For Immediate Release
28 September 2004
Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, condemns the assassination of Palestinian refugee and activist Izz-el-Deen al-Sheikh Khalil in Damascus, Syria by Zionist agents. Mr. Khalil, a native of Gaza who had been deported to Lebanon in 1992, is the latest in a long line of Palestinian intellectuals and activists who had been assassinated in a desperate attempt to weaken the Palestinian people’s resolve to continue on the path of struggle until the realization of its national objectives, first and foremost the return of the Palestinian refugees to their towns and villages in Palestine. Ghassan Kanafani, Abu Jihad (Khalil al-Wazir), Naji al-Ali, Abu Ali Mustafa, and numerous other Palestinian leaders, activists and thinkers were murdered with the hope of weakening the Palestinian resistance.
The assassination of Mr. Khalil in the heart of Damascus illustrates in no uncertain terms the Zionists’ disregard and outright contempt to the tenants of international law and the U.N. Charter. It also represents a cynical attempt to force the Syrian government to enact harsh measures against its Palestinian population and their leaders. Finally, the murder of Mr. Khalil is a tacit recognition on the part of the Zionist leadership of its failure to put an end to the heroic Aqsa Intifada, which entered its fifth year.
But, just as the assassination of countless Palestinian leaders in the past had failed to crush the Palestinian people’s determination to stay the path until victory, so will this latest crime by the Butcher of Sabra and Shatila.