Abbas advisor to 'Post': Fatah will activate mass popular resistance

Fatah leaders including Zomlot say the upcoming Congress will be a turning point for Palestinian politics.

November 20, 2016 07:57
2 minute read.
Jordanian protesters wave the national and Palestinian flags in Amman

Jordanian protesters wave the national and Palestinian flags in Amman. (photo credit: AFP PHOTO)

Fatah plans to adopt a strategy to strengthen popular resistance against Israel’s military rule at an upcoming leadership meeting, Husam Zomlot, Palestinian Authority President Abbas’s adviser for strategic affairs, told The Jerusalem Post.

“We plan to activate fully popular resistance at the Fatah Congress,” Zomlot said in a meeting at the Grand Park Hotel on Wednesday. “While we have already activated this part of our strategy and seen many successes with protests against the separation wall and boycott of Israeli products during the last Gaza war, we need to expand popular resistance and build a larger protest movement against Israel, raising the cost of the occupation.”

The congress, set to take place on November 29, will see some 1,400 Fatah members assemble, to elect leaders to the movement’s two most authoritative bodies, the Central Committee and the Revolutionary Council, and set a strategy for the coming five years.

Husam Zomlot, PA President Mahmoud Abbas's advisor for Strategic Affairs. (Photo credit: ADAM RASGON)

Since Abbas became Fatah chairman in 2004, he and other Fatah leaders have consistently stated their support for “popular resistance,” backing protests against the West Bank security barrier and boycott of a limited number of Israeli products, but have yet to form a mass protest movement.

Zomlot did not reveal the details of Fatah’s plans to “fully activate” popular resistance, but said “it must take a mass form in order to be effective,” adding that proposals “will be discussed at the congress.”

Bassam Shweiki, a Palestinian activist and co-chairman of the Hebron Defense Committee, told the Post that he welcomes any effort to advance popular resistance, but said he does not think Fatah considers popular resistance a priority.

“I hope that the activation of popular resistance will be on the agenda of the 7th Fatah Congress, but frankly I do not see any horizon as Fatah is focusing on other challenges,” Shweiki said. “Nonetheless, if they do fully activate popular resistance, I think Fatah will restore its place with the Palestinian people as a movement struggling to regain the national rights of its people.”Protestors in Hebron

Fatah has largely focused on advancing the Palestinian leadership’s international efforts to gain recognition and challenge Israel’s military rule since the last Fatah Congress in 2009.

Fatah leaders including Zomlot say the upcoming congress will be a turning point for Palestinian politics and pave the way for reconvening of the Palestinian National Council, the PLO’s legislative body, and thereafter parliamentary and presidential elections.

Fatah figures critical of Abbas including his rival Muhammad Dahlan say that the upcoming congress was called in order to oust them from leadership positions.

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