While Jerusalem and Washington hope to resume the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks as soon as possible, senior Fatah officials have called to intensify the "popular struggle" against the Jewish state.
”All options are on the table," senior Palestinian Authority official Jibril Rajoub said Tuesday, citing the weekly protests in Bilin and Naalin against the West Bank barrier as examples of the ongoing Palestinian struggle against Israel.
During a press conference in Ramallah, Fatah Central Committee member Mahmoud al-Alul said the faction, which is headed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, plans to escalate its activity against Jewish settlements in the West Bank and the West Bank barrier, as well as against what he called Israel's attempt to "Judaize" Jerusalem, this in accordance with the decisions reached at Fatah's sixth annual congress.
The threat is apparently linked to Sunday's arrest of Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki during a rally in which protestors illegally passed through a checkpoint separating Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
"We are aware of the fact that Israel has decided to employ cruel force to repress the popular demonstrations. Zaki was arrested during one of these protests. They (Israel) see that the Palestinian leadership is taking an active role and that the popular struggle is heading towards major escalation," al-Alul said.
"Our struggle has a price, and we are willing to pay it," he said.
Rajoub said that while Fatah has declared the "popular struggle" its official policy, "This does not mean that the other options have been ruled out".
Nabil Shaath, another Fatah Committee member, told the press conference that Fatah has decided that it must be at the forefront of the Palestinian struggle. "We'll be everywhere. You’ve seen Fatah's leaders in Bilin and Bethlehem; their presence will be felt everywhere, I assure you of this."