A senior Islamic Jihad official in Gaza called on Friday for an end to the internal Palestinian division based on the terms of the Cairo agreement. Khalid Al-Batsh also called on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to stop punishing the people of the Gaza Strip.
Al-Batsh made his comments during a demonstration organised by Islamic Jihad to voice its rejection of the Israeli-led siege of the enclave. He pointed out that the measures ordered by Abbas have affected thousands of Palestinians there.
The Islamic Jihad official called on Hamas to cancel any of the PA's punishment moves which are used as a pretext to undermine the reconciliation agreement. He cited the dissolution of the administrative committee that runs the Gaza Strip as an example.
Furthermore, said Al-Batsh, the PA leader should send a delegation to Gaza in order to meet with Hamas and the other national and Islamic factions in order to agree on mechanisms that end the division and achieve the degree of unity envisaged by the Cairo deal.
Islamic Jihad has never participated in the political process. Its senior official reiterated the belief that the Palestinian issue remains "central" for the Arab and Muslim nations despite the ethnic and sectarian conflicts across the region, and the backing-down of their leaders.
Al-Batsh stressed that the Palestinian people have been involved in legitimate resistance against the Israeli occupation since 1948. Pushing the Israelis out of Gaza in 2005, he suggested, is a prelude to the liberation of all of historic Palestine.
"The siege and the division undermine the achievement of our people's targets," he concluded, stressing that all Palestinians must be united to challenge the threats against them.