Senior Fatah Official: “No One In [Abbas’] Fatah & Hamas Movements Recognizes Israel”
May 12, 2011


In the wake of the Fatah/Hamas unity government agreement, Abdullah Abdullah, a senior Palestinian legislator and member of Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party, which rules the Palestinian Authority (PA), said this week that “No one in Fatah and Hamas movements recognizes Israel.” He added, “Palestinians who are a nation under occupation have and will resist against the occupiers and we witness Palestinian resistance and conflicts with the Zionist regime in most regions.” Abdullah also emphasized that Fatah would never attend any negotiation with the Israeli regime if such talks are not based on the international rules, and stated, “If Israel withdraws from the Palestinian and Arab lands, it might be possible to enter peace negotiations. If Tel Aviv [sic] does not withdraw from the Palestinian territories, all Palestinian groups will resist against this occupation along with the Palestinian people” (‘Senior Palestinian MP: Fatah, Hamas Share Stance on Not Recognizing Israel,’ Fars News Agency, May 9, 2011).


These candid, extreme statements from Abbas’ ruling Fatah are also reflected in the results of new poll of Palestinian opinion, conducted by Near East Consulting, which found that about 40% of respondents said that they believe that an Islamic caliphate is the best system for Palestinians. 24% favor a system like those operating in Arab states, while only 12% prefer a system like one of the European countries. The survey also found that 57% identified themselves as Muslims, 21% identified themselves as Palestinians first, 19% as human beings first and 5% as Arabs first (‘Survey: Majority of Palestinians Believe Israel not Partner for Peace,’ WAFA [PLO] News Agency, May 4, 2011).


ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “The Fatah/Hamas unity agreement only confirms what ZOA has long been saying about the similarities in aims and methods of Fatah and Hamas. Now a senior Fatah official confirms the fact that Fatah and Hamas are essentially alike in their fundamental goals. Though ignored, Fatah officials have been denying (in Arabic and English) for years that they accept Israel as a Jewish state, or even recognize at all. Moreover, Abdullah’s words indicate that Fatah supports and justifies terrorism (‘resistance’) against Israel and expects to see more of it.


“Furthermore, Abdullah even says that the PA might not enter peace talks with Israel, even if Israel withdrew completely from Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem. This is similar to the 2002 Arab so-called Peace Initiative, whereby Israel is required to totally withdraw from these territories and set up a Palestinian state, while nothing is required of the Arabs states until that happens and even then, nothing more concrete than ‘normalizing’ ties – perhaps – afterwards.


“When taken with some of the findings in the new Near East Consulting poll, we see what Palestinian elections – something that is to follow this Fatah/Hamas unity government agreement – will likely bring us: a Palestinian government that is more Islamist rather than Arab nationalist, one in which those seeking the Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood objective an Islamic Caliphate will predominate. We also see high support for an Islamic Caliphate, less support for a traditional Arab system – autocracy, dictatorship – and even less – only 12% – for a European style system – that is, democracy.


“The ZOA warned that polling evidence in Egypt showed what was likely to happen in Egypt after the end of the Mubarak regime – not democracy, but more radicalism. Today, we already see an Egypt in which the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Hamas is its Palestinian off-shoot, is likely to be the largest parliamentary bloc and in which the leading and fiercely anti-Israel presidential candidate, Amr Moussa, will likely align himself with Islamists. Given the Fatah/Hamas agreement and the latest polls, why expect a different sort of outcome in the PA?”

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