Fatah's military wing, the al-Aksa Martyrs' Brigades, voiced its relentless support for the head of the Palestinian General Intelligence Service, Majid Faraj, in light of his recent comments on security coordination between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.
On Monday, the group organized rallies in the West Bank in support of Faraj and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, blaming Hamas for spreading lies about Faraj.
On January 18, Faraj said in an interview
to Defense News that the Palestinian Authority has foiled some 200 attacks against Israelis since the eruption of the recent wave of violence in October. Faraj's comments aroused furious reactions among Hamas, which called him a "traitor that collaborates with Israel."
In one rally, several members of the al-Aksa Martyrs' Brigades dressed in military uniforms with their faces covered, declaring that "those who prevent the firing of rockets from Gaza and storm mosques to attack Salafist Islamists do not have the right to defame a leader such as Faraj," in reference to Hamas, which attempts to deter other militant factions
from launching projectile attacks on Israel.
In addition, the Fatah members questioned Hamas credibility, pointing to the fact that they had negotiated a long-term cease-fire with Israel and cooperated with the Egyptian siege on Gaza "in order to achieve private gains." The Fatah military wing promised not to “sit idly by,” vowing to “hit the hypocrites' hands in order to defend the wise Palestinian national leadership, headed by Brother Abu Mazen (Abbas)."
The unequivocal support Abbas has been receiving from Fatah's military wing is likely to assure his stable rule in the Palestinian Authority, at a time when most Palestinians view him as Israel's collaborator. The backing he receives from the radical wing that frequently lashes out at the "Israeli occupation" is perhaps a reason why Abbas abstains from condemning Palestinian terror attacks against Israelis.
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