TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – A leader of Palestine’s Islamic Jihad Movement reaffirmed support for the massive wave of protests known as the Great March of Return, denouncing the normalization talks between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel as a stab in the back of the Palestinian nation.

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In comments on Friday, Ahmad al-Mudallal said the high turnout of protestors in the March of Return despite the fierce Israeli suppression of demonstrators and the stormy weather indicates that Palestinians are determined to achieve the goals of resistance.

The resistance movement will never abandon the legitimate goals that the peaceful demonstrations are pursuing, he added.

Mudallal also slammed the Palestinian Authority for normalization talks with the Zionist regime, saying such negotiations are a stab in the back of the Islamic and Arab society.

“Normalization of ties with the occupying Zionist regime would legitimize the continuation of the regime’s crimes against the Palestinian nation,” he deplored.

As the March of Return demonstrations in the Gaza Strip entered the 40th week on Friday, December 28, a Palestinian man was killed by Israeli fire during the protests near the border fence east of the Gaza.

Karam Fayyad, 26, was killed east of the city of Khan Younis. Eight other Palestinians were also wounded by Israeli fire during Friday's protests.

Around 5,000 Palestinians demonstrated for the 40th consecutive Friday along various parts of the border between Gaza and the territories occupied by Israel.

At least 240 Palestinians have been killed since the demonstrations began.