Senior P.A. Official Renews Ties with Iran


JERUSALEM, Israel -- Senior Palestinian Authority and Fatah Central Committee member Jabril Rajoub says the P.A. is ready to renew ties with Iran. He also says if peace talks fail, the P.A. is prepared to resume armed confrontations against the Jewish state.

"The year 2014 is the year of decision," Jerusalem Post Palestinian Affairs correspondent Khaled Abu Toameh quoted Rajoub. "We either go to a state or to a confrontation," he said.

"The confrontation would be on three fronts: launching and escalating resistance; boycotting and isolating Israel; and halting all forms of normalization [with Israel] on the political, academic, trade and economic levels," he said, adding that "the option of armed resistance is still on the table."

Rajoub's latest remarks followed meetings in Tehran this week with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

"Our cards are shown and we are speaking frankly," Rajoub told the Lebanese-based al-Mayadeen television network, AFP reported.

Rajoub said Fatah "will not stop the resistance until the establishment of an independent Palestinian government," calling the Iranian regime a key "player" in the region and congratulating Zarif on signing the interim nuclear deal with western nations.

Rajoub has long advocated "resistance" against the "Zionist occupiers," saying it's an enduring Fatah policy.

"Resistance" can range from throwing rocks, Molotov cocktails, and pipe bombs at Israelis, to rocket and missile attacks, drive-by and sniper shootings to knifings and suicide bombings.

"Resistance was and is a tactical and strategic option of the struggle [against Jews], which are part of Fatah's policy and which Israel must acknowledge," Rajoub said at a Fatah General Assembly several years ago.

The P.A.'s decision to shore up ties with the Iranian regime made headlines in Israel because of the two Palestinian factions -- Fatah and Hamas -- Iran has seemingly had closer ties with Hamas, the party ruling the Gaza Strip, which it's supplied with finances, weapons and training for years. Hamas also maintains close ties with Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and Iran's Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah.

In the context of the meeting, Zarif claimed Israel uses his country's "peaceful nuclear program as a pretext to divert world public attention from their crimes in Palestine." He said Iran views the Palestinian struggle as one of its fundamental concerns.

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