During an interview on the Baladna TV network from Gaza, former Mayor of Khan Yunis Dr. Fayez Abu Shamala said:  “Unless the siege is lifted through tahdiya [a ceasefire period,] Gaza will go for an all-out confrontation with the Israelis, with missiles on Tel Aviv and on Ben-Gurion airport. … Settlements will be occupied, and all the settlers will be taken captive.”

He said that Israel will “feel pain” and will be surprised by Gaza’s military capabilities. Dr. Shamala and the interviewer praised Khalil Jabarin, the Palestinian youth who stabbed and killed Israeli citizen Ari Fuld on Sept. 16, as well as other Palestinians from the West Bank who had carried out similar attacks. Dr. Shamala said that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is the “obstacle impeding our development as Palestinians,” and added that if Abbas is replaced, Fatah will return to the armed struggle. The interview was posted online on September 17, 2018.

Following are excerpts:

Former Mayor of Khan Yunis Dr. Fayez Abu Shamala: I’m not representing Hamas or speaking on their behalf. I’m not here to defend the positions of Hamas. I agree with Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, and those [other] organization, regarding the resistance against the Israeli enemy.

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These are decisive days. Unless the siege is lifted through tahdiya [a ceasefire period,] Gaza will go for an all-out confrontation with the Israelis, with missiles on Tel Aviv and on Ben-Gurion Airport. You can quote me. You will see. Settlements will be occupied. I’m telling you. Settlements will be occupied and all the settlers will be taken captive. This will happen in the next stage. The Israelis will be surprised by the power and capabilities of the resistance, and by what the resistance is preparing underground. This will force the Israeli army to acknowledge Gaza’s ability to change the equation. Take it from me, settlements will be occupied. Let’s not call it “occupied.” Palestinian land will be “regained” from the settlers.

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We will pay a price, no doubt, but we will cause the enemy pain. We will cause the enemy pain and we will make them pay. We are no capable of making them pay.

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Why doesn’t the leadership use the power of the men on the ground to pressure the enemies of the Palestinians in order to achieve political gains? Why do they want to take away their weapons and hand them over to the Israelis, instead of reinforcing their steadfastness and making political demands [of Israel,] such as a withdrawal from the West Bank and from Jerusalem? We have a military power now, and we should put it to use.

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Host: Don’t you agree with me that the bombing operations in Afula and Netanya—the bombing of the buses that went flying into air—were more powerful than the missiles of the resistance? Today, a Palestinian child stabbed a soldier [Israeli citizen Ari Fuld.] Did you see how big that soldier was?

Former Mayor of Khan Yunis Dr. Fayez Abu Shamala: He was an officer in the [Israeli] army.

Host: He was indeed an officer, but a Palestinian lion cub grabbed a knife and a dagger and stabbed him. I honestly don’t understand how he managed to kill him.

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Former Mayor of Khan Yunis Dr. Fayez Abu Shamala: This reminds me of the story of the girl Hadeel Al-Hashlamoun, who wielded a knife at school and attacked an officer, her little hand trembling. This is the determination of the boys and girls of the West Bank. The West Bank is like an erupting volcano. The young [Khalil] Jabarin, who left Yata today, and killed that plunderer [Ari Fuld]. … He was not using his physical power, but the power of his morale. The power of morale is the weapon with which we are fighting the enemy.

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Host: We pin every problem on President Mahmoud Abbas. If, God forbid, the president suffers from a health problem, and is replaced by Mahmoud Al-Aloul, Jibril Rajoub, or Hussein Al-Sheikh, nothing will change …

Former Mayor of Khan Yunis Dr. Fayez Abu Shamala: Yes, it will! The entire situation will go up in flames. Fatah will be united, and will regain its lost value. Article 19 of the basic principles of the Fatah movement reads: “The armed struggle is a strategy, not a tactic.” Whoever succeeds [Abbas] will want to implement this article in order to achieve consensus within Fatah, and will stop the security cooperation [with Israel.]  Once you do that, you reach common ground will all the factions—with Hamas and the Islamic Jihad. We will have a new leadership, a new platform, a new confrontation and the dawn of a new Palestinian era. Mahmoud Abbas is the obstacle impeding our development as Palestinians.