The Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, the armed wing of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah Party, said it would refuse to lay down its weapons or renounce violence, according to website Nedal, its mouthpiece, on Thursday.
A spokesman for the Brigade’s Nidal division, which operates in Gaza, said, “I do not think that the weapons of the resistance will be a roadblock on the subject of Palestinian reconciliation. On the contrary, Palestinian reconciliation will unite the Palestinian rifle against the enemy, both at the political level and at the military level.”
Abu Mohammed, the spokesman, added, “We in the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades will not allow anyone, whether the current government in Gaza or the Ramallah government or a government of national unity to withdraw weapons of the resistance because they are legitimate weapons and directed against the enemy.”
Rival factionÂ Hamas has already said that its Al Qassam Brigades will not give up its weapons in the recently arranged “unity” agreement between the two groups.
The Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade’s refusal to lay down armsÂ was flagged by blogger Elder of Ziyon, who noted that Abbas “told gullible Westerners that he had dismantled the al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades in 2008. He lied.”
“Here they are, today,” the blogger said, referring to a screenshot from Nedal, showing an Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade soldier kneeling atop a cache of rockets, in front of a portrait of former PLO chairman and arch terrorist, Yasser Arafat. “And they are in the West Bank as well as Gaza,” Elder added.
“As far as I can tell, they are on Fatah’s payroll, and very possibly getting indirectly financed by Western governments who bend over backwards to pretend that Mahmoud Abbas and his party are the moderate, peaceful guys,” the blogger said.
“You would think that people would have caught on to the ‘good cop, bad cop’ routine by now,” the blogger said. “Because the Fatah and Hamas terrorists are laughing every day at the stupidity of the West.”