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PA promises terror, claims it's allowed under international law

Nan Jacques Zilberdik and Itamar Marcus  |
  • “According to international law. It’s our right to use all the means of struggle,” says Abbas appointee

  • Fatah: We’ll use “armed struggle” to fight Israel

  • PA top official: We’ll use “resistance in all its forms” against Israel, “the enemy”

Neither the PA nor Fatah are hiding their future plans should Israel apply Israeli law to the Jordan Valley and Jewish towns in the West Bank.

Using the different Palestinian euphemisms, the PA and Fatah openly say they will use violence and terror against Israel. Advocating a “popular uprising” and vowing to “use all means” and “resistance in all its forms,” they are determined to fight Israel – “the enemy.” The following are five examples, including PA and Fatah representatives, promising terror:

PA top official: We’ll use “resistance in all its forms” against Israel - “the enemy”

Fatah Central Committee Secretary Jibril Rajoub: “If this occupation causes escalation, I believe that we will decide to start a confrontation… I also say that international legitimacy permits us resistance in all its forms, and nothing is forbidden… Our resistance in the occupied lands is against all the occupation’s symbols. Whether it is the settlers, their farms, their army, or all their brats and the like.”

PA TV host: “The coming battle will be against the settlers?”

Jibril Rajoub: “No, no, no! All of the occupation’s symbols in everything… National rebellion means that we’ll all go out into the streets and we’ll consider it [Israel] our enemy, and we’ll treat it as an enemy.”

 [Official PA TV, Topic of the Day, June 20, 2020]

Fatah official: We’ll use “all means” – including “armed struggle” - to fight Israel

Fatah Revolutionary Council member Muhammad Al-Laham: “Our message to the occupation and the world: We’ll fight to defend every grain of soil with all possible means… We’re not fleeing from any form of struggle! We’ve had situations even of armed struggle... All possible forms. We must discuss [it], and let’s not limit our creativity. Our people are always creative when it comes to finding effective tools to hurt the occupation… The Fatah Movement is the backbone of the Palestinian revolution...  Fatah still exists in the sphere of struggle in all its forms.”

 [Official PA TV Live, June 22, 2020]

The terms "all means,” “all means of resistance,” “all forms,” are ‎used by PA leaders to include using all types of violence, including deadly terror ‎against Israeli civilians such as stabbings and shootings, as well as throwing rocks and Molotov Cocktails.

Abbas appointee: Terror is permitted to fight Israel, international law allows it
The PA argues that their “legitimate right” to use violence and terror is guaranteed by the international community, as stated above by Fatah Central Committee Secretary Rajoub: “International legitimacy permits us resistance in all its forms.” Walid Assaf , who was appointed by Abbas himself as Head of the Committee to Resist Settlements and the Wall, repeated this:

Head of the Committee to Resist Settlements and the Wall Walid Assaf: “We’ll defeat the deal of the century… If the annexation is carried out, these masses won’t sit on chairs or sit idly by. We’ll return to the first paradigm – an open struggle with all its [means] according to international law. It’s our right to use all the means of struggle. We say today: popular uprising, popular uprising, popular uprising! However, it’s our people’s right to fight to end the occupation and establish its state using all means… Allah willing we will triumph in this battle.”

[Official PA TV Live, June 22, 2020]

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." (emphasis added.) The PA claims "all means" as including killing civilians, but  ignores the continuation of the same 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."

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 in stabbings, shootings, and car ramming attacks. Abbas said: "We want peaceful popular uprising, and that’s what this is." https://palwatch.org/page/9276
 
Another PA official, the Jericho District Governor, repeated the idea that all means are valid in the fight against Israel. He stated that “we will defend our land with everything at our disposal” and promised Israel would “pay a high price”:

Jericho District Governor Jihad Abu Al-Asal: “We say that this people is not surrendering and will not surrender, and it will not wave a white flag before America or Israel. Our Palestinian people bows only to Allah. It will strengthen its presence, and Allah willing we will defend our land with everything at our disposal… The stage after the annexation is different than the one that was before the annexation. After the annexation- the occupation’s presence on our land [will cause it] to pay the price, and there will be a high price for its presence – it will not pass [undisturbed]. This occupation will pay a high price for remaining among us. We refuse this occupation and its presence.”

[Official PA TV News, June 21, 2020]

At a rally in Jericho protesting Israel's possible annexation, the moderator threatened Israel with death unless there will be “a Palestinian state whose capital is Jerusalem”: “Without this we won’t suffer pains alone and we won’t die alone!”

Rally moderator:“Do not allow a handful of neo-fascists to necessarily lead you [Israelis] to ruin and destruction. Corrupt [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and his racist associates do not think about you as much as they think about their personal profits, even if it costs them a sea of blood. You must know that you are up against a great people and leadership that are firmly insisting on achieving a just and comprehensive peace, which is conditional on the establishment of the Palestinian state whose capital is Jerusalem. Without this – you must know – without this we won’t suffer pains alone and we won’t die alone!”

[Official PA TV Live, June 22, 2020]

PMW exposed that PA official Rajoub used the same sentence to threaten Israel when he warned that the PA is prepared to escalate its “resistance,” promising that if there will be an annexation, “we won’t die alone and we won’t suffer alone”.

The following are longer excerpts of the quoted statements above:

Official PA TV program Topic of the Day, hosting Fatah Central Committee Secretary Jibril Rajoub

Fatah Central Committee Secretary Jibril Rajoub: “If this occupation causes escalation [of the situation], I believe that we will decide to start a confrontation. Also, no one should belittle the capability and influence of the peaceful popular resistance (i.e., term used by Palestinians, which also refers to the use of violence and terror). Given that the entire world is with us, why should we lose? But if it continues, I also say that international legitimacy permits us resistance in all its forms, and nothing is forbidden. But if we want to develop [this, then] our resistance in the occupied lands is against all the occupation’s symbols. Whether it is the settlers, their farms, their army, or all their brats and the like.”

Official PA TV host: “In other words, the coming battle will be against the settlers? A confrontation with the settlers?”

Jibril Rajoub: “No, no, no! All of the occupation’s symbols in everything…
This battle is directed against all the Palestinians and against the region too. We say to the Arabs that we are your first line of defense. We are defending the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the [Church of the] Holy Sepulchre, and we are defending your interests, so hurry to save and aid us, because history will have no mercy on you.”

Host: “… What do you mean by national rebellion? Would you be so kind as to explain to us?”

Jibril Rajoub:“We want to change the reality. We want to smash the reality. We want to build a path, but [also want] that the international community will remain alongside us. We will develop our position according to the Israelis’ aggressive behavior. If there will be an annexation, [then] all of the existing rules between us have been broken. National rebellion means that we’ll all go out into the streets and we’ll consider it [Israel] our enemy, and we’ll treat it as an enemy.”

[Official PA TV, Topic of the Day, June 20, 2020]

Official PA TV Live, interview with Head of the PA-controlled Committee to Resist Settlements and the Wall Walid Assaf

Head of the Committee to Resist Settlements and the Wall Walid Assaf: “We’ll defeat the deal of the century (i.e., refers to US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan). We’ll defeat the annexation of the valleys. We’ll defeat the occupation and overcome the settlement. We are continuing in our struggle – the popular uprising (i.e., term used by Palestinians, which also refers to the use of violence and terror) that has broken out over the recent long years from Khan Al-Ahmar (an illegal Arab settlement; see note below –Ed.) to Tayaseer, Jabal ‘Urma, Turmus Ayya, and Al-Mughayyir. This is now an outbreak that is burning in Jericho. At this rally- I say that our message today to the occupation is that what was before the annexation is not similar to what will be after the annexation. If the annexation is carried out, these masses won’t sit on chairs or sit idly by. And I say that We’ll return to the first paradigm – an open struggle with all its [means] according to international law. It’s our right to use all the means of struggle. We say today: popular uprising, popular uprising, popular uprising. However, it’s our people’s right to fight to end the occupation and establish its state using all means (i.e., term used by Palestinians, which also refers to the use of violence and terror)…
In effect Israel has taken over 88% of the valleys. Today Israel is implementing the annexation plan. It has closed the Tayaseer checkpoint, it has closed the Al-Hamra checkpoint, it has closed the Ma’ale Efraim checkpoint, it has closed the Al-Mu’arajat checkpoint. It is cutting off the valleys and separating them from the Palestinian lands. This position that the occupation authorities are implementing today threatens international peace. It threatens the stability in the region, and the act of annexation – whether it is comprehensive or partial - as far as we’re concerned it is the same matter. We will fight the gradual annexation. Israel wants to expel the Palestinians from the valleys and we have stood against it. The Palestinian people and the Palestinian leadership led by brother [PA President] Mahmoud Abbas stood at Khan Al-Ahmar against the expulsion, and we thwarted it. We thwarted the expulsion from Khan Al-Ahmar and now we will thwart the annexation (sic., expulsion) from Jericho, from Jiftlik, from Ein Al-Bayda, from Al-Zbeidat, and from every place.
Allah willing we’ll thwart it and triumph in this battle. The Palestinians are on the land and do not fear the future, our future. We are stable here in our remaining, in our resolve, and this will thwart the plan and defeat the plot, and our people will remain on the land. We are the majority of the residents from the [Mediterranean] Sea to the [Jordan] River, and the Jews – if they will not be with the idea of two states, they must think about a situation in which they are a minority in this homeland.”

[Official PA TV Live, June 22, 2020]

The Committee to Resist Settlements and the Wall – PA Chairman Abbas appoints the head of this organization by presidential decree, current head is Walid Assaf who was appointed in April 2015.

The Trump peace plan – US President Donald Trump announced his Israel–Palestinian peace plan "Peace to Prosperity" – commonly known as “the deal of the century” - on Jan. 28, 2020. Main points of the plan: 1- Israeli sovereignty would be applied to the Jordan Valley and all Israeli towns and cities in the West Bank. 2- Jerusalem, including all its holy sites, would remain under Israeli sovereignty with accommodations made to enable access for Palestinians. 3- The remainder of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and part of what is currently Israeli land in the Negev, the Galilee, and Jerusalem - creating a territory almost equal in size to the West Bank and Gaza Strip - would form the Palestinian state, with its capital in neighborhoods in East Jerusalem that are outside of Israel's security wall. 4- The Palestinian state would be demilitarized, with Israel responsible for external security and controlling all airspace. 5- All Palestinian prisoners except murderers, and those who attempted or conspired to murder would be released. 6- Palestinians in refugee camps would be absorbed into their host countries and, subject to certain limitations, into the Palestinian state. 7- Before becoming a state, the Palestinians would have to carry out extensive reform of their laws and institutions, including implementing a new governing system; granting its people due process and basic human rights and freedoms; end all incitement to and incentivizing of terror; end all glorification of terror and martyrdom; disarm Hamas; and adopt a culture promoting peace. The goal of the plan is to create a Palestinian state beside Israel, living in peace and security. The implementation would be facilitated through extensive international investment. 

Official PA TV Live, interview with Fatah Revolutionary Council member Muhammad Al-Laham

Fatah Revolutionary Council member Muhammad Al-Laham: “The issue of stopping the buses (i.e., buses of Palestinian protesters prevented from reaching a rally in Jericho), the arrests, the violations, and the crimes that the occupation is committing – all of these have never been frustrating. On the contrary, this spurs our people to revolution, to intifada against this occupation. Our second message is certainly the Palestinian situation on the level of the factions – enough of prioritizing the internal disagreement [between Fatah and Hamas] over the hostility with the occupation. The hostility with the occupation, it is the main enemy.”

Official PA TV reporter: “Therefore you chose [to wave] only the Palestinian flag today.”

Muhammad Al-Laham: “Yes! The Palestinian flag today. Man, Palestine is greater than Fatah, Hamas, the [Popular] Front [for the Liberation of Palestine], and all these names. Today I- You are surprised today when you hear a commander of some faction who criticizes a statement by [Fatah Central Committee member and Head of Civil Affairs in the PA] Hussein Al-Sheikh, for example. Okay, criticize the occupation. You need to criticize the occupation today! You want to attack the [Fatah] Central Committee member who tells you ‘We have stopped the coordination,’ ‘We have stopped the connection with the occupation,’ ‘We want to escalate the pace of the confrontation’? You are looking for a word here, a word there in order to criticize. We are completely clear. Our message to the occupation and the world: We’ll fight to defend every grain of soil with all possible means (i.e., term used by Palestinians, which also refers to the use of violence and terror). If someone wants to try us – let them try us. We’re not fleeing from any form of struggle! We’ve had situations even of armed struggle, whether it was in Beirut, in 1967, in 2000 (i.e., refers to “the second Intifada” PA terror campaign 2000-2005, more than 1,100 Israelis murdered), in the popular uprising, [or] in 1987 (i.e., refers to “the first Intifada” wave of violence and terror 1987-1993, approximately 200 Israelis murdered), in Bil’in, in Ni’lin, or in Khan Al-Ahmar. All possible forms. We must discuss [it], and let’s not limit our creativity. Our people are always creative when it comes to finding effective tools to hurt the occupation. We must agree on means and invent means that have a connection to the situation of struggle, so that we will agree on them nationally. In other words, if we will be divided the occupation will take control of us. I’m not saying that we really have missiles like one of the leaderships has said, one of the organizations is saying, that we can distribute them in the Arab states. Okay, if you have missiles that you can distribute in the Arab states- The deal of the century (i.e., refers to US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan) will pass, the so-called annexation of Jerusalem, all these things that are happening – when do you want to use [the missiles]? You want to use them when this is conditional on the use of these means- They have a connection to the briefcase that arrived at the airport in Tel Aviv, whether it has arrived or not? Is that the standard for using these tools? And as for Jerusalem, is it not a standard or motivating factor?

The Fatah Movement is the backbone of the Palestinian revolution. It was, is, and will remain so, and there are many indications. They said that after Oslo Fatah submitted, was humiliated, and whatever you want. [What is] the measure? The [number of] Martyrs, prisoners, and wounded? The last prisoner is from Fatah, the last Martyr on the Palestinian land is from Fatah, and the last wounded person is from Fatah. Fatah still exists in the sphere of struggle in all its forms.
 We are shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the organizations. Our calls are completely clear, and [PA] President [Mahmoud Abbas’] call several weeks ago was clear when he called on all the factions for a leadership meeting in the Muqata’a (i.e., the PA headquarters)…
Us and this occupation – our struggle is a struggle of existence, and never of borders.”

Reporter: “Mr. Muhammad, in practice there are daily measures that express annexation. [What are] the Palestinian measures to respond to this, especially from Fatah?”

Muhammad Al-Laham: “Yes, the Israeli occupation is from 1948, 1967; in other words, millions of Palestinians are under the occupation since 1948 in what is known as the occupied lands of 1948 (i.e., Israel), and they are still adhering to their Palestinianess. We see Jaffa, the current intifada of Jaffa against the occupation, and Haifa. The 1967 lands – what does the annexation mean? In other words, this is a form or term of deception for a larger seizure of the lands.
This is an occupation in the full sense of the word. In the end, this is an occupation and not just of the Palestinian lands – in other words, the annexation of the Golan Heights, which is Arab land. The occupation regime has a project, the Zionist movement has a project. It is very clear that this idea to expand is based on an illusion. Accordingly Arab depth is required. We well understand the situation of Arab laxity and weakness, but we still are counting on the Arab peoples, on the free movements within the Arab homeland that they will stand alongside the Palestinian situation and target the American administration. And not the opposite, that there be humiliation in the direction of normalization. The American embassies should be targeted.”

[Official PA TV Live, June 22, 2020]

Official PA TV Live, broadcast of a rally in Jericho against the potential Israeli annexation of the Jordan Valley and Israeli towns in the West Bank

Rally moderator: “Even though we are talking about these massacres and this ongoing terror against our Palestinian people, we are conveying a clear message to the Israeli society: We have agreed to the international decisions that bear a historical injustice so that we will end bitter hostility, and we made do with little so that our children and your children would enjoy a better future. Do not allow a handful of neo-fascists to necessarily lead you to ruin and destruction. Corrupt [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and his racist associates do not think about you as much as they think about their personal profits, even if it costs them a sea of blood. You must know that you are up against a great people and leadership that are firmly insisting on achieving a just and comprehensive peace, which is conditional on the establishment of the Palestinian state whose capital is Jerusalem. Without this – you must know – without this we won’t suffer pains alone and we won’t die alone!”

[Official PA TV Live, June 22, 2020]

Jibril Rajoub also serves as Head of the PLO Supreme Council for Youth and Sports, Chairman of the Palestinian Football Association, Chairman of the Palestine Olympic Committee, and Chairman of the Palestinian Scout Association (PSA).