Mass march in Gaza remembers Abu Ali Mustafa, demands to break siege

Poplar Front for the Liberation of Palestine

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The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine organized a mass march in Gaza City on Saturday, August 26, marking the 16th anniversary of the assassination of PFLP General Secretary, Comrade Abu Ali Mustafa. This central mass rally in Gaza was led by the cadres of the Popular Army and a massive Palestinian flag.

Marchers proceeded from the Gaza City municipal park to the Square of the Unknown Soldier, raising Palestinian flags, PFLP banners and signs demanding an end to the siege on Gaza, Palestinian national unity and the liberation of Palestine. The march included a street vendor with a trolley representing the plight of Palestinian workers as well as a child laying in a hospital bed with health workers around him, highlighting the situation of Palestinian sick children denied medical treatment due to the killer policies of occupation and siege.

Comrade Jamil Mizher, member of the Political Bureau of the PFLP and leader of its branch in Gaza, delivered the main speech at the rally and march. The full text is below:

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We come together today to commemorate the martyrdom of an exceptional leader of the Palestinian people with a rich experience of struggle and a leader among the great and dedicated leaders who gave his life to struggle and resistance as a model leader and symbol of the Palestinian revolution. In the spirit of national unity, his life and martyrdom were a living example of sacrifice and courage, marking a torch of struggle to illuminate the path of resistance and liberation. He is the national leader, Comrade Abu Ali Mustafa, General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, who lived his life on the field of struggle and died as a martyr.

On this occasion, we must not forget the heroes of the operation in response to the assassination of Comrade Abu Ali Mustafa, the heroes of October 17, who took down the Zionist racist propagandist of “transfer” Rehavam Zeevi. Today, we salute the General Secretary of the Front, always consistent on the principles, Comrade Ahmad Sa’adat, and the struggling Comrades Ahed Abu Ghoulmeh, Majdi Rimawi, Mohammed Rimawi, Hamdi Qur’an and Basil al-Asmar.

The Zionist occupation is continuing its crimes and racist plans to deepen its occupation and control over more land and holy sites and attempt to establish the principle of the “Jewish state” amid frantic American and Western attempts to liquidate the Palestinian cause. The division and its repercussions continue to cast a shadow on the Palestinian scene, especially amid the catastrophic situation in the besieged Gaza Strip, which has only been exacerbated by the recent measures taken by the leadership of the PA. This has been done as it prepares to cook up a National Council in Ramallah and rush towards the projects of the U.S. administration that serve the interests of the occupation. Meanwhile, there is an attempt to transform the Palestinian land into a subsidiary or pawn in regional arenas of conflict and the situation in our Palestinian camps in Lebanon is degraded, the situation deteriorating amid attempts to make the camps battlefields for war and fighting.

We in the Popular Front for the Liberation emphasize the following on this occasion with full national concern and responsibility:

1) The fulfillment of our pledge to the martyr Abu Ali Mustafa and all the martyrs requires us to conduct a comprehensive political review that includes and ensures an in-depth understanding of the nature of the enemy as a settler-colonial Zionist project. Victory requires adherence to the strength of resistance and confrontation, not abandoning it or wasting time going down the wrong road. A comprehensive policy review means re-consolidating the slogan of the unity of the land, people and decision, in the sense that we, here in besieged Gaza, which continues to bleed, stand together with our people in Umm al-Fahm, in Dheisheh, in Yarmouk and Ain el-Helweh, and we refuse to be a weapon against the sons and daughters of the camps.

2) The need to adhere firmly to the resistance in word and deed as did the martyr Abu Ali Mustafa, not only as an option, but as a consistent presence, dignity and life of resistance and support for the steadfastness of our people. The Palestinian people’s legitimate resistance directs its blows toward the Zionist enemy. As the martyr Abu Ali Mustafa said, “Who says that there is a people in the world under occupation who will address their cause by sweet thoughts – this does not occur at all.” “Comrades, if the enemy presses the trigger with a finger, we must press the trigger with ten fingers and target the Zionist soldiers and the settlers.”

3) We must recognize that our strength is in our unity. National unity is the basis of the liberation of peoples. But no one should imagine that unity can be based on fraud, quotas or any approach that does not reflect the constants of our people. Instead, it must be based on democracy, honesty and ethics. An integrated national front begins with a comprehensive national dialogue and real implementation of its decisions.

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4) The responsibility of this struggle requires our people and national and Islamic forces to maintain a national framework to organize the energies of our people. In light of this responsibility, we affirm our position to hold a national unity council that reinforces the prestige of the PLO as a tool that brings together the energies of our people on a national program that is popular and effective. It must re-examine the nature of the Authority, its function and its security policies and protect our people from the effects of the division and its repercussions. This National Council was agreed upon in Beirut with the participation of all national forces. In this context, we in the Popular Front warn the leadership of the dangers that would arise from convening the PNC in Ramallah, whether deepening the division or developing a high-level conflict over representation and legitimacy. We will confront the policy of monopoly over the Palestinian national decision and the kidnapping of the PLO and Palestinian national institutions away from the Palestinian national cause and program.

5) We renew our call to the Palestinian official leadership not to gamble on the mirage of settlement under American administration, noting that the visit of the American delegation to the region and its meetings with Arab leaders come to prepare a poisoned meal in the framework of a regional solution of normalization and liquidation of the Palestinian cause through the adoption of a Zionist “solution.” We in the PFLP stand with the masses of our people and we will form a blockade to confront all American-Zionist schemes that attempt to obliterate the identity and will of the Palestinian people.

6) In a few weeks, we will witness the anniversary of the signing of the Oslo Accords. In this context and on the anniversary of the martyrdom of Abu Ali, from the land of Guevara Gaza, we affirm the death of the Oslo agreement for all eternity and that our people have the initiative to correct the course and confront everyone who relies on a return to the path of compromise and conciliation.

7) The need to put an end to the policies of collective punishment that have led to the aggravation of the suffering of our people in the Gaza Strip. The siege is escalating on a daily basis, the social, humanitarian and economic crises are increasing and the Strip is on the verge of a real catastrophe impacting all aspects of life, from health to education to basic services. No electricity – no water – the rates of poverty and unemployment among the highest in the world as thousands of graduates and an army of unemployed are left to wander the streets, neglected. In light of the insistence of the leadership of the PA to intensify its attacks and sanctions in this war of starvation and threaten yet more, in this dangerous situation, the PFLP demands the PA to atone for its crimes and stop these attacks and work instead to strengthen the steadfastness of our people. In turn, we call on Hamas to dissolve the Administrative Committee to remove the pretexts being used to impose further actions against the Gaza Strip.

We demand that the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip be broken immediately as a national, Arab, Islamic and human mission. In light of this dangerous situation, international institutions must declare the Strip a disaster zone. We also call for the formation of a mass popular pressure campaign to push for completing the file of reconciliation in order to strengthen the steadfastness of our people.

8) We call on Egypt to end the siege imposed on Rafah crossing and to take a stand against the humiliation and indignities imposed upon Palestinians traveling from Cairo to the Rafah crossing and vice versa. Historically, Egypt stood with Palestine with the blood of its army and people.

9) The need to build on the achievements made in the city of Jerusalem, the popular victory and the situation of popular unity in the homeland and diaspora with our people there, contributing to the formation of a broad national front to unite and confront Zionist schemes and threats to the Palestinian cause.

The memory of the martyrdom of Comrade Abu Ali Mustafa will always remain an important milestone for our people, especially the oppressed classes, as an incubator of popular resistance in order to raise their voices loud with outrage against the occupation, its settler-colonial projects, the Authority and the projects of liquidation. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine will remain on this path, a thorn in the eye of the Zionist occupation and the enemies of the Palestinian cause, and we will continue to march confidently toward our national liberation despite the ongoing targeting of its leaders and cadres.

In conclusion, we salute the memory of a great revolutionary leader who emerged from the womb of the poor and working class to form a model and example of revolutionary struggle. We assure him that we are on his road to Haifa, Yafa and Jerusalem. We promise you and all of the martyrs that we will not allow the flag to fall and it will remain soaring high in the skies of Palestine. The resistance will remain with the rifle, which we will not give up or hand over. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine will continue to be a voice of the oppressed people and popular classes in Ain el-Helweh, Rafah, Jabaliya, Dheisheh, Balata and all of Palestine from the river to the sea. Long live the sacrifices of the Palestinian people – Victory is inevitable!

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