Saturday, July 20
Latest News
  1. Palestinian goverment: 26 million in development of ministries
  2. Rudeineh: Washington us unable to achieve anything by itself
  3. US: “No plan for unilateral annexation by Israel of the West Bank"
  4. Cluster of incendiary balloons land in southern Israel
  5. Palestinian FM condemns Germany's vote to define BDS as 'anti-Semitic'
  6. Israeli forces forcibly evict Muslim worshipers from Al-Aqsa
  7. Israeli forces detain 14-year-old Palestinian near Ramallah
  8. Erekat: Deviation from peace terms of reference doomed to fail
  9. Iceland's Hatari shocks Eurovision with Palestinian flags
  10. UNRWA: 4 Palestinian children killed in attack on Syria refugee camp

Palestinian factions call for national unity at Gaza Nakba rally

May 15, 2016 4:12 P.M. (Updated: May 16, 2016 1:46 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Hundreds of Palestinians took part Sunday in a rally in Gaza City organized by various political factions to commemorate the 68th anniversary of the Nakba, or catastrophe, voicing renewed demands that Palestinians to return to the cities, villages, and lands that they were forced to leave in 1948 during the creation of the state of Israel.

Waving Palestine flags, the participants marched from the Unknown Soldier Square to the headquarters of the United Nations.

“Sixty-eight years have passed since the Nakba and our people have never forgotten their homeland, Palestine. We will return,” Fatah member Zakariyya al-Agha said during the rally.

“Let the whole world know that our people will never accept an alternative to this homeland [...] no matter how far the distances or how high the occupier’s walls are,” al-Agha said.

He added that all Palestinian factions should close ranks and maintain national unity because “(unity) is the bridge to Palestine and the line of defense in the face of all challenges and obstacles.”

Al-Agha urged the Palestinian leadership to carry out parliamentarian and presidential elections and restructure the PLO to more effectively defend the Palestinian people. A unified Palestinian government, he added, should aim expose the crimes of the Israeli occupation in all international courts in order to return Palestinian land to its rightful owners.

Senior leader of the PLO’s main leftist faction the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) Jamil Mizhir echoed al-Agha’s comments, calling for national unity and restructuring the PLO: “Let us hold fast to our land, to the right of return, and to resistance -- one generation after the other. We must take advantage of this memory to end rivalries.”

Samir Abu Mudalla, representing the PLO’s other leftist faction the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), also spoke of Palestinians’ right to return to their homes and villages inside present-day Israel.

“A Palestinian holder of European nationality still dreams of returning to the land of their fathers and grandfathers,” Mudalla said, urging rival factions Hamas and Fatah to take advantage of the memory of the Nakba to end their “odious” disputes.

The Hamas movement reiterated in a statement on Sunday that it would never recognize "the Israeli occupation state," nor would it relinquish a "whit" of Palestinian land.

The Palestinian people have broken the image of the "undefeatable" Israeli soldier, liberated Gaza from Israeli presence and withstood three fierce wars against the besieged coastal enclave, the statement added.

Hamas further urged "the loyal people within Fatah and other Palestinian factions" to oppose security coordination with Israel as well as the "oppression and politically-motivated arrests in the West Bank."

The statement also called upon Fatah to "respond positively to the hand extended for reconciliation so as to go ahead with resistance and liberation of people and land."

Fatah and Hamas have been pitched against one another since Hamas won legislative elections in 2006 and subsequently fought its way to power in the Gaza Strip. A new round of reconciliation talks began in Qatar earlier this year, and senior delegations from the rival Palestinian factions met in April in Gaza City.

Later on Sunday afternoon, clashes broke out between Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters on the eastern outskirts of Gaza City.

Israeli troops fired tear gas canisters at participants in the rally, who were standing across the border fence from the Israeli kibbutz of Nahal Oz. No casualties have been reported.

An Israeli army spokesperson said they were looking into the reports.

The rally was organized by a Gaza-based group called “Coalition of the Intifada,” which emerged in recent months. The group said in a statement that “the right of return is a sacred inalienable right at individual and collective levels, and nobody has the right to abandon that right or bargain it under any circumstances.”

“Our people refuse the erasure of our national identity and the attempts to make us desperate through restrictions, oppression and deprivation of our simplest human rights,” the group added.

Most Read
Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015