Palestinian leader Jibril Rajoub. (Nati Shohat/Flash90) (Nati Shohat/Flash90)
Jibril Rajoub

The Palestinian Authority is urging a greater Iranian role in the Middle East, according to a breaking news report in The Jerusalem Post. Furthermore, in its conflict with Israel, the PA has not eliminated the option of violence as well as isolating the Jewish state through economic and academic boycotts.

Following a visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran, Jibril Rajoub, a senior official in the Fatah party, which rules the Palestinian Authority, affirmed that his party has not abandoned the option of “armed resistance” should peace talks fail, the Jerusalem Post reported.

“The year 2014 is the year of decision; we either go to a state or to a confrontation,” Rajoub declared.

“The confrontation would be on three fronts: launching and escalating resistance; boycotting and isolating Israel; and halting all forms of normalization [with Israel] on the political, academic, trade and economic levels.”

Iran, Rajoub continued, is part of the Arab and Islamic front in the Middle East and could play a role in “managing the conflict in the region,” the Post said.

“We are entitled to knock on all doors and seek all channels to recruit regional action in favor of our cause,” Rajoub stated. “Our goal is to create elements of pressure on the international community.”

Rajoub, in an interview with Iran’s Al-Alam TV station, cited by the Post, said he had forwarded a message from PA President Mahmoud Abbas to the Iranian leadership regarding the latest developments in the Palestinian arena.

“Rajoub’s visit to Tehran is seen as a sign of rapprochement between Iran and the PA leadership,” the Post commented.

Abbas, the Post said, congratulated Tehran for its “wisdom” in negotiating the nuclear deal and in dealing with the international sanctions.

Relations between Iran and the PA, the Post explained, have been tense in recent years due to Iran’s support for Hamas – which governs Gaza and is in conflict with the PA. As well, Iran is opposed to the US-brokered Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations.

However, according to the Post, “relations between Iran and Hamas have deteriorated over the past three years following the Islamist movement’s refusal to side with Tehran’s ally, Syrian President Bashar Assad, against his enemies at home.”

“We are interested in creating and building bridges of communication with the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Rajoub said in an interview with the London-based Al-Quds al-Arabi daily, the Post reported. “This would have positive repercussions on the Palestinian cause, which is going through a decisive phase.”

“US backtracking in the face of Iran shows that the Americans have reached the conclusion that they can no longer view the world through an Israeli perspective and interest,” Rajoub said, adding that the Palestinians consider sanctions against Iran to be unjust.

The PA has not rejected the possibility of unilaterally declaring a Palestinian state, he added.

“We want to declare a state under occupation,” he asserted, as reported in the Post. “We are not establishing relations with Iran at the expense of Hamas. “Hamas is part of the Islamic Arab social, political and national fabric in Palestine. We didn’t ask Iran to cut off its relations with Hamas.”

Date: Feb. 2, 2014