The Palestinian National Liberation Movement, Fatah, has described the heads of local municipalities who participated in meetings with their Israeli counterparts in Rome as "a bunch of outlaws". A statement from Fatah said that such a meeting was unacceptable given Israel's "fierce attack" on the Palestinian leadership and attempts to push national rights to one side.
"The group included some Palestinian mayors who were attempting to turn the clock back to a time when Israel had a similar conspiratorial project in 1978," said the statement. That move was uncovered and thwarted, it claimed.
Fatah, added the statement, supports fully the "Palestinian leadership and struggling Palestinian people who seek freedom and independence" to create a "Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital under the leadership of President Mahmoud Abbas".
Although Fatah has threatened to "prosecute" the mayors who took part in the Rome meeting "for rescuing the Israeli occupation authorities from international isolation", commentators have noted that it is somewhat hypocritical given the role played by the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority in negotiating with the Israelis and collaborating with them on security matters. Such collaboration benefits Israelis at the expense of Palestinians, it has been pointed out.