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PA, PLO, and Fatah inciting and promoting violence against Israeli flag march in Jerusalem

Maurice Hirsch, Adv.  |

Fatah before flag march, urges martyrdom-death for Jerusalem:

  • “We will come out as one line to defend our eternal capital [Jerusalem], and we will not allow our holy city to be harmed. Jerusalem is the rock of our existence, and for its sake any price is paid… We will redeem it with our souls and with all that we have. They will definitely not pass, as the men of Jerusalem are waiting for them.”

  • “All options are open for our people in order to defend the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem the capital… Our people, our leadership, and our [Security] Forces are used to confrontation and are not afraid of dying for the sake of the homeland’s freedom. We will defend our honor and our holy sites on behalf of the Arab and Islamic nations, we will stand firm on our land, and the occupation will certainly pass.”

  • Fatah secretary urges Palestinians to die for Jerusalem: “What is required of us at this stage, according to the instructions of the Palestinian leadership, is to emphasize the continuation of the popular national activity… The Palestinian people, which has sacrificed thousands of Martyrs, thousands of prisoners and wounded, is prepared to sacrifice thousands of Martyrs, wounded, and prisoners for the sake of Jerusalem”

Fatah is again inciting and promoting violence in Jerusalem, calling on Palestinians and Israeli Arabs to use violence to prevent the Israeli flag march that is to be held in the city later today. “Warning” of the apparently inevitable violence, Fatah and its leadership are inciting Palestinians to prevent the march, calling on them “to fight the march of the extremist settlers,” using “peaceful popular resistance” - a Palestinian euphemism which also refers to the use of violence and terror - and to “redeem Jerusalem" with “all they have.”

In anticipation of the march, and on the background of pictures of mass demonstrations on the Temple Mount, Fatah published the following call on one of its Facebook pages:

Narrator and text on screen: “We will come out as one line to defend our eternal capital [Jerusalem], and we will not allow our holy city to be harmed. Jerusalem is the rock of our existence, and for its sake any price is paid… We will redeem it with our souls and with all that we have. They will definitely not pass, as the men of Jerusalem are waiting for them.”

[Facebook page of the Fatah Commission of Information and Culture, June 9, 2021]

Praising the previous violence, which according to him was “the deciding factor on everything concerning changing the route of the so-called ‘flag march’ of the settlers,” – i.e., the premature ending of the march on Jerusalem Day in May - Fatah's Jerusalem Branch Secretary, Shadi Mattour, warned that “the situation in Jerusalem is liable to blow up at any moment.” Referring to the planned violence, Mattour added:

Our peaceful popular resistance (i.e., term used by Palestinians, which also refers to the use of violence and terror) will defeat the occupation and its pawns. What we see – glorious sacrifice and resolve by the members of the holy city [of Jerusalem], and the cohesion of our people in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip – arouse hope that we are capable of defeating the occupation, whose measures no longer frighten even our children.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 9, 2021]

Distorting the nature and goals of the march, the PA Mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Territories Sheikh Muhammad Hussein added that “the goal” of “the so-called ‘flag march’ in occupied Jerusalem", is “to provoke the Palestinians and please the extremist settlers. He said this will “add to the tensions in Jerusalem” and urged that the march “must be blocked through the existing capabilities, foremost among them increasing the visits to the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque and the presence in it.” [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 8, 2021]

Warning against an additional explosion in the situation in Jerusalem, “due to the settlers’ intentions of organizing a dance march with Israeli flags that will go around the Old City of Jerusalem and its gates” and as if violence was a foregone conclusion, PLO Executive Committee member and Fatah Central Committee member Azzam Al-Ahmad added:

“The occupation government is attempting to complicate the situation and cause an explosion, at a time when endless international efforts are being made to calm the situation in the Palestinian territories.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 7, 2021]

The PA Supreme Shari’ah Judge of Palestine and PA Chairman  Abbas’ Advisor on Religious Affairs and Islamic Relations Mahmoud Al-Habbash also referred implicitly to the impending violence:

“If the settlers’ threats of holding the so-called ‘Flag March’ and breaking into the Damascus Gate area in occupied Jerusalem are realized… we are in danger of returning to the starting point.”

[Facebook page of PA Supreme Shari’ah Judge Mahmoud Al-Habbash, June 5, 2021]

The Fatah Central Committee also called for mobilization of its activists “to stand as one line to defend Jerusalem and the sites that are holy to Islam and Christianity, and to fight the march of the extremist settlers.”

“Jerusalem is a red line, and the Palestinian people has a strong willpower and determination to resist the occupation in Jerusalem and in all the occupied Palestinian territories… 100 years of conflict have proven that it is impossible that our people will submit to the policy of determining facts on the ground, but that it will continue to stand firm and resist, until it removes the last of the Israeli soldiers and settlers from its homeland.”

[WAFA, official PA news agency, June 6, 2021]

The PLO Department of Jerusalem Affairs implicitly referred to the violence claiming that “the submission of the [Israeli] political echelon in the occupation state and its police to the extremist settlers”, would cause “an additional explosion in Jerusalem, which is liable to spread to all the occupied Palestinian territories and cause the outbreak of a new wave of rage”. [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 13, 2021]

While PA, PLO, and Fatah bodies and officials attribute the march to “settlers”, the march is traditionally attended by tens of thousands of Israelis who are not residents in East Jerusalem, Judea or Samaria – in other words, Israelis who are not considered to be “settlers”. However, from the point of view of the Mufti and the Fatah leaders, all Jews living anywhere in Israel are “settlers”.

The PA Jerusalem Deputy District Governor, Abdallah Siyam, also warned against the flag march saying it “will cause a new explosion in the city”:

“These marches are a continuation of the marches that were planned for the 28th of Ramadan. He emphasized that the Jerusalem residents’ defense of their holy sites is connected to their faith and not to a certain period of time, and that they will thwart this plan with their determination and resolve, as they thwarted it in the past.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 6, 2021]

Since 1968, Israelis have marked the reunification of Jerusalem with the traditional flag march. During the march, Israelis sing and dance through the streets of Jerusalem waving Israeli flags, and the march culminates with a festive gathering in the Western Wall plaza. As a rule, the march is held on the Hebrew anniversary of the reunification – the 28th day of the Hebrew month of Iyar – which this year corresponded with May 10. It also happened to coincide with the 28th day of Ramadan.

After it already started, the march was cancelled at the last minute, following a wave of Fatah-initiated violence that was sweeping Jerusalem, and which culminated in Hamas firing missiles from Gaza aimed at Jerusalem, and later at South and Central Israel.

After the march was then rescheduled for June 7, the Gregorian anniversary of the reunification, it was again postponed until today.

Significantly, while the march does not go on to the Temple Mount or approach the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is located on the southwestern corner of the Mount, Fatah Jenin Branch Secretary Ata Abu Armila called on Palestinians to defend the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Arabs in Jerusalem:

“We in Fatah are calling on all the masses of our Palestinian people to head towards Jerusalem to defend the Al-Aqsa Mosque and defend our people here inside the mosque- inside Jerusalem… The events have not ended and will not end until the occupation leaves our Palestinian people, stops the attacks against the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and stops the expulsions in the Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan [neighborhoods of Jerusalem]… Therefore, we are in an ongoing state of general mobilization.”

[Official PA TV, Topic of the Day, June 7, 2021]

Fatah Ramallah and El-Bireh Branch Secretary Muwaffaq Sahwil added that it is the “instructions of the Palestinian leadership” that Palestinians should engage in “the continuation of the popular national activity.” He also encouraged Palestinians to seek death as “Martyrs” “for the sake of Jerusalem”:

“What is required of us at this stage, according to the instructions of the Palestinian leadership, is to emphasize the continuation of the popular national activity… The message… is important: Responding to the call to participate in activities in a message to the world that the spark began from Jerusalem – in all the intifadas that took place in the Palestinian people’s history, [the spark] was in Jerusalem. [I want] to emphasize the call and the invitation to the Palestinian people in Ramallah – the beginning [of the activity] is in Ramallah – to participate and be present in a message to the world saying that the Palestinian people, which has sacrificed thousands of Martyrs, thousands of prisoners and wounded, is prepared to sacrifice thousands of Martyrs, wounded, and prisoners for the sake of Jerusalem.”

[Official PA TV, Topic of the Day, June 7, 2021]

Following an incident in which wanted Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist Jamil Al-Amouri was killed during an attempt to arrest him and two PA security officers were killed in the ensuing gun battle, Fatah declared:

All options are open for our people in order to defend the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem the capital… Our people, our leadership, and our [Security] Forces are used to confrontation and are not afraid of dying for the sake of the homeland’s freedom. We will defend our honor and our holy sites on behalf of the Arab and Islamic nations, we will stand firm on our land, and the occupation will certainly pass.”

[Official Fatah Facebook page, June 10, 2021]

The following are longer excerpts of some of the articles cited above:

Headline: “Mattour: Our legendary resolve in Jerusalem forced the occupation to change the settlers’ march”
“Fatah Movement Jerusalem Branch Secretary Shadi Mattour emphasized that the situation in Jerusalem is liable to blow up at any moment. He praised the willpower of the [Palestinian] public in Jerusalem, which was the deciding factor on everything concerning changing the route of the so-called ‘flag march’ of the settlers (refers to traditional march that was cancelled on Jerusalem Day, May 10, 2021, due to violent Arab riots; see note below -Ed.). In an interview with Radio Mawtini yesterday [June 8, 2021], Mattour said: ‘The battle is still continuing. We have legendary stamina and a willpower that does not break and does not bend.’ …

He noted the estimations of the Israeli Security Agency, according to which the situation is liable to blow up due to the existence of a mighty people standing against them. He added confidently: ‘Our peaceful popular resistance (i.e., term used by Palestinians, which also refers to the use of violence and terror) will defeat the occupation and its pawns. What we see – glorious sacrifice and resolve by the members of the holy city [of Jerusalem], and the cohesion of our people in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip – arouse hope that we are capable of defeating the occupation, whose measures no longer frighten even our children.’”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 9, 2021]

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

“[PA] Mufti [of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Territories Sheikh Muhammad] Hussein warned in a statement yesterday [June 7, 2021] against holding the so-called ‘flag march’ in occupied Jerusalem, whose goal is to provoke the Palestinians and please the extremist settlers, which will add to the tensions in Jerusalem (refers to traditional march that was cancelled on Jerusalem Day, May 10, 2021, due to violent Arab riots; see note below -Ed.).

He held the occupation authorities responsible for all consequences of these attacks, which must be blocked through the existing capabilities, foremost among them increasing the visits to the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque and the presence in it.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 8, 2021]

Muhammad Hussein also serves as Deputy Secretary-General and acting Secretary-General of the PLO Popular National Conference of Jerusalem.

“PLO Executive Committee member and Fatah Central Committee member Azzam Al-Ahmad warned against an additional explosion in the situation in Jerusalem due to the settlers’ intentions of organizing a dance march with [Israeli] flags that will go around the Old City [of Jerusalem] and its gates on Thursday [June 10, 2021] (refers to rescheduled traditional flag march that was cancelled on Jerusalem Day, May 10, 2021, due to violent Arab riots; see note below -Ed.)…

Al-Ahmad said that the occupation government is attempting to complicate the situation and cause an explosion, at a time when endless international efforts are being made to calm the situation in the Palestinian territories.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 7, 2021]

PLO Executive Committee member Azzam Al-Ahmad who spoke on official PA TV also serves as head of the PLO Department of Arab and Parliamentary Affairs, Fatah Central Committee member, Fatah Commissioner of National Relations, and Fatah Commissioner for Relations with Lebanon.

Text posted on the Facebook page of PA Supreme Shari’ah Judge Mahmoud Al-Habbash

Posted text: “Supreme Shari’ah Judge of Palestine and [PA] President [Mahmoud Abbas’] Advisor on Religious Affairs and Islamic Relations Dr. Mahmoud Al-Habbash warned against an explosion in the situation in Palestine, if the settlers’ threats of holding the so-called ‘Flag March’ and breaking into the Damascus Gate area in occupied Jerusalem are realized (refers to rescheduled Israeli flag march after the traditional Jerusalem Day march was cancelled on May 10, 2021, due to violent Arab riots; see note below -Ed.).
Speaking to the Egyptian channel Al-Nahar, Al-Habbash added that if this happens, we are in danger of returning to the starting point.”

[Facebook page of PA Supreme Shari’ah Judge Mahmoud Al-Habbash, June 5, 2021]

Mahmoud Al-Habbash also serves as Chairman of the Supreme Council for Shari'ah Justice. In August 2019 PA Chairman Abbas dismissed all his advisors by Presidential decree. It is unclear what their status is today.

Headline: “Fatah calls for general mobilization to defend Jerusalem and fight the settlers’ march on Thursday”

The Fatah Movement Central Committee called for a general mobilization of its activists and the masses of our people this Thursday [June 10, 2021]. [It also called] to stand as one line to defend Jerusalem and the sites that are holy to Islam and Christianity, and to fight the march of the extremist settlers (refers to Israeli flag march, after the traditional Jerusalem Day flag march was cancelled by violent Arab riots on June 10, 2021; see note below -Ed.).

In a statement that was issued today, Sunday, the Fatah Central Committee emphasized that Jerusalem is a red line, and that the Palestinian people has a strong willpower and determination to resist the occupation in Jerusalem and in all the occupied Palestinian territories.

It noted that 100 years of conflict have proven that it is impossible that our people will submit to the policy of determining facts on the ground, but that it will continue to stand firm and resist, until it removes the last of the Israeli soldiers and settlers from its homeland. It also emphasized that our people will not agree to pay the price of the struggles for rule between the fascists in Israel, and that the masses of our heroic people in Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Interior (i.e., Palestinian term for Israel), and the diaspora will defeat these fascists from the racist right-wing and their plans…

It held the government of Israel fully responsible for the explosion in the situation of Jerusalem and all the Palestinian areas, and called on the international community to intervene quickly to stop the hysteria of [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and the Israeli extremist right-wing, and to block its moves in Jerusalem that are threatening to explode the entire region.”

[WAFA, official PA news agency, June 6, 2021]


Headline: “Israeli assessments that the provocative ‘Flag March’ will be approved, Siyam warns that it will cause a new explosion in Jerusalem”

“[PA] Jerusalem Deputy District Governor Abdallah Siyam warned against the [Israeli] flag dance march that the occupation is organizing this Thursday [June 10, 2021] in the Old City of occupied Jerusalem, because this will cause a new explosion in the city (refers to violent Arab riots; see note below -Ed.).

In an interview to [the official PA] radio [station] The Voice of Palestine yesterday [June 5, 2021], Siyam said that these marches are a continuation of the marches that were planned for the 28th of Ramadan (i.e., May 10, 2021, when Jerusalem Day marches were cancelled due to violent Arab riots and Hamas began rocket barrages at Israeli cities). He emphasized that the Jerusalem residents’ defense of their holy sites is connected to their faith and not to a certain period of time, and that they will thwart this plan with their determination and resolve, as they thwarted it in the past.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 6, 2021]

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.

Headline: “The [PLO] Department of Jerusalem Affairs warns against the outbreak of a new wave of rage if the flag march is held”

“The PLO Department of Jerusalem Affairs warned against an additional explosion in Jerusalem, which is liable to spread to all the occupied Palestinian territories and cause the outbreak of a new wave of rage. This is due to the submission of the political echelon in the occupation state and its police to the extremist settlers, who are demanding to carry out the so-called ‘[Israeli] flag march’ in the center of the city (refers to rescheduled traditional march that was cancelled on Jerusalem Day, May 10, 2021, due to violent Arab riots -Ed.).”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 13, 2021]

Official PA TV program Topic of the Day, on PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas meeting with the secretaries of the Fatah branches in the West Bank

Fatah Jenin Branch Secretary Ata Abu Armila: “We in Fatah are calling on all the masses of our Palestinian people to head towards Jerusalem to defend the Al-Aqsa Mosque and defend our people here inside the mosque- inside Jerusalem, our eternal capital, in order to stand against this arrogance and against the growing oppression of the occupation against our Palestinian people…

Today, the compass is towards Jerusalem. The events have not ended and will not end until the occupation leaves our Palestinian people, stops the attacks against the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and stops the expulsions in the Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan [neighborhoods of Jerusalem] and in all the areas. Therefore, we are in an ongoing state of ‘general mobilization.’ On Thursday [June 10, 2021] there will be an additional mobilization in order to carry out Ribat (i.e., religious conflict over land claimed to be Islamic) inside Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and if we are unable to enter Jerusalem, there will be confrontations in the gates of Jerusalem until the occupation stops all its crimes… [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu, like when [former US President Donald] Trump left, wants to leave with another spilling of Palestinian blood, and we are prepared to deal with all the plans of this occupation, or of the next Zionist government, which is also attempting to act according to this occupation plan like Netanyahu did and still is.” …

Fatah Ramallah and El-Bireh Branch Secretary Muwaffaq Sahwil: “What is required of us at this stage, according to the instructions of the Palestinian leadership, is to emphasize the continuation of the popular national activity. And on the other hand, I again want to emphasize that the message of Thursday is important: Responding to the call to participate in activities in a message to the world that the spark began from Jerusalem – in all the intifadas that took place in the Palestinian people’s history, [the spark] was in Jerusalem. And [I want] to emphasize the call and the invitation to the Palestinian people in Ramallah – the beginning [of the activity] is in Ramallah – to participate and be present in a message to the world saying that the Palestinian people, which has sacrificed thousands of Martyrs, thousands of prisoners and wounded, is prepared to sacrifice thousands of Martyrs, wounded, and prisoners for the sake of Jerusalem.”

[Official PA TV, Topic of the Day, June 7, 2021]

Images and text posted on the official Fatah Facebook page

Posted text: “The Fatah Movement announced the death of the heroic Martyrs who died in exchanges of gunfire with the occupation forces this morning [June 10, 2021] in Jenin: wanted heroic Martyr Jamil Al-Amouri (i.e., Islamic Jihad terrorist), heroic Martyr [PA] military intelligence forces officer Adham Yasser Aliwi, and heroic Martyr [PA] military intelligence forces officer Tayseer Mahmoud Ayaseh (Aliwi and Ayaseh opened fire on Israeli undercover forces as they apprehended wanted terrorists; see note below -Ed.)…
Fatah said that all options are open for our people in order to defend the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem the capital…
Fatah’s statement concluded by saying: ‘Our people, our leadership, and our [PA Security] Forces are used to confrontation and are not afraid of dying for the sake of the homeland’s freedom. We will defend our honor and our holy sites on behalf of the Arab and Islamic nations, we will stand firm on our land, and the occupation will certainly pass.
This is a revolution until victory.
Munir Al-Jaghoub
Head of the Information Office
Fatah Commission of Mobilization and Organization”

The images show Islamic Jihad terrorist Jamil Al-Amouri and PA military intelligence officers Adham Yasser Aliwi and Tayseer Mahmoud Ayaseh.

[Official Fatah Facebook page, June 10, 2021]

 Jamil Al-Amouri, Wisam Abu Zaid, Adham Yasser Aliwi, and Tayseer Mahmoud Ayaseh – Israeli undercover forces attempted to arrest wanted Islamic Jihad terrorists Jamil Al-Amouri and Wisam Abu Zaid while they were hiding in Jenin next to a PA military intelligence building on June 10, 2021, in order to prevent the two from committing imminent shooting attacks after they had committed attacks in the previous months. The two attempted to flee, at which point the Israeli forces opened fire, killing Al-Amouri and wounding and arresting Abu Zaid. Because the Israeli forces were operating undercover, the PA Security Forces had not been notified in advance in order not to blow their cover, and as the Israeli forces were preparing to leave the area, PA military intelligence officers Adham Yasser Aliwi and Tayseer Mahmoud Ayaseh opened fire on them, apparently unaware they were Israeli security forces. The forces returned fire, killing Aliwi and Ayaseh. According to reports, video from the event shows someone at the scene shouting out to identify the Israeli undercover forces, but Aliwi and Ayaseh apparently continued to fire despite the shouts.