A memorial to Saddam Hussein has recently been erected in the city of Qalqilya in the Palestinian Authority (PA) territories, and a street has been named for him, in appreciation of his support for the Palestinians throughout the years. The monument, revealed at a ceremony attended by Qalqilya District Governor Rafi' Rawajba, Arab Liberation Front secretary Rakad Salem, and Qalqilya City Council member Hani Ja'idi, bears the slogan "Saddam Hussein – The Master of the Martyrs in Our Age," as well as "Arab Palestine from the River to the Sea," which was one of the slogans used by Hussein.
The ceremony also featured speeches in praise of Saddam Hussein. Governor Rawajba said: "Saddam was an emblem of heroism, honor, originality and defiance, as was the martyr Yasser Arafat. [Both served as] a compass for the Arabs and their resolute decisions, and when they departed, Arabism departed with them. President Abu Mazen [Mahmoud 'Abbas] makes sure to follow in the footsteps of these two great leaders." He added that "The absence [of Saddam Hussein] is the absence of Arabism, since after his departure, the rebels dispersed in every direction, for he was the patron of [all] rebels." City Council member Hani Ja'idi said that "loyalty to the martyrs is proof of adherence to rights and principles that shall not wane as long as honorable people uphold them... This monument commemorates the martyrs and great leaders." Arab Liberation Front secretary Rakad Salam also spoke, "on behalf of the Arab Ba'th party and the Arab Liberation Front." He reviewed "the glorious deeds of the martyr Saddam Hussein and his support for the liberation movements, in particular the Palestinian revolution and the PLO." Saluting Hussein and Arafat, he stressed the need to "deepen national unity in order to stand firm in the face of all the plots that are concocted against our people."
The memorial inauguration ceremony (image: Facebook.com/qalqilia.gov, October 18, 2017)
The memorial (image: Facebook.com/qalqilya.alhadath, September 19, 2017)
The monument bears the slogan "Arab Palestine from the River to the Sea" (image: Facebook.com/qalqilia.gov, October 18, 2017)