Israel

Top Fatah Official: Israeli Cities “Are Palestinian and Will Remain Palestinian”

Secretary of State John Kerry has expressed his commitment to restarting the Isaeli-Palestinian peace process and establishing a secure Jewish state alongside a viable Palestinian state. Israeli officials all the way up to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have expressed support for Kerry’s efforts.

Palestinian officials, less so:

[Tawfik Tirawi] said: “To those who consider the settlements of Beit El and Ma’aleh Adumim to be Israeli, we say to them and to all that Haifa, Jaffa and Acre are Palestinian and will remain Palestinian.”

Tirawi said that Fatah’s “political program” has not changed since it was established more than four decades ago. “Fatah is a movement that was created to liberate Palestine and establish a Palestinian state,” he explained. “But the Palestinian, Arab and international objective circumstances have changed, leading to a recession in positive national achievements. Yet in spite of these circumstances, Fatah will surprise everyone by showing that it remains committed to the national project.”

Asked about efforts to resume the peace talks between the PA and Israel, Tirawi said that the “liberation of Palestine and the establishment of a Palestinian state have their elements – beginning with the armed and popular struggle led by Fatah for many years and ending with the negotiations [with Israel].”

Haifa, Jaffa, and Acre are cities considered to be in the Israeli heartland. They have been Israeli since the end of the country’s 1948 War of Independence. No peace plan has envisioned them as part of a Palestinian state. Tirawi’s call is a rejection of a two-state solution to the conflict, and instead a reversion to Palestinian demands that a Palestinian state completely supplant Israel.

Tirawi has a history of intransigence toward Israel and Jews. As head of the Palestinian Authority s General Intelligence Service in the early 2000’s, he admitted to having Palestinian land dealers kidnapped and murdered for selling land to Jews. He has long been a key figure in his Palestinian Fatah faction, and currently sits on the organization’s Central Committee.

[Photo: Mipago / Wiki Commons]