Photo: Reuters
Jihad gunmen in Gaza (archive photo)
Photo: Reuters
Photo: AP
Palestinian PM Ismail Haniyeh
Photo: AP

Islamic Jihad warns: Truce gone with the wind

Spokesman for group’s armed wing, the Al-Quds Brigades, says, ‘calm dissipating in light of Zionists’ repeated ceasefire breaches, Israel’s continued attacks against Palestinians in Gaza, West Bank; PA officials fear rocket attacks on Israel may resume imminently

The Al-Quds Brigades, Islamic Jihad's military wing, announced Sunday that the agreed upon ceasefire with Israel and the calm in the Gaza Strip are "gone with the wind."


"The Zionist enemy must suffer the consequences of the crashing of the ceasefire," the announcement said.


The group threatened it will carry out an attack on Israel "in the coming hours." The organization claims that the attack will be in response to what they say is Israeli actions which have breached the ceasefire in Gaza.


A senior official within the organization said that the firing of rockets towards Israel will also be carried out soon.


It should be noted that the Islamic Jihad's military wing announced from the get-go that they would not take part in the ceasefire. Apart from firing two Qassams toward Israeli territory just hours after the ceasefire took effect, the organization's activists refrained from launching rockets at the western Negev; but Palestinian Authority officials have expressed fears that the Qassam fire on Israel may resume as early as Sunday evening.


“The calm is dissipating in light of the Zionists’ repeated ceasefire breaches and Israel’s continued attacks against Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank,” Al-Quds spokesman Abu Ahmed said. 


Responding to Defense Minister Amir Peretz’s assertion that the IDF’s activity in the West Bank would continue, Ahmed said his organization would not sit idly by.


“Islamic Jihad calls on the Palestinian organizations to reconsider the calm in the wake of the statements made by the Israeli government,” the announcement said.


According to Jihad members, Israel has breached the ceasefire 70 times.


Hamas freezes contacts

Even Hamas seems to be hesitant to end the ceasefire. Hamas officials said Sunday afternoon that the party is withdrawing from talks with other factions aimed at ending sporadic Qassam attacks against Israel and extending the ceasefire to the West Bank.


The group said however it will continue talks on the formation of a unity government.


Hamas argued that a ceasefire should be part of a national plan and not the central issue. The Islamic group also called on Palestinian factions to rejoin talks on a national unity government.


Palestinian Authority officials said the group's statement is a reaction to accusations that it used unity talks to reach a ceasefire, which would serve its interests as a governing party. The officials said soon after the ceasefire Hamas toughened its stance on Fatah's conditions for the formation of a national unity government which led to the failure of talks between the two parties.


Hamas accused Israel of sabotaging efforts to form a national unity government.


"The truce has to be general, in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip, but the Zionist enemy continues to abuse us in the West Bank. We declared an end to rocket attacks in return for the Israeli enemy ending its aggression allover the Palestinian territories. Therefore the continuation of the aggression in the West Bank means that the enemy is threatening to blow up the truce any moment, and therefore the responsibility for the failure of forming a unity government falls on it," Hamas spokesperson Faouzi Barhoum said.


פרסום ראשון: 12.03.06, 17:08
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