Wed 12 Jul 2023 12:29 pm - Jerusalem Time

'We are here to stay:' President Abbas visits Jenin after Israeli invasion

In the shadow of tensions with other Palestinian factions, President Mahmoud Abbas stressed "the unity of the Palestinian people" against Israeli aggression in a heavily guarded visit to Jenin on Wednesday.

A week after the end of Israel's largest raid on a West Bank city in two decades, which left 12 Palestinians dead and widespread destruction in its wake, Abbas hailed Jenin refugee camp as "an icon of struggle and steadfastness."

Palestinian parties in the Gaza Strip, led by Hamas and Islamic Jihad, condemned the Palestinian Authority's "political" arrests of its activists in the northern West Bank since the operation. In the last two years, Abbas' command in the cities of Jenin and Nablus has ebbed, with Islamist and local organizations filling the vacuum. 

Arriving on a Jordanian military helicopter from Ramallah, Abbas was welcomed by Palestinian officials and a large crowd. He was flanked by Secretary General of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization Hussein al-Sheikh and intelligence chief Majed Faraj. 

Palestinian security forces were deployed across the area to safeguard the delegation. 

After reaffirming that Jerusalem is Palestine's capital and the right of return for all Palestinians, Abbas told the crowd: "We must get rid of the occupation, and tell them: Leave us alone. We are here to stay!"

"We are one Palestinian Authority, one state, and one law...we will remain one, and everybody who works toward unity and security is welcome," he added.

He thanked countries that were involved in the reconstruction efforts, especially Algeria and the United Arab Emirates. 

After the initial address, Abbas' convoy left to Jenin Refugee Camp, where he will lay a wreath at the martyr's cemetery. A throng of Palestinians has already gathered to greet the president on his arrival. 


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'We are here to stay:' President Abbas visits Jenin after Israeli invasion