Fatah made an “organizational decision”: Violent Arab riots “will not stop,” “Palestine is from the Sea to the River”
Fatah Jenin Branch Secretary Ata Abu Rmeileh: “Of course this is an occupation. The crimes are continuing from the start of the attempt by the occupation and the settler herds to defile the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque… As a Palestinian people all the possibilities are open before us – a comprehensive confrontation with this occupation. The events will not stop, they will not stop. There is an organizational decision that was issued by the Fatah Movement in all the areas and regions, in Jenin, in the entire West Bank, in the Gaza Strip, in Jerusalem, and in the 1948 [lands] (i.e., Israel) – all of Palestine today, Palestine is united from the [Mediterranean] Sea to the [Jordan] River. The Palestinian people is rising up.”
This statement was made during ongoing violent Arab riots in Jerusalem and other mixed Jewish-Arab cities in Israel, and while Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired thousands of rockets from the Gaza Strip at Israeli population centers.
Fatah/Hamas Riot and Rocket War 2021 – On April 30, 2021, facing certain electoral defeat, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas cancelled the first PA elections scheduled in 15 years. Hamas, which expected to win the elections, denounced it as a “coup.” In need of a conflict to divert public discontent, Abbas artificially generated a crisis over Jerusalem. His Fatah party called for "raising the level of confrontation,” and Abbas' spokesman told Palestinians "the battle of all battles is here.” Jerusalem Arabs responded by attacking Jews with rocks and Molotov cocktails. Hamas, Abbas' political rival, could not allow Abbas to lead the battle, so on May 10, 2021, Hamas launched rocket barrages targeting Israeli population centers including Jerusalem. Over the next 11 days, Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired over 4,300 rockets into southern and central Israel from the Gaza Strip, killing 9 Israelis and 3 foreign nationals, and wounding hundreds. In response, Israel launched Operation Guardian of the Walls to target Hamas terror leaders and terror infrastructure in the Gaza Strip. Already in mid-April, a planned eviction of some Palestinian families illegally living in Jewish-owned buildings in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem had led to clashes between Palestinian residents and Israeli police. This dispute provided Palestinians with a pretext for violent rioting. Adding to the crisis, Israeli Arabs started rioting throughout Israel, especially in cities with a mixed Jewish and Arab population. Two Jews were murdered and many were wounded. According to Walla, an independent Israeli news site, 10 synagogues were wholly or partly burned down; fires were set in 112 Jewish homes and 1 Arab home mistaken for a Jewish home; 386 Jewish homes were plundered and 673 were damaged; 849 cars were set ablaze; and there were 5,018 rock-throwing attacks. In response, Jews started attacking Arabs and their properties as well, but on a much smaller scale. No mosques were burned; 13 Arab homes were damaged; 13 Arab-owned cars were burned; and there were 41 rock-throwing attacks by Jews. [Walla, May 16, 2021] The fighting between Israel and Hamas ended with a ceasefire on May 21, 2021.