JERUSALEM – A Palestinian official who publicly claims to support Israeli-Palestinian peace initiatives this week gave a speech in Arabic in which he praised suicide bombers, blasted “filthy [Israeli] occupation,” and declared Jerusalem is Palestinian land.
Qadura Faras, a Palestinian Legislative Council member and lawmaker from the ruling Fatah party, has been a vocal proponent of the Geneva Initiative, a private peace proposal drafted in 2003 by a group of extreme leftist Israelis, Palestinians and Europeans calling for an immediate Palestinian state in Gaza, Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.
Faras appears on a video featured on the official Geneva Initiative website with a message of peace toward Israelis:
“It is always asked, do you [Israelis] have a partner on the other side. I am telling you with full sincerity, we are ready to reach an inclusive agreement with you, which will promise us freedom and liberty and statehood, and will promise you the thing we know you are sensitive to, which is your full right to live in peace and security.”
But Israel-based Palestinian Media Watch reports Faras this week conveyed a different kind of message in a speech to a group of Palestinians.
According to the Al-Hayat Al-Jadida Palestinian newspaper, which covered Faras’ Arabic-language address, the Fatah official “emphasized the continuation of the struggle until the freeing of all of the Palestinian territories from the filth of the occupation, and establishing the independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. Fares blessed the prisoners behind bars, and in particular mentioned the imprisoned fighter, “The Sniper” Tha’ir Hamed, who carried out the … operation that led to the killing and injuring of several of the occupation soldiers.”
Hamed was involved in terror attacks that killed 10 Israelis.
Continued Al-Hayat: “Fares mentioned the good traits of the shahids (“martyrs,” or suicide bombers) while clarifying their role in defending the homeland, fending off the aggression, and resisting the occupation. Faras said, ‘We are all going in the way of Ziad Hamed, the Shahid of Silwad, until the fulfillment of the goal for which he became a shahid … .”
Faras’ comments follow militant statements by other Palestinian officials who are considered by some in Israel to be “supporters of peace.”
WND reported that as part of their campaign for Palestinian legislative elections currently scheduled for the end of this month, senior politicians from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah Party have been advocating continued terror attacks against Israel, including the firing of missiles.
“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 a recent interview with an Egyptian newspaper, according to a translation by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at Israel’s Center for Special Studies.
Rajoub went on to declare that a cease-fire last February between Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was signed to appease international public opinion and put pressure on Israel.
“The lull is open and changes according to developments in the field,” Rajoub said. “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 in upcoming elections is PA Minister of Civil Affairs Muhammad Dahlan, a longtime Fatah official who has been called a “moderate” by several Israeli and American politicians.
During a campaign stop last month 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.
Senior Fatah activist Muhammad Hijazi, who has said he supports negotiations with Israel, noted in a recent interview with the Egyptian Al-Bayan newspaper 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 scores of suicide bombings, shootings and rocket attacks, were “legitimate,” since the Brigades had “the right to respond to the occupation’s crimes.”