JERUSALEM – As part of their campaign for upcoming Palestinian elections, senior politicians from Palestinian Authority President Mahmous Abbas’ Fatah Party have been advocating the past few days continued terror attacks against Israel, including the firing of missiles, until the Jewish state leaves the West Bank and Jerusalem, WND has learned.
The rhetoric comes in spite of a cease-fire signed in February by Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, and Abbas’ pledge to the international community to disarm the Palestinian terror groups.
“The West Bank is still occupied, and resistance is a legitimate right. I am not in favor of [launching] missiles, but it is our right to resist, to react and to confront the occupation,” PA National Security Adviser Jabril Rajoub said in an interview last week with an Egyptian newspaper, according to a translation by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at Israel’s Center for Special Studies.
Rajoub, PA Minister of Civil Affairs Muhammad Dahlan and senior Fatah activist Muhammad Hijazi are all running in Fatah primaries slated for tomorrow, and have been making statements to the Arab media advocating terrorism in interviews highlighting their election campaigns.
Rajoub then told the Arabic Al-Arabiya TV he is opposed to disarming Hamas and Islamic Jihad, stating several times during an interview the matter of weapons was an “internal Palestinian issue” that would be dealt with by a dialogue between the PA and the terror organizations.
February’s cease-fire, Rajoub said, was simply to appease international public opinion and put pressure on Israel.
“The lull is open and changes according to developments in the field. Its main objective is to maintain local and international momentum, which serves Palestinian interests. The lull’s function is also to exert pressure on the criminal Israeli government.”
Also campaigning for a seat in this week’s primaries is Dahlan, a longtime Fatah official who has been called a “moderate” by several Israeli and American politicians.
During a campaign stop last week in the large Gaza town of Khan Yunis, the Palestinian News Agency reported Dahlan called on Palestinians “to complete what was achieved in the Gaza Strip. To liberate Jerusalem and the West Bank. The refugees [must] take by force the right to return to their houses.”
The “right of return” is widely seen by Israelis as a ploy to flood Israel with millions of Palestinians, thus threatening the country’s Jewish character.
In an interview with the Al-Bayan newspaper last week, Hijazi, a Fatah activist in Gaza, noted the importance of “the path of jihad and resistance until all Palestinian land has been liberated.”
Hajiza stated weapons in the possession of Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, a terror group responsible for dozens of suicide bombings and hundreds of shooting attacks, were “legitimate,” since the Brigades had “the right to respond to the occupation’s crimes.”
Dr. Reuven Erlich, director of the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, noted, “The statements express a basic concept that after the disengagement, the focus of the violent confrontation with Israel should be transferred from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank, while lip service continues to be paid to the lull.”
Continued Erlich: “[Even though the statements might be related to the Fatah primaries], when issued by senior Fatah activists and operatives, and high-ranking members of the PA, such pronouncements create a militant atmosphere and are liable to be interpreted as a legitimization of continued terrorist attacks, not only by Fatah but by the other terrorist organizations as well, especially those in the West Bank.”