Following are excerpts from an interview with Hatem Abd Al-Qader, former PA minister for Jerusalem affairs, which aired on Al-Quds TV on July 13, 2009.
Hatem Abd Al-Qader: We must generate a contrived separation between the Fatah movement and the PA. The Fatah movement, as an organization, as a national enterprise, and as a liberation movement, must be detached from the PA, and must have its own platform, agenda, and strategy, which are based on the principles of Fatah.
Interviewer: It must have resistance too...
Hatem Abd Al-Qader: Yes, its own resistance as well.
Interviewer: Who in Fatah makes the decisions with regard to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades?
Hatem Abd Al-Qader: The Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades are still the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades. Perhaps, due to local political circumstances, the Brigades’ operations have been disrupted. But let me tell you: the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades are out there, and they are ready to respond to the call of the Fatah movement in any future confrontation with Israel.
The Fatah movement refuses to be transformed into a political party. We will staunchly oppose any attempts to transform Fatah from a national liberation movement into a political party. Fatah has not yet completed its journey or accomplished its goals. It is still a national liberation movement, which relies on resistance, as well as on politics. Hence, in the foreseeable future, Fatah must remain a Palestinian national liberation movement, until the Palestinian people accomplishes all its goals – freedom, independence, the creation of a state, with Jerusalem as its capital, and the return of the refugees. Without this, the Fatah movement cannot become a political party. It will remain a liberation movement, whose strategy relies on resistance.
Whoever thinks that it is possible to reach peace with the Israelis in light of the present circumstances and the [political] constellation in Israel is definitely deluding himself. We are not yet qualified to sign a peace agreement with Israel, because, first of all, we don’t have any power. Secondly, the rift among the Palestinians has intensified Israel’s rampage with regard to the Palestinian issue.
I believe that there is no alternative but to restore Palestinian unity and cohesion, and to reactivate the option of resistance against the occupation.