Palestinian Factions Call for ‘Liberation Army’ Over Jerusalem

Palestinian Muslim worshippers shout slogans during Friday prayer at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City on December 8, 2017
AFP

TEL AVIV — Representatives of various Palestinian factions are calling for the establishment of a national “army” of liberation.

The joint call came during a special conference held in Gaza under the rallying cry “Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Palestine” attended by delegates like Mahmoud al-Aloul, the deputy chair of Fatah, the movement led by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, as well as a representative of the umbrella organization of clerics from the Muslim world and others like former Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki.

Sheikh Nafez Azzam, a member of Islamic Jihad’s politburo, called on the Palestinian Authority “to take this historic opportunity to understand that the U.S. won’t be able to impose any sanctions and declare the failure of the Oslo process.”

“The U.S., which took an entire continent from the Indians, now wants to give Jerusalem to Israel and falsify history,” added Hamas official Dr. Mahmoud al-Zahar, ignoring Judaism’s historical ties to Jerusalem. “We say to the Americans: Aren’t the Palestinians the Indians?”

According to al-Zahar, Trump thinks that Jerusalem can be bought for money.

“Jerusalem is a divine miracle, from which the Prophet ascended to heaven,” said al-Zahar. “We are a people capable of defeating the Zionists; we are the people who initiated the suicide attacks that destroyed the ambitions of the Zionists.”

The Fatah deputy al-Aloul said that Trump’s decision created an opportunity for the Palestinian people to reconsider its relations with the U.S. “Yes, this is the time to put an end to the Americans’ deceitful position,” he said. “The Arab world and the Muslims need to adjust their compass to Jerusalem.”

A representative of the International Union of Muslim Scholars spoke at the conference remotely as did an Iranian representative who stressed that the defense of Jerusalem is “the defense of Baghdad, Tehran, Sana’a, Algeria and the rest of the Muslims countries.”

Others called for the abandonment of the path of negotiations and for Arab countries to put aside normalization and create a national army that would fight for the “liberation” of Jerusalem and Palestine.

Meanwhile, Fatah and other factions in the PLO called on Palestinians in Nablus and across the West Bank to continue their struggle against Trump’s declaration regarding Jerusalem by convening a mass rally in the city center to escalate the situation.

Fatah’s calls come just days before the organization is due to celebrate 53 years since its founding.

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