Palestinians vow to continue ‘struggle’ against Israel

Tuesday marked the 33rd anniversary of the First Intifada.

WHO WILL rule this? Palestinians wave flags at traffic on Highway 1 leading to the Dead Sea (photo credit: REUTERS)
WHO WILL rule this? Palestinians wave flags at traffic on Highway 1 leading to the Dead Sea
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Palestinians on Tuesday marked the 33rd anniversary of the outbreak of the First Intifada and vowed to pursue the “struggle” against Israel until the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state.
The First Intifada, also known as the Rock-Throwing Intifada, began on December 9, 1987 and ended in September 1993 with the signing of the Oslo Accords between Israel and the PLO.
The violence during the First Intifada was not limited to rock-throwing and Palestinians also used Molotov cocktails, hand grenades, guns and explosives in attacks on IDF soldiers and Israeli civilians.
The Palestinian ruling Fatah faction, whose members played a major role during the First Intifada, said on this occasion that Palestinians were more determined than ever “to continue their legitimate national struggle until the end Israel’s occupation in all its forms and until we achieve our goals, including the right of return [for Palestinian refugees] and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.”
According to Fatah, Israel “has not learned that the Palestinian people won’t surrender and won’t agree to live under occupation.”
Fatah held the international community responsible for Israel’s “persistence in violating international law.”
Hamas, which was established in the Gaza Strip shortly after the beginning of the First Intifada as an offshoot of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, said the uprising was a “milestone in the history of the Palestinian struggle” against Israel.
“The First Intifada turned the tables on the occupier,” Hamas said in a statement. “It proved to the whole world that there are a people in Palestine who do not accept surrender.”
Hamas vowed to continue the “resistance in all its forms,” reference to terrorist attacks against Israel. “We won’t abandon the resistance, which is our strategic choice,” Hamas said. “We won’t hesitate to support everything that would strengthen the resistance and liberate our prisoners, regardless of the price.”
Hamas repeated its rejection of security coordination between the PA and Israel, dubbing it a “coup against national unity.”
The PA’s decision last month to resume security and civil coordination with Israel scuttled efforts to end the Hamas-Fatah rift. The decision was announced as Fatah and Hamas leaders were meeting in Egypt in yet another attempt to end their dispute, which reached its peak with Hamas’s violent takeover of the Gaza Strip in 2007.
Hamas also reiterated its rejection of normalization agreements reached between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan and said they “contradict the will of the people who reject the establishment of any relationship with the occupation” or recognize Israel’s right to exist.
In Lebanon, a group called the International Union of Resistance Scholars held a video conference on Tuesday on the occasion of the 33rd anniversary of the eruption of the First Intifada.
The head of the union, Sheikh Maher Hammoud, said that the First Intifada “proved that the Palestinian people are in no need of Arab armies and shameful Arab summits.” He added that “rocks are still more powerful than bullets.”
Hezbollah Deputy Secretary-General Naim Qassem and Palestinian Islamic Jihad Secretary-General Ziad al-Nakhalah, who spoke at the conference, vowed to pursue the fight against Israel and strongly denounced Arab countries that establish relations with Israel.