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:‎