On May 22, 2016, Palestinian Presidency Secretary-General Al-Tayeb 'Abd Al-Rahim delivered a speech on behalf of Palestinian President Mahmoud 'Abbas to a group of Palestinian National Security Forces. The speech was part of a ceremony celebrating their second-place win in the international 8th Annual Warrior Competition, which took place in Jordan on May 2-6, 2016.
In his speech, 'Abd Al-Rahim condemned attempts to intimidate the Palestinian people and divert it from its path, and called such attempts futile, as "our [Palestinian] people loves death more than life." He added that the National Security Forces victory was a step on the way to establishing an independent Palestinian state, and rejected the notion of establishing a separate independent entity in Gaza, or a state with temporary borders in the West Bank alone.
The following are excerpts from the speech:
'Abd Al-Rahim speaking at the ceremony (Al-Ayyam, PA, May 23, 2016)
"Today we celebrate the Palestinian man, who suffers a lack of means and opportunity, but has will power and is determined to keep the Palestinian flag flying so that it [the flag] remains in the hearts of peace-loving and liberty-loving peoples. We were very happy with this victory [in the Warrior Competition], and the honorable president and commander-in-chief, president Abu Mazen [Mahmoud 'Abbas], has expressed his esteem for the brothers who won this award and his pride in their achievements. Many commanders in Arab military institutions have also expressed their pride in this new Palestinian man, who is always new and always renewing [himself].
"The occupation wagered that we would forget our cause and that, as the generations passed, we would dissolve into the societies around us... However, the occupation was the first to realize that each new generation was more determined and had a stronger desire to achieve the goals that the martyrs had died for in the distant and the near past and [are still dying for] in the present. Our blood is still being spilled at the roadblocks and the checkpoints by the gangs of settlers and the extremist soldiers of the occupation, some of whom have acknowledged that they do not act according to moral standards when facing our people and children...
"Occupiers are always destined to fail. This fact should be in our minds forever. We must always cling to hope. Our morale will not be influenced or shaken by anything. We will not grow soft or deviate towards personal interests for the sake of dubious goals such as establishing a state or an emirate in Gaza, or establishing a state with temporary borders in the West Bank. We must always tirelessly stick to our truth, and our faith in victory must never falter. It is the faith in our hearts that will lead us to our rights and to the realization of our righteous and legitimate goals...
"Every achievement is a step on the road to establishing an independent state and strengthens our belief that the future is ours, that tyrants will disappear, and that the aggressors will end up in the trash bin of history. Indeed, they are trying to intimidate us today with people who threatened to strike Gaza or the Aswan Dam [a reference to incoming Israeli defense minister Avigdor Liberman], but these threats are hollow as we are a people who loves death more than life when it fights for Palestine."