JAFFA, Israel – Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah organization plans to affirm the “armed struggle” and “resistance” against Israel as part of its official objective during a meeting of the Fatah General Congress slated for this year, WND has learned.

The U.S. considers Fatah to be moderate and has backed Israeli-Palestinian negotiations launched at November’s Annapolis Summit aimed at creating a Fatah-led Palestinian state.

Fatah is making plans to convene the Sixth Fatah General Congress sometime this year, possibly within the next two months. At the meeting, likely to take place in Jordan, hundreds of voting Fatah members are slated to discuss the future of their party and pass official resolutions outlining Fatah’s major objectives.

The Congress was last held in 1989 in Tunisia, prior to any Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. At the time, the Congress, led by late Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat, officially resolved continuing “to intensify and escalate armed action and all forms of armed struggle to liquidate the Zionist occupation from our occupied Palestinian land and guarantee our people’s rights to freedom and independence.”

Israel had hoped under Abbas and amid intense negotiations that the Sixth Congress would moderate the party’s objectives.

But senior Farah sources speaking to WND said a list of Fatah resolutions to be voted upon includes text affirming as one of Fatah’s main objectives – the “resistance” and “armed struggle” against the Jewish state.

The sources said Abbas and other senior Fatah officials opposed the inclusion of “resistance” in any resolution to be called for a vote but said that the vast majority of Fatah members insisted it be incorporated.

The sources said it was “very likely” the “resistance” clause would be accepted during the congressional meeting by the vast majority of general Fatah voters, who tend to publicly express more radical views than Abbas.

An aid to chief Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Qurei, whose office is responsible for preparing the Sixth Fatah Congress meeting, would neither confirm nor deny the inclusion of a clause affirming the “armed struggle.”

“We are still receiving the details of issues that are going to be voted on. I want to stress no text is final until it’s been put to a vote. That’s why we are holding the conference, to discuss and vote on issues,” said the aide, who spoke to WND on condition his name be withheld.

Since the Annapolis summit, which set as a goal the creation of a Palestinian state before 2009, negotiating teams including Qurei and Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni have been meeting weekly while Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas have been meeting biweekly.

A draft agreement giving the Palestinians a state in the West Bank and eastern sections of Jerusalem is widely expected before the end of the year.


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