JERUSALEM, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- Jibril Rajoub, former West Bank security head and Fatah strongman, says he supports armed resistance against Israel as a legitimate route to statehood.
Rajoub is not alone in his belief, Palestinian Media Watch, which monitors Palestinian media reports, said Tuesday in a report that contained excerpts of recent interviews by leading Palestinian officials supporting the continuation of an armed struggle.
In an Aug. 6 interview on Palestinian Authority television, Rajoub said the Fatah Central committee "affirmed the struggle in all its forms including resistance and the armed struggle ... must cause pain to the occupation and must be connected to a political platform."
Former Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmad Qurei, who currently heads the Palestinian Liberation Organization's Jerusalem department, said in an interview earlier this month armed resistance has proved itself worthwhile.
"All the options are open, as I see it. Negotiations, political activity, popular activity and armed resistance ... . We must continue with it," he told Alsharq al-Awsat earlier this month.
Qurei added armed resistance is the best option if it benefits the Palestinian people's interests and does not exact a price.
In June, Nabil Shaath, former top Palestinian negotiator and key Fatah central committee member, said the Palestinian people have the right to resort to armed struggle if it is in their interest.
"The Palestinian people have the right to defend themselves, and have the right to use armed struggle ... . Fatah led the armed struggle for 23 years and Hamas adopted it for 15 years. We are proud of all of our 'shahids' (martyrs), and it is our right to return to the armed conflict whenever we view that as our people's interests," he told al-Hayat al-Jadida newspaper.