The following remarks were given by senior Hamas leader Osama Hamdan, at a press conference on May 27, 2024, and published on Resistance News Network:

Palestinians hoist Hamas flags in occupied West Bank, Dec. 1, 2023. Credit: Al-Jazeera

For the 234th day, the Zionist occupation continues its brutal aggression and genocide against our Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, committing massacres unprecedented in modern history, disregarding all U.N. resolutions and international conventions, violating all values, customs, and divine laws, confirming the fascist nature of this occupation which was founded on terrorism and massacres.

Since the start of this aggression, the Zionist enemy has engaged in criminal behavior, targeting unarmed civilians, infrastructure, and civilian facilities; killing and executing in cold blood over 36,000 martyrs, approximately 81,000 wounded, and over 10,000 missing, most of whom are women and children.

The occupation has destroyed hospitals, schools, mosques, churches, and all civilian facilities, pursued the displaced to their places of refuge, burned their tents, and deprived them of all means of human life, intensifying the war of starvation, displacement, and genocide.

The massacres of the occupation continue in Rafah, Jabalia, and Gaza, the latest being the burning of tents around the UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency] headquarters, where U.S. bombs and missiles of hatred and terrorism targeted thousands of our people, most of whom were children, women, patients, and elderly, burning their pure bodies and tearing their bodies into pieces.

The toll of the tent massacre in Rafah is 45 martyrs, including 23 women, children, and elderly, and 249 wounded.

All the massacres committed by the occupation against civilians and innocents of our people are in areas classified by the enemy itself as safe, indicating its insistence and deliberate execution of these massacres, and its desperate attempts to displace our people through lies and claims to justify its horrific crimes against civilians.

The timing of these massacres in the past two days is a challenge from the Zionist-Nazi government of the criminal Netanyahu to the recent decisions of the International Court of Justice, which ordered the halt of the military operation in Rafah.

The international community is facing a historic responsibility to put an end to this Zionist arrogance, and to stop the aggression of this rogue entity that tries to impose itself above international law, above accountability for its crimes and massacres, with the full sponsorship of the U.S. administration, which is a partner in all these crimes with its political support, equipment that kills our people, and unlimited funding for the crime of genocide in Gaza.

This massacre and heinous crime come as a retaliatory attempt by the Zionist enemy and its defeated and crushed army, soon by God’s will, after their inability to confront the men of Allah, the men of great courage, the men of Al-Qassam Brigades and the Palestinian resistance factions, the fighters of our heroic people in the battlefields.

The burning of tents in Rafah comes to cover up the strategic and field failure that haunt the leaders of this defeated army since October 7, receiving successive painful blows at the blessed hands of our heroes, the last of which was the heroic operation in Jabalia.

“Genocide Joe” bears responsibility for Rafah massacre

The claim of the occupation of the presence of militants at the massacre site during its execution is a blatant and false claim, disproved by images of the civilian martyrs’ bodies of children and women, in addition to the fact that the area is west of Rafah and far from the occupation’s operational and incursions area in Rafah.

Its claim that this aggression came in accordance with “international law” is a pure fabrication and a mockery of international law, and this Zionist-Nazi crime clearly and unequivocally confirms the nature of the Zionist entity which is accustomed to disregarding laws, violating all international conventions and norms, and escaping legal accountability with the support of the U.S. administration.

The U.S. administration and its President [Joe] Biden personally bear full responsibility for this heinous massacre against the displaced in Rafah, and for all the crimes of the occupation in Gaza, by continuing to provide political and military cover for the occupation, and continuing to supply it with military equipment and bombs that daily kill dozens of children, women, and civilians.

For over 234 days of Zionist-Nazi aggression, this Zionist occupation and its criminal war leaders, foremost among them [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu, have not achieved any of their aggressive goals, except for committing all kinds of genocide against more than two million Palestinian citizens.

Our great people in the Gaza Strip remain firm on their land, patient, stationed despite pain, wounds, oppression, and injustice, united with their valiant resistance, which continues to inflict heavy losses on the cowardly enemy soldiers and officers in all axes of engagement and combat, and their rockets continue to launch from the land of Gaza of glory, thanks to Allah’s power and strength.

The heroism of the Al-Qassam Brigades, Saraya Al-Quds, and the resistance factions that are continuing in their legendary confrontation of the occupation army on all axes in the Gaza Strip refutes the Zionists’ claims of hitting or deterring the resistance in Gaza. It reaffirms that its brave men are managing the battle of Al-Aqsa Flood with full strength, courage, wisdom, and capability.

The occupation’s desperate attempts to escalate militarily by committing more massacres throughout the entire Strip will not succeed in exerting pressure to achieve any alleged victory. This Zionist-Nazi enemy has no choice but to submit and respond to the resistance’s conditions.

The Zionist occupation will not retrieve its captives held by the resistance except according to the resistance’s terms that have been presented to mediators in Egypt and Qatar through a real and serious deal. The longer “Netanyahu” and his supporters delay this obligation, the more of their captives will lose their lives at the hands of their army and from Zionist bombing and U.S. missiles.

Continued evasion, procrastination, and ongoing bombing and aggression mean that their captives might return only as corpses, or perhaps not return at all.

Regarding the circulating negotiations, we confirm that we have not received anything from the mediators. What is clearly required is a permanent and complete cessation of aggression throughout the entire Gaza Strip, not just in Rafah. This is the foundation and the starting point.

A call to the international community

The international community, with its states, governments, and institutions, witnessing the Zionist -Nazi genocide war through continuous horrific crimes and massacres against our people in the Gaza Strip, is required today, not tomorrow, to take a clear stance condemning and rejecting them.

The international community is required to end this barbaric aggression, override the unjust U.S. will and its pressures, and the U.N. Security Council must issue a resolution to enforce the International Court of Justice orders, immediately stop the aggression, and allow all humanitarian aid to enter for our people, as well as fuel and medical supplies for our hospitals, ending this humanitarian tragedy created by the fascist occupation war machine.

We call on the international community to translate the decisions of the United Nations and the International Court of Justice into sanctions against the Zionist entity, foremost among them stopping the funding of weapons and military equipment, which this Nazi occupation uses to commit massacres, the latest being the Rafah massacre yesterday.

Zionism has become synonymous with Nazism and equivalent to it, and it must be legally and politically categorized in the same rank. The time has come to define this usurping entity for what it truly is: a Zionist-Nazi entity.

The Rafah crossing is a purely Egyptian-Palestinian crossing, and any attack on it or its occupation by the occupation army is a violation of the sovereignty, security, and stability of sisterly Egypt, and it deepens the humanitarian tragedy of our people in the Gaza Strip.

We renew our call to sisterly Egypt to work on compelling the occupation to withdraw from the Rafah crossing, reopen it for the movement of citizens and aid without restriction, and work urgently to evacuate the wounded for treatment. The health system in the Gaza Strip as a whole is in a state of complete collapse due to the brutal Zionist-Nazi targeting of hospitals and medical centers.

We call on our people in the West Bank, Al-Quds, and the occupied interior to rise up in support of our people in Gaza, clash with the occupation forces, and activate all means of resistance against the Zionist enemy.

We renew our greetings to the fighters on all support fronts in Lebanon, Yemen, and Iraq, and affirm that the epic of heroism they are waging in support of their families and brothers in Gaza constitutes a qualitative turning point in favor of our cause, resistance, and the steadfastness of our people, as well as the awakening of our nation on the path to liberating Al-Quds and Palestine.

We call on the masses of our Arab and Islamic nation, and the free people of the world who are rising up, demonstrating, and protesting everywhere, to intensify their movements and activities condemning the Zionist-Nazi genocide war, and to press for severing all relations with this rogue entity that continues to disregard the entire world and international resolutions, persisting in this genocide war against unarmed civilians in the Gaza Strip.

Mercy to the martyrs in this epic in all fronts of resistance, healing to the wounded, freedom to the prisoners and detainees, and it is a near victory for our great people and our brave resistance.

Indeed, it is a jihad of victory or martyrdom.

This statement was lightly edited.

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