"We were the ones who fought and who kept up the resistance," Rajoub told the pan-Arab al-Jazeera TV network last week, according to a translation provided by MEMRI, explicitly saying for the first time that the Fatah-affiliated al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades was founded on the direct orders of the late PA leader Yasser Arafat.
"We never removed the resistance from our platform, and we never will," Rajoub said, confirming the long-held Israeli position that the PA was directly responsible for ordering, planning and financing the mass killing of Israeli civilians throughout the recent intifada. The al-Aqsa Brigades alone have been responsible for shooting attacks and suicide bombings that have claimed almost a hundred Israeli civilian lives since 2000.
The fact that convicted terrorist leader Marwan Barghouti heads the Fatah list of candidates in the January 25 legislative council elections, Rajoub continued, is evidence of Fatah’s ongoing commitment to jihad against Israel. "This serves as a message that has to do with the resistance and the struggle," he added.
Denying that the PA has a dispute with Hamas about the goals of Palestinian nationalism, Rajoub simply stated that the difference between the two groups was tactical.
"We have never had a dispute with Hamas or anyone else regarding the principle of resistance. In all our agreements with our brothers in Hamas and the other factions, we always insist that resistance is our legitimate right."
Rajoub’s argument is not against terrorism as such, but more that "certain fighting tactics should have been stopped, especially following 9/11."
When PA officials condemn suicide terror, they are careful to do so on purely on the grounds that it is "counter-productive" to Palestinian interests.
While the Hamas founding charter calls for the out and out eradication of the Jewish State, the Fatah-dominated PLO has, since 1974, followed a strategy of achieving Palestinian statehood in the West Bank and Gaza first, as part of the so-called "phased plan" for the annihilation of Israel.
Palestinian National Security Advisor Jibril Rajoub speaking in Arabic on the al-Jazeera satellite television network last week.
Click here to view video clip, translated by MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute).
Source: ICEJ Email list.