Palestinian Official: Peaceful Annexation Resistance for Now, but Warns ‘Our Fingers on Triggers’

Palestinian football chief Jibril Rajoub (C) speaks to the press upon his arrival in the West Bank city of Jericho on June 1, 2015, following the FIFA presidential race. Palestine, which has been a FIFA member since 1998, had wanted the governing body to expel Israel over its restrictions on …
AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty

TEL AVIV – Senior Palestinian official Jibril Rajoub on Sunday said while peaceful “popular resistance” is the preferred method for resisting Israel’s plan to annex parts of the West Bank, “our fingers are on the triggers.”

Speaking at a press conference in Ramallah, Rajoub, secretary-general of Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas’ ruling Fatah party, described Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as having “the logic of a neighborhood gangster.”

Addressing the matter of annexation, Rajoub said, “We will not raise a white flag.”

However, the way for Palestinians to earn support from the international community and to ensure a “clash” between it and Israel was through peaceful resistance, the Fatah official said.

“Returning to the square of blood” would not advance the Palestinian cause right now and would jeopardize the “clash between the international community and Israel.”

But Rajoub, a former terrorist who has served time in Israeli jails,  was quick to add should the annexation plans go ahead “our tactics and methods will change.”

“The Palestinian people will not suffer alone, and neither will they die alone if Israel goes ahead with the unilateral annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank,” he said.

He quipped that while Netanyahu was indeed a democratically-elected leader, “so were Hitler and Mussolini,”

He called on Palestinians from both the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem to take part in anti-annexation protests organized by Fatah.

The Palestinian Authority has failed to rally the Palestinian public against Israel’s plans to extend sovereignty, barely managing to draw 200 protesters in a what was supposed to be a large-scale demonstration in Ramallah.

The Trump administration’s “vision for peace” sees Israel annexing 30 percent of the West Bank and the Jordan Valley. It also delineates a demilitarized Palestinian state established on most of the West Bank with parts of eastern Jerusalem that are outside the Israeli security fence as its capital.

If Israel goes ahead with the plans, the Palestinian leadership warned it would unilaterally declare a state based on the pre-1967 lines. Jordan has warned of a “massive conflict” if Israel proceeds with the plan, raising concerns that the Hashemite Kingdom may even cancel its peace treaty with the Jewish state.

Several European states have also warned both Israel and the U.S. against the move.

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