Press TV, Gaza
People in the Gaza Strip have taken to the streets, marking the 68th Nakba Day. The Day commemorates the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians by Israel in 1948. According to UN figures, there are around 5 million registered Palestinian refugees. Ashraf Shannon has more.
Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement, says a new intifada (uprising) is the right choice for Palestinians to fight the Israeli regime’s occupation of their homeland.
He made the comments on Wednesday in a ceremony held in Beirut to observe Ashura, which marks the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein, the third Shia Imam.
The Hezbollah head praised “heroic Palestinian operations” against the regime in Tel Aviv, saying such an uprising will exhaust the Zionist enemy and will eventually make it end its occupation of Palestinian lands.
Throughout his speech, Nasrallah touched on the crises and terror threats plaguing several Muslim nations of the Middle East, including Yemen, Iraq, Bahrain and Lebanon.
“Our enemies do their best to detect positions of weakness across our ranks; however, they will never manage to reach their goals,” the Hezbollah leader said.
Al Saud against ‘independent Yemen’
The Hezbollah secretary general once again slammed the brutal Saudi war against Yemen, saying the kingdom is irked by the neighboring nation’s refusal to submit to its will.
The Saudi regime does not favor an “independent” and “courageous” Yemen, and has launched a war of hatred against the Arabian Peninsula state, said Nasrallah.
Hundreds of thousands of Yemeni fighters are ready to make sacrifices in the battle against Saudi invaders, stressed the Hezbollah head.
During Ashura mourning ceremonies across Lebanon, thousands of Shia Muslims chanted slogans in solidarity with the oppressed people across the world, especially those in war-torn Yemen.
Nasrallah had earlier called on Shia mourners to support the cause of Yemen, which has been under deadly Saudi attacks for more than a year, during Muharram rituals.
‘Beware of US plot in Mosul’
The Hezbollah chief also pointed to the upcoming Iraqi battle to liberate the Daesh-held city of Mosul, warning the Iraqi leadership of a possible American plot to hamper the counter-terrorism operation.
Iraqis have repeatedly defeated Daesh terrorists in various cities, said Nasrallah, calling on Iraqi forces calling on them to arrest and jail Daesh terrorists and commanders in Mosul before they manage to escape.
Nasrallah further hailed the sacrifices of Hezbollah resistance fighters in their struggles to defend Lebanon.
He said the resistance movement will always be ready in southern and eastern Lebanon to protect the country against the threats posed by the Israeli regime and the Takfiri terrorists active in neighboring Syria.
Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al ash-Sheikh has raised controversy by making some blatant remarks about the Iranian people, suggesting that they are not Muslims and that they have a deep animosity towards Sunnis. Press TV has talked to Kevin Barrett, editor of Veterans today, about the cleric’s contentious statements.
Here is a rough transcription of the interview:
Press TV: Why do you think this Saudi cleric would blast Iranians as non-believers?
Barrett: I guess it is part of the propaganda offensive that Saudi Arabia has been waging against Iran and against Shia Islam in an attempt to create sectarian strife in the Muslim world.
This has been going on since 2006-07. During that period, Hezbollah had actually been succeeding in defeating the Israeli occupation of Lebanon, and all over the world, Muslims of all varieties were cheering for Hezbollah and the axis of resistance. At that point, I believe that the decision-makers in Tel Aviv and their minions in Riyadh decided that something had to be done. And the Saudis began using their billions of dollars in unearned oil wealth to fund this propaganda campaign aimed at dividing and conquering the Muslims. It is not surprising that this is coming out of Riyadh. Because the ruling family in Saudi Arabia comes from a line of bandits who used to rob and murder and plunder the pilgrims going to Mecca. And Wahhabi[sm] arose as kind of extremist, violent movement that slaughtered Muslims [whom] they did not approve of.
So there is a very sordid history to the government in Riyadh and they seem to be ratcheting it up. That is really unfortunate because the entire Muslim world needs unity right now more than ever.
Press TV: Can you elaborate on the Wahhabi ideology and how it has influenced or impacted global terrorism?
Barrett: It has been a source of not just terrorism, but it has also been a perfect patsy for those forces in the Western world, led by the Zionist extremists around [Israeli Prime Minister] Netanyahu, who want to demonize Islam and convince the world that Muslims are terrorists.
And because this Wahhabi ideology can be so fanatical, those people who are very unsophisticated and can be very violent and extremist, have fallen into the trap of playing the role of Muslim terrorists, on television basically. This has worked against Islam. We have had an Islamic awakening going on for decades now. The backlash from the enemies of Islam has been able to use this Wahhabi movement to convince the world that there is such a problem with Islamic activism. And there is not.
Islamic activism, by and large all over the world, is a positive force for change in the right direction. But this extremist Wahhabi obscurantism revels in ignorance and openly calls for killing people, who do not have the right religious beliefs and practices. This is something that has almost disappeared from the civilized world today. But we still hear this from certain quarters of Saudi Arabia. It is very unfortunate when leading figures like this Imam – or whatever he calls himself – put out this kind of outrageous rhetoric. This is basically a call to murder people based on their nationality and presumably based on their Madhhab or school of Islamic law. It is completely unacceptable and the people of Iran and Muslims of the world deserve an apology.
Senior European officials have expressed doubt over the possibility of holding high-level talks with Israel amid concerns about its expansionist agenda. European diplomats have anonymously talked to media about plans to discuss the adoption of a unanimous stance against Israel’s unlawful settlement constructions in Palestine. They have highlighted the significance of adopting a consistent EU approach toward the issue in the absence of a clear stance from the US administration.
In an interview with Press TV, Paul Larudee, the co-founder of Free Palestine Movement, praised the move by the EU, and predicted that this would be the beginning of new tensions between the European Union and Israel, which has been emboldened by the presidency of Donald Trump in the United States.
“Europeans have been somewhat more reasonable in facing the intransigence of Israel and its attempts to destroy the Palestinians. In many ways, it would be reasonable to say that this is too little too late and a single action of this kind, if it is implemented, would have relatively little effect in the short run. But in the long run, it is the beginning of some added initiative by Europeans to do something about this. It’s certainly better than nothing,” the analyst underlined.
Israel has been setting up settlements across the West Bank and East Jerusalem since occupying the Palestinian territories in 1967. The structures have been widely condemned as an insidious push toward facilitating the annexation of the lands.
The EU, like much of the rest of the world, views the Israeli settlements as a violation of international law and an impediment to peace with Palestinians.