Leila Khaled: Palestinians United behind Resistance

The Palestinian people are united behind the resistance, which is legitimate as long as Israel occupies Palestinian land, national icon Leila Khaled said Monday.

“Your people in the diaspora kiss the ground you walk on because it’s the land of Palestine,” Khaled told crowds during a visit to the northern Gaza home of Naem al-Kafarneh, who was killed by Israeli forces.

“In your last battle, you registered epic resistance and determination,” said Khaled, a politburo member and former fighter of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. “We heard pride … the voice of resistance and determination.”

Israel’s eight-day operation on Gaza, which ended with a ceasefire on Nov. 21, would not be the last war, Khaled said, adding that Israel’s aggression began in 1948.

“I don’t expect to win after the first half of the battle, it’s an open battle that is being transferred through generations,” she said.

Khaled said lessons must be drawn from the war, and warned that Israel would continue to strike the resistance and to attack Palestinian steadfastness through its blockade and by destroying homes.

“We do not accept this occupation to remain on Palestinian land,” she said, adding that Israel should be assured “our left hand is always on the trigger.”

Khaled, from Haifa, was among hundreds of thousands of Palestinians forced to flee their homes during the creation of Israel in 1948, a period remembered by Palestinians as the Nakba, or catastrophe.

“We are the generation of the Nakba … We tell all martyrs we are still committed to the testament and your blood will not be wasted.

“I tell all prisoners, you are our heroes who lit the light for us to Haifa, Jaffa and Akka. This is what I have learned from the PFLP and from the determination and resistance of our people.”

Khaled warned that the rights of millions of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes could not be bargained away, and said Palestinians had died for this right.

She demanded that Palestinian leaders reconcile, and end all negotiations and security coordination with Israel.

“The Palestinian people didn’t struggle for two governments — one in the West Bank and one in Gaza — but for one homeland,” the right to return and independence.

“To the leaderships, you must listen to your people who united in marches and protests in all places and revolted in 48 areas and the West Bank, they revolted in refugee camps and the right of return for them became closer that they expected.”

She sent greetings to jailed PFLP leader Ahmad Saadat: “You will come out to freedom, you and all prisoners.”

“We are determined to follow your path and the path of our founder, George Habash and Abu Ali Mustafa and before them Wadi Haddad and Ghassan Kanafani.”

Khaled arrived in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday and has toured homes, a hospital and a kindergarten in the enclave, surveying sites destroyed during Israel’s last war.

She gained worldwide notoriety for hijacking an airplane in 1969, which she rerouted to Damascus and blew up after passengers had disembarked. She has said the pilot flew over her childhood home in Haifa at her instruction.

The PFLP icon then had plastic surgery to alter her appearance before hijacking an El-Al flight out of Rome in 1970, when her accomplice was shot dead by Israeli agents. She was briefly detained in London and freed in a prisoner swap deal.

No passengers were harmed on either flights, and Khaled has said the hijackings aimed to bring international attention to the plight of Palestinians.

She resides in Amman in Jordan.


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  1. A few more facts for balance please: “no passengers were harmed on either flight” – that’s cold comfort for the crew member that was shot by her hijacker mate before he himself was killed. And this would-be murderer (hero to many Arabs) was carrying grenades so the only reason there was no more carnage is that they killed her murderous pal and subdued her, thank goodness.

    • Since you are so knowledgeable on this subject perhaps you could give us the full lowdown on the Libyan airliner that Israel shot down in the Sinai causing the deaths of everyone of board. Just for balance that is.

      • Israelis knew that Arabs long planned to steer passenger planes filled with fuel to slam into high rise buildings such as the World Trade Center. Since the Libyan plane was heading toward Tel Aviv, Israel shot it down. 9/11 was popular with the Arab masses. You will notice that Arab homicidal maniacs did not subsequently attempt to knock down buildings in Israel. The Arab thugs knew what would happen. The Arab masses bore ultimate responsibility for the Libyan plane downing. Israel is blameless.

  2. I believe that the law of justice and logic dictates that Israel does not own any piece of that land until the Palestinians recognize Israel as…..not a state but a country. Real Estate works this way. It doesn’t matter who grants you that house but as long as the owner does not sign the deed of ownership to you it is not yours. Ask God. Israel better be real good to the Palestinians in order to get them to recognize the country of Israel or it will always be in a State of being. Israel knows that and that is why they want the Palestinians to recognize it. If you visit Israel there is always a cloud of Palestine lingering overhead, according to a famous writer. Israel better get leaders who can work with the Palestinians instead of egomaniacs who are Jews farther from reality and into insanity. Can the Jews do it. Can they see that peace is more comfortable than belligerence. We are not talking about ten years. We are talking of very long time, hundreds of years and possibly more. Do the Jews want a homeland there or are they just squatters. This comment is a question and has no relevance to either Jews or Palestinians or the situation there for a peaceful reality.

  3. Arabs own nothing in Israel and created nothing in Israel. They are interlopers who should get out and stay out unless issued an Israel visa. And while we are at it, the Turks should return Turkey to the Greeks and the Arabs should return the Maghreb to the Berbers. And the Iranians should vacate the land they occupy and return it to the Elamites.

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