and on the right of the Palestinian people to resist the occupation in every manner."
Marwan Barghouti: The armed resistance will continue 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 4, 2009
Marwan Barghouti, Fatah Secretary in the West Bank and member of Fatah Central Committee, in a statement read at the Sixth General Fatah Conference in August 2009:
     "Finally, Barghouti once again renewed the promise and the oath to our people and to Fatah members everywhere, that the flag of the resistance will remain flying and will not come down until the occupation ended, and that we will continue in the path of the Shahids (Martyrs) and the prisoners – ‘the way of Fatah,’ the way of the struggle. [He added:] ‘The last day of the period of occupation is the first day of peace in the region; there is no peace, no security and no stability except with the disappearance of the occupation and the settlers, and the end of the occupation is closer than many imagine it to be. The fate of the settlements in the [West] Bank and in Jerusalem will be no better than that of Gush Katif and Kfar Darom in Gaza. The occupation will end up in the dustbin of history as an example of the racism and of the Fascist and Nazi regimes. Our people, bearing the most noble, respectable and just cause known to humankind in modern history, will prevail.'"

Note: Marwan Barghouti - serving five life sentences for orchestrating terror attacks against Israeli civilians. When arrested in 2002, he headed the Tanzim (Fatah terror faction). After he was convicted and imprisoned, he was re-elected member of the Palestinian Authority parliament.
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