Abbas vows to ‘liberate’ all of ‘Palestine’ – including Jerusalem

The Palestinian Authority chairman pledges to “get rid of the occupation” and praises terrorists for fighting against Israel.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas visited Jenin Wednesday, giving a speech in which he tried to project a show of force against both Israel and Hamas.

“Everyone works to stay in the homeland until we liberate this entire country with Jerusalem as its capital,” he said, talking to several hundred supporters of his Fatah movement at the entrance to the refugee camp adjacent to the city.

“We will remain in our country, and we will not leave it until God bequeaths [us] the land and those on it, and until they leave our land,” he added, seemingly referring to any and all Israelis.

“We must get rid of the occupation and tell them to leave us,” he repeated.

Abbas praised the violence stemming from Jenin that caused the IDF to enter last week in a two-day anti-terror operation that netted more than a hundred terror suspects and over a thousand explosive devices and weapons, while destroying several weapon factories and other terrorist infrastructure.

“The steadfast Jenin and its heroic camp are the… icon of struggle, steadfastness and defiance,” he said, that “stood firm in the face of aggression… and gave everything it had for the sake of the homeland.”

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Twelve terrorists were also killed during the armed clashes, all of them belonging to Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). Israel was careful to target only those groups, staying away from those affiliated with Fatah, the dominant movement in the PA, although its activists have also taken credit for recent attacks against Israelis in Judea and Samaria and called for even more violence last week.

In another sign of support for those he deemed “righteous martyrs,” Abbas lay a wreath on their graves in the local cemetery.

Almost half of Jenin residents say they identify with Hamas and PIJ rather than the Palestinian Authority which ostensibly controls the city. Abbas’ associates acknowledged that the visit was meant to prove that the PA is indeed in charge in Jenin, with several senior PA officials accompanying him, including Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh and the man believed by many to be his hand-picked successor, PLO Executive Committee Secretary-General Hussein al-Sheikh.

Abbas told the audience that the PA would rebuild the parts of Jenin that were damaged by the IDF operation, thanking the UAE and Algeria for providing tens of millions of dollars for the effort.

He also touted Palestinian unity, issuing an implicit warning to his Islamist rivals, Hamas and the PIJ.

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“We came to say that we are one authority, one country, one law, one security and stability, and that we will cut off the hand of the one who harms the unity of our people and its security,” he said.

Al Araby reported that no stage had been set up for the presidential address, and that the sound system was faulty as well, making it difficult for the crowd to hear him. During one of the technical glitches, dozens of young men began chanting, “Brigade, Brigade,” referring to the Jenin Brigades, a local branch of the PIJ that began operations against Israel in 2021.

This was Abbas’ first appearance in Jenin in over a decade, and he did not enter the refugee camp at all, only speaking at its entrance gate. About a thousand members of the Presidential Guard were brought in to assure the safety of the Palestinian leadership, and there were no protests during the approximately two-hour long visit.