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PA unites with Hamas and other terror organizations to renew terror strategy

Nan Jacques Zilberdik  |
  • Fatah to cooperate with Hamas in “armed struggle,” with Abbas’ support

  • Abbas told Hamas: "Whatever you reach with Fatah, I agree to it" – says top PLO official

  • Abbas declares “no reservations about any action” – including armed struggle

  • Hamas leader: Joint Palestinian committee to “develop the popular resistance, which may develop into a popular intifada”

  • Top PA/Fatah official threatens Israel: “All possibilities are open,” “struggle” will escalate from peaceful to violence

  • Violence – “struggle in all its forms” – is our right, according to international resolutions, says Fatah official

  • Goal of committee is “to restore the shine of the popular resistance, and to set it in motion towards becoming a comprehensive popular intifada” – says PLO official

  • Hamas leader: “Hamas won’t recognize Israel… armed struggle is a strategic choice”

  • The new joint committee: “We promise that we will not return the sword to the sheath… This is a revolution and resistance until victory, until victory”

  • PA editorial cautioned against armed struggle – not because it is morally reprehensible but because world opinion is against it, even though it is “permitted”

PA Chairman Abbas has made a strong and clear statement of support for the PA’s return to terror. His statement was even turned into a TV filler being broadcast on official PA TV.

At the beginning of this month, the leaders of the Palestinian factions - which include several terror organizations – met to discuss how to confront Israel (the “occupation”), thwart US President Trump’s peace plan, and prevent “normalization” between Israel and Arab states in the future. The factions established a joint committee named the United National Leadership of the Popular Resistance, which is to oversee and direct the Palestinian struggle against Israel.

In the committee - the symbol of the renewed “unity” between the factions - Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah Movement is coordinating openly with representatives of internationally designated terror organizations such as Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

As Palestinian Media Watch has often documented, the term “popular resistance” and similar expressions are used by PA leaders at times to refer to peaceful protest and at times to refer to deadly terror attacks and terror waves.

Significantly, PA and Fatah officials have following the meeting of the secretary-generals stressed precisely that the new committee may very well decide to develop the “popular resistance” into an “armed struggle” and an “intifada” – i.e., a terror wave.

On the heels of these calls to return to terror, Abbas himself has given this his full blessing – in advance. In a speech turned into a TV filler broadcast on official PA TV, Abbas stated he has “no reservations about any action” and that he “agrees to everything” – in this context as will be understood below, “everything” includes “the armed struggle.” In his typical deceptive fashion, Abbas did not use the words “violence” or “terror.” However, the context of the statement is clear:

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: “You must begin – senior officials, secretary-generals, and deputy secretary-generals – establishing these committees and these activities so that they will begin their work immediately. I will have no reservations about any action or committee, or about any person or organization in any committee or action. I will also have no reservations about any decision made by these activists. Take into account that from now on I agree to everything.”

[Official PA TV, Sept. 12, 2020]

Abbas’ carte blanche to the committee has also registered with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, who in a phone conversation with Abbas thanked him for his “unlimited support… in advance” of any decisions that the committee might make. Something to be understood as including Abbas’ advance approval of “armed resistance”:

“[PA] President Mahmoud Abbas received a phone call yesterday [Sept. 15, 2020] from Hamas Movement Political Bureau Chairman Ismail Haniyeh… [Haniyeh] thanked the president for his great confidence in all the factions and for his blessing on all the steps of unity, and… praised the president’s speech during the meeting and the unlimited support that he gave in advance to the decisions that were made following the meeting and to those that will be made in the future.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 16, 2020]

Top PLO official Saeb Erekat also stressed the fact that Abbas made it clear to the Hamas leader that he will not interfere with any of the decisions of the Fatah and Hamas dominated committee:

“His Honor President [Abbas] told me… that what he said on the phone [to Chairman of Hamas' Political Bureau, Ismail Haniyeh] tonight, is what he said openly to all the Palestinian factions. He said he agrees in advance to all the recommendations you will submit… He told Hamas: "Whatever you reach with Fatah, I agree to it"

[Official PA TV, Sept. 19, 2020 ]

Haniyeh himself has been very clear about the joint committee’s intentions to “develop the popular resistance, which may develop into a popular intifada”:

Chairman of Hamas’ Political Bureau Ismail Haniyeh: “There will be a committee [of Fatah, Hamas, PFLP and others] to examine the way to develop the popular resistance, which may develop into a popular intifada, and therefore we will have a united national leadership on the ground to direct this resistance.”

[Official PA TV, From Beirut, Sept. 6, 2020]

Haniyeh further reiterated Hamas’ refusal to recognize Israel:

Haniyeh: “The Palestinian factions sometimes differ from one another about the strategic political vision. I declared that we [Hamas] will not recognize Israel, we will not relinquish one inch of the land of Palestine, [and] armed struggle is a strategic choice. But at this stage we are looking for the Palestinian national common [goals].”

[Official PA TV, From Beirut, Sept. 6, 2020]

PLO official Qais Abu Laila confirmed that the goal of the committee is to transform the “resistance” into “a comprehensive popular intifada”:

PLO Executive Committee member Qais Abu Laila: “I think that the agreement itself on establishing the United National [Leadership of the Popular Resistance] committee is an important step to restore the shine of the popular resistance, and to set it in motion towards becoming a comprehensive popular intifada and a comprehensive national rebellion.”

[Official PA TV, Topic of the Day, Sept. 12, 2020]

During the interview, the PA TV host reiterated Abbas' go ahead in advance to any activity the committee may decide on – which would include violence and terror – and in response, Abu Laila confirmed that Abbas won’t interfere with “any decision” the committee makes:

Host: “[PA] President [Abbas] said that he will not have any reservations about any decision that is made by these committees.”

PLO Executive Committee member Qais Abu Laila: “His position as president places him outside the framework of the political conflicts, and therefore he emphasized that he will not oppose what you agree upon, nor any decision that you make.”

[Official PA TV, Topic of the Day, Sept. 12, 2020]

Similarly speaking in the wake of the meeting, Fatah Central Committee Secretary Jibril Rajoub didn’t hide that the peaceful popular resistance may “escalate” to terror in Tel Aviv. Rajoub specifically stated that Fatah will be at the forefront of “resistance” in “all its forms” – another PA euphemism for the use of violence and terror:

Fatah Central Committee Secretary Jibril Rajoub: “We need to begin actions so that those in Tel Aviv will feel that this occupation is starting to have a price... Regarding the resistance in all its forms, for us in Fatah there is no problem. All of the possibilities are open and on the table. If we decide, the [Fatah] Central Committee will be at the front.”

[Official PA TV, Topic of the Day, Sept. 7, 2020]

Rajoub also talked about the new unity with Hamas and other terror factions that will coordinate the evolving terror:

Rajoub: “From this point there will be a united [Palestinian] national leadership that will shape the pace of the national struggle and the actions of Palestinians worldwide. We will turn to all the Palestinians so they will participate in these actions – popular actions that will be peaceful at the beginning. But their escalation depends on this occupation’s actions and behavior.”

[Official PA TV, Topic of the Day, Sept. 7, 2020]

Joining Rajoub was Fatah Central Committee member and commissioner Dalal Salameh, who stressed the PA’s self-proclaimed “right” to use violence – “struggle in all its forms” – against Israel. She also mentioned that “at this stage” Fatah and the other factions have decided that “the struggle is popular resistance” – implying that other – violent - stages might follow:

Fatah Central Committee member and Fatah Commissioner of NGOs Dalal Salameh: “The [joint] statement emphasized our legal right – according to all the international resolutions – to struggle in all its forms. But at this stage, we say the struggle is popular resistance, and for this popular resistance committees are being established so that it will be more comprehensive and more intensive and strong against this occupation.”

[Official PA TV, Good Morning Jerusalem, Sept. 4, 2020]

At a rally against normalization, Fatah Movement Central Committee Deputy Secretary Sabri Saidam stated that all Palestinians are “committed to the new stage” and specifically mentioned by name the two greatest terror organizations in the new joint committee:

Saidam: “The people and its leadership will only bow before the Creator. [The people] has gathered together to commit to laying out a new stage in the united struggle, including all the factions with Hamas and [Islamic] Jihad among them, until independence is achieved.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 16, 2020]

The joint committee’s own statement following its formation leaves only little to the imagination. It stressed that the committee’s “inspiration” are the past terror waves:

“We declare the launch of a comprehensive popular struggle, which will only stop when the national independence of the State of Palestine whose capital is Jerusalem is achieved. We draw inspiration for its actions and stages from our people’s intifadas from the 1920s until this day. We call on the members of our lauded Palestinian people, the Arab peoples, and the free people in the world to stand by Palestine – the spearhead of those who are standing firm – whose swords are directed against our central enemy [Israel] that is crouching on the lands of our state and our Jerusalem. This is in order to revive the Arab front that supports our legitimate struggle against the occupation, the deal of the century (i.e., refers to US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan), and the Arab normalization; and in order to thwart the agreements of disgrace and treason that were signed by the rulers of the UAE and Bahrain.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 14, 2020]

It further called for a “comprehensive national rebellion”:

“It is necessary to implement active deeds and implement methods to defend the lives and dignity of the residents, their holy sites, and their property against the settlers’ terror that is being carried out under the auspices and protection of the occupation army. It is necessary to implement popular resistance measures on the ground, to restore the honor to the popular mass struggle, and to respond in the same manner to the Israeli attacks, out of the principle of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth on the occupied lands of the State of Palestine and Jerusalem. This is a priority in our plan of struggle, until we reach the point of comprehensive national rebellion.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 14, 2020]

The committee further urged Palestinians to make the day of the signing of the peace agreements in Washington “a day of popular rejection and intifada in the homeland.” The committee ended its statement promising violence:

“We promise that we will not return the sword to the sheath until our independent and fully sovereign state whose capital is occupied Jerusalem is established, and until the problem of the refugees is resolved in accordance with international law, with their return to their lands.
Praise and mercy for our Martyrs, honor for our prisoners, healing for our wounded
This is a revolution and resistance until victory, until victory
Long live free and Arab Palestine”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 14, 2020]

A report in the official PA daily on the statement by the secretary-generals following the meeting on Sept. 3 reiterated their insisting on their “legal right to resist” and “right to carry out all the legal manners of struggle.” It mentioned that “this stage” is designated for “developing and activating popular resistance” – indicating that other – more violent stages – might follow:

“The meeting of the secretary-generals also discussed the foundations of the confrontation with the occupation, including activating the regional body and the international body to deal with these plans. Those present at the meeting agreed on the means of struggle against the occupation on our holy land, including the peoples’ right to resist occupation, which is anchored in the international conventions.
[They further stated:] We as Palestinians see that it is our right to carry out all the legal manners of struggle, and at this stage we agree on developing and activating popular resistance (i.e., term used by Palestinians, which also refers to the use of violence and terror) as the best option for the current stage in order to defend our legal rights against the occupation.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 4, 2020]

The coordinator of the National and Islamic Forces in Ramallah - an umbrella organization of various factions that was very active in second intifada terror - has also understood the signals coming from the committee as pointing towards an “intifada” – terror wave:

Coordinator of the National and Islamic Forces in the Ramallah and El-Bireh District Issam Bakr: “The declaration of the joint leadership [of the Palestinian factions] lays the foundations for a new phase based on expanding the framework of the activities that include centers [of activity] in front of the checkpoints and friction points, and in front of the sites that have activities on a weekly basis. This is in order to expand these activities horizontally over the Palestinian villages and cities, so that they will gradually grow into a comprehensive uprising and intifada against the occupation.”

[Official PA TV, Topic of the Day, Sept. 14, 2020]

Another proof that the PA is embracing violence is this image of Ramallah and El-Bireh District Governor Laila Ghannam holding a framed drawing of the PA map of “Palestine” that presents all of Israel as “Palestine” together with the PA areas. On top of the map is an AK-47 assault rifle and the Palestinian flag:


[Facebook page of Ramallah and El-Bireh District Governor Laila Ghannam, Sept. 16, 2020]

On the other hand, the PA also cautioned against armed struggle in an editorial in its official daily published in the wake of the calls for armed struggle. The PA did not renounce the armed struggle because it is morally wrong but argued that while the armed struggle is “permitted” it is no longer acceptable according to world opinion. So it’s not that the PA no longer approves terror or thinks it is not legitimate, but it understands that now it may no longer serve its political interests:

“One of the most important things we must deal with today is the increase of opinions… regarding the manner of dealing with the normalization (i.e., peace agreements between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain). There are those who want to turn back the clock and recall with strong nostalgia the days of armed struggle, while ignoring the changes that have taken place in reality and the changes in the balance of powers, in the value systems, and in the political and even moral worldviews, which have prohibited that which is permitted in the markets of wild globalization!!”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 16, 2020]

The editorial seem to reflect what Abbas said at the meeting of the secretary-generals, when he advocated “peaceful” and “non-violent popular resistance.” However, his later remarks indicate that he has since abandoned that approach and decided to let the committee – which includes several terror organizations – decide unchallenged. Below is his first statement, contrasting his later announcement of advance approval of “everything”:

Abbas: “We will also continue to work together to achieve national unity and cooperation. I hope that this will happen soon. This is the decision now, so that we will be together in the trench of peaceful popular uprising against the occupation. We are committed, respectable. Truly we are not acting in terror and chaos and the like. But we want our right, that we will be humans. This is just our right that people know that these people – how many are we here? – that we are humans. From here I call on you to agree on assembling a national committee that will lead the activity of this uprising. Now the time has come that there be leadership for the uprising, which will define the plans, organizations, conditions, and everything so that it will lead the non-violent popular resistance.”

[Official PA TV, Sept. 4, 2020]

The following are longer excerpts of the statements cited above:

Headline: “The United National Leadership of the Popular Resistance declares its measures to fight ‘the deal of the century’ and the normalization agreements”

The following is the full text of a statement by the United National Leadership of the Popular Resistance – a committee to oversee and direct the “popular resistance” that was established following the meeting of the Secretary Generals of the Palestinian factions on Sept. 3, 2020. Together with Fatah, the committee includes representatives of internationally designated terror organizations such as Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
The statement was broadcast on official PA TV under the headline “Announcement number 1” – Ed.

“The United National Leadership of the Popular Resistance

‘O you who have believed, persevere and endure and remain stationed and fear Allah that you may be successful’ [Quran 3:200, Sahih International translation], Allah spoke truth

Our heroic Palestinian people in the homeland and in the diaspora, masses of the members of our Arab and Islamic nation, free people in the world
‘If the people will wish to live one day, fate must accede’ (i.e., a quote from a famous poem by Tunisian poet Aboul-Qacem Echebbi)

Out of our reliance on Allah, and out of our faith in our historical right to our land, our homeland, and our Jerusalem, we are fighting with our living flesh and the exposed chests of our sons against the occupation’s state terror and its military vehicles. We are making great sacrifices while standing proudly and crowding on the first line of defense of our Arab, Islamic, and human depth, its values, its interests, and the legitimacy of its existence.

In order to implement the decisions of the Sept. 3 [2020] conference of the secretary-generals of the national action factions, we declare the launch of a comprehensive popular struggle, which will only stop when the national independence of the State of Palestine whose capital is Jerusalem is achieved. We draw inspiration for its actions and stages from our people’s intifadas from the 1920s until this day. We call on the members of our lauded Palestinian people, the Arab peoples, and the free people in the world to stand by Palestine – the spearhead of those who are standing firm – whose swords are directed against our central enemy [Israel] that is crouching on the lands of our state and our Jerusalem. This is in order to revive the Arab front that supports our legitimate struggle against the occupation, the deal of the century (i.e., refers to US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan), and the Arab normalization; and in order to thwart the agreements of disgrace and treason that were signed by the rulers of the UAE and Bahrain (refers to peace agreements with Israel; see note below –Ed.), so that they will meet the fate of those who betrayed and conspired in the 1940s; and also in order to close the gates of the embarrassing collapse of these governments and their supporters before the occupation state. We rely on our unity, which we will restore and strengthen through resistance and sacrifice, and we promise you that we will not again allow anyone to manipulate our people’s unity, to bypass our principles, and to destroy what we have agreed upon, while we are determined and committed to the following permanent principles of our popular struggle activity in the homeland and in the diaspora:

  1. Comprehensive popular resistance and activity – in its human, liberating, and cultural nature – will break out at a growing pace that will develop to the point of its loftiest forms on the lands of the State of Palestine.
  2. Our resistance will be managed at a harmonious pace in all the occupied Palestinian territories, and foremost among them Jerusalem, in accordance with the circumstances and data on the ground and in a comprehensive social, political, and geographic manner, under one slogan: Thwarting the deal of the century, ending the occupation, uprooting the settlement enterprise, realizing national independence, and ensuring the [Palestinian refugees’] right of return. It will develop out of a self-dynamic, in accordance with the developments on the ground.
  3. It is necessary to implement active deeds and implement methods to defend the lives and dignity of the residents, their holy sites, and their property against the settlers’ terror that is being carried out under the auspices and protection of the occupation army. It is necessary to implement popular resistance measures on the ground, to restore the honor to the popular mass struggle, and to respond in the same manner to the Israeli attacks, out of the principle of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth on the occupied lands of the State of Palestine and Jerusalem. This is a priority in our plan of struggle, until we reach the point of comprehensive national rebellion.
  4. The Palestinian flag is the only umbrella in whose shade all the activities in the homeland and in the diaspora are carried out.

Therefore, we call on you as follows:

  1. To view Sept. 15 [2020] (i.e., the day of the signing of the peace treaties between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain at the White House) as a day of popular rejection and intifada in the homeland, on which Palestinian flags will be waved in our cities, our villages, and our refugee camps in the homeland and in all the places where our communities are located, in order to express our firm rejection of the waving of the flag of the occupation, of murder, and of racism from the flagpole of lowliness in Abu Dhabi and Manama (i.e., the capitals of the UAE and Bahrain respectively). We call on the living forces, the non-governmental organizations, and the students’ and women’s organizations in our entire beloved Arab world to wave the flag of Arab honor and the Palestinian flag, as a condemnation and rejection of the agreement of disgrace on this black day.
  2. We call on our released prisoners, the families of our heroic Martyrs, and the families of the Martyrs whose bodies are being held in the occupation’s numbered cemeteries (i.e., Israeli cemeteries for temporary burial of terrorists) to hold rallies on Sept. 15, 2020, condemning the agreement of disgrace in all the districts of the homeland.
  3. We call on the Palestinian, Arab, and Islamic communities, and also on the free people and the democratic forces in the world, to demonstrate in front of the embassies of the US, the occupation state, the UAE, and the Kingdom of Bahrain on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, in order to condemn the agreements of disgrace.
  4. We call on the masses of members of our nation and our people – and especially in the [refugee] camps of heroism and return in the homeland and abroad – to commemorate on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, the memorial day of the Martyrs of Sabra and Shatila (see note below –Ed.), who died under the cleavers of the occupation (sic., they were killed by Christian Phalangists, Israel was uninvolved in the incident), which Abu Dhabi and Manama are waving its flag over their bowed heads.
  5. To view Friday, Sept. 18, 2020, as a day of mourning, on which black flags will be waved in all the squares, buildings, and homes in order to denounce the ‘US-Israel-UAE-Bahrain’ agreement. The churches will ring bells as a sign of mourning, and Friday sermons will be a eulogy for the regimes of heresy that betrayed the central cause of the Arabs and Muslims. This will be accompanied by activities at all the friction points in the territories of the Northern Districts (i.e., the West Bank).
  6. We welcome the initiative of the coalition of Palestinian and Arab organizations and the American democratic forces to organize protest activities in Washington, the capital of the US, on the day of the signing of the normalization agreement between the governments of Abu Dhabi and Manama [and Israel]. Members of our people, we call on you to abandon the disagreements, to freeze all the [personal] agendas, and to unite and participate in this popular struggle for liberation. There is no voice louder than the voice of the resistance. Let our Palestinian flags continue to wave, let our compass remain stable, and let our faith in Allah and the justice of our cause remain ingrained and rooted in us. We promise that we will not return the sword to the sheath until our independent and fully sovereign state whose capital is occupied Jerusalem is established, and until the problem of the refugees is resolved in accordance with international law, with their return to their lands.

Praise and mercy for our Martyrs, honor for our prisoners, healing for our wounded
This is a revolution and resistance until victory, until victory
Long live free and Arab Palestine
The United National Leadership of the Popular Resistance Jerusalem, Palestine”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 14, 2020]

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. 

Israeli peace agreements with the UAE and Bahrain – an agreement normalizing diplomatic ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), called the Abraham Accords, was announced on Aug. 13, 2020, under the mediation of US President Donald Trump. Following the UAE, Bahrain signed a similar peace agreement with Israel, as was announced on Sept. 11, 2020. Pursuant to the Abraham Accords, Israel and the UAE will discuss bilateral cooperation on a number of topics. In exchange for the agreement, Israel agreed to suspend its previously announced plans to apply Israel's civilian law to parts of Judea, Samaria, and the Jordan Valley as per the Trump peace plan. The US announced that “Muslims throughout the world who wish to come in peace to pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque, will now be able to fly to Tel Aviv through Abu Dhabi to do so and will be welcomed.”

The Cemeteries for Enemy Casualties (numbered cemeteries) are two burial sites maintained by the Israeli army for burying the bodies of enemy soldiers during wartime as well as terrorists. They are fenced and well-marked. Graves have markers instead of gravestones. Burial is temporary, as the bodies are eventually returned to their countries of origin. No ceremony is held. The bodies are buried in numbered caskets after their identities are documented.

Sabra and Shatila are Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. In 1982, during the first Lebanon War, Muslim residents of the camps were massacred by Christian Phalangists. The PA has a longstanding policy of falsely accusing Israel of committing the massacre or actively helping to carry it out.

Headline: “He received a phone call from Haniyeh – the [PA] president: We support all the efforts that emphasize the unity of the Palestinian position”
“[PA] President Mahmoud Abbas received a phone call yesterday [Sept. 15, 2020] from Hamas Movement Political Bureau Chairman Ismail Haniyeh and his Deputy [Chairman] Saleh Al-Arouri.
During the call, the president expressed… his support and gave his blessing to all the efforts that emphasize the unity of the Palestinian position facing the plots against our national cause, and all the steps whose goal is to eliminate our cause and deprive our people of its legitimate rights.
Haniyeh… said that Fatah and Hamas, and with them all the Palestinian factions, are in the same boat, and that they will not agree that the Palestinian cause will serve as a bridge for recognition of the occupation state or normalization with it at the expense of our national rights, Jerusalem, and the [Palestinian refugees’] right of return.
He thanked the president for his great confidence in all the factions and for his blessing on all the steps of unity, and said: ‘This is confidence of which we are all proud, and we thank you for it.’ Haniyeh emphasized that the meeting of [faction] secretary-generals [on Sept. 3, 2020] would not have taken place without the supportive position of President Abbas, and noted the importance of this position.
Haniyeh praised the president’s speech during the meeting and the unlimited support that he gave in advance to the decisions that were made following the meeting and to those that will be made in the future.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 16, 2020]

Fatah Central Committee Secretary Jibril Rajoub: “From this point there will be a united [Palestinian] national leadership that will shape the pace of the national struggle and the actions of the Palestinians worldwide. We will turn to all the Palestinians so they will participate in these actions – popular actions that will be peaceful at the beginning. But their escalation depends on this occupation’s actions and behavior. We will not allow them to uproot an olive tree and not pay a price, to strike a resident and not pay a price, or to destroy something and not pay a price.”
Official PA TV host: “There will be a price for the occupation.”
Jibril Rajoub:“There needs to be a change of the principles of the confrontation, with the agreement of everyone…
Our cause needs to also penetrate the Israeli discourse. They think that they can act in the Palestinian territories, settle, build, oppress, kill, humiliate, and uproot trees without paying a price. No, we need to begin actions so that those in Tel Aviv will feel that this occupation is starting to have a price. The nature of the first stage will be popular and peaceful, but the development depends on the occupation’s behavior and its response…
We will also say – so that no one will understand things incorrectly, and this appeared in the statement – that regarding the resistance in all its forms (i.e., term used by Palestinians, which also refers to the use of violence and terror), for us in Fatah there is no problem. All of the possibilities are open and on the table. If we decide, the [Fatah] Central Committee will be at the front.”

[Official PA TV, Topic of the Day, Sept. 7, 2020]

Rajoub made this statement following the meeting of the secretary-generals of the Palestinian factions, which include several terror organizations, on Sept. 3, 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).

Official PA TV broadcast of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ speech at the  meeting of Palestinian faction secretary-generals on Sept. 3, 2020

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: “Brothers and sisters, know that beginning in 1917 when they came out against us with the Balfour Promise (i.e., Declaration), which was an American-British product (sic., America was not involved in creating the Balfour Declaration, although it did give its consent to it) - and we must read this statement letter by letter because it has denied [the existence of] the Palestinian people from the beginning, for 102 or 103 years, and it has spoken about the Palestinian people as ‘those who remained’ or those present in this land – they have civil and religious rights. And to this moment, after more than a century, they say ‘You have civil and religious rights, and you don’t have political rights.’ This is the position that Israel is standing by now, and behind it is the US. From that time this position has continued in ignoring and negating the Palestinian people. They say ‘A land without a people for a people without a land.’ They know very well that the land of Palestine is full of Palestinians, and the rest are a minority that is here and there. But some of them perhaps intended that they must erase the Palestinians from Palestine so that it would become a land without a people for a people without a land. Despite this, we have suffered much in order to strengthen our existence and our entity, and we were unable – unfortunately, due to many conditions that were not hidden from you [that are] local, international, and global – and we were left scattered worldwide, until the PLO appeared. And yet, they still do not recognize us that we are a people, and that this organization represents this people until (sic.) 1964, when we made a decision at the Arab Summit [that the PLO is the sole representative of the Palestinian people]…
True, additional difficulties that we are dealing with derive from these positions [of abrogating the agreements with Israel] – especially on the economic level. The occupation authorities are taking hundreds of billions from our money, which they are collecting in exchange. In other words, for every $100 they take $3. This is theft. They are stealing this money (sic., Israel imposes a 3% processing fee on taxes it collects for the PA according to the Paris Agreement; see note below). And this is due to their control over the border crossings, and we refuse to accept money like this in accordance with the previous agreements, which we have withdrawn from. The pressures have increased on us and on the Arab states since the beginning of this year [2020], until these states are not standing by their economic commitments to us. We asked for someone to provide us with loans in exchange for our money, and we went to the ends of the earth. In other words, we are asking for loans in exchange for our money from all the world states. But everywhere we went, the American administration says ‘Be careful not to pay them. Put them in a corner until they are ruined’ – we will not be ruined. ‘Until they fall’ – we will not fall, regardless of how much the American pressure increases…
(Abbas holds up a set of maps allegedly depicting the gradual loss of “Palestine,” in a false claim that there ever was such a state –Ed.)
We have read [the deal of the century] (i.e., refers to US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan), it has one word – there is a Palestinian state for the Palestinians after they prove their loyalty in four years. Okay, what is the state? Here is the state, this is the state. This, not this. This is historical Palestine (i.e., all of Israel including the PA areas), and here is the first and second partition plan, and afterwards the 1948 [partition plan] (see note below –Ed.), and only afterwards the state. Swiss cheese. A small slice that will be connected only via one bridge or one tunnel on the instructions of Israel. Here it is, no borders, no security, no nothing, and they say ‘We brought you a state.’ There are people who believe and say: ‘They brought you a state, where is it?’ Here it is. I challenge anyone in the world that would agree to their state being like this…
By the way, the Palestinian people – do you know how many they are? We are 13 million Palestinians. Here in historical Palestine there are more than 6 million, and the rest are outside of it. A people of 13 million, and everyone is educated. We do not have illiterates among us like there are among others…
We will not repeat the disaster of 1948 when we were removed from our homeland. Whoever remembers like me, whoever is old like me, remembers how we were removed. Enough of the disgraces – and in 1967. This time we will not leave our homeland under any circumstances. We will not leave our land under any circumstances. We are here for better or worse. This is our land, and we will remain in it forever, in order to defend our holy sites – the Muslim and Christian ones – from the occupation’s plots.
We will also continue to work together to achieve national unity and cooperation. I hope that this will happen soon. This is the decision now, so that we will be together in the trench of peaceful popular uprising against the occupation (i.e., term used by Palestinians, which also refers to the use of violence and terror). We are committed, respectable. Truly we are not acting in terror and chaos and the like. But we want our right, that we will be humans. This is just our right that people know that these people – how many are we here? – that we are humans. From here I call on you to agree on assembling a national committee that will lead the activity of this uprising. Now the time has come that there be leadership for the uprising, which will define the plans, organizations, conditions, and everything so that it will lead the non-violent popular resistance.”

[Official PA TV, Sept. 4, 2020]

Official PA TV program Topic of the Day, on the signing of the peace agreements between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain on Sept. 15, 2020 – see note below; hosting Coordinator of the National-Islamic Force in the Ramallah and El-Bireh District Issam Bakr

Coordinator of the National and Islamic Forces in the Ramallah and El-Bireh District Issam Bakr: “Tomorrow [Sept. 15, 2020] will be a big day for the popular activity and it will call for the return of the Palestinian popular activity. The declaration of the joint leadership [of the Palestinian factions] lays the foundations for a new phase based on expanding the framework of the activities that include centers [of activity] in front of the checkpoints and friction points, and in front of the sites that have activities on a weekly basis. This is in order to expand these activities horizontally over the Palestinian villages and cities, so that they will gradually grow into a comprehensive uprising and intifada against the occupation.”

[Official PA TV, Topic of the Day, Sept. 14, 2020]

Palestinian National and Islamic Forces - an unaffiliated coordinating body comprised of representatives from factions in the PLO and outside the PLO. The Palestinian National and Islamic Forces were established in 2000 shortly after the start of the PA terror campaign (the second Intifada, 2000-2005), under the authorization of Yasser Arafat and the leadership of terrorist Marwan Barghouti. During the PA terror campaign it played an active role in coordinating political efforts and terror attacks against Israel, but since the end of the campaign it has been less significant and its activity is primarily centered in Gaza.

Excerpt of an editorial by the official PA daily

Headline: “Hasty calls and proposals”
“Perhaps one of the most important things that we must deal with today is the increase of opinions in the newspapers and the media – many of them on social media – regarding the manner of dealing with the normalization (refers to peace agreements between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain; see note below –Ed.). There are those who want to turn back the clock and recall with strong nostalgia the days of armed struggle, while ignoring the changes that have taken place in reality and the changes in the balance of powers, in the value systems, and in the political and even moral worldviews, which have prohibited that which is permitted in the markets of wild globalization!! The second one calls to disconnect from the Arab nation and the Arab League, as if we are a nation of our own (!!) [parentheses in source], and this is at a time when we are still arranging our national unity… Meanwhile the third one sees only the empty half of the cup, sobs words of despair and frustration, and sees no way to be saved other than numerous prayers!
Of course we fervently believe that the rule of the entire universe was and will be Allah’s, but we know that there is no value to prayer without action…
We will bring as evidence that which was said by the just Caliph Omar ibn Al-Khattib (i.e., one of the companions of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad) to the Bedouin who prayed to Allah to heal his female camel’s skin disease: ‘Didn’t you add tar to the prayer?’ Tar is a remedy that the Arabs knew for treating the skin disease…
We view normalization as a skin disease of politics… and there is no way to heal it of this disease without the tar of popular rage…
Popular rage, in its legitimate expressions, is a healing rage in order to fight the disease,
and this is the rage of truth to fight the lies. Rage cannot break out if a discourse of despair and frustration prevails.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 16, 2020]

Headline: “A march and rally of unity in Ramallah against the normalization”
“Hundreds of residents of Ramallah and El-Bireh, and foremost among them leaders and senior officials, demonstrated yesterday evening, Tuesday [Sept. 15, 2020], in condemnation of the normalization agreement that the administration of [US President Donald] Trump imposed on the governments of Abu Dhabi and Manama (refers to peace agreements between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain; see note below –Ed.)…
Fatah Movement Central Committee [Deputy Secretary and] member Sabri Saidam said that our people wherever they are have set out united against the agreements of disgrace that rulers signed in submission to a tyrant…
He added: ‘The people and its leadership will only bow before the Creator. [The people] has gathered together to commit to laying out a new stage in the united struggle, including all the factions with Hamas and [Islamic] Jihad among them, until independence is achieved.’
Senior Hamas Movement official Sheikh Hassan Yusuf said that our people is setting out… to thwart the conspiracy of the deal of the century
(i.e., refers to US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan), which includes within it the plan of annexation and normalization…
He said: ‘We have no choice but to unite to thwart the plots. This unity, which is being expressed on the ground in resistance to the normalization and the occupation, must also take place… in achieving the [Fatah-Hamas] reconciliation.’”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 16, 2020]

In her interview above, Fatah Central Committee member and Fatah Commissioner of NGOs Dalal Salameh referred to the “joint statement” from the meeting of the secretary-generals of the Palestinian “factions,” which include several terror organizations, on Sept. 3, 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.

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

 

Mentioning “the international resolutions,” Salameh was probably referring to UN Resolution 3236 - 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.”
It should be noted that according to the UN Charter itself, UN General Assembly resolutions are only “recommendations” and have “no legal power that affects the outside world.” UN Security Council Resolutions are only binding if they were adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. Resolutions adopted by the UN Human Rights Council are clearly prejudiced as noted by human rights expert Christine Cerna: “In my view Israel has a unique status in the UN Human Rights Council. Impartiality is not a requirement sought by the Council for the appointment of experts when it comes to Israel.”