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May 1, 2013 Special Dispatch No. 5292

Criticism Of Fatah Official Who Expressed Reservations Regarding Tapuach Junction Terrorist Attack

May 1, 2013
Palestine | Special Dispatch No. 5292

On April 30, 2013, an Israeli citizen was stabbed to death at Tapuach Junction in the West Bank. The attack was carried out by Salam Al-Zaghal, a released prisoner and member of Fatah's military wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. The latter took responsibility for the attack, saying that it had "received a green light to carry out military actions against Israeli targets in response to the deaths of prisoners 'Arafat Jaradat and Maysara Abu Hamdia in an Israeli prison."[1]

Conversely, Fatah Central Committee Member Jamal Muheisen tried to distance Fatah from the attack, saying: "The Za'atra action was a natural response to attacks by the occupation and settlers [on Palestinians], but it does not express the general policy of the Palestinian Authority and of Fatah, who have espoused [the option of] popular resistance to the occupation."[2] Muheisen's statement was met with criticism from other Fatah members and journalists, who praised Al-Zaghal as a hero who has restored Fatah's pride.

The following are excerpts from their responses:


The Tapuach Junction attacker, Salam Al-Zaghal (image: salam-tv.ps)

Fatah Member: Al-Zaghal Is A Hero Who Restored Fatah's Pride

Fatah member Dr. Salah Abu Khatla said in response to Muheisen's reservations: "It seems that Muheisen does not know Fatah very well and has forgotten its combat history, its ongoing struggle, and its commitment to its fighters, who are not left alone to face the height of aggression. These statements suit the personal interests of those who want to reduce [the violence in] hotspots of conflict with the occupation... Al-Zaghal is a hero of the Fatah movement, a revolutionary and a fighter who restores Fatah's pride and former glory; he exposes the dark [face of] interested parties and unmasks the mercenaries."[3]

Fatah Member: This Was A Heroic Action That Proves Fatah Will Continue To Carry Arms Until All Palestine Is Liberated

Hisham Sakallah, a Fatah member and columnist for Amad.ps, which is close to the PLO, wrote: "The brave and heroic action – the killing of the Zionist settler near the Za'atra checkpoint carried out by the martyred warrior[4] Salam Al-Zaghal, member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades – proves that the Fatah movement, its sons, commanders, and leaders, will continue to carry the rifle and carry out combative military action until Palestine – all Palestine – is liberated...

"One week ago, a member of the movement stabbed an officer of the Israeli prisons authority inside a prison and severely injured him. An investigation revealed that the perpetrator of this heroic act is a member of Fatah who has spent many years in prison... These daily acts of heroism, which are carried out by members of Fatah in the West Bank, prove that resistance is the first option, that it cannot be relinquished under any circumstances, and that we must continue to direct it [at the enemy] and threaten [the enemy] in every time and place. [This is because] the Zionist entity drags its feet and does not want peace or negotiations, but rather [wants to receive] everything.

"These heroes and fighters always restore us to our correct reasoning, and bring all Fatah members back to their pure heroic history by giving their lives on the altars of freedom for the sake of liberating Palestine and restoring our former glory. [This is accomplished] through the quality acts of heroism, [like the one] carried out by the Al-Aqsa Brigades martyr hero.

"I have said, and I continue to say, that Fatah's military wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, should unite its ranks and reorganize... and should fortify itself against the Zionist occupier and carry out quality actions against it. This is its job and its first task. The members of Fatah, and especially of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, should focus on their combative doctrine and ignore the quarrels among some of the movement's leaders over the booty [i.e., honors and positions]. They must turn their bullets, guns, and knives towards the Zionist entity and its settlers everywhere, and restore Fatah's glory, so that it will forever be a fighting movement that spearheads the combat in word and action, far from the media circus we are witnessing...

"Today, the spirits of the hero martyrs of Gaza and the West Bank embraced [in joy], and the spirit of the martyr Haytham Al-Mishal[5] ascended with the spirit of the martyr Salam Al-Zaghal, in order to prove that the option of resistance is the ideal way to hurt this Zionist entity, which always takes notice [of this option] and fears it and its expansion."[6]

Article On Website Close To PLO: Muheisen Forgets That Fatah Led The Struggle With Hundreds Of Thousands Of Martyrs

Journalist Ramzi Sadeq also criticized Muheisen on the PLO-affiliated website amad.ps: "Fatah's public received the comments by Fatah Central Committee Member Jamal Muheisen with frustration and desperation, since [they reflect] the mentality of some big talkers and TV-channel stars who see the resistance and struggle against the occupation and settlers as acts of terrorism. It is as if [they] said: We protect Israel and our mission is confined to condemnation, self-flagellation, and lamentation – [for this is how Muheisen] described the heroic act carried out at the Za'atra checkpoint by the released prisoner, Fatah member Salam Al-Zaghal.

"Mr. Jamal Muheisen pretends to forget that Fatah was the first bullet, and that it led the enterprise of struggle with hundreds of thousands of martyrs, prisoners, and injured, and sacrificed its best sons and commanders... so that we could live honorably in a free and independent homeland. If not for these victims, Mr. Muheisen would not have risen to such seniority in Fatah – [seniority] which he does not merit if he describes martyrs in terms incompatible with the principles of nationalism and describes actions against the occupation and the settlers as acts by individuals who are totally unrelated to Fatah."[7]


Endnotes:

[1] Amad.ps, April 30, 2013.

[2] Alzaytouna.net, April 30, 2013.

[3] Amad.ps, April 30, 2013.

[4] He is called a martyr here even though he is alive.

[5] A member of the Salafi-jihadi stream in Gaza who was killed by Israel on April 30, 2013.

[6] Amad.ps, April 30, 2013.

[7] Amad.ps, April 30, 2013.

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