A senior member of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party has said that a two-state solution with a Palestinian state in the West Bank with Jerusalem as its capital would just be a “phase” ultimately resulting in a single Palestinian state.
“Palestine stretches from the river to the sea,” Tawfiq Tirawi, a member of Fatah’s Central Committee, said in an interview Tuesday with the Palestinian news agency Ma’an. “A Palestinian state in the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital, is just a phase, as far as I am concerned.”
“Don’t think that there can be a solution to the Palestinian issue by establishing a state the borders of which are limited to the West Bank and Gaza,” he went on to say. “I challenge any Palestinian to say that the map of Palestine is limited to the West Bank and Gaza.”
In the same interview, Tirawi expressed admiration for Adolf Hitler, calling the Nazi leader “daring.”
The view that the Palestinians should accept a state in the West Bank and Gaza with an eye towards eventually capturing all of Israel is referred to as the “phased plan” or “phased strategy.”
In a 2004 article in Middle East Quarterly, Efraim Karsh, a leading Middle East scholar, explained this strategy:
This strategy, dating from June 1974, has served as the PLO’s guiding principle ever since. It stipulates that the Palestinians seize whatever territory Israel is prepared or compelled to cede to them and use it as a springboard for further territorial gains until achieving the “complete liberation of Palestine.”
From the very outset of the Oslo process, [PLO leader Yasser] Arafat and his lieutenants viewed the agreements as an implementation of this strategy, not as its abandonment. Arafat said just that as early as September 13, 1993, when he addressed the Palestinians in a pre-recorded Arabic-language message broadcast by Jordanian television, even as he shook Yitzhak Rabin’s hand on the White House lawn. He informed the Palestinians that the Israeli-Palestinian declaration of principles (DOP) was merely the implementation of the PLO’s “phased strategy.” “O my beloved ones,” he explained,
Do not forget that our Palestine National Council accepted the decision in 1974. It called for the establishment of a national authority on any part of Palestinian land that is liberated or from which the Israelis withdrew. This is the fruit of your struggle, your sacrifices, and your jihad … This is the moment of return, the moment of gaining a foothold on the first liberated Palestinian land … Long live Palestine, liberated and Arab.
Arafat wasn’t always so careful to hide his intentions. In a 1994 speech in South Africa, Arafat compared the Oslo Accords to the ten-year agreement Mohammed made with the Quraysh tribe in Mecca. After only two years, Mohammed conquered Mecca, claiming the Quraysh violated the agreement.
Tirawi was implicated by Israeli authorities twenty years ago for the murders of several Palestinians who sold land to Jews.
[Photo: Issam Rimawi / Flash90 ]