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Pictures of Assad at Fatah event in Syria marking “Nakba Day”

Images and text posted on the official Fatah Facebook page

Posted text: “As part of the activities to mark Nakba Day (i.e., “the catastrophe,” the Palestinian term for the establishment of the State of Israel; see note below) in the homeland and in the diaspora, the Syria branch of the Fatah Movement held a rally at the refugee camp closest to the lap of the homeland geographically – the Khan Al-Sheikh refugee camp…

The speech of [Syrian President Bashar Assad’s] Arab Socialist Ba’ath party was given by [Fatah] Central Committee member and Palestine Branch Secretary of the Arab Socialist Ba’ath party Awad Fares. He welcomed [Fatah Central Committee member] Samir Al-Rifai and the PLO factions…

He demanded that all of the Palestinian forces… unite around the PLO, because it is the sole representative of the Palestinian people…

Fatah Central Committee member and Secretary of [Fatah] Branches Abroad Samir Al-Rifai gave a speech on behalf of Fatah. He began his speech by blessing our people in the homeland from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea…

Al-Rifai added that the right of return is a sacred right that the Palestinians inherit from generation to generation.”

The images show the Nakba Day event at Khan Al-Sheikh refugee camp in Syria. The large poster that serves as the backdrop of the stages shows from left to right: PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, former PLO and PA Chairman Yasser Arafat, the Dome of the Rock, and Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Nakba Day - 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.

Yasser Arafat – Founder of Fatah and former chairman of the PLO and PA. During the 1960s, 70s and 80s Arafat was behind numerous terror attacks against Israelis. Although he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 together with then Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and then Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Shimon Peres “for their efforts to create peace in the Middle East" after signing the Oslo Accords peace agreement, Arafat launched a 5-year terror campaign - the second Intifada (2000-2005) – in which more than 1,000 Israelis were murdered. Arafat died of an illness in 2004.