TEL AVIV – Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas threatened that “millions of fighters” would enter Jerusalem, and promised that “martyrs” — convicted terrorists — would continue to get every penny of the so-called pay-for-slay scheme because they are the most “sacred” thing the Palestinians have.
His fire-and-brimstone diatribe was delivered earlier this month during a rare visit to the Jalazone Refugee Camp near Ramallah in the West Bank days after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended a ceremony marking the construction of new homes in the nearby settlement of Beit El.
Regarding the PA’s policy of paying convicted terrorists and their families monthly stipends, Abbas said, “We will not accept their designation of our martyrs as terrorists. Our martyrs are the martyrs of the homeland.”
“We will not allow them to deduct a single penny from their money. All the money will go back to them, because the martyrs, the wounded, and the prisoners are the most sacred things we have,” he was quoted as saying, according to a translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), a media watchdog site.
The audience can be heard chanting, “To Jerusalem we march, martyrs by the millions!”
To which Abbas responded, “We shall enter Jerusalem — millions of fighters! We shall enter it! All of us, the entire Palestinian people, the entire Arab nation, the Islamic nation, and the Christian nation,” Abbas said. “They shall all enter Jerusalem.”
Settlements and homes built by Jews “will all go to the dustbins of history,” Abbas said.
“We shall remain [here], and nobody can remove us from our homeland,” the leader continued. “If they want, they themselves can leave. Those who are foreign to this land have no right to it. So we say to them: Every stone you have [used] to build on our land, and every house you have built on our land, is bound to be destroyed, Allah willing.”
Abbas backed up his remarks with the outlandish claim that Palestinians are indigenous to the land of Israel and are the “Canaanites who were here 5,000 years ago.”
“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,” he said.
The PA president’s comments were an apparent response to Netanyahu’s remarks that Palestinians have roots in the Arabian Peninsula.
Netanyahu last month tweeted: “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.”
He accompanied his tweet with an article on a study that shows the biblical Philistines, who some Palestinians claim to be the descendants of, came from somewhere outside the Middle East.