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Leila Khaled: Palestinians united behind resistance
Published Monday 10/12/2012 (updated) 14/12/2012 09:47
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GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian people are united behind the resistance, which is legitimate as long as Israel occupies Palestinian land, national icon Leila Khaled said Monday.

"Your people in the diaspora kiss the ground you walk on because it's the land of Palestine," Khaled told crowds during a visit to the northern Gaza home of Naem al-Kafarneh, who was killed by Israeli forces.

"In your last battle, you registered epic resistance and determination," said Khaled, a politburo member and former fighter of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. "We heard pride ... the voice of resistance and determination."

Israel's eight-day operation on Gaza, which ended with a ceasefire on Nov. 21, would not be the last war, Khaled said, adding that Israel's aggression began in 1948.

"I don't expect to win after the first half of the battle, it's an open battle that is being transferred through generations," she said.

Khaled said lessons must be drawn from the war, and warned that Israel would continue to strike the resistance and to attack Palestinian steadfastness through its blockade and by destroying homes.

"We do not accept this occupation to remain on Palestinian land," she said, adding that Israel should be assured "our left hand is always on the trigger."

Khaled, from Haifa, was among hundreds of thousands of Palestinians forced to flee their homes during the creation of Israel in 1948, a period remembered by Palestinians as the Nakba, or catastrophe.

"We are the generation of the Nakba … We tell all martyrs we are still committed to the testament and your blood will not be wasted.

"I tell all prisoners, you are our heroes who lit the light for us to Haifa, Jaffa and Akka. This is what I have learned from the PFLP and from the determination and resistance of our people."

Khaled warned that the rights of millions of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes could not be bargained away, and said Palestinians had died for this right.

She demanded that Palestinian leaders reconcile, and end all negotiations and security coordination with Israel.

"The Palestinian people didn't struggle for two governments -- one in the West Bank and one in Gaza -- but for one homeland," the right to return and independence.

"To the leaderships, you must listen to your people who united in marches and protests in all places and revolted in 48 areas and the West Bank, they revolted in refugee camps and the right of return for them became closer that they expected."

She sent greetings to jailed PFLP leader Ahmad Saadat: "You will come out to freedom, you and all prisoners."

"We are determined to follow your path and the path of our founder, George Habash and Abu Ali Mustafa and before them Wadi Haddad and Ghassan Kanafani."

Khaled arrived in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday and has toured homes, a hospital and a kindergarten in the enclave, surveying sites destroyed during Israel's last war.

She gained worldwide notoriety for hijacking an airplane in 1969, which she rerouted to Damascus and blew up after passengers had disembarked. She has said the pilot flew over her childhood home in Haifa at her instruction.

The PFLP icon then had plastic surgery to alter her appearance before hijacking an El-Al flight out of Rome in 1970, when her accomplice was shot dead by Israeli agents. She was briefly detained in London and freed in a prisoner swap deal.

No passengers were harmed on either flights, and Khaled has said the hijackings aimed to bring international attention to the plight of Palestinians.

She resides in Amman in Jordan.
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1 ) firas / ps
10/12/2012 21:44
'they still have wax in they hears'

2 ) Giacomo / USA
10/12/2012 22:41
Really, keep resisting peace? How has that worked the past100 years? And the 'victory' speeches honoring leaders who implore you to keep resisting peace, while they sit in safety elsewhere -- does this create better lives for Palestinian and Israeli children? Or, you can recall Abbas from kissing the ring of countries that can't wait to exploit Palestinian lands once Israelis withdraw, and demand that he negotiate a durable peace agreement now. Everything else is just rhetoric.

3 ) Dovey / Sweden
11/12/2012 00:34
Legitimate resistance within a framework of UNITY of factions/parties is a good thing. Israel is illegally occupying Palestine and Israel's ONLY legal territory = 1948 borders which they claimed when they declared independence. It is impermissible to acquire territory by war (offensive/defensive), and unilateral annexation is illegitimate & illegal. Don't give the '67 borders!! Stay UNIFIED and legitimately resist. Keep structures they built & transfer Israelis BACK into Israel's 1948 borders!

4 ) Deborah / USA
11/12/2012 00:37
By "resist" she's not talking about resisting peace but resisting Israeli occupation. If you look at the history of colonialism, you'll see resistance comes in many forms, but there is no colonial condition, no foreign occupation without resistance.

5 ) mv / USA
11/12/2012 08:39
Giacomo first it has not been 100 years. Second you might understand the position of the PFLP which does not want a 2 state solution. They do not want the jewish people to leave they want a place where palestinians and jews live together something Israel does not support.

6 ) Nizar / Tanzania
11/12/2012 12:25
Gained worldwide notoriety? No I would rather say fame

7 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
11/12/2012 16:49
VERY, VERY WELL-SAID, Leila !!! Here is the KEY part of her statement that says it all: " ... it's an open battle that is being transferred through generations," she said. 100% honest, truthful, accurate and right. This is exactly why the Palestinians will never be united and absolutely, positively must go east to Jordan/Palestine for their future, to be in their real nation on THEIR land. Israelites, with equal certainty, will NOT allow this conflict to go on forever in our generations.

8 ) Larisa / AU
12/12/2012 16:12
If everyone was like Leila (hasn't actually harmed a civilian even though she was certainly in a position to be able to, interacts with Israeli organizations like Peace Now, and just wants to be able to live in peace and return home), a 1SS with the right of return, and a country in which the Palestinians are the majority and the Jews a minority would be great. But a lot of ppl are not like her, and I fear that the violence would not end there... I think 1SS is too optimistic at this stage...

9 ) Robert / US
13/12/2012 00:14
Yehuda you like most Jews dont know or want to forget that you were a people who came to conquer in the land of Cannan
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