Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh has claimed that Palestinian forces will prevent the Israeli army from raiding “Area A” of the occupied West Bank.
In an interview with Al-Quds, excerpts of which were published and reported on by the Jerusalem Post, Shtayyeh declared: “We will prevent the Israeli occupation army from raiding Area A.”
“We won’t do this through violence, but with our bodies. Israel invades the areas of the Palestinian Authority, and the signed agreements don’t allow these incursions. We will break this fait accompli.”
Under the Oslo Accords, the PA has civilian and security autonomy in Area A of the West Bank, although Israeli occupation forces enter the territory at will on a regular basis.
According to the Jerusalem Post, “Shtayyeh did not say that the PA security forces would engage [Israeli occupation forces]”, but rather “his statement is seen as a call to Palestinian civilians to take to the streets and confront…troops when they enter Area A.”
Meanwhile, the paper added, two senior Fatah officials have urged Palestinians to pursue “popular resistance” since current circumstances are not favourable for “armed struggle”.
Speaking Saturday at a conference on popular resistance in Al-Bireh, Mahmoud Aloul, deputy chair of Fatah, told delegates: “As long as the occupation exists, there should be resistance. All people living under occupation have the right to launch all forms of resistance.”
“Under the current circumstances, however, popular resistance is the most effective means to rally world support for the Palestinians,” he added.
Aloul called on the Fatah conference to endorse a plan to “activate the popular resistance so that the occupation would become more costly”.
Jamal Muheissen, member of the Fatah Central Committee, told the conference: “We need to take the initiative. We need to prevent settlers from traveling on the roads, but without using bullets. There are several ways to stop them from moving around freely on our occupied lands.”