Thousands of Palestinians, Monday, marked the 15th anniversary of the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat at the Arafat Memorial in Ramallah, The Palestinian News and Info Agency (WAFA) reported.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addressed the crowds, praising Arafat, who led the Palestinian revolution for the liberation of the homeland from the Israeli occupation.

“Our revolution is a national liberation movement that deserves to be respected. It is going to achieve all its goals and achieve the independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital,” Abbas said.

He criticized the American so-called ‘deal of the century’, which he said intends to strip the Palestinians of their rights and dreams, stating “We will not go back on our rights. It is not a matter of stubbornness or rejection for the sake of rejection. We reject what does not agree with our rights and what our people do not accept,”

“We agreed to go to legislative, then presidential elections,” stressing the importance of holding these elections in Gaza and occupied Jerusalem as well, “without which there will be no elections.” he declared.

The Palestinian president expressed hope that everyone will agree to elections, “because they protect our existence and our cause,” adding, “we are going to elections under all circumstances and then to achieve our hope and dream, which is the independent Palestinian state, self-determination and return to the homeland.”

Edited for IMEMC: Ali Salam