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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 offical: "We don’t say ‘peaceful popular resistance.’ No. We say ‘popular resistance’… We have given everything for peace and we now intend to give everything for the battlefield"  
Source: Official PA TV Live, Apr. 8, 2013
Official PA TV Live broadcast a ceremony honoring outstanding students from the ‘Abu Jihad’ Khalil Al-Wazir class at the An-Najah National University.

Fatah Central Committee member, Abbas Zaki: “We are on the ground and we are not abandoning the field. Proof of this is that two-thirds of the prisoners in the prisons are Fatah members. This movement is not abandoning the field. We, when we talk about popular resistance, we don’t say ‘peaceful popular resistance.’ No. We say ‘popular resistance’… We have given everything for peace and we now intend to give everything for the battlefield... We must not turn against each other while Israel is against us. First of all, Israel is the main enemy and the remaining hostilities will disappear afterwards.”

Abu Jihad (Khalil Al-Wazir) was a founder of Fatah and deputy to Yasser Arafat. He headed the PLO terror organization's military wing and planned many deadly Fatah terror attacks. These attacks, which killed a total of 125 Israelis, included the most lethal in Israeli history - the hijacking of a bus and killing of 37 civilians, 12 of them children.
Fatah official hints at using armed violence as "other option" if peace fails 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Mar. 27, 2013
Program: Topic of the Day. Guest: Member of Fatah Central Committee, Dr. Jamal Muhaisen. Topic: Arab League summit in Doha.
     Muhaisen: “No mechanism was established for its implementation and no other option, alternative option, was put in its place in case Israel refuses this, the Muslim-Arab hand that is offered to peace. There is another option which is to force Israel in a different way. It’s obvious what this other way is. The other direction is to use force. Either you want peace or you want the other option, force.”
Palestinians will fight “for liberation using methods of struggle they deem suitable” 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Mar. 13, 2013
Columnist for official PA daily Adel Abd Al-Rahman:
     “If there is no other option – let the Israeli occupation stay and let the national resistance flags be raised, capable of blocking the Israeli apartheid state’s plans and plots. This is because the Palestinian leadership won’t continue waiting forever for a two-state solution within the June 4, 1967 borders. Even if it was able to keep on waiting for two decades (i.e., since the Oslo Accords) the Palestinian people won’t allow the leadership to sleep forever on the Israeli-American waiting-pillows, because the Palestinian people’s patience has certain limits – especially when Israeli violations and crimes push it towards a near explosion. When the time comes for the peace process to go under as a result of Israel’s policy, the US conspiring with it and the silence from the rest of the Quartet members… the Palestinian people and its active forces will clear the way for the struggle for liberation using those methods of struggle they deem suitable, according to an evaluation of the situation and of the existing balances of power.”
Fatah strategy: Combine “armed struggle” with “political activism”; “popular resistance” isn’t necessarily peaceful  
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Jan. 2, 2013
PA TV’s Good Morning Palestine interviewed Salwa Hadib, member of Fatah’s Revolutionary Council.
     Salwa Hadib: “Fatah has combined [different forms of] national activity – whether it was armed struggle or political activism – from the day it was founded up until today…
From its beginning, Fatah has resisted. [When] we say ‘popular resistance’, that doesn’t necessarily mean peaceful. Similarly, at the Sixth [Fatah] Conference meeting Fatah did not abandon the armed struggle. If [Fatah] finds itself [in a position like that of] the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades who participated in all forms of resistance in the Gaza Strip, then the Fatah Movement won’t give up on military resistance either. Nonetheless, the present period is a clear political campaign to show the world that the Palestinian people is a people that seeks equality, peace, justice, and a state of our own. We are a people with a will. We battle and we struggle with all our strength and in all the ways available to us.
The popular resistance must be daily, every hour in every neighborhood, and not just at the check-points. They must break through the check-points and cross over the fence in order to be real ‘popular resistance.’”
Fatah spokesperson: Fatah’s use of “all types of resistance” is “genius” 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Dec. 31, 2012
PA TV broadcast an interview with Fatah spokesperson Ahmad Assaf:
PA TV interviewer: "What is Fatah's position on struggle and resistance now after 48 years?"
Ahmad Assaf: "It could be that Fatah's genius is in its being the only movement that successfully employed all types of resistance in order to achieve the goal. The anniversary we are now celebrating is the anniversary of the launch of the Palestinian armed struggle. We are proud of this day... Fatah succeeded – through the use of the rifle, through the use of self-sacrificing fighters (Fedayeen) and through sacrifice – to convey the voice of Palestine to the whole world... Secondly, Fatah did not say that its only option was armed struggle. We always said, 'the rifle sows and diplomacy reaps.' And a rifle with no political goals is robbery... 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... As you know, the first Intifada that taught the whole world what a people's Intifada should be like, [participation] of a whole nation... it is Fatah who led that Intifada... So you have to coordinate and use all the tools at your disposal and make use of all your advantages to achieve the goal, armed resistance as well as popular resistance… And so, we [started with] armed resistance, [moved to] popular resistance, and to the political resistance that we never abandoned. The goal is to achieve the Palestinian people’s goals, the goals that the Martyrs (Shahids) went forth and died as Martyrs to achieve, those [goals] being a free and independent Palestine on all Palestinian national land. That is why we will continue to employ these types of resistance. We will not abandon any type until we achieve our goals." 
Senior PA leader Rajoub: "Resistance is Fatah's strategic right - in all its forms" 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Nov. 29, 2012
Fatah Central Committee member, Jibril Rajoub:
    
"Whoever invades our territory, will leave in a wooden plank (i.e., in a coffin). This land is our land... Out of loyalty to your blood, Yasser Arafat, you who died during this month, we will not return the sword to its sheath until there is a state... Resistance is Fatah's strategic right - in all its forms... We are ready - if there's shooting, we'll shoot. If there are demonstrations, we'll demonstrate."
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PA daily columnist: "Armed resistance and popular resistance are one single resistance" 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 23, 2012
Columnist for official PA daily Yahya Rabah:
     “The message that came through clearly from the heart of the [battle] field, and from the heart of the hot resistance is a message – supported by actual proof –stressing that our people is one; the project to bring about the liberation, the independence, and the building of the state, is one single project; their armed resistance and the popular (i.e., non-violent) resistance, are one single resistance; and the path and destiny of [the nation] in the West Bank, in the Gaza Strip, and in Jerusalem, are the same single path and destiny.”
PA leader Jibril Rajoub: We believe in all forms of struggle, including "the rifle" 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Nov. 5, 2012
Deputy-Secretary of the
Fatah Central Committee, Jibril Rajoub: 
     “This is a popular struggle. We still believe in all forms of the struggle. No one has removed the rifle from the equation. However, for us, the struggle is a means, and the end is freedom and independence.”
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Fatah official: "Every phase has a particular form of resistance" and armed resistance is still an option 
Source: Wattan TV website, Oct. 8, 2012
PA TV host: "Have the Palestinians, or the PLO, removed from their lexicon the term 'revolution,' in the sense of armed revolution?"
Member of the Fatah Central Committee, Mahmoud Al-Aloul: "No. No one has eliminated armed struggle or resistance as an option. Recently, at the last Fatah conference, there was an important declaration in the Introduction to the Political Program that we considered an integral part of the Political Program and whose important points stated that Fatah, for example, is a national liberation movement, and that Fatah believes that resistance, in all its forms, is the legitimate right of occupied nations when confronting their occupiers. I do not think that there's a single Palestinian who has eliminated resistance, or any form of resistance whatsoever, from consideration, or from his plans. That's in principle and in theory. We have to understand this well: Every form of resistance has certain conditions that are necessary for its use. So every phase has a particular form of resistance best suited to it, and everyone has agreed that at this stage, that form is popular resistance (i.e., non-violent). At the same time, armed resistance has absolutely not been eliminated from anyone's options. It needs a suitable climate not only among us... We hope that what is being spoken of as the "Arab Spring" and changes in the Arab world will create the climate so that the Palestinians can employ it (i.e., armed resistance)."
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Non-violent struggle is "no less important than armed struggle" 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 2, 2012
Headline: "International lawyer Jonathan Kuttab in meeting on Wednesday – the non-violent struggle, which is being maligned, must become our principal means…"
     "Participants in a meeting on Wednesday reacted enthusiastically to guest [speaker], international attorney Jonathan Kuttab, an expert on non-violent struggle. [Kuttab] reviewed the significance of this [type of] struggle, which in his opinion is 'maligned'… Kuttab said that non-violent struggle is a means of struggle no less important than armed struggle – neither in terms of training and preparation, nor in terms of effectiveness and results – in conditions like those of the Palestinian nation. This is because, in view of the unfortunate condition of our cause, popular resistance is the means, perhaps the only means, of the non-violent struggle that will prove feasible and effective. He explained that sometimes, many people misunderstand non-violent struggle, believing it to be a sort of ceasefire, surrender, or [attempt] to avoid real battles. However, in reality, non-violent struggle is not just refraining from violent means, for it is a multifaceted ideological system based on foundations that differ from – and sometimes are the opposite of – armed struggle. If the armed or military struggle demands the destruction of as many enemy installations as possible while limiting loss of life on one side, the opposite is true of the non-violent approach to struggle: the death of as many victims as possible among the oppressed side (i.e., the Palestinian side) serves to strengthen it, while civilian deaths among the enemy (i.e., among Israelis) diminishes the legitimacy of its struggle."
Fatah official glorifies terrorists as “Martyrs,” praises principle of alternating violence with negotiations 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, July 8, 2012
PA TV live broadcast of ceremony commemorating anniversary of the death of Ghassan Kanafani – Tulkarem. 

Mohammad Shtayyeh, member of the Fatah Central Committee: 
"We, of the Fatah movement, do not cry over Martyrs. It is natural that a fighter should die as a Martyr, [as did] Abu Jihad, Abu Iyad, the Martyr, the symbol Yasser Arafat, and thousands more. But what makes Ghassan Kanafani special is that he died as a Martyr early on, like the Martyrdom-seekers Kamal Adwan, Kamal Nasser, Abu Yusuf Al-Najjar, and Abu Ali Iyad…
Today we recall Hani Al-Hassan, who said: 'Military action seeds, and political action reaps.'"

Note: Abu Jihad (Khalil Al-Wazir) was a founder of Fatah and deputy to Yasser Arafat. He headed the PLO terror organization's military wing and planned many deadly Fatah terror attacks, including the most lethal in Israeli history, the hijacking of a bus and killing of 37 civilians, 12 of them children.
Abu Iyad (Salah Khalaf) was A founder of Fatah and head of the terror organization Black September. Attacks he planned included the murder of two American diplomats (March 1, 1973), as well as the murders of 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics (Sept. 5, 1972).
Ghassan Kanafi was a writer and a leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
Kamal Adwan was responsible for Fatah’s terrorist operations and a senior member of Black September. He and Kamal Nasser were killed by Israeli forces in April 1973.
Abu Yusuf Al-Najjar was Arafat's deputy, and commander of operations for the terrorist organization Black September
Abu Ali Iyad was appointed head of Fatah military operations in 1966, and was responsible for several terror attacks.
Fatah official: There has been a “form of struggle" for each period, including “weapons,” "stones," and hunger strikes 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, May 15, 2012
Interview with Abbas Zaki, member of the Fatah Central Committee, on the PA TV program Palestine This Morning:
     Zaki: "Actually we started a process of organization and precise reconnaissance, in order to start the Fatah revolution, in January '65. From then until today, 48 years of rivers of blood, sweat and tears, we have [had] ups and downs, but the enemy feels, each day that it is regressing. Each period we use a different form of struggle: At one time [we struggle] with weapons, at another time – stones, another time – empty stomachs (i.e., hunger strikes), such that we will defeat this executioner in our battle..."
Abbas: Resistance, including violence, is “determined at each stage by the national interest” 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, May 14, 2012
Abbas speaks on Nakba Day:
     "Unfortunately, what was agreed in Doha [reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas] was opposed by senior Hamas members in Gaza, who prevented its implementation with groundless excuses. They [Hamas] preferred narrow party interests to the supreme national interest, using the word 'resistance' as if there was disagreement about it among Palestinians. I want to remind [them] that resistance to the occupation is a broad all-inclusive concept, with various means and tools, which are determined at each stage by the supreme national interest. It was we [Fatah] who initiated armed resistance for many years, and thanks to it, we obtained recognition of our rights, and [recognition] that the PLO is the legitimate and sole representative of the Palestinian people. That was after the PLO, for many years, was considered a terrorist organization by the US, Israel, and others. ”
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Fatah official: Return to armed struggle (i.e., violence) is an option that has not been abandoned 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Apr. 23, 2012
     "Member of the Fatah Central Committee, Azzam Al-Ahmad, said that if Israel continues to maintain its positions rejecting our people's rights, all options – including the armed struggle – are open to us. He added, 'The Fatah movement, which has engaged in the armed struggle since the start of its activity, is ready to return to that option if Israel continues to deny the rights of the Palestinian people - but within the framework of national consensus regarding the use of the armed struggle approach, far removed from conflicts and opportunism.'… He emphasized: 'The Palestinian authority continues in the path of the Martyrs (Shahids) – the prince of Martyrs, Abu Jihad, and the master of Martyrs, Yasser Arafat. We shall fight the occupation through more activity on the ground, and our message to the occupation is that this is our land, and that we will establish more projects on it. This land is ours, it will be ours alone, and the occupation will disappear.'
Concerning the resistance plan, [Al-Ahmad] said: 'We are dealing with an occupation that insists on denying our right to an independent state, and therefore all options are available to us. We are prepared to return to the armed struggle, the approach that has not been abandoned by the PLO since the start of its activity in 1965, when there were those who refused, for many long years, to participate in the resistance. At the same time, we refuse for our rifle to be hired out to any [other] party, whether it be the USA or Iran, because our weapon is national [property], and it has a single aim: the defeat of the occupation, the establishment of an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital, and the return of the refugees.'"
Fatah leader: “Fatah believes that the resistance in all its form” is a “legitimate right” 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Jan. 26, 2012
PA TV program Special Interview devoted to the fourth anniversary of the death of George Habash.
Studio guests: Fatah Central Committee member Mahmoud Al-Aloul; Deputy Secretary General of the Popular Front, Abd Al-Rahim Malouh; and member of the Palestinian National Council, Azmi Al-khahwaja.
Al-Aloul: "Fatah believes that the resistance, in all its forms, is the legitimate right of occupied nations in the face of their occupiers. Right now, in implementation, we say that every stage has its [appropriate] form."
PA TV host: "Of course; it's a new stage."
Al-Aloul: "The broadening of the margins of [political] maneuvering sometimes make it difficult for others to understand one correctly, but that is the reality."
PLO official: Popular resistance is appropriate “right now,” but “all forms of resistance” are a “legitimate right” 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Jan. 12, 2012
PA TV News:
Wasil Abu Yusuf, Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Front and member of the PLO Executive Committee:
 
     "Popular resistance is the appropriate form [of struggle] right now, within the framework of the Palestinian people's resistance to the occupation, settlements, and the [security] fence, along with an emphasis on [the fact] that all forms of resistance are a legitimate right of the Palestinian people."
DFLP leader: “The PLO has not ruled out the armed struggle” 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 10, 2012
     "Member of the Democratic [Front for Liberation of Palestine] central leadership, Sayel Khalil, said [during workshop held by the Struggle Front and the Political National Guidance in Tulkarem] that… the PLO has not ruled out the armed struggle and the Palestinian national struggle in its many forms, [chosen] in accordance with the [needs of] the period. He noted that we have a unified national strategy that fits the interests of our people in accordance with the [current] Political phase."
Fatah official: “If the Israeli side refuses peace, then all the options are open to our people” 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 8, 2012
     "Member of the Fatah Central Committee, Jamal Muhaisen delivered greetings from the President [Abbas], the central committee and the revolutionary council… emphasized that our people and its leadership seek peace. He said, 'If the Israeli side refuses peace, then all the options are open to our people…' … Muhaisen addressed Israel, saying: 'We are a people that will not raise a white flag, because we are a fighting people. You have an opportunity to be part of the region. If not, your fate will be like the fate of all the invasions of Palestine, all of which ended in defeat.'"
Official speaking in Abbas’ name: Fatah’s program of "struggle” will not change, “resistance in all its forms” is a “right” 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 5, 2012
     "The Ramallah and El-Bireh branch of Fatah held an official and popular central rally to mark the occasion… attended by member of the Fatah Central Committee Mahmoud Al-Aloul, representing President Mahmoud Abbas… In a speech he delivered on behalf of the President, Al-Aloul said: 'On this day, when some pioneers from among our people stepped forward, believing in their Lord and the ability of their people to sacrifice, and refusing submission and oppression – there was an outbreak [of the Fatah revolution], there was the first bullet, there was Fatah…'
Al-Aloul stated that since its inception, the [Fatah] movement has adopted a clear program pertaining to the struggle and to social issues, which it will not change, based on the armed struggle and the people's long-term war. It continued with this and adhered to this, because it [the Fatah movement] believes that resistance in all its forms is the legitimate right of occupied peoples… He emphasized that the leadership, led by President Mahmoud Abbas, has made every effort, offered every opportunity to seek peace, and cooperated with every initiative… Al-Aloul said that 2012 is the critical year of the popular resistance. He called upon Fatah members to participate in it in order to deal with the Israeli aggression. He emphasized, 'We can no longer restrain the villagers, the residents and the youth in their resistance. The popular resistance will erupt alongside the political activity, whose aim is to earn the world's [support], to lay a siege against the Israeli policy, and to isolate the occupation."
Fatah official promotes non-violent resistance since armed struggle and peace not possible 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 5, 2012
     "The Palestinian Reconciliation Council, in conjunction with the Beit Al-Hikma Institute, held an open encounter in Gaza yesterday on the topic, 'Horizons of National Reconciliation and its Challenges', attended by Fatah Central Committee member Nabil Shaath…
Shaath concluded his words [with the need] to inculcate the popular struggle and non-violent resistance among our people, since the option of the armed struggle and the option of peace negotiations have been blocked."
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