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Abbas denounces violent resistance: “Peaceful popular resistance is our path”

Official PA TV, excerpt of a speech given by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Jan. 14, 2018, at the PLO Central Council in Ramallah

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: “The next point is peaceful popular resistance (‎i.e., term used by Palestinians, which at times also refers to the use of violence and terror). I’m not ashamed to repeat it 100 times or 1,000 times: I’m only with the peaceful popular resistance, through which we have dealt with the occupation in the previous month or previous days, when [US President Donald] Trump’s initiative (i.e., recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital) came out. Peaceful popular resistance - and believe me, it is stronger and more effective than the other [resistance], because the other – don’t rely on it.
The war on terror, whatever its source may be. And I say to the world: We have 83 protocols, you won’t believe it, with 83 states; do you believe it? Among them are America and Britain. Eighty-three protocols with 83 states for the war on terror – we are with the war on terror. And then the ‘great’ [US] Congress comes and says to you: ‘The [Palestinian] Liberation Organization [PLO] is terrorist and therefore we will close their office (see note below –Ed.).’ They issued 27 decisions that we are terrorists. But damn you! (Literally this insult means “May your house be destroyed,” meaning anything from “Damn you” to “Come on now!”) We are fighting terror together with you…
The war against terror and the culture of peace. Yes, we are the people of the peace culture, and we spread this among our brothers everywhere in the world. And we are proud that when they talk about ISIS, that it has 5,000 [people] from this nationality, 2,000 from that nationality, and 3,000 from that nationality – you will not find five Palestinians there! (sic., hundreds of Palestinians have joined ISIS and polling has shown high Palestinian support for the terror organization.) My brothers, we have finished with this [terror], are you still continuing to fight us? We do not want anyone to fight us. We have learned the lessons, and therefore the culture of peace is widespread. We do not interfere in the internal affairs of anyone, and no one has the right to interfere in our internal affairs.
We will continue to fight terror, regardless of its form or source, because we have an interest in this, and it is part of our responsibility as a state against terror. Are we people of terror? I want to understand, are you for or against terror?”
Voice from audience:
“We are its victims.”
Mahmoud Abbas: “We are the victims of political and judicial terror. You can’t imagine the terror that is being committed against us every moment. We will continue with peaceful popular resistance, we are not ashamed of this. There are those who are ashamed of this – no! We are not ashamed. Peaceful popular resistance is our path in order to remove the occupation from our land and to establish our state on our homeland.”

The terms "peaceful uprising/resistance,” and “popular uprising/resistance" are used by PA leaders at times to refer to peaceful protest and at times to refer to deadly terror attacks and terror waves. For example, ‎Mahmoud Abbas defined as “peaceful popular” the murderous terror during the 2015-2016 ‎terror wave (“The Knife Intifada”), in which 40 people were killed (36 Israelis, 1 Palestinian, 2 Americans and 1 Eritrean) and hundreds wounded by stabbings, shootings and car ramming attacks: Abbas said: "we want peaceful popular uprising, and that’s what this is."

US recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel - On Dec. 6, 2017, US President Donald Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and instructed the State Department to begin preparations to transfer the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Trump added that the final borders of Jerusalem will be determined during negotiations.

The “month of peaceful resistance” Abbas refers to was according to the Israel Security Agency in fact characterized by a dramatic spike in terror activity, including the murder of Rabbi Raziel Shevach five days before Abbas’ speech.
In Nov. 2017 there were 84 Palestinian terror attacks, compared to 249 in Dec. 2017.

PLO US office closure - On Nov. 17, 2017, the American administration announced that the PLO has violated a 2015 Congressional mandate, which states that the PLO cannot operate an office in Washington if the Palestinians try to get the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israelis for crimes against the Palestinians. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson determined that the Palestinians violated this mandate in September 2017, when PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas called on the International Criminal Court to investigate and prosecute Israelis while speaking at the UN. US President Donald Trump has 90 days to determine whether the Palestinians have entered into meaningful negotiations with the Israelis and make a final decision regarding the closure of the office.

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