Senior Fatah official Jibril Rajoub has compared the situation in Palestinian cities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the extermination of Jews at the Auschwitz death camp during the Holocaust.
Rajoub, the secretary-general of the Fatah Central Committee, made the claim in a short interview on Saturday with the Saudi-owned Al-Hadath news channel.
Asked about a US-Polish hosted conference on the Middle East in Warsaw that Palestinians have said they will boycott, Rajoub said: “What is the meaning of this talk that [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu will go and be welcomed in Warsaw to remind us of the Holocaust and Auschwitz? In every city in Palestine, from Rafah to Jenin, there is an Israeli Auschwitz to massacre the Palestinians.”
Auschwitz was set up by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland during World War II.
With one million Jews killed there between 1940 to 1945, the death camp has become a symbol of Nazi Germany’s genocide of the European Jews. More than 100,000 other people including non-Jewish Poles, Roma, Soviet prisoners of war and anti-Nazi resistance fighters also perished there.
Rajoub posted a clip of the interview with the Saudi channel on his Facebook page on Saturday, which Palestinian Media Watch, an Israeli watchdog that closely monitors Palestinian social media, translated to English and reported upon Wednesday.
The Palestinians have lambasted the conference in the Polish capital, which was slated to begin on Wednesday; the Palestinian Authority foreign ministry described it last week as “an American conspiracy intended to get the participants to adopt the US’s views on issues of the region, particularly the Palestine question.”
Palestinian officials also have said they hope no meetings between Arab and Israeli officials will take place at the summit.
Netanyahu, White House officials, Arab foreign ministers and European diplomats are expected to participate in the conference.
Rajoub did not respond to a request for comment.
On Sunday, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, the official Palestinian Authority daily, also made a reference to the Holocaust when discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In the newspaper’s editorial, editor-in-chief Mahmoud Abu al-Haija, called US President Donald Trump’s apparently forthcoming peace plan “a Holocaust plan for the most just cause in this era,” alluding to the Palestinian issue.