February 26, 2012
Comrade Maher Taher, member of the Political Bureau of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and leader of its branch in exile, entered the Gaza Strip on Sunday, February 26, 2012, after over thirty years outside Palestine. He saluted the land and people of Palestine, and the struggles of Gaza, “the steadfast, the land of martyrs and sacrifices and the land of valor.”
“At this moment, I enter into the Gaza Strip, of the beloved land of Palestine, and we will fight and struggle, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year and generation after generation until every inch of our beloved Palestinian land is free,” said Taher. “The valiant Gaza Strip raised the heads of the Arab and Islamic nations high, when it held out and resisted for 22 days in the face of the most powerful killing machine and massive destruction, and said to the world, and to the Zionist terorists on our land, that this is our Jerusalem, our olive trees, our mosques, our churches, and our Palestine from the river to the sea.”
Taher continued, “This is our homeland…and we will liberate it completely from the river to the sea. We will not accept compromises nor abandon any speck of the soil of this land.” He greeted the mothers of martyrs, telling them that the precious blood of their children will not be abandoned or forgotten, saying that “we will remain loyal to each drop of blood shed for Palestine.” He also saluted the prisoners in the jails of the occupation, greeted the freed prisoners, and vowed to struggle to free them all from the occupation’s prisons, with PFLP general secretary Comrade Ahmad Sa’adat at the forefront. Comrade Taher expressed the greetings of six million Palestinians struggling for their right to return to their land, in particular our people in the refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan and in all areas of exile and diaspora near and far from Palestine. He emphasized that the Palestinian people in occupied Palestine ’48, in the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem, and everywhere in exile and diaspora, are one people, united, with one goal for one land – and that the pledge to all of our people must be to continue in struggle and resistance until the liberation of the land.
He also carried a message to the parties responsible for the division, emphasizing that Palestinian national unity is a necessity and a prerequisite for victory. He said that it was necessary “to unite the energies of our people…of all trends, to confront the main contradiction – with the Zionist enemy. There is no substitute for unity but unity.” He emphasized that Palestinians must not rely on negotiations and political processes that only benefit the occupation, saying that it is clear that the occupation controls such processes in their entirety. He emphasized the need to rebuild the Palestine Liberation Organization, with all national and Islamic forces inside its framework, to unite all efforts toward the liberation of our land.
Comrade Kayed al-Ghoul, member of the Central Committee of the PFLP and leader of its branch in Gaza, spoke welcoming Comrade Taher, noting that his visit will last several days for a series of meetings and programs before his return to Damascus, Syria.