Deputy chairman of Hamas’s political bureau Saleh al-Arouri said over the weekend that going forward, the “popular struggle” against Israel will resemble the First Intifada (1987 to 1991).

In an interview with senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad official Muhammad al-Hindi and Fatah Central Committee Secretary Jibril Rajoub that aired on Palestine TV on Sept. 13, al-Arouri said that just as was the case then, current Palestinian factions would work in unison despite the lack of a unified national government.

“We are now learning from the past,” said al-Arouri. “We want to once again follow the same path and operate within the same framework.”

This would be possible as long as everyone agreed on the goals, he said: “We will defend our nation from the occupation, from the criminal settlements and from the abandonment and betrayal of the [Palestinian] cause [by Arab states].”

Referring to the peace deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, the Hamas official said that it changed nothing as far as the Palestinians were concerned.

“If you think that because of a few [Arab rulers] who turn their back on us you can simply ignore the rights of our people, and swallow up our land and holy places, you should know that we have a new generation that can drag you through the mud and bring us victory,” said al-Arouri.

“Before the year 2000, the train of normalization with the enemy was more advanced than it is today. There were several embassies, representatives, trade offices and so forth … the Second Intifada [2000-2005] closed all of them, and stopped the process of normalization,” he said.

PIJ official Muhammad al-Hindi then said that Israel is in retreat and that, unlike in the First Intifada, the Palestinians today have weapons and locally made missiles. He added that Gaza is the basis of the Palestinian nation.

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