As we commemorate the 66th anniversary of the Nakba (catastrophe) which the Palestinian people endured, we recall one of the most terrible crimes against humanity, where our country, Palestine, was subjected to ethnic cleansing and collective transfer to an extent that has no equivalent in modern history. The overwhelming majority of our people were transferred forcibly through terrorism, murder, massacres and destruction of hundreds of villages and towns, as a consequence of the Zionist movement colonial plans.
After expressing our admiration to our people, and saluting our martyrs’ memory, I seize this opportunity to address to the great people of Palestine, wherever they are, with the following message:
- The right of return for Palestine’s refugees to their homes, from which they were forcibly transferred, is a sacred right that can not be compromised, a right guaranteed by international law and enshrined in UN General Assembly resolution 194. Any solution that does not guarantee this right of return enjoys no legitimacy.
- I reiterate my praise for the national reconciliation agreement that I have called for repeatedly, and worked towards, including from behind bars, through the elaboration of the prisoners’ document. Unity is the law of victory for national liberation movements and for oppressed peoples, and we call on all parties to protect this reconciliation agreement and to guarantee all the conditions for its success by removing all obstacles to the achievement of national unity.
- I reiterate the call for elaborating a comprehensive national strategy to confront the great challenges facing our people and threatening our cause, notably occupation and colonisation, the judaization of Jerusalem, and attacks against Muslim and Christian holy sites, particularly the Al Aqsa Mosque.
- We must continue to accede to international conventions and agencies, so as to embody our Statehood and to shield our people’s rights. We must also keep urging for accountability by isolating Israel politically and economically, as was done with the Apartheid regime in South Africa. It is time to advance economic boycott at the Palestinian, Arab and international levels and to boycott the Occupying Power on the political, diplomatic and security levels. It is also necessary to upgrade popular resistance and to ensure wide participation in it.
- The failure of negotiations for over two decades is a result of Israel’s refusal to end the occupation and recognise the rights of the Palestinian people, including its right to self-determination. This entails the establishment of an independent State of Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital and the implementation of UNGA resolution 194 concerning Palestinian refugees. There is no peace partner in Israel, and in this context, we cannot rely on the ‘stick’ of negotiations as it has been undermined by occupation and colonisation. Negotiations will only lead to the fulfilment of our national rights if they are based on international legitimacy and UN resolutions and led under the auspices of the international community, while relying on the steadfastness of our people and its struggle, in order to address the total imbalance of power.
At this occasion, as our administrative detainees pursue their open hunger strike, and all Palestinian prisoners prepare to take part in a series of solidarity actions, we call upon our people, its leadership, its political parties, and its official and popular institutions to act in solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners and their struggle.