Palestinians in the Gaza Strip continued to express outrage over US President Donald Trump calling out the Hamas movement in a list of terrorist organizations during a speech in Riyadh on Saturday before 50 leaders of Arab and Muslim-majority countries.
Palestinians in Gaza from across the political spectrum united in denouncing the remarks, which have been interpreted as a blanket condemnation of all forms of Palestinian resistance.
“No description of the suffering and depravity can begin to capture its full measure. The true toll of ISIS, al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, and so many others, must be counted not only in the number of dead. It must also be counted in generations of vanished dreams,” Trump said, in his first speech delivered abroad since taking office.
— Michael Lee (@MichaelLee2009) May 23, 2017
Shortly after the speech was broadcast, Hamas reacted by accusing Trump of “complete bias” toward the policies of the Israeli occupation by designating the movement as a terrorist organization.
The designation “denies the Palestinian people’s legitimate right to resistance to liberate their land and holy places,” Hamas, which identifies as a Islamist national resistance movement, said.
Hamas denounced Trump’s message at the summit in Saudi Arabia – which focused heavily on what he called “the crisis of Islamist extremism” – for attempting to divide the Muslim world, as Trump meanwhile “ignores the Zionist crimes of killing children and women and demolishing the roofs over their heads.”
Hamas says Trump smeared Palestinian 'resistance' https://t.co/ijUbEMvujg
— Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye) May 22, 2017
Israeli officials have routinely claimed that Palestinian armed resistance is part of an international rise in Islamist extremism, while many Palestinians have instead pointed chiefly to the frustration and despair brought on by Israel’s decades-long military occupation of the Palestinian territory and the absence of a political horizon.
The Palestinian Popular Resistance Committees organized a rally in Rafah city in the southern besieged coastal enclave Monday evening protesting Trump’s remarks.
Dozens of supporters crowded at Shuhada Square in the center of the city and torched US flags, as well as photos and an effigy of Donald Trump.
“Palestinian resistance is a source of pride for the nation fighting its enemy and occupier and trying to liberate its country,” leader of the Popular Resistance Committees Abu Fares al-Shamali said.
— Palestine Foundation (@plfpak) May 23, 2017
Trump’s remarks, al-Shamali added, were blindly throwing US support behind the interests of Israeli occupation, “which is the true source of terrorism and violence in the region and in the world,” he said.
On Tuesday, anti-Trump protests raged on in the small Palestinian territory.
Trump’s visit to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory was also met with a widely observed general strike and protests in the occupied West Bank, with a combined message of support for a mass hunger strike under way in Israeli prisons, and also to voice opposition to the resumption of peace talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israel under US sponsorship.
(Maan, PC, Social Media)