At the seventh congress of the PLO’s Fatah faction a few weeks ago, the Palestinian Authority (PA) president and other party leaders gave speeches endorsing “popular resistance” against Israel, the policy initiated at the previous congress in 2009. The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center explains what this term signifies:
[While] “popular resistance” is represented as legal, unarmed, and peaceful, . . . developments on the ground since the sixth conference indicate that behind the term “peaceful popular resistance” hides support given by Mahmoud Abbas, Fatah, and the Palestinian Authority to terrorism, which again erupted violently in September 2015. . . .
As far as Fatah and the PA are concerned, “popular resistance” creates constant, monitored, [and] controlled tension between Israel and the Palestinians, used to exert pressure on Israel to the degree considered appropriate for the needs of the PA’s political campaign against Israel. [For] the PA and Fatah, “popular resistance” [is] an acceptable alternative to Hamas’s concept of “armed struggle,” which the PA and Fatah do not regard as useful at the present stage of the Palestinians’ anti-Israel struggle (although Fatah does not reject it in principle).
“Popular resistance” is not non-violent protest, as claimed by Mahmoud Abbas and the PA. It makes extensive use of violence, especially the throwing of stones and Molotov cocktails, as well as stabbing and vehicular attacks. . . . During the past year “popular resistance” . . . has caused the deaths of dozens of Israeli civilians and members of the Israeli security forces. . . .
[Nonetheless], the PA objects to the use of firearms and to turning “popular resistance” into a military-type intifada against Israel, as advocated by Hamas.