Rejecting the US peace plan, top Palestinian officials have in recent days said Palestine should encompass all Israeli territory, and that even a potential state along the 1967 borders would only be a temporary measure.
And the Palestinian ambassador to Iraq said his people would violently resist the US peace plan “until the last drop of a Palestinian child’s blood,” while also praising attacks on Israeli soldiers.
At the UN on February 11, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas rejected the Trump peace proposal but said the Palestinians “recognize Israel” and are interested in peace negotiations based on international agreements.
But video obtained by Palestinian Media Watch showed internal Palestinian messaging was decidedly different.
At a rally in the West Bank the same day of Abbas’s speech in New York, Mahmoud al-Aloul, Vice Chairman of the Fatah Central Committee, pointed to a map of all of Israel and said that from the Galilee in the north to Eilat in the south, “This is Palestine!”
Abbas' deception at the UN: PA claims to recognize Israel, yet message to Palestinians is that all of Israel is "Palestine"
— Pal Media Watch (@palwatch) February 25, 2020
PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh, who was at the event, later uploaded the video of Aloul to his Facebook page.
Earlier in the month, Tawfiq Tirawi, a senior Fatah member, indicated during an interview that the 1967 borders were only a temporary phase on the way to reclaiming the entirety of the land.
He said Palestinian leadership’s agreement to the 1967 lines as a basis for negotiations with Israel was only because “that is what would be acceptable to the world.” Such a state, he said, “can be an intermediate statement.” But “I will not forget my homeland, will not forget Palestine, and will not forget Palestine’s history.”
In a speech in January, Tirawi said, “Our Palestinian land is from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea. I dare any Palestinian, any senior Palestinian official, or any Palestinian leader to reduce the Palestinian map to the West Bank and Gaza!”
In a statement that aired on Iraqi television on February 22, and translated by the Middle East Media Research Group (MEMRI), Palestinian envoy to Iraq Ahmed Akl said that the plan promoted by US President Donald Trump will not succeed “because our people have become more aware, and because among our people there are men who wage resistance, who are up for the confrontation and prepared to make sacrifices.”
He then went on to say that when a Palestinian child “takes his parents’ kitchen knife, walks up to soldiers armed to their teeth, kills three of them, takes their car, and then he goes to another place and kills and wounds other soldiers — a people that has such children will never be defeated.”
Akl may have been referring inaccurately to a March 2019 attack by Omar Abu Laila, 19, who fatally stabbed a soldier at a West Bank junction, grabbed his weapon and shot a civilian rabbi who later died of his injuries as well. Abu Laila then stole the rabbi’s vehicle and opened fire at a second soldier, wounding him. He was killed in a shootout with Israeli troops following a several-day manhunt.
Akl said Palestinians would “resist the [US deal] with everything we’ve got, and that we will remain steadfast, embedded in the Holy Land, and that we will resist this enemy — the American enemy and the Zionist enemy — until the last drop of a Palestinian child’s blood.”
Palestinian ambassador to Iraq Ahmad ‘Aql: We Will Resist Deal of Century until Last Drop of Palestinian Child’s Blood pic.twitter.com/YpUV6BJwML
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) February 25, 2020
The US peace plan has been utterly rejected by Palestinian Authority leadership.
The plan envisions the creation of a Palestinian state in about 70 percent of the West Bank, a small handful of neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, most of the Gaza Strip and some areas of southern Israel — if the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state, disarm Hamas and other terror groups in the Gaza Strip, and fulfill other conditions.
It also allows Israel to annex settlements, grants the Jewish state sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and overriding security control west of the Jordan River, and bars Palestinian refugees from settling in Israel.
Earlier this month, Abbas told the UN the plan “transforms our homeland into fragmented residential encampments” and described the territories it envisions for a future state of Palestine as “Swiss cheese.”
He said it “carries within it dictates, reinforcement of the occupation, annexation by military force and anchoring of an apartheid system.”
Abbas added that he was prepared to launch negotiations with Israel under the patronage of the Middle East Quartet, made up of the US, Russia, the UN and the European Union, and on the basis of international resolutions, if Israel showed it was a partner for peace.
Since late 2017, the Trump administration has made several moves viewed as marginalizing the Palestinians: recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, cutting hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinians and the UN agency that supports Palestinian refugees, and closing the Palestine Liberation Organization’s representative office in Washington.