According to the Times of Israel, a new logo issued by Fatah ahead of the political party’s 48th anniversary includes “the barrel of a rifle and a Palestinian keffiyeh covering the entire territory from the Jordan river to the Mediterranean Sea, eliminating the State of Israel,” in addition to “the Dome of the Rock on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, a white dove in shackles, and a door key symbolizing the “right of return” for Palestinian refugees and their descendants. The words on the logo read “the state and victory.” Palestinian Media Watch claims that the PA also denies Israel’s existence in its maps, schools, and media, thus illustrating that this is merely another example of the PA’s non-recognition of Israel.

Yet to make matters worse, Ido Zelkovitz, an expert on Fatah at Haifa University’s department of Middle East history and the Ezri Center, asserted, “Armed struggle is an integral part of Fatah’s founding ethos. The message is: if goals can’t be achieved through negotiations, the military option is always there… For Fatah, remaining weaponless is having no identity.” Article 19 of the Fatah Constitution of 1964 that has never been technically rescinded proclaims, “Armed struggle is a strategy and not a tactic, and the Palestinian Arab People’s armed revolution is a decisive factor in the liberation fight and in uprooting the Zionist existence, and this struggle will not cease unless the Zionist state is demolished and Palestine is completely liberated.”

Indeed, on November 29, 2012, the same day that the PA went to the UN, Fatah Central Committee member Jibril Rajoub asserted, “Out of loyalty to your blood, Arafat, you who died during this month, we will not return the sword to its sheath until there is a state, until your aspirations are realized, until the refugees are returned. […] Resistance – in all its forms – is Fatah’s strategic right.” Palestinian Media Watch also asserted that another Fatah Central Committee member, Jamal Muhaissen, declared, “We praise and salute every hand that launched a rocket at Israel from Gaza, and every hand that threw a stone at the Israeli side in the West Bank.” Indeed, Front Page Magazine reported that Fatah’s armed wing has claimed they fired 516 rockets and missiles at Israel during Operation Pillar of Defense.

Khaled Abu Toameh of the Jerusalem Post reported that Fatah members alongside members of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine have joined together to form the “Brigades of National Unity” in order to launch a Third Intifada. The spokesman of this new group claimed that while they backed Abbas’ UN bid, they “will not give up one inch of Palestine, from the river to the sea” and would “pursue our struggle until we expel the occupation and liberate all of Palestine.” They have already threatened to kidnap Israeli soldiers and kill Israeli citizens.

Meanwhile, Arutz Sheva reported that there have been riots throughout Judea and Samaria last week. On Friday, “Approximately 1,000 Arabs rioted in Tulkarm. In Ni’lin and Bil’in the rioters hurled rocks at security forces. About 30 PA Arabs rioted in Kfar Kadum in Samaria and rolled a burning tire towards security forces. 10 Arabs rioted in the Qalandiya crossing, throwing rocks towards the crossing. 40 Arabs hurled rocks towards the Rachel’s Tomb compound, and about 3000 Arabs rioted in Hebron.” Over Shabbat, “dozens of Palestinian Authority Arabs from the village of Einabus near Shechem tried to enter a neighborhood in the Shomron community of Yitzhar during the Sabbath” and the “community of Yitzhar noted that it is suspected some of the Arabs may have fired shots during the incident.”

While Hamas members were among the protesters, these riots also received support from the Palestinian Authority. According to JSPACE, “The Hebron rally is the first time in five years that Hamas supporters have taken to the streets in the city. The move could be a sign of strengthening ties between the Western-backed Fatah and Hamas, which controls Gaza but has a lesser presence in the West Bank.” As Muhammad Shtayyeh, a former Palestinian Authority minister and a top Fatah official, asserted, Fatah is going in the direction of reconciling their differences with Hamas and Abbas is committed to such types of popular protests for “Without increasing the cost of the occupation to the Israelis, they will not be in a position to withdraw. The Israeli occupation has to be costly; otherwise we will not see much change on the ground.”

By Rachel Avraham