Thousands of Gazans protest Trump visit to occupied territories
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Thousands of Palestinians have staged a rally in the Gaza Strip to denounce a trip by US President Donald Trump to the occupied territories, while condemning his earlier designation of resistance against the Israeli regime as a form of terrorism.
During the protest on Tuesday, Palestinian fighters posed with an effigy of Trump at their gunpoint while thousands of others chanted slogans against his presence in Palestine.
The protesters also condemned Trump’s inaction on Israel’s harsh treatment of Palestinians on hunger strike in Israeli jails. They also held banners that read, “Resistance is not terrorism,” making a reference to Trump’s designation of resistance groups in Gaza as terrorists.
The protest against Trump was organized by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), whose gunmen moved the effigy of Trump on the back of a truck on the streets in Gaza as people chanted slogans against Washington and Israeli regime.
Fawzi Barhum, the spokesman for the resistance movement Hamas, said on Tuesday that Trump was smearing the reputation of Palestinian “resistance” in favor of the Israeli occupation. The official said Trump’s likening of Hamas with the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group during a summit in Saudi Arabia, which came before his arrival in the Palestinian territories, was “aimed at besmirching the reputation of the Palestinian resistance.”
A top Hamas official, Mushir al-Masri, also censured Trump’s provocative remarks, saying the US president was “aligning himself with the policies of the [Israeli] occupier” regime.
Gaza, a besieged and densely populated enclave on the Mediterranean, is where Palestinian resistance movements enjoy a massive public support. The territory has seen brutal wars by Israel over the past years, with the last one coming in the summer of 2014, when more than 2,200 Palestinians, many of them women and children, were killed in massive Israeli air raids. The area still suffers from destruction left behind from the war. Israel continues to prevent the flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza. Hamas has ruled Gaza since 2007, when it won popular elections in the enclave.