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April 13, 2003

Palestinian faction leaders stunned by Baghdad fall, but vows to continue fight against Israeli occupation

Read this interview with prominent Islamic Jihad spokesperson and others and then turn to the posting just below: Who is holding up peace prospects?
[...]For his part, Fatah movement secretary in the West Bank, Hussein al Sheikh described Baghdad’s fall as an earthquake. “This earthquake makes us proud of ourselves as people who have been resisting and fighting for 100 years,” he told Albawaba.

Al Sheikh expressed his bitter feeling and said, “we are very sad to see an Arab capital falling so easily, while a small refugee camp inhabited by few thousands of Palestinians with modest capabilities resisted the Israeli massive war machine longer than Baghdad and inflicting more casualties among the enemy.”

While the Fatah leader admitted that the event was astonishing, he reiterated that this wouldn’t leave any negative impacts on the determination of the Palestinian people. “This will bolster the fact that we are on the right direction. We are proud to constitute the crown of resistance and revolution for this nation,” he said.

On his part, Hamas leader Abdel Aziz al Rantisi expressed shock but reiterated that resistance will escalate and will not cease because it is the last remaining hope for the Arab and Islamic worlds.

The spokesman of the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Maher al Taher, described what happened in Baghdad as shocking and bewildering, without knowing the reasons so far. However he said he was confident that the Iraqi people would continue to resist and expel invaders from his land.

For his part, Muatasem Hamadah, member of the Palestinian Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine Politburo saw the fall of Baghdad as a surprise that has come quicker than was expected particularly if compared to what happened in the south cities.

“We did not expect under any circumstances that the invading force would be defeated due to the imbalance of powers but we expected resistance to last longer,” he said. Hamadah added, “In solidarity with the Iraqi people, Palestinians are sad and feel pain. This is perhaps due to the fact that they have realized before others the magnitude of suffering that people may face under occupation.” [more]