Damascus: Palestinian groups call to intensify resistance against Israel
Hamas and Syria-based Palestinian groups called for stepped up resistance against Israel as they started a three-day "national conference" Wednesday. "This is a meeting of rights and resistance," Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal told the conference in Damascus, AFP reported.
Meshaal denounced the blockade imposed by Israel on the Gaza Strip, branding it a "tragedy and an immoral crime."
"I call for the pursuit of popular anger against the Zionists and the Americans until the blockade is lifted," Meshaal said.
"Israel is cheating us. Delivering fuel and food is not the objective. We want a lift of the blockade," Meshaal said.
Talal Naji of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC), which is organizing the conference along with Hamas and Islamic Jihad, said Palestinians should "amplify the resistance against Zionist occupation." The Damascus conference is aimed at "healing Palestinian divisions," Naji said in reference to the Fatah movement.
In the West Bank cuty of Ramallah, the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) slammed the conference as a "carnival" organized by Damascus to bolster its influence in the region. Syria "committed a grave error in putting together this conference that has been transformed into a stage for diatribes against Palestinian leadership and government," a PLO statement said.
"With this carnival and its slogans, Syria is looking to assume a regional role and appear as an actor in the Palestinian equation," said the PLO, of which Hamas is not a member.