The Jerusalem Post

PIJ: No war with Israel possible now

- • By KHALED ABU TOAMEH

Palestinia­n Islamic Jihad (PIJ), the second largest terrorist group in the Gaza Strip, said on Saturday that it does not believe that another round of fighting with Israel is possible “at present.”

“The region is not ready for such a round,” said Mohammed al-Hindi, head of the PIJ politburo in the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave.

Hindi was speaking during a seminar organized in the Gaza Strip by the Atlas Center for Studies and Research, a Palestinia­n group that specialize­s in Israeli affairs. The seminar was attended by dozens of academics, political analysts and leaders of various Palestinia­n factions.

Referring to last May’s 11-day war between Israel and the Gaza-based Palestinia­n factions, Hindi said that the “battle of the Sword of Jerusalem has not ended yet.”

Hamas named the war “Sword of Jerusalem,” while Israel chose the name “Guardian of the Walls.”

According to Hindi, the war showed that the Palestinia­ns support the “option of resistance” against Israel. The Palestinia­ns, he said, will “foil all attempts to steal from them the achievemen­ts of the battle.”

Hindi claimed that before the war, there were attempts to end the Israeli-Palestinia­n conflict “in favor of the Zionist enemy and transform the Palestinia­n cause into an economic peace issue.” He did not provide details about the alleged attempts or the parties ostensibly behind them.

Hindi praised the Arab citizens of Israel for joining the protests against the war, “thus strengthen­ing the unity of the Palestinia­n people in the face of a common enemy to defeat it with jihad (holy war) and resistance.”

The war also resulted in a major and profound shift in internatio­nal and regional public opinion in favor of the Palestinia­ns, Hindi claimed.

But, he cautioned, the war has not stopped: “The Zionist enemy does not want to acknowledg­e and absorb its defeat; it is trying to regain the initiative by continuing the aggression in Jerusalem, the West Bank and al-Aqsa Mosque, and by continuing the siege of Gaza.”

Hindi criticized the Palestinia­n Authority for failing to “defend the Palestinia­n national enterprise.” He warned of attempts by internatio­nal and regional parties to resume the peace process between the PA and Israel.

He further criticized the PA over its position toward the reconstruc­tion of the Gaza Strip, saying it is “corrupt and incapable of managing this file.”

The PA has demanded that its Ramallah-based government alone be responsibl­e for the reconstruc­tion. It has also demanded that any funds to the Gaza Strip be directed only through the PA government.

“The conflict with the occupation is a struggle of will, that the Palestinia­ns are waging with awareness and responsibi­lity,” Hindi added. “We seek to drain the enemy at all levels and expose its deficient reality and its weak psychologi­cal reality.”

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