Senior Hamas Official Praises Anti-Israel Demonstrations Across U.S.: 'Today's Students Are The Leaders Of Tomorrow'

April 25, 2024

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As pro-Palestinian demonstrations increase at universities across the U.S., especially at Columbia University in New York where a pro-Palestinian tent encampment was erected and protestors have been arrested, Hamas Political Bureau member 'Izzat Al-Rishq expressed support for the demonstrators. Al-Rishq described them as "standing on the correct side of history" and threatened that President Joe Biden will pay an electoral price for his support of Israel. It is notable that during a demonstration at Columbia, protestors chanted slogans in praise of the Hamas military wing, the Izz ad-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, and called to kill Israeli soldiers.[1]

Al-Rishq shared a post on his Telegram account which read, "The American government led by President Biden violates human rights and the right to freedom of expression and arrests students and members of faculty for their opposition to the collective extermination carried out by the Zionists the new Nazis against our Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip… The Biden Administration which is a partner in the brutal war against our Palestinian people is unwilling to admit that it is facing American public opinion that has discovered the truth about the Nazi entity, tends toward humanitarian values, and has chosen to stand on the correct side of history. Today's students are the leaders of tomorrow. The consequence of today's repression will be a heavy electoral price that the Biden Administration will pay sooner or later."[2]

It should be noted that the Hamas movement, in which Al-Rishq is a senior official, and which perpetrated the bloody attack on Israel on October 7, 2023, during which hundreds of Israeli civilians were murdered and captured, is also known for its harsh repression of any protest or opposition to its rule. For example, in March 2019 Gaza activists launched the "Want to Live" campaign protesting the high cost of living, rising prices, and unemployment in the Gaza Strip.

The campaign included mass demonstrations, which were violently dispersed by the Hamas security apparatuses. According to reports in the Arab press, the security forces fired in the air; beat protesters; targeted journalists and seized their equipment; carried out mass arrests of social activists, journalists, and Fatah members; and also raided homes and beat detainees.[3]

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