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April 9, 2018 No.
7421

Hamas Pays Families Of Gazans Killed Or Wounded In 'Return March'

Hamas is continuing to encourage Gazans to participate in the Great Return March.[1] On April 5, 2018, ahead of the second Friday of the protests, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem revealed that the movement is granting financial aid to the families of Gazans killed or wounded in the confrontations on the border. The sums range from $3,000 for the family of a "martyr" to $200 for protesters moderately injured. Concurrently, Hamas officials reiterated their determination to continue the marches on the Israeli border, and threatened that these confrontations will "erupt in the face of the Israeli occupation" and will be a turning point in Palestinian history.

The following are excerpts from some of their statements:


Return March protesters (image: Aljazeera.com,March 30, 2018)

Hamas Spokesman: Families Of Martyrs Receive $3,000, Protesters Seriously Wounded Receive $500, Protesters Moderately Wounded Receive $200

Addressing the aid granted to the families of the martyrs and wounded, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said: "The financial aid granted by the [Hamas] movement to the families of the martyrs and the wounded does not compensate them for what they lost and is not on a par with the sacrifice they made for the sake of our people and our just cause... [The aid] is part of [Hamas's] social and national duty to support our people as they steadfastly struggle for return, liberty and the breaking of the siege... The Hamas movement will continue supporting the struggle of our people by every means and every method, despite the difficult situation in the Gaza strip." Specifying the sums granted to the families, Qassem stated that the family of a martyr receives $3,000, the family of a protester seriously wounded receives $500, and the family of a protester moderately wounded receives $200.[2]  

Hamas Officials: Return March Will Continue Until Historical Turning Point Is Reached; This Is The Era Of Resistance And Liberation

As mentioned, statements by Hamas spokesmen and officials, some of whom visited the protest areas on the Israeli border, expressed their determination to continue leading the marches until they achieve their declared goals: the implementation of the right of return and the breaking of the siege on Gaza. The head of Hamas's political bureau in Gaza, Yahya Al-Sinwar, said that the return marches are a supreme national cause that must be scrupulously upheld. Visiting a protesters' camp east of Khan Younis, he said: "Gaza will neither go hungry and nor give up the national project... If we erupt, it will be in the face of the Israeli occupation... We are in the era of resistance and liberation. We go [on this march] today in order to declare to the whole world that Gaza is free and that we will [continue marching] in the coming days. They can excpect our next march [to take place soon]."[3]

Hamas political bureau member Mahmoud Al-Zahhar described the Return March as a turning point in Palestinian history. In an interview he gave while visiting a protest camp east of Gaza City, he said: "The Palestinian people... are stronger than any [political] faction, and their deeply-rooted identity is stronger than the 1967 borders or the 1948 borders... The people have come to take part in the return marches, [armed with] their lives and their patience, in order to say to all the relevant parties that the [Palestinians] will not [tolerate] any infringement upon [the principles of either] land or ideology. For whoever collaborates with the occupation harms the [Palestinian] ideology, and whoever accepts the 1967 borders harms the principle of land, and whoever gives up even an inch of land harms the Palestinians' fundamental principles... We reiterate our loyalty and commitment to our people and our land, our Jerusalem and our holy sites. We shall not stray from our path or lose our way... The day we step into the occupied land and pray there, you will recall that we promised you that we would pray in Jerusalem while placing chains around the necks of Lieberman and Netanyahu."[4]   


Mahmoud Al-Zahhar visits a protest camp

 

[2] Hamas.ps, April 5, 2018.

[3] Hamas.ps, April 6, 2018.

[4] Felesteen.ps, April 7, 2018.