December 14, 2009 Special Dispatch No. 2694

PA Workers' Union Official Bassam Zakarneh: Hamas Leaders Hid in Tunnels, Launched Rockets From Among Children and Elderly

December 14, 2009
Palestine | Special Dispatch No. 2694

Following are excerpts from statements by Bassam Zakarneh, head of the Palestinian Authority Workers' Union, which aired on Palestinian Authority TV on November 9, 2009.

Bassam Zakarneh: "The message of the Palestinian people is clear: It will not accept anything less than the terms laid down by [Palestinian Authority] President Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas]. [Israeli President] Peres said that President [Abbas] will accept a lesser peace, because it is better than war... What he doesn’t know is that we have already accepted peace with 78% less of our land. We respond to him and to [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu, who says that Jerusalem is just like Tel Aviv, by saying that Haifa is just like Jenin.


"We have said that the Palestinian people will continue with its struggle and its long-term popular war. We have stressed this to all the factions. All options are open. The Fatah convention determined that all options are open – including the option of armed struggle. This is our clear message to everybody.


"After the [UN discussion of the Goldstone Report] was postponed, voices criticized us: 'Because of you, the blood of 1,400 martyrs was spilt in vain.' This was heard especially from the mouthpieces of the Hamas movement, from the same leaders who used these martyrs as sandbags, while they hid in tunnels. They would place a missile, cover it with a tent, amid buildings with 200 children and old people, and they would launch the missile and hide.


"When the Goldstone Report was endorsed, we did not hear all those TV channels, the Hamas movement, or even the former candidate for prime minister of the Hebrew state, our brother, Azmi Bishara, who is always ready. When he is told to come and curse, he shows up."

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