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We Are Struggling To Restore The Palestinian Rights: HAMAS

Interview With Abu Obeida By Nilantha Ilangamuwa

22 June, 2010

An Exclusive Interview with Abu Obeida, Spokesman to the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades of HAMAS.

It was few days after Israel's controversial raid on a humanitarian aid flotilla in International maritime waters near the Gaza coast when the Sri Lanka Guardian contacted the spokesman to the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades of HAMAS, Abu Obeida. He shared details about their resistance and explained how the people of Palestine were working to restore their legitimate power as a separate state.

The situation in Gaza and others parts of Palestinian is often grim, residents regularly hearing bomb blasts or air strikes by the Israeli Air Force. Hospitals are often full with casualties from such military actions. Hopes for peace remain low, hope itself having become a casualty of years of conflict and desperate poverty. To many, the Palestinians may seem like a vanquished people. What does a vanquished people look like? Just go to the North and East in Sri Lanka or Darfur and you can see what it means for a people to be vanquished. Since 1948 people of Palestine have been continuously fighting against the Israelis and thousands of lives have been claimed on both sides. The bloodletting seems never ending, but still there are many Palestinians resolute in their stand for the rights of their people. “Palestinian people has dedication to resist and uphold our national rights to return, to self-determination, to freedom and liberation, will ensure our victory,” Abu Obeida said in interview.

Here full text of the interview;

First of all I would like to extend a warm welcome from the Sri Lanka Guardian. We are grateful that you accepted our invitation to express your ideas with us for our readers. As this is your first interview with the Guardian, we would like to know more about yourself and your role as the spokesperson for the Al Qassam Brigades of Hamas.

Q.What is your family background?

A. We in Al Qassam Brigades can not reveal the resistance men identities due to the high danger surrounding them and their families. The Zionist army is shelling them in their houses as it has done in the last war on Gaza.

More than 1400 Palestinians were killed under the rubble of 25000 houses which was destruct by the Zionist war jets.

Q. Where did you receive your primary and higher education?

A. There is no doubt in the Palestinian society that Ezzedeen Al Qassam Brigade's members are educated and very civilized persons, contradictory to the thought that Israel is spreading over the world that they are savages. If you get the chance to know them, you will find doctors, teachers, lawyers and engineers.

Here I can give an example, Sheikh Salah Shehada, the general leader of Al Qassam Brigades, was a lecturer in Islamic university. He was assassinated with his family by a one ton bomb. The Zionist war jets targeted him in a residential neighborhood and killed him, and his family and 17 civilians, most of them are women and children.

Q. Why did you join Hamas?

A. Every Palestinian joined Hamas to defend his occupied land, what is so called "Israel". Ezzedeen Al Qassam Brigades, EQB, considers its effort as part of the resistance movement against the Zionist occupation of Palestinian lands, which has been ongoing since the British occupation.

In light of this understanding, EQB aims: “To contribute in the effort of liberating Palestine and restoring the rights of the Palestinian people under the sacred Islamic teachings of the Holy Quran, the Sunna (traditions) of Prophet Mohammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and the traditions of Muslims rulers and scholars noted for their piety and dedication.”

Q. The governments of the European Union, Israel, Japan, Canada, and the United States classify Hamas as a terrorist organization. They even claim that Hamas conducting attack against unarmed civilians in the region even using suicide bombers to attack against their enemies. What is your feedback for this negative perspective of your organization?

A.Ok first of all, I am a spokesman of the military wing of Hamas movement – Ezzedeen Al Qassam Brigades. Hamas has its spokesmen and they can speak about it. But in general, the governments of the European Union and other countries has unprofessed relations with Hamas even though they classified it as terrorist organization.

About targeting civilians, we don't accept killing innocents whoever they are. Our religion order us to be sympathetic to civilians, children , women and old people but the theory between us and the (Israel) is different. The "Israelis" are usurping our land, expelling us, killing our civilians and are not accepting our rights in this land.

Despite all that, we did not target any Zionist civilian before 1994. The target was the soldiers only but the situation was different after the Ibrahimi mosque massacre in 1994. The Ibrahimi mosque massacre was the straw that broke the camel's back.

So we did not begin targeting civilians and the Israeli enemy was the one who began the targeting. Also, the Israeli media turned the truth in many issues. One important note is that many martyrdom operations were not against civilians but against soldiers as not everyone who wear the civilian uniform is an innocent civilian in "Israel" because the "Israeli" society is a "security militant" society and most of the civilians are serving in the army.

Q.According to a statement released by the Foreign Ministry of Israel a few days ago, "Yesterday (June 05), the entire world saw the difference between a humanitarian flotilla and a hate flotilla by violent, terrorism-supporting extremists."Why do you think the Israel government blockaded the humanitarian aid flotilla entering Gaza?

A. The Zionist government introduced a lot of allegations to cover its crime against civilian people who come to help other civilian people who have been blockaded in Gaza for more than four years. The six-ship convoy was carrying 10,000 tons of aid, so who can believe that any entity in the world would call them a "provocation intended to delegitimize Israel"!!!

Following the activists' deaths, thousands of protesters have demonstrated against the Zionist entity in Turkey and elsewhere in the world, while several countries have summoned the Zionist ambassadors, even the UN chief Ban Ki-moon said he was "shocked by reports of killings and injuries". In the end the whole world is sure that the ships did not come to support extremists as the Israelis claimed.

Q. Is the Government of Iran funding and giving weapons to your organization?

A. The main purpose for our resistance is liberating our occupied land – Palestinian. The Zionist usurpation to our rights makes the Palestinian resistance commitment to resist the Zionist entity as long as ever.

Iran, Islam, and the Arabian countries are supporting the Palestinian resistance morally. Palestinian people are occupied by the Zionist entity, so the Palestinian resistance factions have the right to bring weapons to defend this occupied land and to protect its people.

Q. How many members are there in your military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades?

No comment.

Q. How many women have joined with the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades?

A. Women in Palestinian society have an important role. She is the wife, sister, or the mother of the resistance men, so actually she is resisting the occupation by her own style.
Al Qassam Brigades has agreed to the Palestinian women participation in the armed resistance in exceptional cases like what has happened in Reem Al Reyashi case.

Q. Do you think the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades have the capability to defeat the Israel Force?

A. Our occupiers subject the Palestinian people to curfews, expulsions, home demolitions, torture, and a highly imaginative assortment of human rights violations, so the resistance will resist the Zionist entity whatever happens.

As all nations which were liberated from occupation are aware, the resistance was weaker than the occupied power. But in the end of the story, the resistance won. Ezzedeen Al Qassam Brigades has humble capabilities to resist the Zionist occupation, but what so called "Israel" has is fatal weapons which used it against the Palestinian civilians, so thousands of women and children were killed.

Palestinian people have dedication to resist and uphold our national rights to return, to self-determination, to freedom and liberation, will ensure our victory.

Q. Under what circumstances is the sustainable solution for Israeli-Palestine question possible?

A.When we liberate our occupied land

Q. What is your message to an International Community behalf of Palestinian people?

A.Our Message to the international community is that the Palestinian people seek to liberate their occupied land and have no intention to harm Jews or anyone, except that they occupied its land. It is necessary that the international community understands the Palestinian needs and do not ignore the Zionist crimes against humanity in the Gaza strip and west bank.

The Palestinian resistance especially, Al Qassam Brigades, is struggling to restore the Palestinian rights. Those rights are supposed to be defined according to the Palestinian way, without this, we will find ourselves, as Palestinians and the international community, in the same circle, rolling around ourselves.

Nilantha Ilangamuwa, is Editor, Sri Lanka Guardian (www.srilankaguardian.org)