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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]‎
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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]‎

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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:‎
Fatah leader: Fatah coordinated terror with Hamas  
Source: Al-Falastinia TV (Fatah Party), July 23, 2009
Jibril Rajoub, member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council:
     "It was Fatah that carried out resistance; it was Fatah that coordinated the resistance with Hamas, not the security mechanisms or the security commanders. Do you understand me?"
Fatah MP: Terror to be used "in the proper place and at the proper time" 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, July 22, 2009
Muhammad Dahlan, Senior Fatah MP: "Regarding negotiations with Israel, we have to set a logical time limit of two years, in my opinion. The political plan guarantees the continuation of our national struggle in all its forms, in a way that will fulfill our national aspirations within this period of time."
PA TV Host: "[Does] the [violent] resistance and struggle continue?"
Muhammad Dahlan: "This is our right, a legal right. 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 it in the hands of youth who use their own judgment. This is the difference between [PA] using this right and just anyone using it. I lived with Chairman Yasser Arafat for years. Arafat would condemn [terror] operations by day while at night he would do honorable things. I don't want to say any more about this." Click here to view
Fatah MP: Fatah still for armed resistance and does not recognize Israel 
Source: Al-Quds, July 22, 2009
Rafik Al-Natsheh, president of the Fatah Movement's Disciplinary Court, head of PA Parliament:
     
"The Fatah Movement will prove at its Sixth Congress to all the collaborators and know-nothings that it will continue to maintain the option of resistance in all its forms, and will not recognize Israel."
Fatah: We have not called off the armed struggle 
Source: Al-Falastinia TV (Fatah Party), July 22, 2009
Muhammad Al-Madani, member of Fatah Central Committee:
     "The struggle has not been cancelled, nor did we call off the armed struggle."
PA official: Armed struggle still valid alternative to negotiations 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, July 19, 2009
Interview with Head of PA National Guidance Directorate and former member of Fatah Supreme Council, Naef Switat:
Switat:
"There is a major (central) enemy to the Fatah movement, and that is Israel..."
Interviewer: "Could there be a change in some of the strategies of the Fatah movement, over the course of the Sixth Congress, in the first sessions on the first and second day, in this regard, and especially [concerning] relations with Israel in this context?"
Switat: "To my view, there is a need to repair and improve the general policy, and especially the political platform. Meaning, the statement that negotiations are a strategic choice is a statement that does not solve problems, nor does it provide results. It is clear from [our] experience that that struggle and resistance are the natural right of every nation that is subjected to occupation, and negotiations are one of the means that should be used; it's not the only way. Whether the armed struggle is the only way or [whether] negotiations [is the only way] - neither this nor that is correct. Right now there is a need to create a political platform that will coordinate between the resistance and struggle in all its forms and negotiations as one of the forms of the struggle."
PA: Weapons and abilities ready for armed struggle, waiting for Fatah timing 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, July 19, 2009
Abbas Zaki, PA representative to Lebanon:     
     "We have UN General Assembly Resolution and Proposed Resolution 3236 [concerning] the use of all means of the struggle, including the armed struggle… The Palestinian people is once again waiting for the knights of the Fatah movement – and all of the factions look forward to the great wealth and reserve [of abilities] for the great struggle of the Fatah movement. This reserve [of abilities] must explode in the face of the enemy, rather than explode as a result of [the situation within] the disorganized family that currently prevails among us."
Fatah member: Fatah goal is Palestine, not peace 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, July 7, 2009
Kifah Radaydeh, Fatah Regional Committee member, Jerusalem
     "Fatah is facing a challenge, because [Fatah] says that we perceive peace as one of the strategies, but we say that all forms of the struggle exist, and we do not rule out the possibility of the armed struggle or any other struggle. The struggle exists in all its forms, on the basis of what we are capable of at a given time, and according to what seems right...
What exactly do we want? It has been said that we are negotiating for peace, but our goal has never been peace. Peace is a means; and the goal is Palestine. I do not negotiate in order to achieve peace. I negotiate for Palestine, in order to achieve a state.”
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Fatah official: The "resistance" brought about Oslo Accords 
Source: Al-Quds, Apr. 6, 2009
Sultan Abu al-Aynayn, Fatah Secretary General in Lebanon:
     "The resistance [i.e. terror] brought about the Oslo Accords. There are 250,000 Palestinians who have returned to their homeland. The arms that were used against the Israeli enemy in Gaza and on other place."
Host: "More that 40,000 rifles."
Sultan Abu al-Aynayn: "Were brought [into the PA] in accordance with [Oslo] Accords. When we refer to the negative aspects of the Oslo Accords, we should also look at their other aspects." Click to view video
Abbas: "We are against armed conflict because we are unable" 
Source: Al-Dustour (Jordan), Feb. 28, 2008
Mahmoud Abbas, PA Chairman:
    "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... we had the honor of leading the resistance. We taught everyone what resistance is, including the Hezbollah, who were trained in our camps [i.e. PLO camps in the 60s]."
Fatah leader defends Arabs' right to "struggle and resistance" 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Feb. 26, 2008
Mahmoud Ismail, member of the PLO Executive Committee:
     "I want to cite the actions and future actions of President [Abbas], from the starting point that the Palestine cause is the essential and central cause of the Arab Nation. It's not surprising that [to] certain journalists of the current despicable American era, our [Arab nationalist] language of the 50s and 60s is outdated, when we talk about the nature of the struggle between the Arab Nation and its enemies: the Imperialists and Zionists, who attack and occupy our territories inside Palestine and outside, in Iraq, in the remains of South Lebanon and the Golan.
"We [however,] take pride in this [Arab nationalist] language because we are the authentic Arabs who believe in our Arabism, our faith, our cause, our Nation, in our right to struggle and to resistance [euphemism for terror] in all possible ways in all the occupied lands, in Palestine, Lebanon, the Golan and Iraq."
Fatah spokesman: Fatah strategy combines violence with negotiations 
Source: Al-Quds, June 23, 2007
Ahmad Abd Al-Rahman, Fatah spokesman:
     “Just as [armed] resistance to the occupation is an elementary form of the struggle, so the other aspect of this form of resistance is the path of negotiations and peaceful means… We base our struggle upon a dual strategy, which rests upon [armed] resistance and negotiations.”
Diplomacy must be combined with violence to succeed 
Source: Al-Risala (Hamas news source), May 21, 2007
Hamas representative to Palestinian Parliament, Ismail Al-Ashqar:
     “’The world respects only the strong’ … He vaunted the achievements which Hamas has reaped, and also emphasized that the movement had succeeded in combining diplomacy with resistance.”
Hamas sees success in combining diplomacy and violence 
Source: Al-Risala (Hamas news source), May 17, 2007
Hamas spokesman Ayman Taha:
     “Praise to Allah, we have demonstrated glowing success in combining diplomacy and resistance.”
Arafat was expert on timing of terror and diplomacy 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 9, 2006
Yasser Arafat, former PA Chairmen and PLO leader
     “Yasser Arafat was an expert on the timing of seeding the struggle and reaping diplomacy… He taught us that diplomacy in the national struggle is like agriculture… He warned us that there is a time for harvest, which must not be early or delayed.”
PA Minister: Oslo gave Palestinians the tools to wage the "great Intifada" 
Source: Al-Alam TV (Iran), July 4, 2006

Ziyad Abu Ein, PA Deputy Minister of Prisoners Affairs:
     "The Oslo Accords are not the dream of the Palestinian people. However, there would never have been resistance in Palestine without Oslo. Oslo is the effective and potent greenhouse whish embraced the Palestinian resistance. Without Oslo, there would never have been resistance. In all the occupied territories, we could not move a single pistol from place to place. Without Oslo, and being armed through Oslo, and without the Palestinian Authority's "A" areas, without the training, the camps, the protection afforded by Oslo, and without the freeing of thousands of Palestinian prisoners through Oslo - this Palestinian resistance and we would not have been able to create this great Palestinian Intifda."
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Palestinian goal: Destroy Israel in stages 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Feb. 4, 2005
Ibrahim Mudayris, Official, PA Ministry of Religious Trusts and Religious Affairs:
     "We might return to the 1967 borders by diplomacy, but we shall not return to the 1948 borders (i.e. eliminate Israel) by diplomacy. The 1948 borders- no one on earth recognizes as ours. Therefore we shall return to the 1967 borders, but we have not given up on (Israeli cities) Jerusalem and Haifa, Jaffa, Lod, Ramle and Tel Aviv. Never. Your father's blood was shed here, at the villages, at Ashqelon, Ashdod, Hirbia (all in Israel) and hundreds of villages and towns that demand it from us. [Their blood] shall curse anyone who will concede a grain of earth of those villages. The land of Palestine will demand the Palestinians return as Muhammad returned- as a conqueror."
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PA cleric supports break in violence to prepare for "greater confrontation" 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Jan. 28, 2005
Ibrahim Mudayris, Official, PA Ministry of Religious Trusts and Religious Affairs: 
     "[The Hamas, etc.] responded sensibly, accepting the president [Abbas'] call for calm...and were convinced of the need for: "fighter's rest" because the interest demands we preserve our blood and our weapons for the greater confrontation."
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Fatah: We must include the rifle and a time for “fighter’s rest” 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Jan. 10, 2005
Samir Al-Mashharawi, member of Fatah Central Committee:
    “We of Fatah say – we must include all of this, and choose the right time for the rifle and the right time for negotiations... We may view this period devoted to negotiations as the ‘fighter’s rest’.”
Fatah leader: Negotiations are the "fighter's rest," return to violence is an option 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Jan. 10, 2005
Samir Al-Mashharawi, member of Fatah Central Committee:
     “Now [PA President] Mahmoud Abbas is suggesting the idea of negotiation. If we see that Abbas grants us an opportunity – by negotiations – for a national achievement with no casualties and no bloodshed on our side, [then] yes! What harm could it cause us? When all of the diplomatic doors are shut, as happened after the Oslo agreement, we have the Intifada (PA terror campaign, 2000-2005); we have our people; we have our perseverance in the resistance (violence). We view this period of negotiations as the “fighter’s rest.”
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Fatah Revolutionary Council member: The rifle seeds and diplomacy reaps 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Dec. 5, 2004
Diab Al-Louh, member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council:
     “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 Shahids (Martyrs), our wounded and our brave prisoners, who have planted productive seeds.”
Click here to view
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