Palestinians mark Intifada with call for 'armed struggle'
Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has marked the 31st anniversary of the first Intifada with pledges to continue the "armed struggle" and rebuked Arab leaders for seeking to normalize ties with Israel.
“Armed struggle is a strategic option to safeguard the Palestinian cause and restore Palestinian national rights,” Hamas said in a statement issued on Saturday.
The first Intifada broke out in 1987 after four young Palestinians were martyred by Israeli military forces at a checkpoint in Gaza as well as the shooting death of a 17-year-old boy during an unarmed protest.
Intifada is an Arabic word that literally translates to "shaking off." It has been used to refer to legitimate means of resistance against oppression across the Middle East for decades. In the Arab-Israeli conflict, it means a concerted Palestinian effort to shake off Israeli occupation and gain independence.
In its statement on Saturday, Hamas said “resistance is a legitimate right guaranteed by international laws and conventions.”
It said 31 years after the eruption of the uprising, which is also known as the stone Intifada, Palestinians are still in need of unity, partnership, and the reconstruction of their national project.
The second Intifada began in 2000 and was known as the al-Aqsa Intifada. It was sparked by former Zionist regime’s prime minister Ariel Sharon’s visit to the al-Aqsa Mosque complex.
The anniversary comes amid worldwide outrage over the US relocation of its embassy to al-Quds from Tel Aviv and the recognition of the city as the so-called capital of the usurper and child-killer regime of Israel.
The illegal regime of Israel annexed East al-Quds in the 1967 Six Day war in a move never internationally recognized. The occupying regime claims the entire city as its capital. Palestinians also want it as the capital of their future state.