President Abbas says Palestinians won’t accept continuation of occupation’s practices against Christian presence
President Mahmoud Abbas said tonight the Palestinian people will not accept the continuation of the Israeli occupation’s practices targeting the Christian presence in Palestine.
Following is the President’s full speech delivered tonight during the Christmas dinner in the Church of Nativity, the birthplace of Jesus Christ in the city of Bethlehem, Palestine:
His Beatitude Patriarch Pierbattista Pizzaballa
Father Francesco Paton, Custos of the Holy Land
H.E the Jordanian First Deputy PM, Mr Tawfik Krishan, Representative of His Majesty the King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Your Excellencies, brothers and sisters
We wish you a Merry Christmas and congratulate you and our people on the birth of Christ, peace be upon him, the messenger of peace and love who was born in the Grotto of Nativity in Bethlehem in the holy land of Palestine. We also congratulate you on the New Year’s 2023, which are religious and national occasions that bring joy and tolerance to every Palestinian home. It is also a message of hope, love and peace. Our Palestinian people still preserve its great cultural and human heritage, and is renewed every year from Palestine to millions of believers around the world.
On this occasion, we congratulate His Holiness Pope Francis, all denominations and believers around the world and our people on Christmas according to the Western calendar.
We celebrate today, as we confront the occupiers, with our unity, our adherence to our national constants and our steadfastness on our land. In this regard, we will not accept the continuation of the occupation practices targeting the Christian presence in Palestine, which is an integral part of the fabric of our people that we will continue to preserve.
We seize this occasion to commend the positions of the heads of churches, Muslim clerics and the masses of all our people, in defending the identity and character of the city of Jerusalem with its Christian and Islamic sanctities.
This year passes, brothers and sisters, and with it ascends to the Most High, Almighty God, a group of pure martyrs:
The leader and Founder Salim Zanoun, Member of the Central Committee and President of the National Council, and one of those who issued the launch decision of our revolution.
The leader and brother, Jamal Muhaisen, Member of the Central Committee.
The daughter of Jerusalem and Palestine, the martyr Sherine Abu Aqelah, who was assassinated by the Israeli occupation army without being held accountable.
The freedom fighter and sister Fatima Barnawi, the first Palestinian prisoner in the occupation prisons.
The captive martyr Nasser Abu Hamid, after he spent more than thirty years in the Israeli occupation prisons and was subjected to slow killing through deliberate medical negligence on the part of the occupation authorities.
This year passes and we have lost 224 martyrs, including dozens of children.
This year has passed, and 374 of our martyrs whose bodies are being held by the occupation authorities in numbered graves and mortuary refrigerators including the body of the martyr Nasser Abu Hamid.
This year passes after the establishment of an Israeli government whose motto is extremism and apartheid
This year passes, and a successful Arab summit was held in Algeria, as well as a historic and successful Arab-Chinese summit in Riyadh.
This year passes with a new round of meetings of the United Nations General Assembly and its more than a thousand resolutions on Palestine are still awaiting implementation.
This year passes, and the State of Qatar has succeeded in organizing the best World Cup so far which was rightfully the World Cup of Palestine. Palestine was present even though it did not participate.
This year passes, and the Palestinian narrative has succeeded in presenting itself strongly in demonstrating the Palestinian right in various fields in the face of the false Zionist narrative.
The Palestinian narrative is present strongly in America thanks to the remarkable success achieved by the Palestinian American Council in imposing our narrative on the American scene, and what many segments are doing, including universities and churches, peace-loving supporters of the Palestinian right and people of living conscience.
The Palestinian narrative is also present in the international scene, for the United Nations to adopt a resolution to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Nakba on 15/5/2023 in the General Assembly Hall.
This year passes, and with it, the film Al-Tantura is published, which narrates with documents and facts about the massacres committed by the occupation against the Palestinians, with the testimony of the perpetrators themselves.
This year passes and US President Biden has visited the country, and unfortunately made promises that have not been fulfilled, in light of the double standards we are witnessing that deprive our people of their legitimate rights, freedom and independence.
But also, this year passes and we welcome a new year, and we are more steadfast and more determined to remain in our land, to get rid of the occupation and to establish our independent state with Jerusalem as its capital, and we will be victorious, God willing.
Despite all the injustice and aggression we are exposed to, our message to the world remains one of hope, love and peace.
Once again, we wish you a Merry Christmas and our sincere wishes that next year our aspirations for freedom, independence and just and comprehensive peace have will be fulfilled.