President Abbas expresses hope Christmas would bring an end to Israeli aggression

President Mahmoud Abbas expressed his hope that this Christmas would mark a cessation of the Israeli war against the Palestinian people in Gaza, as well as across the occupied Palestinian territories, wishing prosperity and stability for the Palestinian people and all nations.

In his speech marking Christmas according to the Gregorian calendar, the President said that “the sun of freedom and [our] independent state with Jerusalem as its capital is inevitably rising, almost within reach.”

“The river of blood, the immense sacrifices, the hardships, and the heroic resilience of our people on their land are the path towards freedom and dignity,” the President added on this occasion.

He affirmed that the Palestinian people are determined to continue their struggle to achieve their legitimate rights, foremost of which is the right to an independent, fully sovereign state.

President Abbas paid tribute to the martyrs of Palestine, wished a speedy recovery for the wounded, freedom for the prisoners, and prayed for the preservation of the Palestinian people in Gaza, the West Bank, Jerusalem, and the diaspora.

He expressed hope that the Palestinian people would soon achieve freedom, independence, and the right to live with dignity in their homeland, Palestine.

Full text of President Abbas’ speech:

Our dear Palestinian people, in Gaza, in cities, villages, and camps in the West Bank, in the capital Jerusalem, and throughout the world.

Our dear brothers and friends, the peoples and leaders of the world,

I address you all as we celebrate the glorious Christmas, recalling the message of Jesus Christ, peace be upon him—the message of love, tolerance, and peace, which is the message of all the prophets, peace be upon them all. I pray to God to make this Christmas a time to end the war and aggression against our people in Gaza, and all the occupied Palestinian territories, to make this Christmas an occasion for goodness, prosperity, and stability for our people and all peoples.

This year, the birth of Jesus Christ, and the nativity city of Bethlehem, is overshadowed by a sadness never seen before. The forces of occupation brutalize and kill Palestinian children, stealing the innocent smiles from the faces of those alive. No one – women, men, and the elderly – is spared from this killing, terrorism, forced displacement, and the destruction of thousands of homes, similar to what happened in the Nakba of 1948.

We hope that Christmas, and the beginning of a new year, brings renewed hope, life, and the defeat of evil forces.

To our people and families who seek refuge in the Church in Gaza, who endure the brutality of Israeli aggression, and to all the people of Gaza, I say that your suffering and the suffering of our people, both inside and outside, will not be in vain. The sun of freedom and an independent state with its capital, East Jerusalem, is imminent, very soon. The river of blood, immense sacrifices, hardships, and heroic resilience of our people on their land is the path to freedom and dignity. The brutal bombardment by the occupation on the Evangelical Baptist Hospital in Gaza, the Orthodox Cultural Center, the complex of the Orthodox Church, and the Church of the Holy Family, alongside mosques, schools, and hospitals, has caused harm, not distinguishing between Muslims and Christians. In addition, the aggression of the occupation also targeted the Christian presence, the presence of all our people, and Muslim and Christian holy sites of our in Jerusalem and the West Bank. Here, I offer my condolences to the families of all our martyrs, and I hold their hands, saying to our people, the dawn of freedom and statehood is inevitably coming.

To you, the peoples of the world, we greet and thank you for taking to the streets worldwide, demanding freedom for Palestine. This is an honor for us and a defeat for the oppressors.

Yes, together we will relight the Christmas tree, redecorate our cities and villages after the removal of checkpoints, the end of war and aggression, the fall of occupation and settlements, the dismantling of the apartheid wall, and the triumph of truth over evil. The candle of Christmas will be lit in the Grotto of the Nativity, and our children will sing for freedom and for our Palestinian homeland, with its capital, Jerusalem.

We will continue our struggle to attain our inalienable rights, to live on the soil of Palestine, in an independent, and sovereign state.

In conclusion, we ask God to have mercy on our righteous martyrs, to give us patience and their families, healing for the heroic wounded, freedom for our brave prisoners, and to protect our great people in Gaza, the West Bank, Jerusalem, and in the diaspora. May we attain freedom, independence, and live with dignity in our beloved homeland, Palestine.

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, and goodwill toward men.”

Peace be upon you.

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