Palestinians launch ‘popular resistance’ to foil normalization accords

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Palestinians announced the formation of a group called The Unified National Leadership of Popular Resistance that called for a "comprehensive popular struggle."

In the context of Palestinian efforts to thwart normalization between Israel and Arab states, the Palestinians announced on Sunday the formation of a group called the Unified National Leadership of Popular Resistance.

The group, consisting of representatives of various Palestinian factions, is reminiscent of the Unified National Leadership of the Uprising that operated during the First Intifada, which erupted in 1987.

The formation of the group is seen by some Palestinians as a call for launching a new intifada against Israel.

“This is the beginning of the Third Intifada,” a Fatah official told The Jerusalem Post. “This is the only way the world will listen to us. We want to place the Palestinian issue back at the top of the world’s agenda.”

On Sunday morning, the new group published its first statement. It called for a “comprehensive popular struggle that won’t end until the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.”

The statement was repeatedly broadcast on the Palestinian Authority’s official Palestine TV station – a sign that the PA leadership has endorsed it, even though it refers to Israel as “our major enemy” and pledges that the “revolution and resistance will continue until victory.”

Addressing a meeting of leaders of Palestinian factions in Beirut and Ramallah last week, PA President Mahmoud Abbas said: “The time has come to form a leadership of peaceful popular resistance.”

The group called on Palestinians to consider September 15 – the day when the signing ceremony of the agreements between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain is scheduled to take place – as a day of protests in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. On this day, Palestinians will raise Palestinian flags “to express their refusal of the raising of the flag of occupation, murder and racism in Abu Dhabi and Manama,” the group said in its statement.

It also called on the Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims to demonstrate in front of the embassies of the US, the UAE and Bahrain on the same day to “denounce the shameful agreements.”

In addition, the group declared September 18 as a “mourning day” during which black flags will be raised over homes and buildings to condemn the agreements between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain.”

On the same day, churches will ring their bells in mourning, and Friday sermons at mosques will be dedicated to talking about the “betrayal of the central issue of the Arabs and Muslims.”Another Palestinian group, the National and Islamic Forces, an alliance of various Palestinian factions, also called for widespread protests on September 15.

The group called for holding a protest in Ramallah during the signing ceremony at the White House.The group welcomed the establishment of the Unified National Leadership of Popular Resistance, denounced the normalization accords as “agreements of shame” and accused the UAE and Bahrain of being part of a “conspiracy to undermine Palestinian steadfastness and liquidate the Palestinian issue.”

Senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmed accused the Arab League of “betraying itself by permitting the US administration to dominate it.”Last week, the Arab League foreign ministers refused to endorse a Palestinian draft resolution condemning the UAE for its normalization agreement with Israel. The move was seen as a severe blow to the Palestinians.

The Palestinians have doubts as to whether all the Arab countries are still committed to the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, which talks about normalization between the Arab world and Israel after the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, Ahmed said.

Hamas welcomed the establishment of the Unified Leadership of Popular Resistance and said it would pave the way for achieving unity among the Palestinians.

The decision to form the new group came in response to the normalization agreements between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain, said Hussam Badran, a senior Hamas official. He expressed confidence that the Palestinian street would be able to take steps “that would turn the table in the face of all those involved in projects aiming to liquidate the Palestinian cause.”

Source: This article first appeared on the Jerusalem Post



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