The Palestinian city of Qalqilya has named a street after Saddam Hussein and erected a memorial with his likeness, an NGO monitoring Arabic media reported.
The monument was unveiled Wednesday at a ceremony attended by the Qalqilya District Governor Rafi Rawajba and two other Palestinian officials. It bears the slogan “Saddam Hussein – The Master of the Martyrs in Our Age,” as well as “Arab Palestine from the River to the Sea,” a slogan often used by Hussein that refers to the intended destruction of Israel.
One side of the memorial shows Saddam saluting, while another depicts him holding a gun.
According to the Middle East Media Research Institute, the ceremony during which the monument was revealed included speeches in praise of Hussein.
Rawajba said: “Saddam was an emblem of heroism, honor, originality and defiance, as was the martyr Yasser Arafat. [Both served as] 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.”
“The absence [of Hussein] is the absence of Arabism, since after his departure, the rebels dispersed in every direction, for he was the patron of [all] rebels,” Rawajba added.
City Council member Hani Jaidi said that “loyalty to the martyrs is proof of adherence to rights and principles that shall not wane as long as honorable people uphold them… This monument commemorates the martyrs and great leaders.”