Fatah Sixth General Conference
Five Points of Clarification on the Political Program
Bethlehem, 8 August 2009
[A major question in drafting Fatah’s political program at the sixth General Conference, which took place on 4–11 August 2009, was how to treat Fatah’s historical commitment to armed struggle. While the issue was treated gingerly in the official program that ultimately emerged at the conference, a slightly more explicit “declaration” was appended to the program.]
1. Fatah clings to its existence as a national liberation movement that aims to abolish and defeat the occupation and achieve independence for the Palestinian people. The movement is part of the movement of Arab liberation and of the front of global forces desiring freedom and independence for peoples.
2. Fatah emphasizes that the essential fight (tanaqud) is with the Israeli occupation. Other fights [i.e., the division with Hamas] are secondary that will be solved by pursuing dialogue, while reserving the right to use all available means to defend national unity, Palestinian legitimacy, and the independence of Palestinian decision.
3. Fatah will remain, as it has been, loyal to the martyrs and their sacrifices and will struggle for the freedom of prisoners. It emphasizes that it sticks to the constants of the Palestinian people relating to territory and Jerusalem and their liberation, and settlements and their abolition, and the refugees and their return.
4. Despite our adherence to our choice for peace and our work to bring it about, we will not relinquish any of our options. We believe that resistance in all of its forms is a legitimate right of occupied peoples in facing their occupiers.
5. This announcement is considered an integral part of the political program that was issued by the sixth General Conference of the Fatah National Liberation Movement.
Source: International Crisis Group. “Palestine: Salvaging Fatah.” 12 November 2009.