update deskIsrael at War

Fatah official: Oct. 7 part of Palestinian ‘defensive war’

The Hamas terror group is part of the Palestinian "political and social fabric and of our struggle, and their involvement is important," said senior Fatah figure Jibril Rajoub.

Head of the Palestinian Football Association Jibril Rajoub speaks during a press conference in Ramallah on June 6, 2018. Photo by Flash90.
Head of the Palestinian Football Association Jibril Rajoub speaks during a press conference in Ramallah on June 6, 2018. Photo by Flash90.

Jibril Rajoub, a senior official in the Palestinian Authority’s ruling Fatah faction, said over the weekend that Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre was carried out “in the context of the defensive war our people are waging,” Kuwait’s Al-Anbaa newspaper reported on Sunday.

Rajoub, who serves as the secretary-general of Fatah’s Central Committee and heads the Palestinian Football Association, told journalists in Kuwait that the Hamas terror group was part of the Palestinian “political and social fabric and of our struggle,” calling their involvement “important.”

The Palestinian official also claimed the Jewish state was responsible for the Oct. 7 terror onslaught, due to its “aggression on all the Palestinian lands.” Rajoub added, “The Israeli project has declared and hidden goals that are only realized by those who were in a state of conflict with it or researched this matter in-depth.”

He also said that the Hamas attacks “thwarted the goal of the Israeli right to integrate Israel into the region without resolving the Palestinian issue, based on the principle of peace in exchange for peace,” in reference to the Abraham Accords, the Trump administration-brokered agreements that normalized Jerusalem’s relations with four Arab states.

Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction continues to praise and celebrate Hamas’s Oct. 7 cross-border assault, in which over 1,200 people were killed and 240 were abducted into the Gaza Strip.

On Oct. 21, P.A. Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh explicitly refused to condemn Hamas’s crimes against humanity, telling CNN‘s Becky Anderson that “what has happened yesterday is yesterday.”

“Israel is not under existential threat… The Israeli government policy has to be held responsible for all what has happened,” said Shtayyeh. “[The] Palestinian story does not start on Oct. 7. Palestinian catastrophe has been there for 75 years and we have been crying loud and we have been shouting loud and clear.”

Last week, the Palestinian Authority went as far as denying that Hamas terrorists, despite the fact that they themselves documented their massacre, were responsible for the deaths of some 350 young people at the Nova music festival, blaming instead “Israeli helicopters.”

At the same time, The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a U.S.-designated terrorist group affiliated with Fatah, has claimed its “fighters” joined Hamas on Oct. 7 and carried out attacks “behind enemy lines” in Israel.

“The Al-Aqsa [Martyrs] Brigades … carried out several operations [terrorist attacks] behind enemy lines as part of the ‘Al-Aqsa Flood’ battle [the terrorists’ name for the Oct. 7 attack], which constituted a crossroads in the history of our struggle with the occupier, and praise Allah, we killed and took captive occupation soldiers,” the terrorist group’s spokesman said on Oct. 9.

In propaganda videos distributed on social media, the Brigades claimed to have taken at least one “Zionist” hostage. The footage appears to show a blood-soaked civilian being taken to Gaza by an armed terrorist wearing a Fatah headband.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said that Gaza must be handed over to the Palestinian Authority following hostilities. The solution “must include Palestinian-led governance and Gaza unified with the West Bank under the P.A.,” stated Blinken.

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