GAZA, Palestine – The Secretary General of the Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, Ziad al Nahla, says that he believes that Israel will launch its next war in the summer.
In a televised interview with the Al Mayadeen TV channel, al Nahla warned that attempts to disarm Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip will not work.
“The efforts underway to contain the Gaza Strip, disarm the resistance […] will not succeed, we will wage war with diligence and preparation,” continued the secretary-general of Islamic Jihad.
He also said that the decision to stop the rocket fire against Israeli military targets on May 6th was due to the commitment of the self-described Jewish state to apply the previous understandings to alleviate the blockade of Gaza.
For his part, the Secretary-General of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Ziyad Al-Nakhaleh, has insisted that if the battle in Gaza continues, it will take resistance groups just a “few hours” to bomb all Israeli cities. In an interview with Al Mayadeen TV channel on Tuesday evening, Al-Nakhaleh pointed out that the Israeli occupation forces are targeting civilians in the besieged territory in order to put pressure on the resistance.
“What happened in Gaza is a live-fire exercise in preparation for the great battle that we think is inevitably coming,” he added. “However, there are implicit agreements between the Palestinian resistance forces to counterattack immediately when Israel attacks us.”
The Islamic Jihad official explained that the organisation met with Hamas in Cairo and took the decision to activate the joint operations room for resistance counterattacks. “We will not accept Israel’s imposition of an equation that enables it to bomb our citizens’ homes while preventing us from responding,” he stressed.
The Palestinians’ main demand at this stage is to end the siege on Gaza and stop the attacks on the March of Return protests. Adding that the Great March of Return protests will not stop, he said that, “Israel must abide by the commitments it made in the understandings with Cairo.” It was these understandings which led to the acceptance of a ceasefire.
According to Al-Nakhaleh, the resistance groups in Gaza expect another Israeli offensive during the summer as part of an attempt to disarm them. He suggested that efforts are now being made to contain the Gaza Strip with this objective in mind. “Nevertheless, as a resistance organisation, we will fight in any war launched against us with due diligence, readiness and preparation.”
He revealed that Egypt will not sponsor Palestinian reconciliation for several reasons and that, although the resistance “did not” communicate with Iran during the recent attacks against Gaza, there will always be communication. “We are also in constant communication with [Lebanon’s] Hezbollah. We always meet, and we might meet after this interview,” because “all resistance axes” must be mobilised to defend Gaza. “Israel’s actions against the March of Return protests,” he noted, “will determine our reaction against the occupation.”
Despite the fact that Israel is always trying to damage the relationship between Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, he insisted that it will not succeed. “We have high level coordination with Hamas and there is no disagreement. Indeed, we agree with our brothers in Hamas on the upcoming programme for facing Israel and counterattacking its aggression. We actually agree with Hamas on all matters, especially its leadership of the Gaza Strip, which we are very satisfied with because it is a resistance movement.”
In conclusion, Al-Nakhaleh expressed his disappointment that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas “has directed an Arab message whose content is to disarm Gaza and to consider resistance groups as militias.”
Israel stands presently in violation of UN Resolution 2334 (23 December 2016) which called for an end to Israeli settlement building, and numerous other international condemnations of Israel’s apartheid policy on Palestinian people, including collective punishment and the ‘open air prison colony’ which the Gaza Strip resembles.
Deputy Housing Minister in Gaza Naji Sarhan said that 130 residential apartments were completely destroyed and 700 others were partially destroyed in the Israeli strike in Gaza.
In a statement, a copy of which sent to MEMO, Sarhan said that the emergency staff of the ministry started their evaluation of the targeted buildings since the start of the Israeli offensive.
Sarhan condemned the Israeli aggression against the civilians, calling for the international community to urgently interfere to stop the Israeli targeting of the civic buildings, which are protected by the international laws and conventions.
He also called for the donors to help the affected families pay for repairing or rebuilding their homes.
It is worth noting that the Israeli occupation intentionally and directly targeted many residential buildings during the weekend offensive on Gaza.