Fatah official: Fatah is united with Hamas in rocket attacks on Israel
Dunya Al-Watan (independent Palestinian news agency) interviewed Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki
Q: “[As of now, Israel’s Operation Protective Edge has claimed] over 120 Martyrs (Shahids) and wounded 900, and at the official level, Fatah is still adhering to the negotiations. Is that really the movement’s position?”
Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki: “First of all, what is happening in Gaza is a very large operation. The enemy has crossed all boundaries of human [behavior], and I don’t believe Fatah is relying on negotiations with this savage…”
Q: “What is Fatah’s official position on the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades (Fatah’s military wing), who are launching rockets at the Israeli settlements? There are figures according to which Fatah in Gaza has launched over 200 rockets.”
Abbas Zaki: “Our eyes are now turned toward Gaza, and the unity of the factions is very necessary, because their unity and their surprises have restored the Palestinian cause to the arena in a significant way, and Gaza will not be easy prey for the enemy. No one in Gaza will look on from the sidelines and sit by idly. Gaza is at war and is living under fire, and whoever disavows the resistance is no member of Fatah.”
Q: “What did [you] Abbas Zaki feel when he heard that Tel Aviv had been attacked?”
Abbas Zaki: “I consider it a means of defense and a message to the enemy: ‘You underestimated Arabs and Muslims, and you succeeded, in your wickedness, in dominating international public opinion, but you will not succeed in dominating the will of the Palestinian people.’ This is a free nation, and this is a leadership with a homeland. There are ups and downs, but in the end, we will not be slaves, and will not be collaborators. We believe that these rockets, which flew beyond Tel Aviv and Hadera, carry a message to the Israeli enemy, urge it to recognize the rights of the Palestinians and the decisions of the international institutions, and tell it not to underestimate the Palestinian people, since it has willpower and a homeland…”
Q: “Do you expect Israel to invade the Gaza Strip, especially since Hamas opposes a lull?”
Abbas Zaki: “A ground war is fraught with surprises, and the tables will be turned on the tyrant. The useful anarchy it [Israel] aimed for is now happening, and is [indeed] helping in Syria and Iraq; but in Palestine, Allah willed that it be a destructive anarchy against the occupation. This state, which is said to have [great] technological capabilities and development and so on – now they are in the shelters and live in fear… As for our Martyrs (Shahids) [who fell] during Ramadan, they are with Allah, because they were forced to fight against their will, and they are in paradise… the homeland needs sacrifices. In Algeria, a million Martyrs fell, and it liberated itself.
We Palestinians have an international decision regarding our right to defend ourselves, even by means of armed struggle, but we won’t use the [armed] struggle unless it suits the situation and helps and exacts a high price from the enemy during the campaign.
We don’t want to say we are against it. Yasser Arafat went to the UN and told them, ‘an olive branch in one hand and a rifle in the other.’ He didn’t say ‘just a rifle;’ but also the green branch. This is an enemy, and we have tried everything [in dealing with it]. Mahmoud Abbas is experienced. We don’t want words, we want deeds…”
Q: “At its sixth conference, did Fatah freeze the armed struggle?”
Abbas Zaki: “It neither canceled it nor froze it.”
Q: “At the seventh conference, will the armed struggle be reinitiated?”
Abbas Zaki: “We won’t wait for the seventh conference in order to make the decision; we want to see what happens. At the moment, our mission and our wish is to stop the [Israeli] aggression, and if it doesn’t stop, the will of our people must triumph.”
Q: “In the Gaza Strip, [certain] members of the [PA] Security Forces, who have stopped [working following the Hamas takeover], are being called to join the resistance factions and launch rockets or open fire on infantry forces in the event of a [ground] invasion. Do you, the leadership, agree with these calls?”
Abbas Zaki: “We are no exception. We were the ones who took the initiative and bravely fired the [first] bullet. We were on the front line, and it is a mistake to put us on the enemy’s side. We are responsible for Gaza... If the people are slaughtered, we won’t be with the enemy, and won’t be a source of frustration for our people.”
Note: This interview was broadcast as Hamas was firing hundreds of rockets at Israel and as Israel was responding with Operation Protective Edge, which aimed at destroying Hamas' terror infrastructure and ability to launch rockets at Israel.
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