Sheikh Ahmad Yassin's message to Birzeit students in prisoners' week

Today, Harakat al-Muqawame al-Islameyyeh (HAMAS) ("Islamic Resistance Movement") spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, recently released after 8 years in Israeli detention, spoke a message via telephone to Birzeit students celebrating the first annual "Prisoners Week". Below is the full text of his 1 minute 49 second message, also available in the original Arabic as a streamed or downloadable (194K) file, courtesy of Real Audio.


"Peace be upon you, dear brothers, gathering at Birzeit University. An honourary greeting to our sons, the builders of our future and the future builders of our homeland. To our sons, who draw knowledge from the well, those who will always, God willing, be pioneers in defending our land and restoring our rights:

Consider our brothers in prison, who live in a very hard and difficult situation because of a lack of food, medical drugs, proper blankets, and humane treatment that they need, because of Israeli tyrants who haunt their very minds.

The prisoners need the most basic rights that humanity needs and we promise them, and we promise the Most High God before promising them, that we will work hard and with all of our strength to free them and to make them free. They are the men who prepared the road and made this day possible and are those who continue along the road to a larger and greater day, the day when the homeland will be free and the independent state of Palestine will be realised, and the Palestinian refugees in the Diaspora will come back to their homeland.

This is the path and, God willing, we will keep our promise and will never stray and will work with all our strength until we achieve this goal. I say what I say and ask the forgiveness of God for me and for you. May peace and the blessings of God be upon you."