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Tuesday, December 16, 2014
MEMRI: Hamas Senior Officials At Movement's 27th Anniversary

MEMRI Special Dispatch | 5905 | December 16, 2014
Hamas Senior Officials At Movement's 27th Anniversary Celebrations: We Will
Not Recognize Zionist Entity Or Be Satisfied With A Palestinian State Within
1967 Borders; We Thank Iran For Supplying Us With Weapons, Missiles
http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/8336.htm

On December 12-14, 2014, Hamas celebrated its 27th anniversary with numerous
marches and rallies throughout the Gaza Strip, attended by tens of thousands
of people. The central rally in the north of the Strip was reportedly
attended by nearly 100,000.[1] The anniversary celebrations also included a
large military parade by Hamas' military wing, the 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam
Brigades.[2]

Senior Hamas officials who spoke at the marches and rallies stressed that
the movement would never recognize the Zionist entity or be satisfied with a
Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, and called for continuing on the
path of resistance and jihad until all of Palestine, from the river to the
sea, is liberated. Al-Qassam Brigades spokesman Abu 'Ubaida thanked Iran for
providing Hamas with funds, weapons and missiles and thus helping it to
build its army, with its many advanced units. He also declared that Hamas
would soon bring about the release of Palestinian prisoners through
prisoner-exchange deals.

At the same time, the speakers warned of an impending "explosion" if Gaza
does not receive the recovery funds it was promised. They did not spare the
Palestinian Authority (PA) and its leaders from their criticism, calling
them "traitors" and urging the people of the West Bank to rise up against
them.[3]

It should be noted that Hamas political bureau head Khaled Mash'al was
conspicuous in his absence at the anniversary celebrations, whereas senior
officials Mahmoud Al-Zahhar and Al-Qassam Brigades spokesman Abu 'Ubaida
were conspicuously involved and publicly participating. A recorded speech by
Mash'al was to be broadcast at a mass rally in Hebron, but this rally was
canceled following intervention by the PA and Israeli security
apparatuses.[4] A special interview with Mash'al on the occasion of the
anniversary was posted on the website of Hamas' mouthpiece Al-Risalah.[5]

The following are translated excerpts from speeches by Hamas officials and
photos from various rallies and marches and from the military parade:
)

Mahmoud Al-Zahhar: Palestine Stretches From Egypt To Lebanon, And From
Jordan To The Sea, We Will Establish Our Rule Over The West Bank

Speaking at a December 12 rally in Khan Younes, Hamas political bureau
member Mahmoud Al-Zahhar said: "Anyone who thinks that we will recognize the
existence of the [Zionist] entity or the 1967 borders is deluded...
Palestine stretches from the Egyptian border in the south to Lebanon in the
north, and from Jordan in the east to the Mediterranean sea in the west, and
we will never recognize anything less than this." He added: "If part of our
land is liberated, we will establish our state in that part without
relinquishing even an inch of the rest. Just as we liberated Gaza and
established a genuine administration in it, [with] an army and security
apparatuses that defend us, rather than the Israeli enemy [unlike those of
the PA], we will do the same in the West Bank, as a prelude to attaining all
of Palestine."

Al-Zahhar called to grant freedom of action to the people in the West Bank,
"who invent means of resistance that the occupation never imagined, such as
vehicular [attacks] and stabbings." He also harshly attacked the PA and its
president, accusing them of treason against the Palestinian people, saying:
"The West Bank is suffering from two conflicts: [a conflict] with the
Israeli enemy, which is directing its weapons at its face, and [another
conflict] with the PA, which is stabbing it in the back while purporting to
govern Palestine... Al-Zahhar called on the people of the West Bank to "get
rid of the traitors first, so that we can get rid of the occupation." He
also urged Fatah "to become real partners in the liberation of Palestine,
and [steer] clear of [intra-Palestinian] squabbling."[6]

Salah Bardawil: We Adhere To Jihad And Resistance Until Liberation

In his speech at a rally in the central Gaza Strip, Senior Hamas official
Salah Bardawil said: "We renew our promise and our oath of loyalty to the
blood of [our] martyrs the illustrious leaders, [promising] to continue the
path of jihad and resistance until [the attainment of] victory and
liberation." He noted that "Hamas, along with other Palestinian dignitaries
from among the [Palestinian] people, preserved the national capabilities
from destruction and succeeded in withstanding all those who schemed to
eliminate the Palestinian people's just cause..."[7]

In an exclusive statement to the Hamas mouthpiece Al-Risalah on the occasion
of the movement's 27th anniversary, Bardawil said that Hamas still has
considerable surprises up its sleeve, which it will unveil at the suitable
time, following the surprises it already unveiled in the latest Israeli war
against Gaza, which was won by the resistance. He added that Hamas would not
run out of surprises as long as it adheres to the path of resistance and of
defending the Palestinians' rights, and as long as it refuses to shackle the
weapons of the resistance to some negotiations with the Israeli side. He
said further: "Every day, the Al-Qassam Brigades... unveil a new surprise,
which reflects the movement's method of struggle against the occupation and
its army."[8]

Fathi Hammad: Kerry's Anti-Hamas Coalition Will Fail

Fathi Hammad, a former interior minister in Hamas' government in Gaza, said
in his speech: "'The Gaza Strip experienced three wars in succession, and
despite this the Palestinian people's will remains unbroken." He emphasized
that Hamas' resistance has altered the balance of power vis-a-vis the
occupation, moving the war from the stage of defense to the stage of
offense."

In response to remarks by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to the Saban
Forum on December 7, 2014, about "the ability to create a new regional
alliance" against Hamas and other extremist movements,[9] Hammad said: "The
more powerful the alliance [against us] and the siege [upon us] grows, so
our victory will be magnified, and this referendum [apparently the mass
rally] about jihad, resistance and preparation for the next battles is proof
of this..." He added: "Hamas's makeup and structure will liquefy the
security coordination, and the West Bank will rise up against its jailers
and the collaborators within it..."[10]

He said further: "We will attain the rehabilitation [of Gaza] by force of
arms, and if there is no rehabilitation, an explosion will come... Thousands
joined the Al-Qassam Brigades since the last Gaza war,... The West Bank will
[also] rise up [in an intifada] against the occupation, and the resistance
in Jerusalem must be intensified." [11]

Marches In Gaza Marking Hamas' 27th Anniversary

The Al-Qassam Brigades Military Parade

On December 14, 2014, the 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades held a large
military parade in Gaza, the first since the conflict in Gaza this summer.
Al-Qassam's various units were paraded, as well as its weapons, including
the locally produced long-range R-160 and J-80 rockets and Iranian Ababil
UAVs, one of which was flown during the parade.[12]

Al-Qassam Brigades Spokesman: We Thank Iran For Providing Us With Funds,
Weapons And Missiles, And Also Qatar And Turkey

'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades Spokesman Abu 'Ubaida, who spoke at the close
of the military parade, said: "The history of Hamas and its fighting
brigades paint a glorious picture of manufacturing and preparing weapons and
carving through rock in order to resist the occupation and hurt it. Now,
after many years, this picture has yielded the Al-Qassam army that you and
the world can see, with its fighting units that participated in today's
impressive parade: the artillery unit, the naval unit, the commando unit,
the tunnel unit, the sniper unit, the armored unit, the infantry unit and
the air defense unit. These are not [just] names and labels; these are
fighting units that vanquished the enemy on the threshold of Gaza, shattered
its baseless arrogance and humiliated their foes on the ground, in the sea
and in the air, with the help of Allah the Almighty...

"Since Allah graced us with this development [of the Al-Qassam Brigades],
and with this victory and this humiliation of the enemy, we have only to
thank those whom Allah enlisted to take part in this development... first
and foremost the Islamic Republic of Iran, which did not withhold from us
funds, weapons and other [forms of aid] and helped us in our resistance by
supplying us with missiles that pulverized the Zionist strongholds during
the attacks and battles we waged against the occupier, and also supplied us
with quality anti-tank missiles that crushed the legendary Zionist Merkava
[tank].

"We also thank on behalf of the resistance all the figures, organizations
and countries, both Arab and Muslim, and [other] dignitaries worldwide, who
helped our people and supported the Palestinian cause, especially Qatar and
Turkey..."

Later in his speech, Abu 'Ubaida implied that Hamas would act to release
Palestinian prisoners through prisoner-exchange deals: "A word to the heroic
prisoners among us [who are incarcerated] today, and to their families: The
'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades have committed themselves before Allah and
have sworn to him and to you that your freedom is only a matter of time, and
that the day you will see the light of freedom is now closer than ever. Do
not tire yourselves thinking of numbers and quantities, about the living and
the dead, about the body and bodies [to be exchanged], about how and when...

"To the Zionists we say: Yes, you have arrested 54 of the people who were
released in the 'Loyalty to the Free' deal [i.e., the Shalit deal], and your
oppressive courts once again sentenced them to life and to many years'
[imprisonment]. You can sentence them to as many years and to as many life
sentences as you want. You did not choose the day of their release the first
time around, and you will not choose it now. These heroes and others will
not be released at the juncture that you think and plan. The day will come
soon, Allah willing. We say to you: the gang known as the Knesset has passed
a ridiculous decision to prevent the release of prisoners... It thinks its
decision will be more than a piece of paper, but as far as we are concerned,
it is not worth the ink it is written in. Oh gullible people, the Al-Qassam
Brigades advise you to start looking for an honorable way out of this
miserable decision, otherwise we promise you that the same hands that voted
in favor of this decision will vote again to cancel it...

"As for you, Zionist public, your leadership and those who coordinate with
it [i.e. the PA] aim to thwart the rehabilitation of Gaza. We say to them
again: when we and our people run out of patience, the repercussions will
be felt by the public and the leadership of the enemy. We warn you of the
moment of explosion. Our people have taught the enemy that [this explosion]
is never in its favor."[13]

Hamas Political Bureau Member Khalil Al-Hayyah: Resistance Will Spread
Throughout Occupied Palestine, The West Bank And Jerusalem

Hamas public political bureau member Khalil Al-Hayyah also threatened that
armed resistance would erupt throughout Palestine: "The prisoners are the
apple of our eye and our life's breath. If the enemy evades agreements we
know how to obligate him to honor them, just as we obligated him to honor
previous agreements." Al-Hayyah emphasized that his movement would accept
nothing less than Gaza's rehabilitation and the lifting of the siege, and
warned of the approaching explosion. He added: "We will wage resistance
throughout occupied Palestine, in the West Bank and Jerusalem. It will be
concentrated in the West Bank, and Gaza will continue supporting and
kindling resistance until all Palestine has been liberated. Zionists and the
occupation have no place on [even] an inch of Palestine or Jerusalem, the
unified capital of Palestine"[14]

Mash'al In Skype Interview With 'Al-Risalah' Editorial Board: Confrontation
With Occupation Must Be Waged In Gaza, The West Bank, The 1948 Areas, And
Even In The Diaspora


As part of the events marking the anniversary of Hamas' establishment, Hamas
political bureau head Khaled Mash'al gave a filmed interview to the website
of Hamas' mouthpiece Al-Risalah. In it, he expressed readiness to reach an
intra-Palestinian agreement on the struggle's strategy but said that as long
as no such agreement was reached, "Hamas would continue to adhere to
resistance in all its forms, first and foremost armed resistance, and would
not cease to build up the resistance on the West Bank." Mash'al noted that
"the creativity of the resistance and the Al-Qassam Brigades is unlimited
and Gaza in particular furnishes a model for overcoming obstacles in its
path, and stressed, "The confrontation with the occupation must not be
confined to Gaza alone, but it is the responsibility of the Palestinian
people and everyone in the West Bank, in Jerusalem, and the occupied [1948
areas of the] interior and even in the diaspora areas."[15]

Senior Hamas Official Criticizes The Celebrations: We Are Fed Up With
Partisan Slogans

There were also those who criticized the anniversary celebrations. Senior
Hamas official Dr. Ahmad Yousuf, who lives in the West Bank and has in
recent years been critical of the movement, wrote on his Facebook page:
"Hamas [recently] announced that it had canceled its annual rally. We
welcomed this [news] and said, 'Well done, Hamas.' Following this, the
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine [also] canceled its rally and
we said, thank God, everybody has started thinking about the suffering of
the residents in the devastated areas ... And then, all of a sudden, Hamas
[held] celebrations in more than four areas and with processions
indistinguishable from the main rally! The question remains: if Fatah asks
to hold a similar procession, will the security apparatuses allow it, or
will they obstruct it?...

"I say again, spare us all this partisan activity and give us a national
spectacle that will heal the wounds [via intra-Palestinian reconciliation].
We are fed up with partisan slogans, partisan colors, partisan voices and
partisan weapons. This is everyone's homeland and our national program is
one. Don't distort its melodies. We love everyone who is in it. May Allah
forgive us and guide us on the proper path."[16]

Endnotes:



[1] Palinfo.com, December 12, 2014;Paltimes.net, December 12, 2014.


[2] Palinfo.com, December 14, 2014.


[3] It should be mentioned that Palestinian President Mahmoud 'Abbas
recently called Hamas "liars" in an interview with the Egyptian daily Akhbar
Al-Yawm. See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 5898, "'Abbas In Interview: Six
Million Refugees Want To Return, And I Am One Of Them; Hamas And The MB Are
Liars; Hillary Clinton Phoned Me And Asked Me To Persuade President Mubarak
To Step Down," December 5, 2014.


[4] Palinfo.com, December 12, 2014.


[5] Alresalah.ps, December 14, 2014.


[6] Palinfo.com, December 12, 2014.


[7] Paltimes.net, December 12, 2014.


[8] Alresalah.ps, December 14, 2014.


[9] State.gov, December 7, 2014.


[10] Felesteen.ps, December 12, 2014.


[11] Paltimes.net, December 12, 2014.


[12] Palinfo.com, December 14, 201; Felesteen.ps, December 15, 2014.


[13] Palinfo.com, December 14, 2014.


[14] Almoslim.net, December 14, 2014; Al-Hayat (London), December 15, 2014.


[15] Al-Resalah.ps, December 14, 2014.


[16] Al-Hayat (London), December 15, 2014



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