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December 6, 2023 Special Dispatch No. 11003

Palestinian Officials Justify Hamas' October 7 Massacre: It Was Not Terror But A Natural Reaction To Occupation; 'The Next Explosion, Even More Violent, Will Be In The West Bank'; Hamas Is And Will Remain Part Of The Palestinian Fabric

December 6, 2023
Palestinians | Special Dispatch No. 11003

The Palestinian Authority (PA), and its ruling Fatah party have yet to condemn the Hamas October 7, 2023 mega-terror attack in southern Israel, in which some 1,200 people were killed and about 240 were kidnapped.[1] Moreover, PA and Fatah officials have blamed Israel itself for the attack and warned that, if it does not change its policy towards the Palestinians, additional and worse attacks may soon occur in the West Bank.

For example, Fatah official and Palestinian Football Federation Chairman Jibril Rajoub, whose name has come up as a possible successor to President Abbas, justified Hamas' terror attack on several occasions, calling it a "natural reaction" to the occupation and part of a defensive war by the Palestinian people. He said that Israel is to blame for the attack, and warned that it may be the first of many, and that "the next explosion, far more violent, will be in the West Bank." He added that Hamas is part of the Palestinian fabric, and expressed hope that October 7 will usher in a new phase of Palestinian unity.

Fatah Deputy Chairman Mahmoud Al-Aloul made similar remarks, blaming the October 7 attack on Israel's policy towards the Palestinians and warning that "the next explosion" may "soon" occur in the West Bank. He too said that Hamas is part of the Palestinian people, and added that Israel will not be able to eliminate Hamas. 

Another figure who spoke in this vein is Munib Al-Masri, a well-known Palestinian businessman and millionaire, who, before Abbas' election to the presidency, was mentioned as a possible successor to the previous president Yasser Arafat. In an article he published in the Palestinian Al-Quds daily, he too called the Hamas attack a "natural reaction" and a "legitimate right," anchored in international law. He congratulated the Palestinian resistance and "its legitimate struggle," which, he said, had "restored the Palestinian cause to its rightful place at the top of the international agenda."

The following are translated excerpts from the statements by these Palestinian figures.

Fatah Official Jibril Rajoub: The October 7 Attack Was Not Terror But A "Natural Reaction" To The Israeli Occupation; This Attack "Was Nothing Compared To The Explosion Expected In the West Bank"

Jibril Rajoub, secretary of Fatah's Central Committee and chairman of the Palestinian Football Federation, said in an interview on the MBC Egypt television channel: "What happened on October 7 did not come out of nowhere. The ongoing crimes of the occupation are to blame for it, because it was part of the Palestinians' defensive war. It will surely be the first of [multiple] explosions, and the next explosion, far more violent, will be in the West Bank…

"I say to everyone, especially to the Egyptians and the Jordanians, who are the ones who suffer the most from this ongoing conflict that also threatens the regional and global stability, that the explosion of October 7 was a natural reaction to this terror [by Israel], for the leaders of Israel represent a new Nazi model. The quagmire of this fascist occupation has become huge."  

Asked about the chances of reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas, Rajoub answered: "First of all, I say to everyone that blood is thicker than water. Hamas is and will remain part of the [Palestinian] national fabric, part of the [Palestinian] struggle and the Palestinian political fabric. This campaign [i.e., the Gaza war] will be a springboard for attaining Palestinian national unity, with one people, one leadership and one goal: the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with complete sovereignty over all the Palestinian territories."[2]

It should be mentioned that Rajoub shared this interview on his Facebook page, and wrote: "…What happened on October 7 was not terror but a natural reaction to the Israeli occupation."[3]

Al-Rajoub made similar remarks to Kuwaiti journalists during his recent visit to that country. The following are excerpts from a report about his statements in the Kuwaiti daily Al-Nahhar: "[Al-Rajoub said]: 'October 7 was an earthquake in every respect. It was an unprecedented event. From the very first day it was evident that this was a significant juncture that must not be misconstrued, and that [the attack] was part of a defensive war that the [Palestinian] people have been waging for 75 years. This event is part of a path, of battles, and heroic acts that the [Palestinian] people have been leading  for 75 years. This event must be understood in the context of a defensive Palestinian [war], and responsibility for it rests with the Israeli aggression against all the Palestinian territories and Muslim and Christian holy places…'

"Al-Rajoub added: 'What happened on October 7 first of all shattered the myth of the powerful Israeli army, revealing that this is a lie and that [this army is actually as weak] as cobwebs. [It also] undermined the Israeli citizens' sense of security and their faith in the settlement enterprise. A quarter of a million Jews are [currently] living in hotels out of fear and a sense of personal insecurity. What happened on October 7 thwarted the attempt of the Israeli right to integrate Israel in the Middle East without addressing the Palestinian issue…"

"Asked about the difficulty of promoting the two-state solution in the present situation, and about his assessment that an explosion in the West Bank is imminent, Rajoub said: 'What happened on October 7 was nothing compared to the explosions that will occur in the West Bank in the absence of a firm and decisive international stance on dealing with the occupation, the settlement, and the cancer [of the settlements]. This is a danger to the Israelis who live in peace and a danger to regional stability and world peace.

"Al-Rajoub also addressed the fact that there are three million Palestinians in the West Bank and two million in the Gaza Strip, as opposed to [only] 700,000 Nazi fascists living in the settlements adjacent to the Strip and in the West Bank. He clarified that Israel is an imperialist enterprise whose decisions are [actually] taken in the White House, for the U.S. is the one nourishing this cancer. He also noted that there would be no Palestinian state without Jerusalem and Gaza.

"Al-Rajoub said: 'We recognize the fact that [the movements of] political Islam, headed by Hamas, are part of the fabric of our struggle and of our social and political fabric, and believe that their participation does not harm [this fabric]. He noted that the Palestinian state, and its legitimate representative [the PLO] is an umbrella [framework] for everyone, and that there is a source of authority for the solution, while stressing the need to recognize the unity of the Palestinian territories.

"He added: 'We seek liberation, not istishhad [i.e., martyrdom], [although] as individuals we seek istishhad. We face public criticism because of this, and we understand this [criticism]. Our compass is national and is based on national, moral and human principles that have nothing to do with any partisan interests or with the will of any regional element. The indirect goal of everything that is happening is the Palestinian national identity…"[4] 

Fatah Deputy Chairman: The October 7 Attack Was Inevitable; If Israel Does Not Change Its Policy "The Next Explosion Will Come Soon"; Israel Cannot Eliminate Hamas

Fatah deputy chairman Mahmoud Al-Aloul made similar remarks to the London-based daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi. He too blamed Israel for the October 7 attack, calling it "inevitable," and warned that the next explosion is imminent. Like Al-Rajoub, he said that Hamas is an integral part of the Palestinian people and of the political perception of the next phase. The following are excerpts from the daily's report:


Mahmoud Al-Aloul (Image: Al-Quds Al-Arabi, London)

"[Al-Aloul said]: 'Trying to understand what happened on October 7, we must consider the circumstances that preceded it and led up to it. The most important point is that what happened in the Gaza Strip was inevitable, and I am referring to the following: In the recent period we warned the world – the Europeans and the Americans – that if things continued as they were, they could lead to an explosion. We stressed that the situation must be addressed. What happened before October 7? The Palestinian people suffered a huge and enormous injustice. An abnormal state of constant and intense injustice, especially [since the advent] of the latest Israeli government… This situation bred rage that led to an explosion. We are not the only ones saying this, the entire world has been talking about this… We say that the ones responsible for what happened are those who oppressed the Palestinians, carried out murders, gave the extremist settlers free reign, seized lands, and besieged Gaza, the ones who attack Al-Aqsa and renounce all the rights of the Palestinian people. It was all these factors that caused the events of October 7… '

 I hope that what happened [on October 7] will be a clear message that the world will understand. [The world] must understand that, unless it starts to provide the Palestinians with a political horizon and with hope, this issue will remain as it is. If the events of October 7 are not handled by creating a political horizon towards [establishing] a Palestinian state, they will recur in a year, or five years, or ten years. This is just common sense…'

"Asked whether he anticipates an explosion in the West Bank, he said: 'Of course. As a matter of fact, the explosion already exists. It is impossible to bear a continuation of the current situation. They [the Israelis] should learn from what happened to them on October 7: If you do not refrain from these violations and murders, the next explosion will surely come soon…'

"Asked whether Israel can eliminate Hamas in Gaza, Al-Aloul replied: 'Israel may commit crimes against the Palestinian people, but eliminating Hamas is impossible. [Israel] can commit crimes and damage the movement's capabilities and resources. I don't think [it can do] any more than that.' He added: 'All sectors of the Palestinian people must take part in [formulating] the political perception of the next phase, [the phase] of turning towards a Palestinian state and towards elections by the Palestinian people…"[5]  

Palestinian Businessman And Millionaire Munib Al-Masri: The October 7 Attack Was A "Natural Reaction" And "Legitimate Right"; Congratulations To The Palestinian Resistance

In an article he published on November 29, well-known Palestinian businessman and millionaire Munib Al-Masri likewise justified Hamas' October 7 attack, calling it a "natural reaction" to the occupation and a "legitimate right" recognized by international law, and congratulated the Palestinian resistance. He wrote: "Today [November 29] is International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, according to a UN General Assembly resolution from 1977 that designated it as an annual event… This year, this symbolic day occurs amidst the unusual circumstances that the Palestinian people have been experiencing since October 7 and amidst the escalating plots to eliminate the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian national enterprise, and the attempts to impose Israeli-American plans that deny Palestinian people's right to self-determination… 

"The suffering of the Palestinian people did not start on October 7. Some people pretend that history started on that day, when the Palestinian resistance declared war on Israel. This is a lie that the Zionist occupation has tried to peddle all over the world. The sterling truth is that October 7 was a natural reaction to the crimes that the Israeli occupation has been committing since 1948. It is an uprising against the global injustice that has been suffered by the [Palestinian] people since the cursed Balfour Declaration of 1917. According to international law, October 7 was a legitimate right, guaranteed to a people that has been bent under the yoke of occupation for many decades.

"October 7 was the result of the escalating Israeli terror since the advent of the present far-right government. It is the result of 17 years of siege and collective punishment in Gaza, and of shameful global silence in the face of the suffering so inhumanly and immorally [inflicted upon] two million Palestinians. It is a natural reaction to the ongoing aggression against the blessed Al-Aqsa mosque and all the holy places, and to the unjustified terror against the prisoners in the Israeli jails.  

"Occupation begets resistance, [that is] an indisputable law of nature. How can any free person with a just cause give up his cause, his land and his rights? That is why international law and human rights treaties guarantee the right to resist, as stated in Article 2 of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, passed [by France's National Constituent Assembly] on August 26, 1789, [which says] that 'resistance against oppression is a basic right'…

"On the occasion of International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People,  congratulations to the Palestinian resistance for its legitimate struggle for freedom, independence and the building of the homeland. Congratulations to the Palestinian resistance for managing to impose a humanitarian ceasefire after the international community failed to do so. Congratulations to the resistance for managing to impose the delivery of petrol and humanitarian aid [to Gaza], after the [UN] General Assembly and Security Council could not implement their own resolutions. Congratulations to the resistance for managing to free the women and children from the occupations' prisons. Congratulations to the resistance for restoring the Palestinian cause to its rightful place, at the top of the international agenda, after prolonged attempts to dissolve this cause."[6]  


Munib Al-Masi in front of his home in Nablus (Image: palestineeconomy.ps, August 9, 2015)

 

[1] On October 15, 2023, the PA's official news agency WAFA quoted PA President Mahmoud Abbas as saying that Hamas' actions "do not represent the Palestinian people." However, several hours later WAFA edited the report and deleted this condemnation of Hamas. See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 10873 - Palestinian Authority News Agency Quotes Abbas As Condemning Hamas's Actions, Then Deletes The Condemnation – October 16, 2023.

[2] Al-Quds Al-Arabi (London), November 23, 2023.

[3] Facebook.com/Jibril.Rajoub?locale=ar_AR, November 22, 2023.

[4] Al-Nahhar (Kuwait), November 26, 2023.

[5] Al-Quds Al-Arabi (London), November 16, 2023.

[6] Al-Quds (East Jerusalem), November 29, 2023.

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