Zahhar: No swap deal without our terms
Dr. Mahmoud al-Zahhar, co-founder of Hamas and a member of the Hamas leadership, said that the Jerusalem Intifada kicks off anew to send the Israeli occupation this message: “There is no place for you in Palestine.”
Zahhar was speaking at the massive rally organized by the Hamas Movement on Monday on the 28th anniversary of its foundation in the presence of Ismail Haneyya, the Deputy Chairman of the political bureau of Hamas, and other leaders of the Movement.
He said that “Palestinian men and women are carrying out an Intifada today with stones and knives”, calling on the people of the West Bank to be equipped by all means of self-defense, including weapons which helped in forcing the Israeli enemy out of the Gaza Strip.
He stressed that as the Israeli occupation withdrew in humiliation from Gaza, it will be forced out of the whole of Palestine.
He said addressing the prisoners: “On this day as in every day, we declare to our brave prisoners who are waiting for the moment of liberation that we will never forget them, regardless of the faction they belong to.”
Zahhar stressed that Hamas will not pay for the Wafa al-Ahrar (Shalit) swap deal twice, affirming that the Israeli occupation has to release the prisoners of the swap deal, whom it re-arrested after their release, before talking about any new swap deal.
He added: “We will not forget you, and most notably our four brothers (referring to Yasser Zanon, Hussein Zebdeh, Abdullah Abu al-Jabein, Abdel-Dayem Abu Libdeh who were kidnapped in the Egyptian territory and no one knew anything about them since then) who have disappeared while they were in Egypt. It is the responsibility of Egypt to bring them back; so we are waiting for Egypt to take a good initiative to return our loved ones”.
Our weapon is clean
Shifting to another issue, the Hamas leader said: “Our brothers in the Arab and Muslim countries know that our weapons will never be contaminated with the blood of the Arab people; instead we point them only at those who occupied our land, killed and displaced children, our weapons can only be used for the liberation of Palestine.”
He added that Hamas reaches out to all the Arab countries, so that they could play role in the liberation of Palestine.
As for his message to the West, he said addressing the western countries: “You have to reconsider your judgment about who is the terrorist, the people who defend themselves and their country or the Israeli occupation which kills children and women?.”
Talking about handing over the Rafah crossing, Dr. Zahhar said: “There were calls recently for us to hand over the Rafah crossing, but we will do that only to those who will be honest with us.”
He added: “We can share it, we will not hand it over to smugglers and thieves”.
The Hamas leader sent his greetings and blessings to the honest media which report news in the West Bank and Jerusalem, and the working staff who risk their lives to show the world the truth, and also greeted every Palestinian without discrimination.
He continued: “We also send our greetings to all the Palestinian security services in the Gaza Strip that provide protection for every citizen, despite a lack of resources.”
Large numbers of Gazan women, children and men carrying Hamas green banners have attended Hamas rally.
The children were wearing Hamas military uniform, and the traditional Palestinian keffiyeh, the symbol of the Palestinian intifada, around their necks.
Hamas leaders wished to confirm, by organizing this rally, their insistence on national constants, and that the prisoners and the al-Aqsa Mosque are on the top priorities of their Movement.
On the festival platform an image of al-Aqsa Mosque along with a slingshot was hanged. It had the following words inscribed on it: “Jerusalem is within a stone’s throw.”
Hamas usually holds its anniversary festival in the Katibat al-Khadra (Green Battalion) Square; but not this year. Ismail Haneyya commented on this: “The Square no longer accommodates the large number of Hamas Movement supporters.”