Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Abbas: We Will Never Forgive and Never Forget

The remarks of Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, to an emergency meeting of the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah, on July 22, 2014: 

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"From the first moment of this barbaric Israeli aggression against our people in Gaza, in Jerusalem, and in the West Bank, we have called loudly about the necessity of stopping this aggression; we have held extensive regional and international contacts to this end, and, in particular, we have asked Egyptian President Al-Sisi to act to stop the aggression in order to prevent the shedding of the blood of our people. [The president] complied, and he should be thanked for this, and Egypt presented an initiative that includes an immediate ceasefire and action to end the siege, open the crossings, and so on...
"We have appealed to Egypt and have held talks with the president and with the relevant Palestinian factions, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad. After that, we appealed to Turkey and Qatar; we approached the leaderships in both countries, and we met there with [Hamas political bureau head] Khaled Mash'al in order to stop the Israeli aggression and to arrive at a ceasefire, and from there to act to end the siege, to open the crossings, and to stop the aggression in all its forms; we demanded that [Israel] respect the Gazans' fishing rights, that it abolish the so-called 'buffer zones,' that it free the prisoners from the Shalit deal that Israel has re-arrested, that it free the fourth phase of the long-term prisoners and Legislative Council members; that there be an immediate operation to bring humanitarian aid [into Gaza], and that there be an international conference for the [countries] that are donating to Gaza's rehabilitation.
"The time has come for everyone to raise their voices and tell the truth, clearly and powerfully, in the face of the Israeli killing and destruction machine. The oppressing occupation forces have crossed every line and [have broken] all the laws. They have deviated from all standards of human and international morality in their ferocity and barbarism.
"We know that we have no aircraft and artillery. But we have at our disposal something stronger than fire, iron, and arrogance – we have the power of truth and justice. We have the rights. Nothing will erase our historic rights that were established in mighty battles. We have our unity and our cohesion.
"Therefore, I call on everyone to help each other and to set aside the disputes at these fateful moments. [I call] on everyone to show national responsibility and to distance themselves from narrow sectarian party interests. We understand that the main goal of this Israeli aggression is to destroy our national cause and to thwart the reconciliation.
"We stress to our people that we adhere to national unity, to ending the schism, and to the national unity government. We will continue contacts and regional and international moves. We will not relinquish our responsibility. We will go anywhere in order to stop the aggression and the confiscation of our legitimate rights, and we will hunt down those who commit crimes against our people, no matter how long it takes. These crimes will not go unprosecuted and unpunished.
"I reiterate the need to disconnect the Palestinian problem from all the disagreements  – whatever they may be – and to stop the policy of the double standard, because a single drop of the blood of a Palestinian child is more precious to us than anything else in this world. I wish to address these statements to our people in general and to our beloved ones in the Gaza Strip in particular.
"Oh dear ones, persistent and patient, your pain is our pain and the pain of our people wherever they are. The suffering and affliction you are experiencing today deeply wound our heart, and every drop of blood and every martyr who falls pains us deep within our souls. Words cannot describe our emotions and what our heart feels for you. Your wound is our wound and is the great anger that is within us. We will never forgive and never forget. Our people will kneel only before Allah. No one in the world will live in safety and stability while the children of Gaza, Jerusalem, [and] the West Bank, and Palestinian children everywhere, do not live in safety and stability.
"Praise and eternal life to our brave martyrs. Victory, if Allah wills it, for truth, justice, and the will of our people, which has paid a very high price for its freedom and independence. The killing and destruction will not frighten us. We will rebuild what the aggression has destroyed and dress our wounds when we inevitably win and the banners of Jerusalem fly high over Al-Aqsa and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, the capital of the independent state of Palestine, if Allah wills it."
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