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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]‎

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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:‎
Palestinian strategy is to engage in both diplomacy and violence 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Apr. 10, 2011
Official PA daily columnist, Adli Sadeq:
     "When the results [of the Al-Aqsa Intifada] forced us to return to the option of politics and national resolve upon the land, unity was withheld from us with various excuses, and we found ourselves divided, with one of the strategic aims of the occupiers having been, and still being, to destroy our ability to realize the two opposite options: politics (i.e., diplomacy) and resistance (i.e., violence)!”
PA daily columnist opposes violent resistance, but only because it is ineffective 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Mar. 14, 2011
Muwaffaq Matar in his column, from article “A Question along the Way:”
Headline: “Netanyahu is gambling with Jewish children”
     "We dare not return to armed activity. We believe that it is no longer appropriate in our situation and in our reality, since the non-violent popular resistance is more effective. We aim for alertness and caution – not only regarding the danger of falling into a trap where our resistance becomes terrorism and crime, in light of the rise in official and popular worldwide support for our non-violent and legitimate struggle, but out of concern for ourselves and at ourselves, because justice is with us so long as human values guide every movement in our lives. Just as our aspiration for freedom, liberty and independence is a right, [so] we take care to purify our path and our means from the desire for revenge or submission to the Satan of murder for the sake of murder.”
Fatah leader: Armed resistance is a right but is not currently possible 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 2, 2011
Nabil Shaath is a member of the Fatah Central Committee and Fatah’s Commissioner of International Relations:
     “During a political gathering held by Fatah – Tubas branch, under the heading, “The Principles are our Bridge to a State”, Shaath noted that the American administration and Israel are applying pressure to the Palestinian leadership to return to negotiations. He said, ‘However, we decided that our present strategy will be a continuation of the popular struggle in all its forms and through all its means; a launching of international activity in order to obtain further international recognition of a Palestinian state; and pursuit of Israel and war criminals in international forums.’…
Shaath noted that the leadership is opposed to the idea of returning to negotiations without a change in the balance of power on the ground. He added that right now there is no room for the realization of our people’s right to armed resistance, due to several considerations and the results that it might bring about on the ground.”
Fatah Central Committee member: Violence is an option that must be postponed "at the present time" 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 17, 2011
     "Nabil Shaath, member of the Fatah Central Committee and the movement's head of international relations... said...: 'Nineteen years of negotiations and armed struggle have not succeeded in bringing about the liberation of a single inch of the land of Palestine. We are aware that at the present time it is impossible to return to the armed struggle, despite its being the right of Palestinians."
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Fatah member: "Fatah has not laid down the rifle, despite its call for peace" 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 11, 2011
Fatah member, university head of Student Council, Qassam Azmouti:
     "[Fatah] head of the [Arab-American] University [in Jenin]'s Student Council, Qassam Azmouti, noted that Fatah, is the mother of the first Shahid (Martyr) the first prisoner, and the first bullet, and will continue to be the symbol of rebellion and a pioneer of the defenders of Palestine, the land, and the people. He emphasized that Fatah has not laid down the rifle, despite its call for peace, and it remains faithful to the oath of all the Shahids under the leadership of President Mahmoud Abbas."
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Former PA PM: "All options are open to us, including all forms of resistance" 
Source: Al-Quds, Oct. 20, 2010
     “Head of the PLO Jerusalem department, Ahmed Qurei… emphasized that ‘all options are open to the Palestinians for the restoration of their national rights and for the use of them in such a way as to have positive effect, for the benefit of their national interest.’
He noted that negotiations and political and diplomatic activity and the resistance must be included within the framework of the negotiations possibilities, including all forms of resistance. He stated that ‘all options are open to us: negotiations, popular activity, sitting strikes, civil disobedience, and armed resistance. None of these [options] may be rejected…’"
PM Fayyad: Hebron attack was not in the Palestinian's national interest 
Source: Al-Ayyam, Sept. 6, 2010
     “Fayyad said: ‘I don’t think that there’s disagreement that carrying out resistance in the way in which it is being carried out, has caused great damage to our cause and to our people… What happened in Hebron [murder of four civilians] does not stand alone, but rather is part of a policy, but this is not the policy of the [Palestinian] Authority… Someone who does such a thing must justify it to the people and justify its results… We [the Palestinian Authority] will carry out the Palestinian struggle in a way that will make the work based upon it vis-à-vis the international community, easier, on moral foundations… Such acts [the Hebron terror attack] cause harm to our people and damage the ability to stand firm and [our] continued existence. Israel exploits it as an excuse, and while the operation [i.e., terror attack] was taking place, the world found time only to talk about ‘the Hebron operation…’ … A journalist questioned the benefit of the [Palestinian] Authority assuming responsibility for events which take place [in areas] under Israeli security control, and condemning them. Fayyad answered her by saying, ‘I’m not speaking at all based on the assumption that we are responsible towards the Israelis. My approach is, where does our interest lie?’”
Fayyad says killing of Israelis harmed Palestinian interests 
Source: Al-Ayyam, Sept. 6, 2010
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Fayyad:
    “I don’t think that there’s disagreement that carrying out resistance in the way in which it is being carried out, has caused great damage to our cause and to our people. I say this candidly and with sorrow.
He added: ‘What happened in Hebron does not stand alone, but rather is part of a policy, but this is not the policy of the [Palestinian] Authority. Afterwards, they [Hamas] also announced that there will be a series of operations (i.e., terror attacks). Someone who does such a thing must justify it to the people and justify its results. … Such acts (the Hebron terror attack) cause harm to our people and damage the ability to stand firm and [our] continued existence. Israel exploits it as an excuse, and while the operation (i.e., terror attack) was taking place, the world found time only to talk about ‘the Hebron operation.’ … Presenting the matter as though our job is to provide security for the Israelis is wrong. What guides us, as first priority, is our own interest.’”
Abbas criticizes Hamas for timing “operations” with negotiations with Israel 
Source: Al-Ayyam, Sept. 6, 2010
     “He [PA Chairman Abbas] said that the recent shooting operations in the West Bank did not constitute resistance: ‘These operations are not operations of resistance. For why is it that resistance isn’t happening every day, and isn’t happening at all, except on the day we went to negotiations?! Why are they [Hamas] sitting quietly? Why did resistance become legitimate only today? Is resistance legitimate in the West Bank but not legitimate in Gaza?! ... We are against the launching of rockets, but why do they [Hamas] enforce law and order in Gaza, but refuse to enforce it in the West Bank?’”
PA Minister criticizes Hamas attack for giving Netanyahu advantage at talks 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Sept. 3, 2010
     “We ask a question… what is the secret of the timing for carrying out armed operations in the West Bank? We want to know the secret of the timing... if they [Hamas] have any connection to the interests of the Palestinian people, they [Hamas] should explain it to us – let them explain to us the secret of this genius that underlies the timing of these operations.”
Fatah spokesman: Hamas attacks are rash actions harming national interests 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 3, 2010
      "In a declaration published by the Information and Culture Commission, [Fatah spokesman] Osama Al-Qawasmi added: ‘The resistance is meant to serve the political plan; it is not opposite or contrary to it. Rash actions [a reference to the Hebron drive-by shooting by Hamas that killed four Israeli civilians] cause grave harm to the supreme Palestinian national interests.’ He emphasized that [violent] resistance is a means and not an end, and that the aim of strengthening the resoluteness of our people in the Palestinian West Bank and in Gaza, restoration of Palestinian rights, and the establishment of an independent state, require that the optimal means are employed."
Hamas terror attack meant to prompt Israel’s revenge on the PA 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 3, 2010
Column by Hafez Barghouti, editor in chief of official PA daily:
     Headline: “An old game”
“The operation yesterday in Hebron [Hamas terrorists killing four Israeli civilians] reminds us of a series of operations or acts of massacre which the occupation carried out with precise timing prior to the visits of former [Israeli] Prime Minister Ariel to Washington – six visits, each of which was preceded by an act of pre-planned massacre by the occupation, in order to draw a Palestinian reaction which would come at the same time as his arrival in Washington and upset the basis for the trip and its agenda, such that it would deal only with Palestinian terror.
Prior to that, some [Palestinian] factions chose the timing of their operations for the beginning of a round of negotiations or some implementation of an agreement, since they knew that Israel would end the implementation…
Ultimately, whoever wishes to destroy negotiations (which are destroyed from the outset) knows the equation, which is not a magical equation, and if the Israelis want to destroy something, they accelerate settlement or carry out some massacre, and wait for a Palestinian operation in response.
It is possible that the operation in Hebron yesterday falls into this framework; it has already happened in the past that Hamas adopted this approach of operations [i.e., terror attacks], since the establishment of the PA until now – not with the aim of causing damage to the occupation, but rather in order to motivate the occupation to take revenge on the PA.”
PA paper: Hamas did Netanyahu a favor shooting Israelis 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 3, 2010
     “While the eyes of the world were turned towards the White House and the leaders there, Obama talked about the four Israeli victims in Hebron... The ruling party in Israel, the Likud, was waiting for this direct support for the security policy of its chairman, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and of the settler and extremist front in the Israeli government, but it had not expected it to come so soon and in such perfect form... which strengthened its negotiation stance, weakened the rear ranks of the PLO, and created confusion amongst the international community, which shows understanding of our rights and the legitimacy of our demands. ... Hamas has chosen to support Netanyahu at the critical moment, and now he will harden his position concerning security demands and needs and the need to address them before anything else. ... Thanks, Hamas.”
Advisor to PA PM: Hamas attack was golden opportunity for Netanyahu and harmed Palestinian interests 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 3, 2010
     "Advisor to the Prime Minister [Salam Fayyad] on national affairs, Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul, said that... Hamas is strengthening the stance of the extreme right-wing [Israeli] government and of the herds of settlers by carrying out violations and other aggressive crimes against members of the Palestinian Arab nation and its legitimate leadership, and even more so by granting a golden opportunity to Netanyahu and his ilk of the extreme right-wing to renew construction in the settlements, to evade fulfilling the commitments of the present stage and easing the siege on the West Bank and Gaza, and to deceive the international community as though the Israelis are the victim of so-called Palestinian ‘terror’…"
Abbas condemns West Bank shooting attacks in White House speech 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 2, 2010
Headline: “Text of President’s [Abbas’s] speech at the White House”
     “We have vehemently condemned what happened yesterday (shooting attack near Hebron in which 4 Israelis were killed), and we also condemn what happened today (shooting attack near Ramallah in which 2 Israelis were injured). We have absolutely no wish for a single drop of blood to be spilled, neither of Israelis nor of Palestinians. We want peace and natural life to exist between them. We want them to live as eternal partners and neighbors. Let us sign a final peace agreement and conclude forever a long period of struggle.”
PA says no arrests made of Hamas suspects after killings of Israelis 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 2, 2010
Headline: “[Palestinian] Authority denies detaining Hamas activists”
     “The official spokesman of the security services in the West Bank denied that the Palestinian Authority has arrested any Hamas activists in connection with the latest operation in Hebron [the drive-by shooting and killing of four Israeli civilians] [the Arabic word amaliya]. This was in response to Hamas’s accusation that the PA had arrested more than 250 of its members. Spokesman [rank] Adnan Al-Demeiri said: ‘We have not arrested any members of the Hamas movement in in connection with the latest operation.’ Al-Demeiri said that Hamas’s claim was meant ‘to complement what it had done, in order to put pressure on President Mahmoud Abbas and the negotiating delegation in Washington, by claiming that the Palestinian Authority had carried out these arrests.’ He added: ‘We did not carry out any arrests related to the latest operation, and the numbers that Hamas is talking about are imaginary numbers.’ At the same time, Al-Demeiri confirmed that the security services had summoned Hamas activists [for questioning], ‘within the framework of regular summonses by the [security] services, aimed at preventing violation of the law.’”
Hamas attack obstructed achievement of PA national goals 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 2, 2010
Column by Adel Abd Al-Rahman, entitled “The Pulse of Life”
Headline: “The aims of the Hamas operation [the Arabic word amaliya]”
     “The purpose of the [latest] operation [amaliya] and [future] operations which Hamas and its supporters may carry out – if we are not constantly on the alert – is not related to resistance, although settlers from Kiryat Arba were killed. Hamas does not seek through [this operation] to raise the banner of resistance. In its operation, Hamas wanted to achieve several aims simultaneously…
Hamas’s latest operation [amaliya] recalls the operations of the [Izz A-Din] Al-Qassam [Martyrs’ Brigades] on the eve of every redeployment of the Israeli army prior to 2000, in other words, prior to the second Intifada [terror campaign], when they acted deliberately to sabotage every withdrawal from Palestinian territories, and rained accusations of treason on the national leadership and on the security services, with the justification that they were raising the ‘banner of resistance’. Time and events have proved that the Muslim Brotherhood movement (reference here to Hamas, -Ed.) did not and does not support the option of resistance, but rather acted in accordance with an agenda… whose aim is to pave the way to seizing control of the Palestinian Authority… The above is not a defense of the settlers… The above emphasizes the adherence to the option of agreement and non-violent struggle for the purposes of achieving the national goals without bloodshed, and emphasizes commitment to the demands of the political settlement, even though the most extreme right-wing [Israeli] government ignores them in practice.”
Fatah spokesman: Hebron attacks are part of Hamas' agenda for West Bank takeover 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 2, 2010
Headline: “Fatah: Hebron operation strengthens Netanyahu and weakens the Palestinian position”
     “Fatah spokesman Ahmad Asaf emphasized that ‘Hamas has directly strengthened the position of the Israeli government, and the aim of its operation in Hebron is to draw the occupation forces into acts of revenge and to harm the achievements of the PA in the West Bank.’
In a statement on behalf of the Information and Culture Commission, Asaf added: ‘Through this operation, Hamas seeks to disseminate anarchy, to threaten stability in the West Bank, and to continue with the Hamas agenda of takeover, which it commenced in the Gaza Strip.’ He emphasized that the Hamas operation in Hebron contradicts Palestinian national interests, the aims of the Palestinian people, and its struggle for freedom and independence.”
PA: Hamas attack intended to harm PA efforts to gather international support for Palestinian position 
Source: Al-Ayyam, Sept. 1, 2010
Headline: “The leadership condemns the operation: contradicts Palestinian interests”
     “President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian leadership have condemned the operation which took place in Hebron ‘from our point of departure, which condemns any operation which targets Palestinian or Israeli civilians.’ The leadership emphasizes that the aim of this operation, for which Hamas has claimed responsibility, is [intended] only to sabotage the political process, and that it is impossible to consider it a resistance operation, since Hamas itself has halted the resistance from the Gaza Strip and has persecuted those who engage in it.
For his part, Prime Minister Dr. Salam Fayyad considered the operation which took place yesterday in the Hebron region, and its timing, as intended to harm the efforts of the PLO to gather international support for the Palestinian position, in view of the demands of the political process and its ability to bring about an end to the occupation… It thereby contradicts the Palestinian national interest and the strategic view which the National Authority has adopted, combining a political struggle led by the PLO… with a strengthening of peaceful popular resistance to the occupation, in order to bring about an end to the occupation.”
PA: Hamas attack meant to undermine the PA and the political process 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 1, 2010
Headline: “Four settlers killed near Hebron, ‘Al-Qassam’ announce their responsibility”
     “… President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian leadership have condemned the operation ‘based on the point of departure of condemnation of any operation against Palestinian or Israeli civilians’. The leadership emphasized that ‘the aim of this operation, for which Hamas has claimed responsibility, is [intended] only to sabotage the political process and it cannot be considered an act of resistance… and its ability to bring an end to the occupation’… [Prime Minister] Dr. Salam Fayyad said the operation “ contradicts the Palestinian interests…’ and said that the operation and its timing is designed to harm the efforts of the PLO to gather global support for the Palestinian standpoint…
In Gaza, the Izz-A-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, announced ‘their full responsibility for the heroic Hebron operation.’… In the evening a number of gatherings were organized to celebrate the attack, hosted by the Hamas movement, ‘out of pride in the Hebron attack.’ Mushir Al-Masri, a Hamas member of the Palestinian Parliament, said at a procession in the Jabaliya camp in northern Gaza that ‘the Al-Qassam Brigades are reawakening in Hebron and in the West Bank, wit this heroic operation.’”
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