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May 21, 2020
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Saleh Al-Arouri, Deputy Head Of Hamas Political Bureau: There Will Be An Intifada Very Soon; Qasem Soleimani Had Been Very Active In Supporting Our Fight against Israel

#8014 | 08:20
Source: Mayadeen TV (Lebanon)

Saleh Al-Arouri, the Deputy Head of the Hamas Political Bureau, said in a May 21, 2020 interview on Mayadeen TV (Lebanon) that he believes a massive Intifada in the West Bank is very near because of possible Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank and because today’s diplomatic and political circumstances are similar to those that had preceded previous Intifadas. In addition, he praised PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ recent statement that the PA is no longer bound by any of its agreements with the U.S. or Israel and he said that the Palestinians are ready to pay the price of martyrdom and suffering for a war for independence and freedom. Later in the interview, Al-Arouri said that Iran’s support for the Palestinian resistance is unwavering, that he had met former IRGC Qods Force Commander General Qasem Soleimani on multiple occasions, that Soleimani had been very active in helping the Palestinian resistance groups during wars against Israel in 2006 and in 2009, that Hamas will never agree to a two-state solution, and that financial aid that Hamas receives from Qatar is brotherly, unconditional aid from a country that supports the Palestinian cause.

Interviewer: "Is it possible that the armed resistance will return to the West Bank?"

Saleh Al-Arouri: "I believe that it is very possible and that it may happen sooner than people expect. In the Second Intifada, after the negotiations in Camp David, Taba, and Cairo... Sorry, in Camp David and Taba... The situation before the Intifada had been similar to what we have today. The security coordination was at its peak and the resistance was being suppressed by the occupation and even by the [Palestinian] security forces and their policies. But when the political track reached a dead end... As soon as Abu Ammar [Arafat] - may Allah have mercy upon him -  made the decision to stop the security coordination and to stop the futile negotiations with the occupation... The martyr Abu Ammar made this decision, and our people mustered the strength and the capability to launch an Intifada again and it out forward the most brilliant manifestations of heroism and resistance. The second Intifada was the most violent wave of resistance against the occupation. It forced the occupation to withdraw unilaterally from Gaza and from parts of the West Bank, and to recognize the Palestinian state... All this happened in the wake of the Second Intifada, which has caused a profound change in the reality in Palestine, as well as the way the Arab and Islamic world approached the Palestinian cause."

Interviewer: "So the resistance, Mr. Al-Arouri..."

Al-Arouri: "I believe that we are standing at the doorstep of a similar stage."

Interviewer: "So the armed struggle in the West Bank is closer than many people expect..."

Al-Arouri: "I believe so. The measure that the occupation is about to take, by declaring the annexation of large areas in the West Bank, will be an addition to the American declaration that the U.S. recognizes Jerusalem to be the [Israeli] entity's capital, as well as to America's recognition of the legality of the settlements. Some measures that have been taken with regard to Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Palestine, will soon bring us to the point of explosion. I believe that if they move on to declare the annexation of parts of the West Bank - and perhaps they intent to annex practically most of the West Bank, by means of the divisions they suggest... I believe that we will be approaching the explosion of a massive Intifada that will change this reality and that will reflect positively on our people and our cause. This Intifada will serve as a real and practical response to the Zionist occupation.


"We welcome [Mahmoud Abbas's] measure and we are very happy about this decision, but I have to tell you that sadly this is not the first time that we hear declarations about the annulment of the agreements with the [Zionist] entity, while the practical implementation of this ended up being something completely different. I hope that this time this position and this decision are serious. We hope that this is real and we are ready to bear the consequences. Waging a war against the occupation has consequences. We all pay the price. Our people pay with martyrs, prisoners, deportees, and suffering, but such is the war for independence, for freedom, and for defeating the occupation. This war for Jerusalem and for our holy places is worthy of our sacrifices.


"In the Hamas movement, we are completely convinced that the position of the Islamic Republic [of Iran] toward the Palestinian cause, Jerusalem, and the resistance, is a fixed position that never changes.


"Honestly, even in times when the relations grew cold, the support of the Islamic Republic for the resistance never changed. Therefore, we in the Hamas movement view the Islamic Republic of Iran as a supporter of the Palestinian people and as a supporter of the Arab and Islamic rights in Palestine, in its confrontation with the Zionist entity.


"I met Hajj Qasem [Soleimani] for the first time in Damascus. It was in the presence of Abu Walid [Khaled Mashal], the head of the movement back then. I had heard about Soleimani, but had never met him before. So I met him for the first time in 2010 or 2011.


"Then the relations grew stronger and there were multiple meetings with Hajj Qasem, recently and when I left for Beirut... I also travelled to Tehran multiple times.


"In our recent visit to Tehran, when we met with the Supreme Leader [Khamenei], we explained the situation... He follows what's going on in Palestine closely. We talked with the Supreme Leader about the needs of the resistance, in order to be able to create a larger and more successful confrontation with the Zionist entity. Hajj Qasem was present. The Supreme Leader said to Hajj Qasem: 'It is our duty to provide anything the resistance in Palestine and Hamas need.' Hajj Qasem answered him: 'I will take care of this.' Then we had a private meeting. As I've told you, he would come up with ideas how to support the resistance with everything it needs. He was a brave and courageous man who was trustworthy in all that relates to supporting the resistance. Our experience with him, in everything related to Palestine, was always brilliantly positive. In the 2006 war, he was in the operations room all the time, as was revealed last year. In the 2008-2009 war, he was with the brothers in Damascus. There were representatives of the military apparatus there and they would meet all the time to discuss the maps, the figures, and what was happening in the field.


"Our position does not tolerate any compromise. If we were offered to recognize the entity on half of Palestine while we take the other half, we would not accept this compromise. We will take any inch of our land [that is offered], but we will not recognize the [Zionist] entity. So you think that for a few dozens or hundreds of millions [of Qatar's dollars] we will reach a compromise about our right to stage resistance and fight the occupation? That's nonsense. The truth is that the brothers in Qatar - the state and the people - have always supported the Palestinian cause and the rights of the Palestinians.


"We have been to Qatar and we have met multiple times with the Emir and with his father before him. Not even once has Qatar mentioned any condition in exchange for this aid.


"Excessive pressure on Gaza might blow up the situation in the face of the Zionist entity and the entire region. This is why the occupation lets aid in, not just from Qatar. It lets in any aid that comes for the Palestinian people, because if the situation in Gaza blows up, it will blow up first of all in the face of the occupation. So the Qatari money is brotherly aid that stems from national and pan-Arab patriotism. It is respected humanitarian aid that is unconditional."

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