Palestinian factions are strengthening a reconciliation deal that will "liberate Palestine," while Hizballah pledged its commitment to violence during Wednesday's "Resistance Day." Both major Palestinian groups and Hizballah have rejected American efforts to weaken local terrorist organizations and to revive moribund peace talks.
Former Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath visited the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip Thursday, becoming the highest ranking Fatah figure to visit since Hamas seized control in 2007. The dialogue focused on the Palestinian Authority's intention to declare an independent state at the United Nations in September, a move rejected by both American and Israeli leaders. The visit also incorporated talks with Hamas and other Palestinian groups over the latest developments in the region, particularly speeches by American President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
"We will remain steadfast and we will continue because this is a national and strategic interest," Shaath said in reference to the reconciliation pact. "Without it we won't be able to liberate Palestine and with it we will be able to establish the Palestinian state."
Independent of Hamas' embrace of violent resistance, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reported that Fatah officials recently honored the families of dozens of Palestinian terrorists serving time in Israeli prisons. The families of honorees, many of whom are serving multiple life sentences for killing dozens of Israeli prisons, each received a token of appreciation from the government.
Hizballah's Hassan Nasrallah also rejected American counterterrorism efforts and interference in local affairs, including America's backing of the UN Special Tribunal on Lebanon, during celebrations of "Resistance Day." In reference to Israeli rejections of Hizballah's rearmament since 2006, Nasrallah "said these missiles will remain present in the equation of the region, and no one will be able to grab them, neither in Lebanon nor in the world."
Nasrallah dismissed peace efforts proposed in Obama's and Netanyahu's recent speeches. "When we listen to these speeches we become more certain of our choices. The developments in the last three decades proved that the correct choice and the realistic one is that of the popular armed Resistance," Nasrallah said. "The unrealistic, maddening, depressing…humiliating choice is that of negotiations."