NEWS

Palestinian Factions Unite in Calls for Israel's Destruction

In light of the recent national unity deal between Fatah and Hamas, Palestinian officials of all stripes continue to announce their true objective: destroying Israel.

The official Palestinian mission to Colombia issued a tweet Thursday calling for Israel's demise, citing a quote from former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

"Our goal is the end of Israel, and there can be no compromises or mediations.... We don't want peace. We want WAR and victory — Yasser Arafat," read the Spanish-language tweet, according to the Times of Israel.

It was deleted after Israel's Channel 1 television reported on it.

Meanwhile, Yayha Sinwar – Hamas' Gaza-based leader – also called for Israel's destruction and vowed never to give up the means to do so in a speech on Thursday.

"Gone is the time in which Hamas discussed recognition of Israel. The discussion now is about when we will wipe out Israel," said Sinwar, adding that "no one will disarm us."

These types of statements directed to Palestinians around the world appear to conflict with other Palestinian officials seeking to promote the unity deal to western audiences.

"The deal that we signed with Hamas talks about building a Palestinian state on the June 4, 1967 borders - which is in line with international law," Fatah spokesperson Osama Qawasmeh told Al Jazeera on Thursday.

But these seemingly diverse messages are not contradictory. The main Palestinian factions may wish to attain a temporary state on 1967 borders now, while continuing to fight for Israel's destruction in the longer run.

Beyond the recent reconciliation deal, Hamas and Fatah appear united on another front as well: the glorification of terrorists. On Sunday, Fatah's official Facebook page posted a photo of a ceremony for incoming students at al-Quds University, commemorating several prominent terrorists behind the deaths of hundreds of Israelis.

Senior Fatah official Jamal Muhaisen spoke at the ceremony, reports Palestinian Media Watch, which honored Yasser Arafat, Hamas founder Ahmad Yassin, Palestinian Islamic Jihad founder Fathi Shaqaqi, and leaders of other Palestinian terrorist organizations.

"Anyone who believes everything the Palestinians say must also believe them when they say this [call for Israel's destruction]," Marco Sermoneta, Israel's ambassador to Colombia, told Israel's Channel 1 following the Palestinian mission's hostile tweet.

Palestinian officials and leaders from across the political spectrum are openly calling for the murder of Israelis and genocide of the Jewish state. Western observers, who largely remain silent on these issues, should give all forms of official Palestinian statements equal attention – not just the diplomatic candor.