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Palestinians have a legitimate right to resist the Israeli "occupation", even if the term "resistance" does not appear in the new Palestinian Authority platform, PA Prime Minister Salaam Fayad said during a press conference in Cairo on Monday.
Fayad, who is representing the Palestinian Authority during an Arab League conference in Egypt, explained that the term "resistance" was excluded from the platform because it was too often associated with "armed struggle."
"What is the essence of resistance, especially in light of the current occupation?" Fayad asked. "Does it not begin with all possible efforts to strengthen the permanence of the Palestinian citizens on their land? That is precisely the government's agenda."
Fayad's government came under heavy criticism over the weekend from Hamas and other radical groups for failing to mention the "armed resistance" in its platform.
One group threatened to kill the "traitor" Fayad and his colleagues in Ramallah, while another said it would step up its efforts to bring down his government.
The threats against Fayad were the worst since he was appointed prime minister last month.
PA security officials in Ramallah told The Jerusalem Post that they were taking the threats very seriously and that measures had already been implemented to protect Fayad and other top figures.
On Friday, Fayad's government published its platform, which does not include any reference to the "mukawama" (a term generally associated with armed struggle) against Israel.
Instead, the government reiterated its commitment to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's call for a "popular resistance against the Israeli occupation."
The new manifesto stated that any peace agreement with Israel must be designed along the pre-1967 borders and that Jerusalem should be the capital of both Israel and any future Palestinian state.
Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.