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Fatah official criticizes March of Return riots: "We do not need to be happy when a Martyr falls; when a child or woman's foot is severed… our wealth should not be our fallen Martyrs"

Official PA TV Live  |
Official PA TV Live, special broadcast of activities to mark the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day – commemorating “the catastrophe” of Israel’s establishment, hosting Fatah leader in the Gaza Strip Muhammad Joudeh Al-Nahal in the Gaza studio

Fatah leader in the Gaza Strip Muhammad Joudeh Al-Nahal: "When this March [of Return] (i.e., violent riots at the Gazan border with Israel; see note below) was some distance from the border at its beginning, it succeeded in conveying to the whole world the message that we will never forget our villages and cities that we left. However, when the Palestinian factions and everyone who is taking part raise the level of expectations of our Palestinian people as if there is no longer a barbed wire fence, and that we will succeed in entering [Israel], we must call things by their name and not allow ourselves and our children to have casualties and thousands of crippled and wounded people. Peaceful popular resistance has its foundations and methods. When the resistance is peaceful, then the national activity leaders will lead it, and will not be inside tents. The young people and the young men, the women and the young women will lead, [and not be] inside tents – as if these are tents for public relations purposes. No! When this resistance will truly be popular resistance, we will have to cause the occupation to miss the opportunity [to kill us]. We do not need to be happy when a Martyr (Shahid) falls here and there; when a child or woman's foot is severed; or [a woman] is wounded here or there. Therefore we must rethink this matter, and there should truly be a comprehensive leadership for the popular resistance with its popular foundations; and we should not be easy prey for this occupation under the slogan that ‘we will break through this fence’ and gamble with our lives. The matters need to be clear to the members of our people, and we will distance ourselves from much bloodshed and many wounded, and our wealth should not be our fallen Martyrs."

Palestinians commemorate Nakba Day on May 15, the day after the establishment of Israel. On May 15, 1948, combined forces from Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Iraq joined local Arab forces in an attempt to eradicate the newly established State of Israel. The Nakba (Arabic = catastrophe) refers to the establishment of Israel, and the subsequent defeat in the war, including the killing and displacement of Arab civilians that occurred during the war.

“The March of Return” refers to massive violent riots in Gaza in which thousands of Palestinians are demonstrating on the border with Israel and attempting to cut through the security fence, attacking with firebombs, flaming kites, and gunfire. The riots began on March 30, 2018, and were scheduled to last for 6 weeks until Nakba Day on May 15. On May 14, the day the US embassy opened in Jerusalem, the riots escalated and 62 Palestinians were killed. A senior official of the terror organization Hamas, Salah Bardawil, stated that 50 of the 62 belonged to Hamas, while Islamic Jihad identified 3 others as belonging to it.