There are still people in the West who believe that the Palestinian Authority is “moderate” in its views, and that Mahmoud Abbas is a fit interlocutor to help achieve “peace” between Israelis and Palestinians. But the great satisfaction expressed by Fatah officials — Fatah is the most important component of the PA — about the Hamas murders of almost 1000 Israelis, close to 850 of them civilians, should end forever that misapprehension. More on what Fatah officials have said up to October 8 can be found here: “Fatah calls to expand war to West Bank – ‘confrontation in all arenas,’” by Nan Jacques Zilberdik, Palestinian Media Watch, October 8, 2023:
Yesterday [Oct. 7], the Hamas terror organization surprised Israel with a massive attack from the Gaza Strip and Israel is now at war.
This morning Israelis were notified that at least 300 Israelis had been murdered – since then that number has risen to 600 [1000 by 3 p.m. Oct. 10] – and nearly 2,000 wounded, in addition to nearly 100 [now 150] Israelis taken hostage, some of whom were abducted into the Gaza Strip, including small children, teenagers, and senior Israeli civilians as well as soldiers.
Early Saturday morning approximately 200 Hamas terrorists broke through Israel’s security fence at the Gaza Strip border and launched a surprise attack, murdering or taking hostage every Israeli civilian they saw, while taking control of several Israeli towns on the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah. Hamas terrorists also fired at least 3,000 rockets at Israeli population centers. In response, Israel has launched Operation Iron Swords to counter the Hamas terror threat.
The massacre on Israel is fully supported by the PA and Fatah.
While Israel counted more than 600 dead, 2,000 wounded, and around 100 hostages, a Fatah official said that this is a “morning of victory, joy, and pride.” He then urged all Palestinians to participate in the terror against Israel – in what he termed “this story of heroism”:
Fatah Jenin branch member Abd Al-Rahman Abu Al-Rub: “We say to our people and to the members of the Palestinian people: A morning of victory, and morning of joy, a morning of pride (refers to Hamas terror massacre; see note below -Ed.). We ask Allah to send a blessing to our heroic Martyrs in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and wherever the Palestinian people is… We in the Fatah Movement in the Jenin district convey the message to all our brothers and to all our Palestinian people that they are compelled to take action and participate in this story of heroism with the Palestinian people that is realizing its natural right to fight the occupation and liberate the occupied lands.”
[Official PA TV, Oct. 8, 2023]
PA Chairman Abbas justified Hamas’ attack and massacre of civilians as “self-defense”:
Posted text: “[PA] President [Mahmoud Abbas] instructs to provide defense to our people and emphasizes our right to defend ourselves (refers to Hamas terror war; see note below -Ed.). In the coming hours he will lead a convention of the Palestinian leadership.”
[Fatah Commission of Information and Culture, Facebook page, Oct. 7, 2023]
“[PA] President [Mahmoud Abbas] instructed to provide defense to our people, and he emphasized the Palestinian people’s right to self-defense facing the terror of the settlers and the occupation forces.”
[WAFA, official PA news agency, Oct. 7, 2023]
PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh echoed this, calling the Hamas massacre a “natural result of Israel’s continued crimes,” blaming Israel for not “acceding to [the Palestinian] recurring warning against the severe consequences”:
[PA] Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh emphasized… that Israel’s destruction of the two-state solution will not cause it to enjoy peace, which will only be achieved when the Palestinian people receives its legitimate rights.
Shtayyeh emphasized the Palestinian people’s right to defend its land and its holy sites, which are always being violated [by Israel].
There was not a single Israeli, civilian or military, in Gaza, and there hasn’t been since 2005. Which land was Shtayyeh claiming Palestinians had a right to “defend”? What Hamas means — and apparently Shtayyeh does, too — is that all of the land, from the river to the sea, must be “defended” against its Jewish occupiers, who must all be expelled or murdered so that, in place of Israel, the Arab state of Palestine can come into existence. The “holy sites” are not violated by Israel. The Israeli government makes sure that the holy sites of of all religions are scrupulously protected. It is the Palestinians who have repeatedly attacked, smashed with hammers, and set on fire both Joseph’s Tomb and Rebecca’s Tomb; it was Palestinian terrorists who in 2002 desecrated the Church of the Nativity by taking it over and holding the building, and the Christian clergy inside, hostage for more than a month. It has been Palestinian terrorists, not Israeis, who desecrate Al-Aqsa itself, by using it as a storehouse for weapons, and as a redoubt from which the terrorists emerge to hurl rocks and firebombs at Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount.
Shtayyeh said that what is happening today (refers to Hamas terror war -Ed.) is a natural result of not acceding to our recurring warning against the severe consequences of Israel’s continued crimes, while it feels that it can evade punishment.”
Of course. The decapitation of Israeli babies at Kfar Aza was an understandable response to Israel’s “continued crimes.” And so were the gang-rapes of Israeli girls — some of them murdered, and their bodies paraded through Gaza — that are proudly posted on the Internet by their rapists. And also understandable is the promise by Hamas to execute Israeli hostages, one by one, if the IDF fails to warn the Gazans of impending attacks.
Furthermore, Abbas’ Fatah Movement called to “escalate the confrontation in all arenas” – obviously urging terror in the West Bank as well:
“The Fatah Movement called on the masses of our people to hold a general strike tomorrow, Sunday [Oct. 8, 2023], and to escalate the confrontation in all arenas in order to defend our people and our right to freedom, a state, and independence.”
[WAFA, official PA news agency, Oct. 7, 2023]
When Fatah calls upon the Palestinians to “escalate the confrontation in all arenas,” this clearly means Judea and Samaria, a/k/a the West Bank. And Fatah knows that Hamas is not waging war to obtain a Palestinian state, but rather, to replace the Jewish state by a Palestinian one, “from the river to the sea. ” In supporting Hamas, Fatah is embracing that same maximalist goal.