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On Nakba Day, Hamas and Islamic Jihad vow to ‘liberate Palestine’

On Nakba Day, Hamas and Islamic Jihad vow to ‘liberate Palestine’

Demonstrators hold Palestinian flags during a protest marking the 71st anniversary of the ‘Nakba’, or catastrophe, when hundreds of thousands fled or were forced from their homes in the war surrounding Israel’s independence in 1948, near the Israel-Gaza border fence, in the southern Gaza Strip May 1. (photo credit: IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA / REUTERS) X…


Demonstrators hold Palestinian flags during a protest marking the 71st anniversary of the 'Nakba', o

Demonstrators hold Palestinian flags during a protest marking the 71st anniversary of the ‘Nakba’, or catastrophe, when hundreds of thousands fled or were forced from their homes in the war surrounding Israel’s independence in 1948, near the Israel-Gaza border fence, in the southern Gaza Strip May 1.
(photo credit: IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA / REUTERS)

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Marking the 71st anniversary of Nakba Day, Palestinian leaders in the West Bank and Gaza Strip on Wednesday vowed to foil US President Donald Trump’s upcoming plan for peace in the Middle East, also known as the “deal of the century,” and pledged never to give up the “right of return” for Palestinian refugees and their descendants to their former homes in Israel.

Defiant Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders said that the Palestinian struggle against Israel will continue until the “liberation of all Palestine.”

Fathi Hammad, a senior Hamas official, said in a speech during a rally attended by thousands of Palestinians near the border with Israel that he was confident that the Palestinians were headed towards “victory and uprooting the Zionist enemy from our land.”

Addressing Israeli leaders, Hammad said: “Go away, the day of your slaughter and elimination is nearing. You have no place in Jerusalem, Haifa and Jaffa.”

Hammad said that the Palestinian protesters came to the border to voice their rejection of Trump’s peace plan and support for the Palestinian “resistance” groups.

Khalil al-Haya, another Hamas official who participated in the protests, said that Wednesday’s message to the world was that all schemes to eliminate the Palestinian cause are doomed to failure.

Referring to Trump’s unseen plan, al-Haya said: “WE say to all those who are trying to eliminate our cause that Palestine will remain forever as long as there’s a child or woman on this land. Trump’s plan won’t pass, and we will work to thwart this failed scheme.”

He also stressed the “right of return” for all refugees and urged Arabs and Muslims to avoid making peace with Israel.

Senior Hamas official Ahmed Bahr also arrived at the scene of the protests near the border with Israel with similar messages. The weekly protests along the border with Israel, he said, “become a strategy on the road to liberate Palestine.” Noting that the weekly protests – which Palestinians call Great March of Return -will continue, Bahr too appealed to Arabs and Muslims to refrain from normalizing their relations with Israel.

Islamic Jihad said in a statement on the occasion of Nakba Day that it remains committed to the “liberation of all Palestine, from the [Mediterranean] sea to the {Jordan] river.” The group called on all Palestinians to rally behind “the option of Jihad (holy war) and resistance” and continue the weekly protests along the Gaza-Israel border.

In the West Bank, Palestinian Authority officials also seized the opportunity to reaffirm their rejection of Trump’s “deal of the century” and emphasize the refugee’s right to return to their former homes in Israel.

PA Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said during a rally in Ramallah that the Palestinians will not accept any US proposal that does not call for “ending the occupation and establishing an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, as well as the right of return.”

Shtayyeh accused Israel of working to change history in Jerusalem by “Judaizing” the city. “The Palestinians will continue to stick to the right of return and their national rights,” he added.

At the rally, Palestinians carried placards that read: “The children will not forget” and “We will thwart all conspiracies.”

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