(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Fatah does not rule
out the possibility of resuming an “armed struggle” against Israel if
the US-sponsored proximity talks fail, a senior Fatah official said on
Israeli government, Zaki charged, is not authorized to make any
concessions to achieve peace. He said that an agreement could
nevertheless be achieved if the US managed to convince the “Jewish
lobby,” AIPAC and Israeli leaders to stop tampering with the lives of
the Palestinians and the resources of the Middle East.
Abbas Zaki, a member of the Fatah Central Committee and
former Palestinian envoy to Lebanon, said that the Palestinians may
also demand the implementation of United Nations Resolution 181, which
was adopted in 1947 and recommends the division of the British Mandate
of Palestine into two states, one Jewish and one Arab, with the
Jerusalem-Bethlehem area being under special international protection.
Proximity talks off to rocky start
Barak to meet with Mitchell to discuss proximity talks
Diplomacy: The long road to proximity talks
threat was made during an interview with the Jordanian newspaper Al-Ghad.
This was not the
first threat of its kind by a top Fatah official in recent months, and
it came fast on the heels of a threat last week by Fatah Central
Committee member Nabil Shaath, who said that “there is a need to create
and endorse new struggling tools, such as the popular resistance, and to
increase our efforts in the international arena to isolate and punish
Israel, prevent it from deepening its relations with the European Union
and attempt to expel it from the United Nations.”
Zaki, who is
also an elected member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, told the
Jordanian paper: “If Israel insists on closing the doors to peace, as it
is currently doing, peace and stability won’t be achieved in the
region. We will then go to the United Nations and demand that we start
from the beginning of the conflict, meaning going back to Resolution 181
and the armed struggle.”
The Fatah official said that Israeli
“intransigence” and “aggression” would force the Palestinians to return
to the pre-Oslo Accords period, including the option of waging an armed
struggle against Israel.
Zaki said that the PA should not repeat
the mistake of the past, when it engaged in a “deaf dialogue” with
Israel for 18 years after the signing of the Oslo Accords.
shouldn’t give Israel more time,” he stressed. “We must start thinking
of all forms of struggle and taking measures to make Israel pay a price
for its aggressive practices.”
A senior Israeli official
characterized Palestinian threats about a return to violence as a
“The whole peace process with the Palestinians
was based on a commitment by Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian
leadership that the Palestinian national movement was going to abrogate
violence and pursue engagement through negotiations. If they return to
violence, they are taking us back to the days before the Oslo process,”
The official termed this type of call a “huge problem
and antithetical to the peace process.”
intransigence, evident in Yasser Arafat’s rejection of then-prime
minister Ehud Barak’s offer at Camp David in 2000 – followed by PA
President Mahmoud Abbas’ rejection of Ehud Olmert’s offer in 2008 – is
the reason the peace process has not succeeded, the official countered.
can’t, on the one hand, be intransigent, and on the other hand, say the
peace process doesn’t work,” the official said.
'Palestinians are a testing
field for modern weapons and Israeli adventures.'
Palestinians would not make any
concessions on the issues of
Jerusalem and the “right of return” for Palestinian refugees, he said.
“Israel is hoping that these two issues would not be included in the
talks, and this is a serious matter,” he said. “The conflict began for
the sake of the refugees and escalated for Jerusalem. We don’t see a
Palestine without Jerusalem and we believe that the pain and struggle
won’t end without the right of return for those who lost their homes and
Reiterating the PA’s opposition to the idea of a Palestinian state with
temporary borders, Zaki said that the Palestinians have already “paid
everything for the sake of peace and it’s time to put an end to the
bloody and violent conflict.”
He also did not rule out the possibility that Israel would wage another
massive military operation against the Gaza Strip.
“This is our fate,” he added. “The Palestinians have become a testing
field for modern weapons and Israeli adventures.”