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Did PA and Fatah officials threaten terror against Israel?

Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik  |

PA religious leader:

  • Use “all forms” of resistance "wisely and intelligently"

Fatah official:

  • “We must… shake the foundations of Israel… Necessity permits that which is forbidden”
  • “The popular resistance ‎will amaze the world, as we are content with Martyrdom. We want to die as we did at Karameh”

Recently, two top officials in the Palestinian Authority and Fatah have used the Palestinian code words to call for violence and terror against Israel.

PA Chairman Abbas’ former advisor and current head of the PA’s Shari’ah courts Mahmoud Al-Habbash instructed Palestinians in a sermon that they must use “all forms” of “resistance.” Palestinian Media Watch has documented that terms such as "all means” or “all forms of resistance" - when ‎used by PA leaders - include all types of violence. The terms refer to everything from deadly terror ‎against Israeli civilians such as stabbings and shootings, throwing rocks and Molotov Cocktails - alongside other means of “resistance” such as diplomacy and negotiations. 

Supreme Shari’ah Judge and Chairman of the Supreme Council for Shari'ah Justice Mahmoud Al-Habbash: "We need to have at our disposal the tools of resistance in all their types and forms, and use them wisely and intelligently in order for them to realize its goals and our goals."

[Official PA TV, Nov. 29, 2019]

Echoing the religious official’s call for violence, Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki stated that Palestinians ought to “shake the foundations of Israel.” When the interviewer asked him “how,” Zaki answered “that which is forbidden” - indicating he wants terror and violence:

An-Najah Broadcasting Channel host: “Mr. Abbas [Zaki], what if Israel firmly refuses to submit to the American or European pressures and insists on [PA] elections not being held in Jerusalem?”
Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki: “We must put our house in order and shake the foundations of Israel.”
Host: “How?”
Zaki: “Necessity permits that which is forbidden.”

[YouTube channel of An-Najah Broadcasting Channel, Personal Meeting, Dec. 12, 2019]

Zaki was even more explicit when a second time he called for terror recently – using the PA euphemism “popular resistance” - and praised Martyrdom-death as a goal: 

Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki: "We [in the Palestinian leadership] want a vigorous Arab situation that is moving away from normalization [with Israel] and depends on the fact that [we] have an army in the occupied land. The popular resistance will amaze the world, as we are content with Martyrdom. We want to die as we did at Karameh."

[Official PA TV, Nov. 26, 2019]

The terms "peaceful uprising/resistance” and “popular uprising/resistance" are used by PA leaders to refer to everything from peaceful protests 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 in stabbings, shootings, and car ramming attacks. Abbas said: "We want peaceful popular uprising, and that’s what this is,” after individual terrorists had already murdered 14 Israelis and wounded 167, in 65 stabbings and 8 shootings.

These calls for terror from Palestinian leaders come on the heels of other recent calls for terror and glorification of violence that PMW has exposed:

The Karameh battle, or Al-Karameh - On March 21, 1968, Israeli army forces attacked the town of Karameh in Jordan, where Fatah terrorists had been launching attacks on Israel. Although Israel prevailed militarily, Arafat used the event for propaganda purposes, declaring the battle a great victory that erased the disgrace of the 1967 Six Day War defeat.

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