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Fatah: Palestinians have “a natural right” to murder Israelis

Nan Jacques Zilberdik  |
  • Fatah spokesman: Shooting attack against Israeli teens was “heroic” and “a natural response and a natural right”

  • Fatah spokesman endorses terror, legitimizes use of “all means”: “It is the Palestinian people’s natural right to deter this [Israeli] terror and defend itself… with all available means”

  • Abbas calls for ”peaceful popular resistance” – another term used by PA leaders – including Abbas himself - to refer at times to violence and terror

The day after the shooting attack against 3 Israeli teens - one of whom has since died of his wounds - a Fatah official from the party’s Nablus branch called shooting an Israeli teen in the head a “heroic operation” and “a natural right.” Fatah Spokesman in the Nablus District, Kayed Mi’ari, said the attack was a justified response to Israeli “terror,” citing the PA’s repeated claim that Palestinians have a right to use “all means” to fight against Israel. Echoing other Fatah statements, Mi’ari also claimed the shooting attack was a reaction to Israel's refusal to let the PA hold elections in Jerusalem as well as Israel's alleged “Judaization” of Jerusalem.

Terms like “all means,” “all means of resistance,” and “all forms,” are ‎used by PA leaders to include using all types of violence - and even deadly terror -‎against Israeli civilians such as stabbings and shootings, as well as throwing rocks and Molotov Cocktails.

Fatah Spokesman in the Nablus District Kayed Mi’ari: “What we saw yesterday (i.e., shooting attack) is the Palestinian people’s natural right to resist, defend its resources and dignity, and come out against the occupation’s forces and its settler herds… It is the Palestinian people’s natural right to deter this terror and defend itself and its resources with all available means. We think that the Palestinian people is responding to the call of Jerusalem, Jerusalem which is being subjected to a brutal attack … The occupation forces disrupting the Palestinian democratic process in Jerusalem (i.e., Israel's refusal to let the PA hold elections in Jerusalem -Ed.), and all the other things contributed in one way or another… to this heroic operation (i.e., shooting attack) being carried out… Israel… is attempting to harm Jerusalem with various means, and therefore this is a natural response and a natural right that the Palestinian people has realized.”

[Facebook page of the Fatah Movement – Nablus Branch, May 3, 2021]

The three 19-year-old Israeli students, Yehuda Gueta, Benaya Peretz, and Amichai Hala, were wounded by Palestinian terrorist Muntasir Shalabi in a drive-by shooting attack at the Tapuach Junction near Ariel in the northern West Bank on May 2, 2021. Gueta died of his wounds and Peretz was seriously wounded in the attack.

Palestinian Media Watch exposed that after the shooting attack Fatah called on Palestinians to erase evidence of the attack from their security cameras.

Before the terror attack, other PA and Fatah officials made similar statements encouraging fighting and riots. As PMW reported, PAand Fatah Chairman Abbas’ advisor told Palestinians to fight Israel - even to death - because “this is what Islam wants of you!” Fatah official Abbas Zaki stressed that the rioting Palestinians are defending the holy sites in Jerusalem:

Abbas Zaki said that the battle that our people is fighting in Jerusalem is not just a battle of [PA] elections for the sake of our legal democratic right inside the holy city, but rather it is also a continuation of other struggles against the arbitrary measures that the occupation is implementing against the Islamic and Christian holy sites.”

[WAFA, official PA news agency, April 24, 2021]

Zaki further stated that “our great people in Jerusalem will triumph in the battle,” which he referred to as “a true popular war,” stressing that “Fatah was and always is in the front lines of all the battles against the occupation.”

Abbas has himself repeated the term often used by the PA to encourage terror by calling to “continue the peaceful popular resistance” and has praised and encouraged the rioters, letting them know that Jerusalem must be fought for:

The president [Abbas] saluted our Palestinian people everywhere and our heroic people who are carrying out Ribat (i.e., religious conflict over land claimed to be Islamic) in Jerusalem for their resolve and their defiance against the occupation’s arrogance, its racist laws and actions, and its terrorist settler gangs.

He concluded by saying: ‘Jerusalem is the basis for our existence and the jewel in our crown for which thousands of Martyrs, wounded, and prisoners have fallen, and we will not relinquish one grain of soil from its pure land.’”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 30, 2021]

In a speech a few days before the shooting attack, Abbas used the term three times, urging Palestinians to “do peaceful popular resistance”:

Abbas: “We will continue to work to strengthen the national unity, end the [Fatah-Hamas] rift, realize the reconciliation, and continue the peaceful popular resistance; for the sake of Allah I ask of you, do peaceful popular resistance, for the sake of Allah. Where is it? Where is the peaceful popular resistance that must be done – and [we must] work to establish a national unity government that will be committed to the international resolutions.”

[Official PA TV News, April 30, 2021]

But Abbas has previously exemplified that he includes murder of Israelis under the heading “peaceful popular resistance,” as exposed by PMW. Abbas defined as “peaceful popular” the murderous terror during the 2015-2016 ‎terror wave (“The Knife Intifada”), in which 40 people were killed (36 Israelis, 1 Palestinian, 2 Americans and 1 Eritrean) and hundreds wounded in stabbings, shootings, and car ramming attacks.

Referring to the Palestinian terror, which at the time of Abbas’ statement had already murdered 14 Israelis and wounded 167 in 65 stabbings and 8 shootings, Abbas announced on PA TV that it was a “peaceful popular uprising.” (Figures from http://mfa.gov.il)

Abbas: “No one called for this uprising and no one asked for it. It stemmed from the hearts of the young... We said to everyone that we want peaceful popular uprising, and that’s what this is. That’s what this is. However, the aggression of firing bullets has come from the Israelis.”

[Official PA TV, Nov. 16, 2015]

Abbas again stressed the “defense of Jerusalem” in a speech a few days after the recent shooting attack:

Official PA TV newsreader: “[PA] President Mahmoud Abbas led the [PA] government meeting at the governmental headquarters in Ramallah. His Honor [Abbas] said that Jerusalem and the defense of our Christian and Islamic holy sites are the most prominent headline of the Palestinian national project.”

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: “We will follow the defense of Jerusalem with determination and strength… If we say that Jerusalem is not ours there is no Palestine, brothers, there is no national project, and there is nothing.”

[Official PA TV News, May 5, 2021]

General Supervisor of the Official PA Media Ahmad Assaf emphasized “the importance of popular resistance… as part of the resistance to the Israeli occupation in all its forms.” [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 30, 2021]

Another indication that the PA and Fatah support violence in Jerusalem is the use of Arafat quotes calling for Palestinians to “redeem” Jerusalem with their “lives and blood.” This was posed by Fatah only a few days prior to the shooting attack:

Posted text: “Do not applaud me, applaud Palestine and Jerusalem: With [our] lives and blood we will redeem you, Palestine! Millions of Martyrs are marching to Jerusalem!”

[Facebook page of the Fatah Commission of Information and Culture, April 27, 2021]

Further encouraging the rioters, Fatah held mass rallies featuring masked men carrying assault rifles “for the sake of Jerusalem”:

The image shows Fatah’s Salfit Branch Secretary Abd Al-Sattar Awwad speaking into a microphone while masked men holding assault rifles are standing in the background.

Posted text: “The Fatah Movement’s Salfit branch organizes a mass rally for the sake of Jerusalem and as a sign of support for the tendencies and decisions of the Palestinian legitimacy to hold the [PA] elections in Jerusalem in a sign of the sovereignty of [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas.”

[Official Fatah Facebook page, May 2, 2021]

Posted text: “Part of the procession that went out today [May 1, 2021] in the town of Qarawat Bani Hassan in the Salfit district for the sake of Jerusalem and as a sign of support for the decisions of the Palestinian leadership led by [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas.”

[Official Fatah Facebook page, May 1, 2021]

Posted text: “Part of the mass rally that the Fatah Movement’s Nablus branch organized at Martyrs’ Square this evening, Friday, April 30, 2021, as a sign of support for the tendencies and decisions of the Palestinian legitimacy to hold the [PA] elections in Jerusalem in a symbol of the sovereignty of [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas.”

[Official Fatah Facebook page, April 30, 2021]

The following are longer excerpts of the statements cited above and additional Palestinian statements:

Yehuda Gueta, Benaya Peretz, and Amichai Hala – three 19-year-old Israeli students who were wounded by Palestinian terrorist Muntasir Shalabi in a drive-by shooting attack at the Tapuach Junction near Ariel in the northern West Bank on May 2, 2021. Gueta died of his wounds and Peretz was seriously wounded in the attack. Shalabi was arrested on May 5, 2021.

Interview posted on the Facebook page of the Fatah Movement – Nablus Branch

Fatah Spokesman in the Nablus District Kayed Mi’ari: “We salute the members of our people who are standing firm in the Nablus district, throughout the homeland, and in Jerusalem. Nablus has always accustomed us to it being at the frontlines of the Palestinian struggle, the mutual support, the solidarity between its residents, and an expression of the Palestinian people’s cultural nature, both on the democratic level and the level of joint struggle activity. What we saw yesterday [May 2, 2021] (refers to shooting attack in which 3 Israelis were wounded -Ed.) is the Palestinian people’s natural right to resist, defend its resources and dignity, and come out against the occupation’s forces and its settler herds, whose terror is increasing daily and becoming organized. They are targeting trees, rocks, children, elderly, women, and everything that is connected to the Palestinians. Therefore, we think that this is the Palestinian people’s natural right to deter this [Israeli] terror and defend itself and its resources with all available means. We think that the Palestinian people is responding to the call of Jerusalem, Jerusalem which is being subjected to a brutal attack that is strengthening: acts of Judaization, uprooting [Arab residents] in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, in addition to the policy of dividing [prayer at the Al-Aqsa Mosque] according to times and areas (see note below -Ed.), which the occupation authorities are attempting to impose on Jerusalem whether through metal detectors (see note below -Ed.) or barricades at the Damascus Gate, [as happened] recently (refers to security measures that were removed following violent Arab riots -Ed.). But the resolution, solidarity, and mutual support of our people have thwarted these plans, and will thwart them every time and everywhere…

All of the circumstances – the occupation forces disrupting the Palestinian democratic process in Jerusalem (refers to PA demand to hold elections in Jerusalem -Ed.), and all the other things – contributed in one way or another to this heroic operation (i.e., shooting attack) being carried out

Israel is going too far in excluding the Palestinians, violating their right to self-determination, and harming their dignity. It is attempting to harm Jerusalem with various means, and therefore this is a natural response and a natural right that the Palestinian people has realized.”

[Facebook page of the Fatah Movement – Nablus Branch, May 3, 2021]

"Division according to areas and times" refers to a proposed law (May 2013) being reviewed in Israeli Parliament that would allow for both Jews and Muslims to pray on the Temple Mount, what the Palestinians call the Al-Aqsa Mosque plaza. The law seeks to designate separate prayer times and areas of the site for Muslims and Jews. However, Israeli PM Netanyahu has stated on many occasions that the Israeli government has no intention of ‎changing the status quo on the Temple Mount, which means Jews are allowed to enter the Temple Mount, but cannot pray there or engage in any type of worship.

The mention of "metal detectors" refers to Israeli security measures at the Temple Mount, including metal detectors at the entrances, following an attack there on July 14, 2017, in which 2 Israeli border police officers were murdered by 3 Israeli Arab terrorists. On July 24, 2017, Israel decided to remove the metal detectors and security cameras it had placed at the site. The PA continued to demand that all measures including inspections at the entrances be removed, and Palestinians continued to riot. On July 27, 2017, PA religious leaders declared that all Israeli measures had been removed.

Headline: “By a large majority: The [PA] leadership, factions, and national figures decided to postpone the date of the [PA] elections until ensuring the participation of our people in Jerusalem”

“The [PA] leadership, factions, and national figures decided by a large majority to postpone the date of the [PA] elections until ensuring the participation of our people in Jerusalem, and this was after a meeting they held yesterday evening, Thursday [April 29, 2021], at the [PA] presidential headquarters in Ramallah led by [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas.
In a statement concluding the meeting… President [Abbas] emphasized the ongoing work to strengthen the national unity, end the [Hamas-Fatah] rift, achieve reconciliation, continue the peaceful popular resistance (i.e., term used by Palestinians, which also refers to the use of violence and terror), and establish a national unity government that will be committed to the international resolutions…

The president saluted our Palestinian people everywhere and our heroic people who are carrying out Ribat (i.e., religious conflict over land claimed to be Islamic) in Jerusalem for their resolution and their defiance against the occupation’s arrogance, its racist laws and actions, and its terrorist settler gangs.

He concluded by saying: ‘Jerusalem is the basis for our existence and the jewel in our crown for which thousands of Martyrs, wounded, and prisoners have fallen, and we will not relinquish one grain of soil from its pure land.’”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 30, 2021]

The terms "peaceful uprising/resistance,” and “popular uprising/resistance" are used by PA leaders at times to refer to peaceful protest and at times to refer to deadly terror attacks and terror waves. For example, ‎Mahmoud Abbas defined as “peaceful popular” the murderous terror during the 2015-2016 ‎terror wave (“The Knife Intifada”), in which 40 people were killed (36 Israelis, 1 Palestinian, 2 Americans and 1 Eritrean) and hundreds wounded in stabbings, shootings, and car ramming attacks. Abbas said: "We want peaceful popular uprising, and that’s what this is." https://palwatch.org/page/9276

Headline: “Zaki: The battle that the Jerusalem residents have entered is to defend the holy sites”

“Fatah Central Committee member and [Fatah] General Commissioner for Arab and China Relations Abbas Zaki said that the battle that our people is fighting in Jerusalem (refers to violent Arab riots -Ed.) is not just a battle of [PA] elections for the sake of our legal democratic right inside the holy city, but rather it is also a continuation of other struggles against the arbitrary measures that the occupation is implementing against the Islamic and Christian holy sites.

Zaki added in a statement that this battle is… also against the Israeli Parliament’s illegal laws that work to Judaize the holy city and erase its Arab and Islamic landmarks… and [it is also] against the settlers’ wild attack against the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque through ongoing break-ins into its plazas, and what the criminals are doing against our people in the holy city in order to take control of their neighborhoods and expel them from their homes.

He said that our great people in Jerusalem will triumph in the battle, just as they shattered the metal detectors that the occupation placed around the Al-Aqsa Mosque in July 2018 (sic., 2017; see note below). He emphasized that Fatah was and always is in the front lines of all the battles against the occupation, especially in what happened in recent days, which is a true popular war in the plazas of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque and in the alleys and streets of the Old City [of Jerusalem], the Damascus Gate, and the Silwan and Wadi Joz neighborhoods…

He emphasized that the spiritual status of the city for the Muslims and Christians in the world… will not allow these Zionist gangs to carry out their plans in this city, and Jerusalem will remain Arab, blessed, pure, and clean as Allah wanted it.

He emphasized that Jerusalem will always remain the key of war and peace in the region, and called on everyone who believes in the justice of our cause and in the obligation to defend the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to raise their voice in the Arab and Islamic world states and [the states of] the free people of the world for the sake of the heroic residents of Jerusalem.”

[WAFA, official PA news agency, April 24, 2021]

The PA and its leaders misrepresent all of the Temple Mount as an integral part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Therefore, they vilify any presence of Jews on the mount as an "break-in." It should be noted that Jews who visit the Temple Mount only enter some sections of the open areas, and do not enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque or the Dome of the Rock. Israeli police ban Jewish prayer at the Temple Mount because of threats of violence by Palestinians.

Headline: “Assaf: Our people will continue its popular behavior until the defeat of the occupation”
“General Supervisor of the Official [PA] Media Ahmad Assaf emphasized the importance of popular resistance (i.e., term used by Palestinians, which also refers to the use of violence and terror), as our entire Palestinian people agrees on it as part of the resistance to the Israeli occupation in all its forms…

He said: ‘Resistance to the occupation is a legal right that is anchored in international law, and our people will continue its struggle until the defeat of the occupation and the achievement of its goals, which are national freedom and independence.’”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 30, 2021]

Headline: “Not moving, sitting in [Jerusalem]”
“In Jerusalem there are stories of victory coming one after the other, which are imposing themselves on the conversations everywhere…

News of the removal of the barricades from the Damascus Gate in occupied Jerusalem (i.e., Israel removed security barricades following violent Arab riots) was the main center of attention of the residents of Nablus. They recalled previous similar victories, including the removal of the metal detectors, which the battle over them broke out in July 2017 (see note below -Ed.).

In his store, tailor Abu Muhammad is constantly getting updated on the news coming from Jerusalem through his cell phone. Suddenly he excitedly says to his customers: ‘By Allah, the young people of Jerusalem are making us proud. Every day they are teaching us anew about their ability to hold on and triumph.’

The conversation in the store suddenly moves from the prices and the holiday preparations to the most important topic on the ground – Jerusalem, the [Arab] residents of Jerusalem, and the struggle against the occupier. The customers share their opinions with Abu Muhammad and support his words. One of the customers recalled the battle of the metal detectors at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and said: ‘Ever since the battle of the metal detectors and the victory of the young people of Jerusalem in the battle, I have been certain that every plan against the Al-Aqsa Mosque will not pass as long as these young people are alive.’

Fatah Movement Nablus District Secretary Muhammad Hamdan told [the official PA daily] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida that the residents of Jerusalem always arrive in time, and that their victory in the battle of the barricades at the Damascus Gate is no less important than their victory in the battle of the metal detectors and [security] cameras. He noted that the Nablus district and all the homeland’s districts are proud of the Jerusalem residents’ achievement

Hamdan added: ‘The residents of Jerusalem have proven to the world that they are the defenders of the dream, and that they are committed to the promise and are responsible for Jerusalem and the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque.’ He explained: ‘It was known in advance that the Jerusalem residents would defeat the occupier and its settlers in this uprising, like they defeated it in the past and will defeat it in the future.’”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 27, 2021]