Fatah official: Soak the land with blood to “liberate” Jerusalem
Fatah official during peace talks:
"Not a centimeter of Jerusalem will be liberated
unless every grain of Palestinian soil
is soaked in the blood of its brave people"
Negotiations with Israel only "the fighter's rest"
by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
Even at the height of the peace negotiations with Israel, in December 2013, Fatah official Tawfiq Tirawi said that Palestinians were not committed to non-violence. Rather, he said that negotiations are just one option, and do not preclude use of the "rifle," which the Palestinians have never abandoned.
Last week, Palestinian Media Watch reported that Tirawi had essentially proclaimed the end of the peace process, saying that "the two-state solution does not exist." He further called for Israel's destruction, asserting that "Palestine is Gaza... the West Bank... and Haifa, Jaffa, Acre," meaning all of Israel is "Palestine."
In his earlier statement, Tirawi made it clear that violence, killing and Martyrdom are the keys to Palestinian future success. "Not a centimeter of Jerusalem will be liberated unless every grain of Palestinian soil is soaked in the blood of its brave people," Tirawi stated at an event marking World Teachers' Day in December 2013. "Negotiations will not bring Jerusalem back to us," he continued, explaining that Palestinians before "have conducted negotiations, while not laying down the rifle":
PMW has documented the PA and Fatah's principle of alternating violence with diplomacy as a means to achieve political results. Tirawi's statement that Palestinians "will rest the fighter's rest, but each period has its method of struggle," reflects this policy.
The official PA daily similarly reported that Tirawi has stated that
"the [Fatah] movement has not, and will not, lay down its weapons until the national goals of the Palestinians are achieved... [Fatah] has used a variety of means, including military struggle, popular struggle, diplomatic activity at the UN and negotiations, to achieve these goals." [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 4, 2014]
In August 2013, right after the negotiations with Israel began, Tirawi likewise stated on Lebanese TV that armed struggle is as valid an option as negotiations:
"There are many options we could turn to, beginning with resistance by political confrontation, [resistance] by stones, and ending with armed struggle and everything in between." [Al-Mayadeen TV (Lebanon), Aug. 13, 2013]
He added that "the principle of armed struggle should not be abandoned," and addressed those who have criticized Fatah for doing so:
"I would also like to say to all who say that the Fatah Movement has cast away the rifle: This is not true."
Then, at the outset of the peace negotiations, Tirawi also reiterated the principle of alternating between the use of violence and diplomacy:
"[At] the sixth Fatah Conference [August 2009] the Fatah Movement approved all the resistance options, including the armed struggle. Nonetheless, sometimes there are circumstances, factors and situations when the time is perhaps not right for this type of struggle. Maybe in other months a different type of struggle will be suitable."
The following are longer excerpts of Tirawi statements:
Official PA TV Live broadcast the main event marking World Teachers' Day in Bethlehem. Several PA officials attended the event: PA Minister of Education Ali Zaidan (Abu Zuhri), Fatah Central Committee member Tawfiq Tirawi, Advisor to PA Chairman Abbas on NGOs and Member of Fatah Central Committee Sultan Abu Al-Einein, District Governor of Bethlehem Abd Al-Fattah Hamayel and Director of the Bethlehem Education Administration Nisreen Yasser Amr.
Fatah Central Committee member Tawfiq Tirawi:
Lebanese Al-Mayadeen TV host: "Tawfiq Al-Tirawi, the truth is, we're talking today about the July Victory (i.e., the Second Lebanon War). You said that you're opposed to the current negotiations. What other option do the Palestinian people or Palestinian leaders have apart from negotiating? Do they have other options?"
Fatah Central Committee member Tawfiq Al-Tirawi: "Of course. Look, brother, despite all the circumstances, someone who wants to lead a nation under occupation must always create options, and make all the existing calculations. There are many options we could turn to, beginning with resistance by political confrontation, [resistance] by stones, and ending with armed struggle and everything in between. I wish to say that given the current balance of power and the current factors, the principle of armed struggle should not be abandoned, nor should the principle of resistance [be abandoned]. I would also like to say to all who say that the Fatah Movement has cast away the rifle: This is not true.
In the political guidelines [determined] in the sixth Fatah Conference [August 2009] held in Bethlehem, the Fatah Movement approved all the resistance options, including the armed struggle. Nonetheless, sometimes there are circumstances, factors and situations when the time is perhaps not right for this type of struggle. Maybe in other months a different type of struggle will be suitable. The important thing is for the struggle to remain, and for us to be engaged in constant activity against this occupation, until it ends... The other point I would like to say is that the Israelis say that Beit El and Ma'ale Adumim are Israeli areas, but we also haven't forgotten that Haifa, Jaffa, Acre and Nazareth are Palestinian and will remain Palestinian forever... The last war in 2008 (i.e., Israel's Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip from December 2008-January 2009 with the aim of stopping Hamas' launching of rockets into Israel.) and the bombing of Tel Aviv (i.e., reference to Hamas and Islamic Jihad's rockets hitting near Tel Aviv in 2012), I salute the Islamic Jihad, because the Islamic Jihad and the Al-Aqsa [Martyrs'] Brigades and all the Palestinian resistance brigades, their role was more central than the Hamas Movement's role...
[Hamas leader] Khaled Mashaal said in an official statement: 'We authorize Mahmud Abbas to negotiate for a period of one year,' while I, your humble servant sitting before you, named Tawfiq Tirawi, oppose negotiations and I am from the Fatah Movement and am proud to be from the Fatah Movement. Don't come and say 'They [Fatah] sold the [Palestinian] cause and gave it away, etc.' I'm telling you, there is not a single Palestinian who could sell or barter one grain of Palestine's soil, all of historic Palestine. We are under occupation and we will resist.
By resisting, the resistance forces were victorious in Lebanon and in several countries, and we say here: We will win, Allah willing, with different forms of resistance - popular resistance, resisting the occupation through political confrontation, resisting it on the international level, as well as armed resistance at any time. We can act in this positive manner for our cause and for our land, Allah willing." (emphasis added.)
[Al-Mayadeen TV (Lebanon), Aug. 13, 2013]