Fatah: Jerusalem Awaits 'Our Sacrifices'

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BETHLEHEM - The Palestinian Authority's (PA) Fatah faction's General Assembly issued a resolution over the weekend.

"Jerusalem is awaiting our sacrifices until it returns to us void of settlers," the resolution stated.

"We won't abandon any of our options, and we believe that resistance [a euphemism for terror attacks], in all forms, is a legitimate right of occupied people in confronting their occupiers," the statement read.

"[Jerusalem is an] integral part of the Palestinian homeland and political entity," the resolution read, defining Jerusalem as "the eternal capital of Palestine, the Arab world and the Islamic and Christian worlds."

The assembly reelected Mahmoud Abbas as "general commander" of the Fatah faction.

"Everyone came to the conference with a desire to achieve the goal of liberating the land," Abbas told participants after the vote.

Al-Aksa Martyrs' Brigades

The assembly also affirmed the al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades as Fatah's "official armed wing."

The al-Aksa Brigades, formed just after the Palestinians launched the second intifada (armed uprising) in September 2000, carried out numerous suicide bombings, killing and critically injuring hundreds of Israelis.

As the second intifada wound down near the end of 2004, Abbas announced that members of the group would be disarmed and integrated into the PA security forces.

The assembly's resolution reversed that perception, re-affirming armed resistance as a legitimate part of Fatah's ideology and institutions.

Revolutionary Council

Senior Brigades commander Zacharia Zubeidi submitted his name for the Revolutionary Council, promising to represent the al-Aksa Brigades on the council.

In addition to Zubeidi and senior al-Aksa commander Rabi Hamed, who also attended the assembly, the delegates appointed 20 Fatah members serving time in Israeli prisons for terror-related offenses as members of the Revolutionary Council "in honor of the sacrifices and devotion of all the prisoners."

The list included Marwan Barghouti, former head of Fatah's Tanzim militia, serving five consecutive life sentences for murder and 40 years for attempted murder.

At Sunday's Cabinet meeting, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said "the rhetoric coming from Fatah and the positions being expressed are grave and unacceptable to us."

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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