Fatah leaves no room for a two-state solution: “From its Sea to its River… it is ours”

Fatah leaves no room for a two-state solution: “From its Sea to its River… it is ours”

By: Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, Palwatch— On the occasion of Nakba day – the day Palestinians commemorate “the catastrophe” of the establishment of the State of Israel – Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement reiterated its message that there is no room for Israel in the region. The movement posted the following text on its Facebook page, showing that the two-state solution is not something Fatah wants realized: “The marking of the anniversary day of the Nakba in Tubas. From its [Mediterranean] Sea to its [Jordan] River… it is ours. #returning_returning” [Facebook, “Fatah – The Main Page,” May 13, 2015] Another Fatah post presented the same message visually with an image showing a map of “Palestine” that included the PA areas as well as all of Israel with a Palestinian flag flying from it and photos of the Dome of the Rock (image above). The accompanying text presented Jerusalem and the Galilee in Northern Israel as part of “Palestine”: “Good morning, O Palestine, Good morning to the land of olives and peace, good morning to Jerusalem, good morning O Gaza, good morning O [West] Bank, good morning to the Galilee.” [Facebook, “Fatah – The Main Page,” May 14, 2015] Fatah is not the only Palestinian institution presenting all of Israel as part of “Palestine.” Palestinian Media Watch has documented that the PA National Security Forces regularly presents towns, villages and places all over Israel as “Palestine” or “occupied Palestine,” as does the PA Presidential Guards. Share...
Fatah official said liberated land would be soaked in blood

Fatah official said liberated land would be soaked in blood

By ITAMAR MARCUS AND NAN JACQUES ZILBERDIK, PALESTINIAN MEDIA WATCH— Even at the height of the peace negotiations with Israel, in December 2013, Fatah official Tawfiq Tirawi said that Palestinians were not committed to non-violence. Rather, he said that negotiations are just one option, and do not preclude use of the “rifle,” which the Palestinians have never abandoned. Last week, Palestinian Media Watch reported that Tirawi had essentially proclaimed the end of the peace process, saying that “the two-state solution does not exist.” He further called for Israel’s destruction, asserting that “Palestine is Gaza… the West Bank… and Haifa, Jaffa, Acre,” meaning all of Israel is “Palestine.” In his earlier statement, Tirawi made it clear that violence, killing and Martyrdom are the keys to Palestinian future success. “Not a centimeter of Jerusalem will be liberated unless every grain of Palestinian soil is soaked in the blood of its brave people,” Tirawi stated at an event marking World Teachers’ Day in December 2013. “Negotiations will not bring Jerusalem back to us,” he continued, explaining that Palestinians before “have conducted negotiations, while not laying down the rifle:” “I say, from a position of responsibility, not a centimeter of Jerusalem will be liberated unless every grain of Palestinian soil is soaked in the blood of its brave people. For Jerusalem doesn’t need negotiations, because negotiations will not bring Jerusalem back to us. What will bring back Jerusalem are the struggle and the resolve… We have conducted negotiations, while not laying down the rifle. It [the rifle] may be resting but we will not neglect our principles. We will rest the fighter’s rest,...
Why Salam Fayyad Stands No Chance against Fatah

Why Salam Fayyad Stands No Chance against Fatah

by KHALED ABU TOAMEH, GATESTONE— The Fatah leaders are yearning for the days of Yasser Arafat, when they were able to steal international aid earmarked for helping Palestinians. The Palestinians’ problem with Fayyad is that he did not sit even one day on an Israeli prison. For them, graduating from an Israeli prisons even more important that going to any university. Earlier this year, Fayyad, in a surprise move, announced that he has accepted the resignation of Qassis without providing further details. Shortly afterwards, Abbas issued a statement announcing that he has “rejected” the resignation of the finance minister. Fayyad has since refused to comply with Abbas’s demand and reinstate Qassis. But the dispute between Abbas and Fayyad is not only over financial matters. In fact, much of it has to do with the feeling among Fatah’s top cadres that Fayyad is seeking to undermine the faction’s influence and probably end its role in the Palestinian arena. They accuse him of cutting funds to Fatah’s members in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and refusing to pay salaries to former Fatah militiamen. In this power struggle between Fatah and Fayyad, the prime minister is certain to emerge as the biggest loser. Fayyad has no grassroots support or political power bases among Palestinians. He does not have a strong political party that would be able to compete with Fatah. Nor does he have his own militia or political backing, especially in the villages and refugee camps of the West Bank. In the 2006 parliamentary election, Fayyad, who was graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, ran at the head...
US aid to Palestinian forces may assist Hamas

US aid to Palestinian forces may assist Hamas

By DAVID BEDEIN— On February 5, the reconstituted US House of Representatives Subcommittee on Middle East and North Africa held a subcommittee hearing on the subject of “Fatah-Hamas Reconciliation: Threatening Peace Prospects.” Two senior expert witnesses from The Washington Institute for Near East Policy testified and expressed optimism that US-trained Palestinian Security Forces, affiliated with Fatah, will combat the Hamas terror group which competes for power in the nascent Palestinian Arab entity. Yet the Fatah policy and attitude toward Hamas can be summarized by an exchange I had with Fatah founder Yasser Arafat at a press conference in Oslo, Norway, on December 10, 1994, the night before Arafat became one of the recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize. My question: “Mr. Arafat, Israeli prime minister Rabin and Israeli foreign minister Peres said a few hours ago in answer to my question that you deserve the peace prize because you have committed yourself to crushing the Hamas terror organization.” Arafat’s answer: “I do not understand the question. Hamas are my brothers.” The disparity between the stated US goal for a given policy and the given result is large enough to leave the thoughtful observer aghast. Certainly this is the case with regard to the American investment in the security forces of the Palestinian Authority. When the PA was founded in 1994, president Arafat, by design, established a multiplicity of security forces with overlapping authority and in competition with one another. The 17 diverse forces of the PA, which often constituted no more than private fiefdoms, were ineffective and corrupt. What mattered to Arafat was that no force was of sufficient...
Fatah, Hamas, and the Statehood Gambit

Fatah, Hamas, and the Statehood Gambit

BY JONATHAN SCHANZER, COMMENTARY— On May 3, Hamas and Fatah, the two largest and most influential Palestinian factions, created a unity government. Following a brutal civil war in 2007 that left Hamas in control of the Gaza Strip, the two foes appeared to be locked in an intractable conflict. Then, seemingly out of the blue, the Islamist terrorist organization and the militant faction created by the late Yasir Arafat joined forces. A gaggle of analysts, including former Clinton administration adviser Robert Malley, claimed that the agreement had grown out of the Arab Spring protest movements that rocked the Middle East, but that is mistaken. The tenuous deal between Hamas and Fatah was born of a political initiative that could soon have a profound impact on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. This September the Palestinians will ask the United Nations General Assembly to vote on a unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) for a state that would encompass the entire West Bank and the Gaza Strip. It is likely that this vote will pass the two-thirds majority needed for recognition. “By September 2011,” said the Palestinians’ top man at the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, “we will have 130, maybe 140 countries recognizing the state of Palestine.” That number would include a core group of Latin American, European, and Muslim states. Hamas found itself on the sidelines as the plans for the declaration were being developed. The Palestinian Authority, the governing entity of the West Bank that is backed by Fatah, had been going it alone. In the end, Hamas could not bear to be left out, and so a deal was hastily struck...