Thousands came together in Beit Sahour on Saturday, January 30, commemorating the eighth anniversary of the passing of Comrade Dr. George Habash, Al-Hakim, the founder of the Arab Nationalist Movement and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Beginning at the mural honoring George Habash near the YMCA in Beit Sahour, hundreds of masked cadres of the Front marched through the streets to the memorial ceremony, where thousands stood to salute al-Hakim. The mayor of Beit Sahour, Hani al-Hayek, spoke, welcoming the attendees, saluting the spirit of George Habash and all of the martyrs and recalling Beit Sahour’s legacy as the “city of civil disobedience.” Al-Hayek also saluted the prisoenrs in Israeli jails and their example of steadfastness, particularly imprisoned PFLP General Secretary Ahmad Sa’adat.
Issa Qaraqe, chair of the Prisoners’ Affairs Commission, spoke on behalf of the Palestine Liberation Organization, recalling George Habash’s role not only as a strugglr and leader but as a thinker who envisioned return to Palestine and the centrality of the struggle to return in the liberation of Palestine. Qaraqe also saluted Mohammed al-Qeeq, the detained Palestinian journalist on hunger strike for over two months, battling the occupier’s war machine with his body.
Jalal Qumsiyeh spoke at the event on behalf of al-Hakim’s family, while Bassam Abu Sharif recalled his work with al-Hakim.
Comrade Mahmoud Funoun spoke on behalf of the PFLP, saying that “the principles of the Palestinian and Arab revolutionary struggle laid down by George Habash, remain in our minds, generation after generation, and the generations to come. Why do youth without arms continue to confront the soldiers of the Israeli war machine, its aircraft, tanks and armored vehicles? This is what George Habash said – their weaponry will not kill the will of the Palestinian people to struggle.”
The event also honored the wounded Nidal Obeid, who just returned from Germany after treatment for a bullet injury two years ago at the hands of the occupation forces in Dheisheh refugee camp, as well as Yousef Katalo, the artist who created the mural honoring George Habash, and the families of the martyrs Khaled Jawabra, Malek Shaheen and Moataz Zawahreh, and Mohammed Abu Aker, all of whom participated in the event.