Damascus- The former head of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement was laid to rest Sunday in the Syrian capital Damascus, a day after he passed away following a long illness.
Hundreds of people attended the funeral of Shallah, 62, who had been in a coma for more than three years after heart surgery.
Shallah was buried following the afternoon prayers in the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk in Damascus. His funeral was attended by Syria-based Palestinian officials.
According to an AFP report, dozens of mourners gathered around his coffin draped in the movement’s banner in the Mazzeh neighborhood of Damascus, after receiving special permission to gather amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.
A funeral procession then headed to a cemetery in the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp on the edge of the capital, Damascus, where Shallah’s body was buried.
“We pledge to continue the route of resistance until we liberate Palestine with the allies in Syria, Iran and Hezbollah,” Islamic Jihad Leader Ziad al-Nakhalah told Al-Mayadeen TV during the funeral.
Hezbollah issued a statement mourning the resistance leader, stressing that the resistance group will continue to side with the Islamic Jihad and Palestine.
“With his departure, we lost a great resistance figure in the modern era with what he had of illuminated thought, an open mind, sincere passion, solid will, unwavering determination, great confidence in Allah Almighty’s promise of victory and great devotion to the central cause [Palestine},” Hezbollah said in a statement.
The statement underscored the deep grief the resistance suffered by Shallah’s death, assuring that his path will forever be preserved.
In a message, Hamas Political Bureau Chief Ismail Haniyeh described Shallah as a Palestinian leader who raised the flag of resistance and his life was one of self-sacrifice, Jihad and resistance. Haniyeh also hailed his long-time endeavor to boost unity among Palestinian groups.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a message said, “By losing Shalah we lost a great national man.”
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani issued a message of condolence, noting that Shallah spent all his life in defending and supporting the cause of the oppressed people of Palestine.
“Ramadan Abdullah was source of lasting services in the history of this country’s combatants, which will shine like a beacon of light for the next generations in the field of jihad and resistance,” Iran’s president said.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also issued a message, saying Dr Ramadan Abdullah spent his life on the path or resistance and made efforts to liberate Palestine. He offered condolences to the Palestinian people, current leader of Islamic Jihad and the family of the deceased.
Shallah, who was born in Gaza, did his PhD in economics from the United Kingdom and taught at the University of South Florida from 1993 to 1995 before he assumed PIJ’s leadership. Shallah left to Egypt to pursue his study in the field of economics.
During his study in Egypt, Shalah met with Palestinian activist Fathi Shqaqi with whom he co-founded the Islamic Jihad group.
The US government placed him on its most-wanted list due to Islamic Jihad’s role in attacks against Israeli targets in Palestine and the FBI added his name to its wanted list in 2017.
In 2018, Shallah’s deputy, Beirut-based Ziyad Nakhaleh, was elected as his successor.
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