Fatah official quotes Arafat: "An olive branch in one hand and a rifle in the other"
Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida - July 12, 2014

 
Dunya Al-Watan (independent ‎Palestinian news agency) interviewed ‎Fatah Central Committee member Abbas ‎Zaki

Q: “[As of now, Israel’s Operation ‎Protective Edge has claimed] over 120 ‎Martyrs (Shahids) and wounded 900, and ‎at the official level, Fatah is still adhering ‎to the negotiations. Is that really the ‎movement’s position?”‎

Fatah Central Committee member Abbas ‎Zaki: “First of all, what is happening in ‎Gaza is a very large operation. The enemy ‎has crossed all boundaries of human ‎‎[behavior], and I don’t believe Fatah is ‎relying on negotiations with this ‎savage…”‎

Q: “What is Fatah’s official position on the ‎Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades (Fatah’s military ‎wing), who are launching rockets at the ‎Israeli settlements? There are figures ‎according to which Fatah in Gaza has ‎launched over 200 rockets.”‎

Abbas Zaki: “Our eyes are now turned ‎toward Gaza, and the unity of the factions ‎is very necessary, because their unity and ‎their surprises have restored the ‎Palestinian cause to the arena in a ‎significant way, and Gaza will not be easy ‎prey for the enemy. No one in Gaza will ‎look on from the sidelines and sit by idly. ‎Gaza is at war and is living under fire, and ‎whoever disavows‎ the resistance is no ‎member of Fatah.” ‎

Q: “What did [you] Abbas Zaki feel when ‎he heard that Tel Aviv had been ‎attacked?”‎

Abbas Zaki: “I consider it a means of ‎defense and a message to the enemy: ‎‎‘You underestimated ‎ Arabs and ‎Muslims, and you succeeded, in your ‎wickedness, in dominating international ‎public opinion, but you will not succeed in ‎dominating the will of the Palestinian ‎people.’ This is a free nation, and this is a ‎leadership with a homeland. There are ‎ups and downs, but in the end, we will not ‎be slaves, and will not be collaborators. ‎We believe that these rockets, which flew ‎beyond Tel Aviv and Hadera, carry a ‎message to the Israeli enemy, urge it to ‎recognize the rights of the Palestinians ‎and the decisions of the international ‎institutions, and tell it not to underestimate ‎the Palestinian people, since it has ‎willpower and a homeland…”‎

Q: “Do you expect Israel to invade the ‎Gaza Strip, especially since Hamas ‎opposes a lull?”‎

Abbas Zaki: “A ground war is fraught with ‎surprises, and the tables will be turned on ‎the tyrant. The useful anarchy it [Israel] ‎aimed for is now happening, and is ‎‎[indeed] helping in Syria and Iraq; but in ‎Palestine, Allah willed that it be a ‎destructive anarchy against the ‎occupation. This state, which is said to ‎have [great] technological capabilities and ‎development and so on – now they are in ‎the shelters and live in fear… As for our ‎Martyrs (Shahids) [who fell] during ‎Ramadan, they are with Allah, because ‎they were forced to fight against their will, ‎and they are in paradise… the homeland ‎needs sacrifices. In Algeria, a million ‎Martyrs fell, and it liberated itself. ‎
We Palestinians have an international ‎decision regarding our right to defend ‎ourselves, even by means of armed ‎struggle, but we won’t use the [armed] ‎struggle unless it suits the situation and ‎helps and exacts a high price from the ‎enemy during the campaign. ‎
We don’t want to say we are against it.
‎Yasser Arafat went to the UN and told ‎them, ‘an olive branch in one hand and a ‎rifle in the other.’ He didn’t say ‘just a rifle;’ ‎but also the green branch. This is an ‎enemy, and we have tried everything [in ‎dealing with it]. Mahmoud Abbas is ‎experienced. We don’t want words, we ‎want deeds…”‎

Q: “At its sixth conference, did Fatah ‎freeze the armed struggle?”‎

Abbas Zaki: “It neither canceled it nor ‎froze it.”‎

Q: “At the seventh conference, will the ‎armed struggle be reinitiated?”‎

Abbas Zaki: “We won’t wait for the ‎seventh conference in order to make the ‎decision; we want to see what happens. ‎At the moment, our mission and our wish ‎is to stop the [Israeli] aggression, and if it ‎doesn’t stop, the will of our people must ‎triumph.”‎

Q: “In the Gaza Strip, [certain] members of ‎the [PA] Security Forces, who have ‎stopped [working following the Hamas ‎takeover], are being called to join the ‎resistance factions and launch rockets or ‎open fire on infantry forces in the event of ‎a [ground] invasion. Do you, the ‎leadership, agree with these calls?”‎

Abbas Zaki: “We are no exception. We ‎were the ones who took the initiative and ‎bravely fired the [first] bullet. We were on ‎the front line, and it is a mistake to put us ‎on the enemy’s side. We are responsible ‎for Gaza... If the people are slaughtered, ‎we won’t be with the enemy, and won’t be ‎a source of frustration for our people.”‎

Note: This interview was broadcast as Hamas was firing hundreds of rockets at Israel and as Israel was responding with Operation Protective Edge, which aimed at destroying Hamas' terror infrastructure and ability to launch rockets at Israel.