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Fatah spokesperson: Fatah’s use of “all types of resistance” is “genius”

On December 31, 2012 PA TV broadcast an interview with Fatah spokesperson Ahmad Assaf.

PA TV interviewer: "After 48 years, has Fatah come to understand that armed resistance is a wrong choice, or that changes and developments require any revolution to adjust to new facts with different and various methods of struggle? What is Fatah's position on struggle and resistance now after 48 years?"

Ahmad Assaf: "It could be that Fatah's genius is in its being the only movement that successfully employed all types of resistance in order to achieve the goal. The anniversary we are now celebrating is the anniversary of the launch of the Palestinian armed struggle. We are proud of this day, we take pride in it; we cling to it and we won't give it up. This resistance is what made the whole world hear the Palestinian voice…
Fatah succeeded – through the use of the rifle, through the use of self-sacrificing fighters (Fedayeen) and through sacrifice – to convey the voice of Palestine to the whole world. And so if it hadn't been for the rifle, we wouldn't be here today… This option [armed struggle] is the option that returned its proper status to the Palestinian people, and it embodied Palestinian identity.
Secondly, Fatah did not say that its only option was armed struggle. We always said, 'the rifle sows and diplomacy reaps'. And a rifle with no political goals is robbery. We have never been and we never will be robbers. The rifle always had one target, and it was a political target: achieving the Palestinian people's goals of freedom and independence. That is why we went down two parallel paths: armed resistance and political activity.
Even when the option of armed resistance waned, we came up with other methods of resistance. As you know, the first Intifada that taught the whole world what a people's Intifada should be like, [participation] of a whole nation, the Palestinian nation, in which all groups in the Palestinian nation took part, old people, women, and children, all groups took part, it is Fatah who led that Intifada.
When they talked about armed resistance, when the Palestinian Authority was by then in existence, Fatah led that resistance as well. So you have to coordinate and use all the tools at your disposal and make use of all your advantages to achieve the goal, armed resistance as well as popular resistance…
And so, we [started with] armed resistance, [moved to] popular resistance, and to the political resistance that we never abandoned. The goal is to achieve the Palestinian people’s goals, the goals that the Martyrs (Shahids) went forth and died as Martyrs to achieve, those [goals] being a free and independent Palestine on all Palestinian national land. That is why we will continue to employ these types of resistance. We will not abandon any type until we achieve our goals.
Now they're [Hamas] saying that Fatah is not currently employing armed resistance. We say clearly: If the Palestinian people’s goals can be achieved the way we are going, we'll go that way to the end, and we won't care about these things (i.e., Hamas criticism). If the Palestinian people's choices, the Palestinian people's goals and interests can be achieved by any other type of resistance, we'll turn to it and we won't hesitate one second. Why? Because Fatah is prepared to sacrifice everything."
We face an enemy who is different from the other enemies in the world. Regrettably, we face Israel, that is the Jews, with their entire heritage and all their ancient historical baggage. They are trying to impose on us the results of their having been dispersed in Sinai, that we should pay the price for that today. Israel has been trying to collect the price for that from the days of Moses, may he rest in peace, and until today."