Hezbollah, Hamas praise ‘Naksa Day’ unrest

Nasrallah says protests show “the efforts of the US administration to hijack the Arab revolutions"; denounces "American hypocrisy."

By OREN KESSLER
June 7, 2011 06:58
3 minute read.
Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah

Nasrallah 311reuters. (photo credit: reuters)

Hezbollah and Hamas on Monday praised Syrian protesters’ attempts the day before to breach Israel’s border. Meanwhile, Internet organizers called for marches in Jerusalem on Tuesday, the anniversary of the day the IDF took control of the city’s eastern portion in 1967.

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said demonstrators on the “occupied Syrian Golan formed a clear picture of the aims of the [Syrian] nation,” according to Al-Manar, a television channel operated by the Shi’ite group.

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Speaking at a conference titled “Imam Khameini the Intellectual,” Nasrallah said the protests demonstrated “the efforts of the US administration to hijack the Arab revolutions” and denounced what he called American hypocrisy over the region’s anti-government movements.

“This event proves Washington’s commitment to Israel’s absolute security, while the same Washington speaks to us about human rights and freedoms,” he said.

Meanwhile, a man wounded during last month’s “Nakba Day” protests in south Lebanon said Hezbollah gave him $50 to march on the border and $900 to have his wounds treated by doctors, Britain’s Guardian newspaper reported on Sunday. The man said he had been planning to return to Lebanon’s border area on Sunday for “Naksa Day” rallies, but those demonstrations were ultimately canceled by Lebanese authorities.

Hamas on Monday also praised the Golan border march, and called on demonstrators to continue their efforts, Israel Radio reported. The Hamas government running the Gaza Strip declared three days of mourning for those killed on Sunday.

Azzam Ahmed, a top aide to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, accused Israel of “brutality” for firing on Palestinians “who have the right to return to their homes and land.”



Meanwhile, Internet organizers are continuing efforts to bring Palestinians and their supporters to the streets on Tuesday, the end of a three-day “Naksa Day” commemoration that began on Friday and ran through Sunday.

“Third Palestinian Intifada” – the website that organized much of the previous days’ rallies – featured a clock on its Facebook page counting down the days, hours, minutes and seconds until June 7.

“June 7 – Day of Allegiance to Jerusalem,” the banner reads in Arabic. “Our uprising continues, and we will pray, God willing, in the mosques of Jerusalem and in its churches,” reads the underlying text. “We declare with all our strength and with our loudest voice that the seventh of June, which marks the anniversary of the rape of Jerusalem, ‘flower of all cities,’ is a day of allegiance to Jerusalem in all countries of the world.”

The page – which has amassed 379,000 followers or “likes” – features a profile picture of a map of Mandate-era Palestine with the Muslim declaration of faith superimposed and an image of the Al-Aksa Mosque. Fighter jets and naval ships converge on the area below the heading “Liberation Intifada.”

The group’s homepage calls on Palestinians in the West Bank and “in Jerusalem or the Zionist borders” to march on the city’s Al-Aksa Mosque and declare an “oath of allegiance” to Jerusalem.

It remained uncertain whether the plans would come to fruition. Both Arab and left-wing activists said they were unaware of any protests planned in Jerusalem on Tuesday.

Activists had similar plans on Sunday, but marchers trying to enter Jerusalem from north of the city were turned back just meters past the Kalandiya checkpoint, and the procession quickly degenerated into skirmishes between troops and some 250 Palestinians along the Jerusalem-Ramallah highway. One police officer and 40 protesters were injured.

Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said a march from Kalandiya to the capital was not likely to succeed on Tuesday or on any other day.

“We have the army in front of us, and the army certainly knows how to deal with this situation,” he said on Monday. “So far, [‘Naksa’ demonstrations] haven’t caught on in Jerusalem. If they do develop here, we will do everything necessary to contain them.”

Melanie Lidman contributed to this report.


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