"Once the decision to execute the attack is taken at the field level, the attack is launched," al-Saadi said.
According to the top Islamic Jihad leader, no Israeli withdrawal would deter the organization from its path.
Victim's family (Video: Reuters)
"As far as we are concerned, Jenin and Tel Aviv are both a part of Palestine, and we shall continue to raise the flag of resistance and will not surrender," he stated.
What was the purpose of the attack?
With today's bombing we say to the Israelis that we will give you no security as long as you keep slaughtering us. You say that you have security and a security barrier, so where were they today? The Israeli army has been in Jenin for the last four days and had imposed a closure on entire neighborhoods. It imposed a closure from here to Tel Aviv, but still you got an attack.
This means that our brethren the mujahadeen are able to respond to Israel's crimes, and if during the recent period they were quiet, this is because there was a decision to give the calm and dialogue a chance. But when they see that there is no future and that no good came out of this calm, and that the Israelis continue to kill, they retaliate with a bombing like today. We do not deny the fact the Israelis have also had their share of successes and that they manage to prevent attacks, but the same goes for the Palestinian resistance, it also has its successes.
A government committed to further withdrawals is set to be established in Israel. Why continue with these attacks?
What do the Israeli pullouts give us? They give us nothing. What kind of a withdrawal is it, in the framework of which the Israeli army exits the Palestinian territories and reenters them whenever it pleases? What kind of a pullout is it, where the Israelis can at any moment return and take hold of our houses? And besides, we in the Islamic Jihad do not recognize any withdrawals. For us this entire land is Palestine and there is no difference between Tel Aviv and Jenin, Haifa and Nablus.
But even if we assume Israel plans to allow the Palestinians to establish a state in the 1967 borders, how exactly can this state be founded with the security fence? What about all the roads and settlements that will continue to exist? This is why there is no chance for such a Palestinian state, and all Israel does with these pullouts is intended for saving costs and manpower, while it reserves the right to enter our territories whenever it wants.
Aside for the killing brought by the attack, do you not think it mainly hurts the Palestinian people? The entry of Palestinian workers to Israel will be suspended, and this would worsen the situation in the Palestinian Authority, not to mention other punitive measures
What greater damage than what we have experienced until today can be done? Today the entire Palestinian people is under siege. There is destruction and killing on a daily basis. Israel closes down the border crossings and suffocates the Palestinians. The army invades Palestinian communities daily, and as we have said, the army only left Jenin this morning after being here for several days. So what kind of damage are you talking about? How will this attack add to the suffering of the Palestinian people? Even when our mujahadeen sit quietly, the Israeli army pursues them and kills them. Recently, for example, our military wing remained calm due to our sympathy for Hamas and our wish not to hurt its government. There were no attacks. But the enemy on its part continued with the killing and destruction.
Nevertheless, this burdens your population
Not true. Even without this attack, the checkpoints and the closures kill the Palestinians' lives and suffocate them. The Israeli army enters our houses daily, destroys and kills and detains, and the Israelis do it even without the bombings. If this is the situation, let there be bombings.
Israel is certain that the instructions for today's attack, as do all other Jihad attacks, came from your leadership in Damascus that carries out the orders of Syria and Iran
This is not true. We are the ones living here, and we know that no instructions come neither from Syria nor from Iran. The fighting brothers, the field people, they are the ones making the decisions according to the situation on the ground. And on the contrary, on many occasions it was the leadership abroad that asked us to refrain from executing attacks. It never forces its position. We live here and we decide. After Hamas' rise to power, the leadership abroad wanted calm, and indeed for some time our activists honored this request. But the assassinations continued and we could not sit quietly without reacting. If we hadn't done so, we would be violating our commitment to our religion, the commitment and respect to the martyrs and their blood, and to our imprisoned brothers who are marking Prisoner's Day today.
Despite your statements that the attack is a response to what Israel is doing, it appears that with these bombings you are first of all attempting to tell the Palestinians that you are the only ones carrying on with the attacks, and perhaps in this way gain strength, just like Hamas did at the time
Of course this attack was in response to Israel's crimes. How can you say it wasn't? In the last days the Israelis have killed our senior leaders in the West Bank and Gaza one by one. This was a response, but we do not deny that through this attack and attacks in general we say to our public that we are the only organization that continues with its commitments to God, to religion and to the martyrs. We carry on no matter which government is in power, either a Fatah or a Hamas government. We shall continue with this policy as long as the situation does not change and as long as Israel continues to kill our people.
The average Israeli is reading your statements and sees his government planning for another pullout. What do you have to say to the Israeli public?
I want to say to the Israelis that this attack is part of my right to respond to what your army does to me and my people. Your soldiers enter our houses every day and humiliate us and our families. They kill our people and destroy our property. They keep us waiting for hours on end in roadblocks, and continue to abuse and humiliate our prisoners in a purposeful manner. We say to the Israelis that despite all the security measures taken by your army, we shall not surrender and we will not tell you, 'come slaughter us' without responding. I say to the Israelis that no security measures can prevent the attack. The only solution is if you give us peace and quiet, so that you can also have peace and quiet.
Let me tell you something, if there is a period of calm and all the Palestinian organizations agree to it, contrary to our position – because we do not believe the Israeli side would respect the calm, we will not go against the Palestinian people's will and the consensus. But during our hudna (temporary cease-fire) that lasted about a year, we have lost a whole army of activists and commanders. We lost more men than we did during all the years of the intifada.