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Guest on PA TV calls on the PA to give a rifle to every citizen, and for Fatah to return to armed conflict “as long as the occupation continues”

Official PA TV program Inside, hosting author and political analyst Hani Abu Zaid

Official PA TV host: "Doctor, in your opinion what is the message that is emerging from the sights of that large rally at the Saraya Compound (for the 13th anniversary of the death of former PLO and PA Chairman Yasser Arafat –Ed.)?"

Author and political analyst Hani Abu Zaid: "There are at least five basic messages… The fourth message, and the most significant one, is a message that says that we remain [loyal] to the pledge and remain [loyal] to the oath. We are still pulling out the rifle as long as there is an occupation, and as long as there are settlements… The intifada - even if it has stopped and those who returned have returned to the homeland - it is a tide. We are still witness until this moment to an intifada that has been going on for the last 100 years. It is sometimes motionless and [sometimes] continues to flare up, and it will flare up much more as long as the settlement continues, and as long as-"

Host: "The occupation continues."

Hani Abu Zaid: "And as long as the two-state solution is on the verge of death. As long as the settlers carry and pull out weapons, there is no choice but to talk through weapons, and our people will begin [to do so] again. We must give a gift to our people, a rifle for every citizen, as the occupation is currently planting a weapon in the home of every settler – every Israeli citizen has a weapon. It cannot be that we will refrain from pulling out weapons – and [all of] this will come in the future if the situation continues.”

Host: "If the situation continues as it is and the Israeli boastfulness and arrogance continues."

Hani Abu Zaid: "Mr. Rafat, we are talking to everyone that is listening and watching us, we are talking about the clinical death of the Oslo Accords… OK, let's start anew and rearm our people; the Fatah Movement will return to armed struggle. This is the language that they want [to hear] at this rally; this is the language that the youth want [to hear] at this fighting rally. We have said and will say that this gathering has come about because of Yasser Arafat's rifle." […]

"Doctor, so that your words or our conversation here not be understood [as if] we are inciting to resistance through weapons, or that we are preaching for war – no, our people does not love war or spilling blood, but rather we say… do not push this people into a corner in which it is forced to use all of the methods of resistance, and then in the end condemnation and rebuke is directed at it…"

Hani Abu Zaid: "Our options are open and our political leaders, led by brother [PA President] Mahmoud Abbas– he spoke about this at the UN: 'If the situation continues as it is, I will end everything that is related to the Oslo Accords, and our options are open.' When we speak, Mr. Rafat, about pulling out the rifle, this is a right that is guaranteed by the international conventions and laws (apparently refers to UN Resolution 3236; see note below –Ed.). When we speak with this logic, we know what we are saying, that the rifle is not for the sake of the rifle, but rather the rifle is because this enemy-"

Host: "Does not understand anything but this language."

Hani Abu Zaid: "I think that it does not understand anything but this force. The world has tried and continued with us [for] 23-24 years in this spirit and this way, but I say that if the masses will precede the political leaders, the equation will change. Therefore, yes, I say: A rifle for every citizen. Our citizens, our public, and our fighters completely understand without the [Palestinian] Authority - and before the [Palestinian] Authority they understood - the meaning of the bullet and rifle. As brother late Martyr (Shahid) [Yasser Arafat] said: 'A rifle, a forest of rifles, in the democracy of this great revolution.’ Our revolution will not stop until we put down the rifle; that is what I wanted to say, and that is what I also want to say and emphasize again. Why are the settlers allowed to pull out weapons and we are required to disarm?"

PA leaders and officials have legitimized Palestinian violence by quoting 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, but has chosen to ignore 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..." The UN Charter prohibits targeting civilians, even in war. Chapter 1, Article 1, opens by saying that "international disputes" should be resolved "by peaceful means."

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