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From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free; Fatah: “It’s either me or him on this land”

Nan Jacques Zilberdik  |
  • “[It] is an existential conflict, not just a conflict over borders”

  • Blood spilled in Gaza war is “fuel for our return to Acre, Jaffa, and Haifa” as “occupation is transient” -Fatah official

Whoever thinks the current war is an isolated conflict in the Gaza Strip – think again. The war is being cheered by members of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ party, Fatah, as leading to a “return to Acre, Jaffa, and Haifa.” In other words, “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

One Fatah member stated recently what Palestinian Media Watch has documented for decades—that the conflict with Israel is not over land but over much more. It is “existential, not just a conflict over borders.”

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Fatah Revolutionary Council member Muhammad Al-Lahham: “This is my opinion as [a member of] Fatah: That my conflict against this occupation (i.e., Israel) is an existential conflict, not just a conflict over borders. It’s either me or him on this land.”

[Al-Arabiya TV (Saudi Arabia), Facebook page, June 15, 2024]

Another top member and official of Fatah, Fatah Nablus Branch Secretary Muhammad Hamdan, said that Palestinians dying in the war in Gaza serve as “fuel” for the Palestinian “return” and taking over of all of Israel because, as he put it, Israel is “transient”:

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Fatah Nablus Branch Secretary Muhammad Hamdan: We say to the entire world that this blood that is being shed (i.e., in the 2023 Gaza war; see note below) will be the fuel for our return to Acre, Jaffa, and Haifa (i.e., all Israeli cities), and certainly the Israeli occupation is transient and indeed the State of Palestine will be established, whether the occupation (i.e., Israel) and this world want it or not. All this national and mass activity emphasizes that we are returning, whether the occupation wants it or not.”

[Official PA TV, May 15, 2024]

The Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Education showed the map and worded it as explicit as is possible on its Facebook page: “Palestine – the entire land is ours, from the [Mediterranean] Sea to the [Jordan] River”

[Facebook, PA Ministry of Education, Nov. 16, 2021]

This echoes many similar statements before it by other top Fatah and PA officials, such as Fatah Revolutionary Council Secretary Majed Al-Fatiani, who said that all the “transients” who came to “Palestine” returned “to where they came from” and that only the Palestinians will have “sovereignty” over the land:

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Fatah Revolutionary Council Secretary Majed Al-Fatiani:There will be no sovereignty over this land except for the Palestinians… even if there is a foreign and transient case as the transients who came in the history of Palestine and returned to where they came from[The Israelis] must understand that Palestine between the [Mediterranean] Sea and the [Jordan] River - every Palestinian man and woman has a right to it, and we will pursue them to take this right … Every year a generation arises among us that says: My home is in Jaffa, my home is in Tantura, my home is in the Upper Galilee, in Al-Bassa, in Lod, my home is in Ramle, Umm Al-Rashrash (i.e., Eilat; all the places are in Israel), and everywhere.”

[Fatah-run Awdah TV, Special Coverage, May 29, 2022]

The idea of Israel as a colonial “implant” and “a temporary ruler” is expressed in the following video, which was broadcast by official PA TV hundreds of times for almost a decade. It shows the rise and defeat of different rulers in “Palestine” over time. It ends with Israel’s defeat and the arrival of a "new" Muslim conqueror, Saladin, who defeated the Crusaders, thus representing the coming Muslim savior who will "liberate Palestine" from Jewish-Israeli rule:

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Hamas war on Israel October 2023 - Over 1,100 Israelis, including over 800 civilians, were murdered and over 5,000 wounded, in addition to approximately 251 who were abducted into the Gaza Strip (including 135 later released or liberated - 19 of them whose bodies were retrieved - and at least 41 who were killed and had their bodies held), in a Hamas terror war that began when approximately 3,000 Hamas terrorists and thousands of Gazan civilians broke through Israel's security fence at the Gaza Strip border and launched a surprise attack, taking control of several Israeli towns and attacking a music festival on the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah, which fell on the Sabbath, Oct. 7, 2023. During the massacre the terrorists tortured, raped, shot, beheaded, and burned their victims alive, murdering entire families and leaving at least 21 children without parents. Hamas terrorists also fired at least 5,000 rockets at Israeli population centers. In response, Israel launched Operation Iron Swords to counter the Hamas terror threat. Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon joined Hamas' terror war starting from the following day, attacking Israel from the north. Occasional rocket launches and shootings continued from Lebanon throughout the war. A ceasefire and prisoner exchange deal began on Nov. 24, 2023, in which Israel agreed to release 150 terrorist prisoners, pause drone surveillance in the Gaza Strip, and allow movement between the northern and southern Gaza Strip, in return for 50 Israeli female and child hostages held by Hamas. The deal was subsequently extended with additional releases, until Hamas violated the agreement and resumed attacking on Dec. 1, 2023.

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