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PA closes schools - tells children to participate in Day of Rage

Nan Jacques Zilberdik and Itamar Marcus  |

Fatah official promises terror: “A comprehensive intifada” 

  • PA leaders call for “Day of Rage”: Escalate the struggle 

  • PA Ministry of Education closes schools for an hour so students can participate in Day of Rage marches

Palestinian reactions to US declaration that Israeli settlements are “not… inconsistent with international law”:

  • Fatah official Muhaisen: “The Day of Rage is the start of a comprehensive program of struggle to deal with the American-Israeli steps, [which will reach] even to the point of a comprehensive intifada”

  • Abbas’ deputy Al-Aloul: We will escalate the struggle

  • Fatah: Rage!

  • Official PA daily op-ed: Trump and Netanyahu are a “two-headed cobra”

  • PLO factions “called on their activists and our people to take part in these [Day of Rage] activities… to express our people’s opposition to all of the Zionist-American plots against the Palestinian cause”

Following US State Secretary Pompeo’s announcement that the US no longer views Israeli settlements in the West Bank as “inconsistent with international law,” Palestinian leaders called on their people to participate in a “Day of Rage” today and to continue Day of Rage activities to protest against the alleged “Zionist-American plots”:

“The [PLO] factions… called on their activists and our people to take part in these [Day of Rage] activities, which will begin during the week in order to express our people’s opposition to all of the Zionist-American plots against the Palestinian cause.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 25, 2019]

Fatah official Jamal Muhaisen announced that the Day of Rage activities are part of “a comprehensive program of struggle,” and promised that it will end in terror – “a comprehensive intifada”:

“Fatah Movement Central Committee member Jamal Muhaisen said that the day of rage is the start of a comprehensive program of struggle to deal with the American-Israeli steps, even to the point of a comprehensive intifada against the occupation’s crimes.”

To enable children to participate in the Day of Rage activities, the PA Ministry of Education closed all its schools for one hour in the middle of the day:

The [PA] Ministry of Education emphasized… that it is necessary to participate in the activities, and that studies at the schools will be stopped from 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. so that there will be active participation in the mass marches and the activities that will be organized against these unfair decisions.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 26, 2019]

Fatah official Muhaisen recently expressed his concurrence that violence and terror are effective Palestinian tools and instructed Palestinians to “benefit from” the previous terror waves, as Palestinian Media Watch reported last week.

Muhaisen: “We must benefit from our Palestinian experience in what is connected to the first Intifada, and also benefit from the experience of the Tunnel Intifada and also from the Al-Aqsa Intifada. Every day [we face] the American Zionist attack against us. The cruel attack that harms the entire Palestinian national project demands of us- I am certainly talking about the popular resistance, national resistance.”

[Official PA TV News, Oct. 12, 2019]

Comments by Abbas’ Fatah Deputy Chairman Al-Aloul may also be interpreted by Palestinians as a call for violence. He explained that Fatah and the national forces have planned “activity on the ground at all levels… in order to escalate the struggle”:

Al-Aloul said that the movement and the national forces have consolidated a plan of struggle and activity on the ground at all levels for the coming period in order to escalate the struggle against the occupation in light of the unprecedented violations against our people.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 25, 2019]

Al-Aloul recently explained that negotiations with Israel are only effective if there is simultaneous “resistance” – a term used by the PA leadership to refer to everything from peaceful protest to violence and terror.

Al-Aloul said that this is the start of a permanent program, pairing the PA leadership’s “political activity” with the people in the streets’ “struggle against the occupation and its settlers” – something that Al-Aloul wants to be “permanent.” He added that he wants this street activity to take place “in all districts of the homeland,” – meaning he is encouraging Israeli Arab participation as well:

“[Al-Aloul] noted that along with the leadership’s political activity, the policy of struggle against the occupation and its settlers in all districts of the homeland will be a permanent matter, and will not be limited to the coming Tuesday and Friday.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 25, 2019]

The Fatah Movement also called on Palestinians to “Rage!”:

Posted text and text on image: "Rage! Because the land does not forget the neighing of its horses, even if they have been absent for years"

[Official Fatah Facebook page, Nov. 25, 2019]

 In order to motivate Palestinians to act, Al-Aloul yesterday demonized Israeli and American governments, alleging they “have reached the point of murder”:

“[Al-Aloul] emphasized that under no circumstances can the present equation continue, and added that the American administration led by [US President Donald] Trump and the occupation government are gangs that are committing many crimes against our people, which have even reached the point of murder.”

More demonization was published by the official PA daily. In an op-ed, US President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu were demonized as a dangerous “two-headed cobra” that will “kill” the Palestinians unless they “overcome it”:

“The decisions of the Trump administration and [US Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo, as severe as they may be, are not worth the paper they were written on. We can compare them to the venom of a cobra snake, whose strengths and weaknesses must be known before and while we go out against it. This two-headed cobra – one [head] is Trump’s and one is Netanyahu’s – will kill us if we do not succeed in overcoming it and surrounding it with precise maneuvers before it succeeds in harming us and directly biting our arteries and veins.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 21, 2019]

Following Pompeo’s statements, Fatah Central Committee member Rawhi Fattouh suggested that the US is “the real occupier”:

Is the US not the real occupier of our country, while Israel has only a functional role? … Our response to Pompeo… is: Your declaration on the Israeli settlements in Jerusalem and the West Bank makes you a war criminal, as you are not obeying international law."

[Facebook page of Fatah Central Committee member Rawhi Fattouh, Nov. 19, 2019]

The following are longer excerpts of the reactions to Pompeo’s announcement:

Headline: “The homeland’s districts are raging today as a sign of opposition to the American-Israeli decisions, and the occupation army is on alert”
 “The Israeli occupation army declared high alert in the West Bank yesterday [Nov. 25, 2019]. This was in order to prepare to deal with the processions that the national and Islamic factions called to hold today as a sign of opposition to the American declaration that the settlements do not contradict international law (refers to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s statement; see note below –Ed.)…
Fatah Movement Central Committee member [and Fatah Commissioner of Mobilization and Organization in the West Bank] Jamal Muhaisen said that the Day of Rage is the start of a comprehensive program of struggle to deal with the American-Israeli steps, [which will reach] even to the point of a comprehensive intifada against the occupation’s crimes. In statements that he made to [the official PA] radio [station] The Voice of Palestine, Muhaisen noted that Fatah is in full coordination with the PLO factions…
The [PA] Ministry of Education emphasized… that it is necessary to participate in the activities, and that studies at the schools will be stopped from 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. so that there will be active participation in the mass processions and the activities that will be organized against these unfair decisions.

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 26, 2019]

Jamal Muhaisen also holds the position of PLO Central Council member.

Headline: “The PLO factions call for a day of rage tomorrow in condemnation of the American decisions”
The PLO factions called to hold a Day of Rage tomorrow (Tuesday) [Nov. 26, 2019] in all districts of the homeland in condemnation of the American decisions against our people, the latest of which was considering the settlements legal (refers to statement by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the US no longer considers Israeli settlements illegal; see note below –Ed.) …
In statements made separately to the official [PA] radio [station] The Voice of Palestine, the factions yesterday called on their activists and our people to take part in these activities, which will begin during the week in order to express our people’s opposition to all of the Zionist-American plots against the Palestinian cause.
Fatah Movement Deputy Chairman [and Fatah Central Committee member] Mahmoud Al-Aloul said that the movement and the national forces have consolidated a plan of struggle and activity on the ground at all levels for the coming period in order to escalate the struggle against the occupation in light of the unprecedented violations against our people.
He emphasized that under no circumstances can the present equation continue, and added that the American administration led by [US President Donald] Trump and the occupation government are gangs that are committing many crimes against our people, which have even reached the point of murder.
Al-Aloul announced that the [PA] leadership intends to put an end to all of the agreements that have been signed with Israel in light of the incessant violations and crimes against our people. He emphasized that the present situation must be changed in order to defend our national cause and the future of our children, and therefore there is no choice but to abandon all of the agreements that were signed with the Israeli side. He noted that along with the leadership’s political activity, the policy of struggle against the occupation and its settlers in all districts of the homeland will be a permanent matter, and will not be limited to the coming Tuesday and Friday.

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 25, 2019]

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the US administration’s new position on Israeli towns in the West Bank on Nov. 18, 2019, stating: "After carefully studying all sides of the legal debate... the establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not, per se, inconsistent with international law."

Headline: “Official condemnations and condemnations from the factions and labor unions over Washington’s decision on the settlements”
“Fatah Movement Deputy Chairman [and Fatah Central Committee member] Mahmoud Al-Aloul said: ‘Our response [to the new US position on Israeli settlements not being illegal] (see note below –Ed.) has begun by taking political steps at the global level, such as calling for meetings of the [UN] Security Council, UN General Assembly, and the Arab League.’ …
Al-Aloul added: ‘We have begun to coordinate in order to take steps on the ground. We will escalate the struggle against the occupation and its settlers. This matter is decided; decisions have been made on the matter and preparations have begun for it.’”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 21, 2019]


Excerpt of an op-ed by Muwaffaq Matar, Fatah Revolutionary Council member and regular columnist for the official PA daily

Headline: “Pompeo, Balfour’s twin”
“The Balfour Promise (i.e., Declaration) was the first historical crime, when the colonialist empire, Great Britain, gave the land of Palestine to the Zionist movement in order to establish a state for the Jews of the world. The second crime, which [Israeli Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu viewed as the correction of a historical mistake, is the granting of a ‘certificate of validation’ from [US President Donald] Trump to the Israeli Jewish settlement enterprise in the Palestinian territories that were occupied in the 1967 war (refers to land Israel gained control of in the Six Day War; see note below –Ed.)…
The decisions of the Trump administration and [US Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo, as severe as they may be, are not worth the paper they were written on. We can compare them to the venom of a cobra snake, whose strengths and weaknesses must be known before and while we go out against it. This two-headed cobra – one [head] is Trump’s and one is Netanyahu’s – will kill us if we do not succeed in overcoming it and surrounding it with precise maneuvers before it succeeds in harming us and directly biting our arteries and veins. Even so, we can intelligently and bravely control our tempers – as our political leadership has accustomed us while dealing with critical and crucial moments such as these – and make the American cobra empty its venom on the rock of our resolve and rationality, such that it will have no more effect than polluted water that can easily be cleaned off.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 21, 2019]

The Balfour Declaration of Nov. 2, 1917 was a letter from British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Baron Rothschild stating that "His Majesty's government views with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people." In 1922, the League of Nations adopted this and made the British Mandate "responsible for putting into effect the declaration," which led to the UN vote in favor of partitioning Mandatory Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state in 1947. In response, Britain ended its mandate on May 15, 1948, and the Palestinian Jews, who accepted the Partition Plan, declared the independent State of Israel. The Palestinian Arabs rejected the plan and together with 7 Arab states attacked Israel, in what is now known as Israel's War of Independence.

Text posted on the Facebook page of Fatah Central Committee member Rawhi Fattouh

Posted text: “Anyone who thinks that the US was ever in favor of peace is not only mistaken but also deceiving himself. From the beginning, it has been the one thwarting the peace process. Even the Oslo Accords were formulated without its knowledge or participation…
Now, after [Donald] Trump has been appointed [US] president, its deceit has been revealed and the lie of the American administration throughout all of the previous periods has been exposed. Today [Nov. 19, 2019], Trump’s Secretary of State [Mike Pompeo] suddenly pops up and says that ‘the settlements are not inconsistent with international law’ (sic., he said this on Nov. 18, 2019). Is there any greater arrogance and insolence than this? Is the US not the real occupier of our country, while Israel has only a functional role? … 
Our response to Pompeo… is: Your declaration on the Israeli settlements in Jerusalem and the West Bank makes you a war criminal, as you are not obeying international law."

[Facebook page of Fatah Central Committee member Rawhi Fattouh, Nov. 19, 2019]
 

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