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Mahmoud Abbas
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Abbas: Bloodshed not in vain
Palestinian president says 'Nakba Day' fatalities unavoidable sacrifice en route to statehood

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas commented Sunday on the violent clashes of 'Nakba Day' saying that "The blood of the Nakba fatalities was not spilled in vain. They died for the Palestinian people's rights and freedom."

 

In a special "Nakba Day" speech, Abbas said the Palestinians "can feel their state coming together and that the world supports the end of Israeli occupation."

 

Abbas commended Palestinian protesters who participated in the day's events: "They have proven that right is stronger than time and that the will of the people has been – and always will be – stronger than the occupation."

 

He further commended the Palestinian unity deal between Fatah and Hamas, saying that the PA knows Israel is pushing the notion – especially vis-à-vis the US –  that the unity means the Palestinians have turned their backs on peace.

 

Abbas stressed that the Palestinians were committed to peace and to all previously-signed agreements.

 

Meanwhile, Hamas seemed encouraged by the mass 'Nakba Day' rallies, describing them as "a turning point in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

 

Sunday's events "prove that the Palestinian people want to end the occupation and achieve the return (of Palestinian refugees) and that they will not back down, no matter the price," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said.

 

"The Palestinian people made it clear today that it was returning to its land," added Zuhri, who said Israel was responsible for killing innocent civilians. He further called on the international community to "condemn Israel's crimes against non-violent protesters."

 

Fatah, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad held an emergency meeting in Gaza Sunday night, to discuss the possible ramifications of the day's events.

 

The factions decided to declare Monday a day of mourning in Gaza Strip, marked by a general strike. Abbas further ordered all Palestinian flags to fly at half-mast.

 

 

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