Fatah Movement and Recognition of al-Quds as Israel’s Capital

Wednesday, January 31, 2018


Hossein Ajorlou
Official recognition of city of al-Quds (Jerusalem) by the US President Donald Trump as the capital of Israel has given rise to widespread protests by various countries and their people. Apart from the Zionist regime and a few uninfluential countries, almost all countries have objected to this measure and condemned it as a factor that would intensify tensions in West Asia. The protests included even the United States’ close allies in the West Asia region. for example, the Palestinian Fatah Movement, as the main power within the Palestinian self-rule, which has extensive relations with the United States, not only categorically condemned this measure, but also announced that it would no longer accept Washington as an impartial mediator in the case of Palestine. Now, in view of the above development, the question that arises here is what impact will developments related to the announcement of al-Quds as Israel’s capital have on domestic and foreign standing of Fatah Movement? The answer is that, generally speaking, the recent developments will bolster the position of anti-Israeli resistance groups in the face of Fatah.

After the Israeli regime managed to defeat Arab armies, Palestinians decided to establish military organizations to secure freedom of their territories. Fatah, which in Arabic stands for the Palestinian National Liberation Movement, was a political and military group based on the Arab nationalism and socialist ideology. It was first established in 1959 by Yasser Arafat and Khalil Ibrahim al-Wazir with its main principles being continued fight against the Zionist regime as the occupier of Palestinian territories and freedom of the Palestinian land. For many years now, Fatah Movement has been wielding the leadership power among Palestinians. However, in 2006, after Hamas Movement won the legislative elections in Palestine and established its control on the Gaza Strip, Fatah’s leadership saw itself faced with a major challenge. It seems that under the present conditions, this movement is facing further challenges in its drive to continue in its leadership role in areas controlled by the Palestinian self-rule.

It seems that the latest developments relative to city of al-Quds can further undermine the position of Fatah Movement in the face of other resistance groups as a result of a host of factors, the most important of which are as follows:

1.       Increased public hatred of the United States: Official announcement of al-Quds as Israel’s capital by the United States will certainly intensify public hatred of this country. In the meantime, the popular base of those groups, which are in line with the United States’ policies, will be drastically damaged. It seems that due to its extensive relations with the United States of America, Fatah Movement will face this challenge.

2.       Reduced financial support from the United States: Recent explicit opposition to the US decision on al-Quds by Fatah officials and their anti-American rhetoric will certainly lead to reduction of the US support as well as the Zionist regime’s financial support for the Palestinian self-rule. The result will be possible financial problems for this movement for the management of the Palestinian territories. This problem may even seem more serious when one takes into account that Fatah and Hamas recently achieved some sort of national reconciliation as a result of which Fatah will be in charge of the Gaza Strip as well. Therefore, the current and general expenses of Fatah Movement are sure to increase. Under such critical conditions, if the Palestinian self-rule faces more financial problems, Fatah Movement will in parallel face more challenges.

3.       Reduced support of Saudi Arabia: Recent reports denote that Saudi Arabia has been establishing contacts with the Zionist regime. If these reports are correct, the final result will possibly be reduced support from Saudi Arabia for Palestinians. This is especially true as Saudi Arabia needs the support of the United States in order to contain the Islamic Republic of Iran and as such, avoids any measure that would harm its relations with the United States. This issue may further cut Saudi Arabia’s support for Palestinian groups, which could pose a major threat to Fatah Movement as a Saudi ally. Discussing this issue could have been a major goal of a recent visit to Riyadh by the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, which took place on December 20, 2017.

4.       Strengthening position of Hamas: Hamas movement is considered as the main rival force for Fatah in Palestine. Due to its special relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran and Turkey, this movement can further increase its activities, because both Iran and Turkey have taken special measures on al-Quds and it seems that they will continue these measures in the future. The current state of affairs in Palestine will strengthen Hamas and its final result will be reduced influence of Fatah Movement.

All told, Fatah Movement, which was once the most powerful Palestinian group, has been witness to gradual fall of its influence and recent developments related to al-Quds seem to further expedite this process. However, it is noteworthy that due to its political and security standing and also with special support from Arab conservatives and the West, Fatah will continue to remain one of the main political actors in Palestine.


*More by Hossein Ajorlou: 
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*Possible Scenarios Facing the Crisis on the Korean Peninsula
*Analysis of Saudi Arabia’s Possible Measures against Qatar :


*Photo Credit: AA

*These views represent those of the author and are not necessarily Iran Review's viewpoints.