Abbas says Palestinians are descendants of ancient Canaanites

The Palestinian president says that God-willing, the Jewish settlements “will all disappear.”

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Calling the Jews “unexpected visitors,” Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas claimed Sunday that the Palestinians are the rightful owners of the land of Israel, saying his people are descendants of the ancient Canaanites for whom the biblical land of Canaan was named.

Speaking on the occasion of the Eid al-Adha holiday in the Jalazone refugee camp near Ramallah, Abbas said, “We will remain, and no one will be able to move us out of our homeland…. The unexpected visitor in this country has no right in this country. Thus, we tell them: ‘Every brick you laid in our land and every house you built in our land will vanish, God-willing.’”

He also denounced the Israeli Defense Ministry’s initial approval of 2,300 more homes in Judea and Samaria.

“Whatever homes they announce here or settlements there, they will all disappear, God-willing,” he said. “They will be in the dustbins of history and they will remember that this land is for its people, its residents and the Canaanites who were here 5,000 years ago. We are the Canaanites.”

“There’s no connection between the ancient Philistines & the modern Palestinians, whose ancestors came from the Arabian Peninsula to the Land of Israel thousands of years later,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted last month. He also attached a National Geographic article on a study showing that the Philistines had come to Canaan from southern Europe during the Early Bronze Age but that their gene pool had disappeared into the local population within a few centuries.

To support their claim to Israel, Palestinians have variously maintained that they were descended from three different ancient peoples who populated this corner of the Middle East in biblical times — the Canaanites, Hittites and Philistines. Abbas has mentioned the Canaanite theory before as well – such as to the U.N. Security Council in 2018.

According to the London-based Saudi paper Asharq Al-Awsat, the Palestinian president also took the opportunity to once again reject U.S. President Donald Trump’s as-yet-unrevealed peace agreement.

Abbas also “praised the Palestinian people’s honorable stance and patience” regarding the cut in salaries they have had to endure as a result of the Palestinian decision not to accept from Israel any tax transfers after Jerusalem decided to deduct the amount Ramallah pays to jailed terrorists and families of terrorists killed during attacks.