Fatah’s armed wing, the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, on Sunday called for the murder of Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayad for “collaboration” with Israel and the US.
This was the first time the group has openly called for Fayad’s assassination. In the past, the group distributed leaflets strongly condemning Fayad and calling for his dismissal.
Fayad has been under heavy criticism from some Fatah leaders and activists, who accuse him of denying them public funds and plotting to undermine Fatah’s grip on power. Other Fatah leaders have also accused Fayad of seeking to consolidate his power with the hope of replacing Mahmoud Abbas as PA president.
The threat was made in a leaflet distributed by the Aksa Martyrs Brigades in the Gaza Strip. Some Fatah officials in Ramallah sought to distance themselves from the threat, claiming that the leaflet had been forged. They even went as far as accusing Hamas of being behind it.
“The command of the Aksa Martyrs Brigades in the Gaza Strip calls on all its elements and striking forces in the West Bank to immediately eliminate the so-called Salaam Fayad,” the leaflet said. It claimed that Fayad’s Ramallah-based government was working for Israel and the US.
Calling on Abbas to fire the Fayad government, the leaflet criticized Fayad for cutting off the salaries of many Fatah supporters in the Gaza Strip. It also attacked him for allowing the PA security forces in Bethlehem to hand over to Israel three Israelis who had entered the city on Saturday.
“We call on all our members and the policemen in the West Bank not to obey orders from the Fayad government, because it’s serving an American agenda and helping Israel eliminate the Aksa Martyrs Brigades,” the group continued. It also called to fire PA Interior Minister Abdel Razzak al-Yahya for announcing that the Aksa Martyrs Brigades in the West Bank had been dismantled.