Hamas: Return, liberation through resistance
Hamas issued a statement on Saturday marking Nakba Day, describing the movement’s adherence to “the project of resistance and steadfastness.”
“As long as the enemy continues with its offensives against our people, continues arrest our children and desecrating our holy places, resistance will remain an option,” the statement read.
Speaking of the right of return of Palestinian refugees displaced during both 1948 and 1967, the Islamist movement said it remained adamant that “the right of return for refugees to their home cities and villages which they were expelled from is a collective and an individual right, natural and legitimate. It cannot be removed by the occupation nor canceled by any agreement.”
The Islamist movement criticized the Ramallah-based Palestinian leadership for re-entering US-brokered indirect talks with Israel, describing the move as “absurd” and demanding that “the Oslo team be honest with the Palestinians about the failure of the negotiations’ option.”
Vowing to release Palestinian detainees in Israeli custody, Hamas said captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit would remain a hostage until “the occupation bows to the demands of the resistance in achieving an honorable swap deal that would release the largest number of prisoners.”
Hamas further said it was keen on restoring national unity “based on sticking to national principles and rights and adhering to what we agreed on with Palestinian factions in Cairo. No more, no less,” adding that the movement rejected the Middle East Quartet’s conditions to “recognize the enemy.”
Meanwhile, thousands of Palestinians gathered across the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip to mark the 62n anniversary of the forced displacement of Palestinians from their homes in 1948.
A recent Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics reported that as a direct result of the expulsion of Palestinians from their ancestral homelands in 1948, Gaza has become the most densely populated place on earth.
According to their statistics, the population density at end of 2009 was 663 individuals per km2 of which 439 individuals per km2 live in the West Bank and 4,140 individuals per km2 in Gaza Strip. In Israel, the population density reached 350 individuals per km2.
The vast majority of Gaza’s 1.5 million population are Palestinians displaced by pre-state Israeli forces in 1948.