Skip to main content

Fatah official: “Armed operations serve the negotiations,” “We…have the right to use all forms of struggle”

Interview with Fatah Central Committee Member Azzam Al-Ahmad on Jordan TV’s Third Opinion program.

Jordanian TV host: “Israel made you drop the resistance and is negotiating with you, with no results.”

Al-Ahmad: “No. It can’t make us drop the resistance. There are many forms of resistance; read our publications. Armed operations (i.e., terror attacks) are one form of resistance; political activity is another; the dissemination of information, negotiations, the nonviolent popular struggle – all these are forms [of resistance]. This is the way of all nations. Armed operations serve the negotiations. All freedom movements end up sitting at the negotiating table.”

Host: “In other words, you – the Palestinian Authority – don’t oppose armed resistance to the occupation?”

Al-Ahmad: “Certainly not. It is the PLO, not the [Palestinian] Authority, who is in charge of the negotiations… In ’82, they wanted to eliminate the Palestinian revolution. After ’82,
they didn’t [succeed], and the [armed] operations continued – albeit on a lower scale…
We moved away from the border. The first Intifada (i.e. the first Palestinian wave of violence against Israel, 1988-1993) was born in ’87 and did wonders, and in its wake, in ’88, came the declaration of independence. (i.e., when Arafat declared Palestinian independence in Algeria).
Therefore, the struggle and the operations continued. We came to Oslo, even in Oslo, even after Oslo, [in] the ‘Prisoners’ Intifada’… Martyrs (Shahids) were killed. Operations did not stop. And because of Israel – the Tunnel Intifada, the excavations under the Al-Aqsa Mosque – the Palestinian people rose up and there were military confrontations.
Afterwards, after the failure of the second Camp David [summit], (sic; should be Arafat, Ed.) told Clinton: ‘We will never give up Jerusalem and the right of the refugees. Before I sign, you’ll see my funeral in Palestine.’ Then came the Al-Aqsa Intifada (i.e., PA terror campaign, 2000-2005) in which Martyrs. So the resistance does not stop.”

Host: “But some people say you aren’t the ones responsible for the resistance.”

Al-Ahmad: “They are the people who doubt, who don’t see. Host: “I want you to answer those who doubt, [those who say] you are a group that wears a suit and tie and goes out with the Israelis, and meets them in America and other places. But the people in the field, the ones who suffer -- they’re the ones who embark on the Intifada, and you have nothing to do with this. Let the people know the truth: that President Arafat died a Martyr.”

Al-Ahmad: “Arafat, master of Martyrs, is the outstanding Martyr of the Al-Aqsa Intifada. The Palestinian security personnel who work for the [Palestinian] Authority - they’re the ones people have doubts about…”

Host: “How many Martyrs are there among them?”

Al-Ahmad: “About 3,000 Martyrs and 4,000 prisoners. More than 2,000 prisoners are still [in prison].”

Host: “[Palestinian] Authority personnel.”

Al-Ahmad: “[Palestinian] Authority personnel. One issue of Newsweek had a cover picture of Arafat’s guards to prove that his bodyguards shoot [makes a shooting motion with his hands]...”
Al-Ahmad: “What has been accomplished so far [in the negotiations]? Nothing. On the contrary, we’ve gone backwards. In my opinion, Kerry’s approach is wrong. Kerry’s personal approach is wrong, so I say clearly: America, more than Israel, is responsible for the failure of the peace process.”

Host: “Because of their patronage.”

“Not just because of their patronage, but because they favor Israel, because they pamper Israel, their spoiled child. What have they proposed? They’ve proposed ideas that have destroyed the understandings reached by Abbas, Condoleezza Rice and Olmert.”
Al-Ahmad: “Even if the United States gets angry at us, and wants to punish us and stop aid – our national rights are more important than having the United States smile at us. Therefore, we say that we too have the right to use all forms of struggle at the appropriate time, including the other forms of struggle - armed or not armed. At the moment, we are leaning on the nonviolent public struggle. The circumstances of reality, [our] independent capabilities, the objective possibilities, – these are the things that determine the form of struggle: Will it be diplomatic action? Popular resistance? Armed resistance? Negotiations? It depends on the circumstances.”
[Jordanian TV Dec. 27, 2013; posted on YouTube on Jan. 27, 2014]