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'If attacks continue,' says Islamic Jihad official, 'it would take just hours to bomb Israeli cities'

Israeli occupation forces targeted a number of site in the Gaza Strip on 4 May 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Israeli occupation forces targeted a number of sites in the Gaza Strip on 4 May 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

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.

READ: 830 residential apartments damaged in Israel's attack on Gaza

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."

Ziad Al-Nakhaleh. Secretary-General of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement

Ziad Al-Nakhaleh, Secretary-General of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement

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."

READ: Trump backs Israel '100%' amid air strikes on Gaza

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