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Memorial to Iraqi Tyrant Saddam Hussein Unveiled in Palestinian West Bank City

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The memorial to the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in Qalqilya. Photo: MEMRI.

The district governor of the Palestinian city in Qalqilya in the West Bank has unveiled a memorial to the late Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, a Middle East research institute reported on Friday.

MEMRI – the Middle East Media Research Institute – published a series of photos of the memorial, which depicts on one side a saluting Saddam in military uniform alongside the Iraqi and Palestinian flags. On the other side of the memorial, a besuited Saddam is shown brandishing a gun. The memorial bears the slogan “Saddam Hussein – The Master of the Martyrs in Our Age,” as well as “Arab Palestine from the River to the Sea,” which was one of the slogans regularly used by the dictator.

Local dignitaries at the memorials’ unveiling on the newly-named Saddam Hussein street included the secretary-general of the Arab Liberation Front (ALF), a small Palestinian faction historically linked with the former ruling Ba’ath party in Iraq.

Qalqilya’s district governor, Rafi’ Rawajba, eulogized Saddam Hussein as “an emblem of heroism, honor, originality and defiance, as was the martyr (the late PLO leader) Yasser Arafat.”

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Both leaders, Rawabja said, had been “a compass for the Arabs and their resolute decisions, and when they departed, Arabism departed with them. President Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] makes sure to follow in the footsteps of these two great leaders.”

Hani Ja’idi, a member of Qalqilya’s city council, said the memorial to Saddam “commemorates the martyrs and great leaders.” Meanwhile, ALF Secretary-General Rakad Salam, who said that he was speaking “on behalf of the Ba’ath Party,” offered fulsome praise for “the glorious deeds of the martyr Saddam Hussein and his support for the liberation movements, in particular the Palestinian revolution and the PLO.”

Saddam Hussein became Iraq’s president following an internal Ba’th Party coup in 1979. Prior to his overthrow by American forces in 2003, he had launched two wars – against Iran in 1980, and by invading Kuwait in 1990 – and carried out genocidal campaigns in Kurdish northern Iraq as well as in the Shia-dominated south. After his removal, he spent several months in hiding before he was captured by US troops and placed on trial.

In November 2006, Saddam was convicted by an Iraqi court of “crimes against humanity” and sentenced to death. His execution by hanging was carried out the following month.

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