Islamic Jihad gunmen (archives)
Photo: AP

Islamic Jihad says will halt suicide bombings in Israel

Commander of organization's military wing tells Ynet move aimed at improving situation of Palestinian population; adds group members rejected PA's call to join deal granting amnesty to dozens of Palestinian fugitives

The Islamic Jihad may stop initiating suicide bombings inside Israel, according to Walid Abeidi, commander of the group's military wing, the al-Quds Brigades. 


Most suicide bombers sent to Israel in the past few years were affiliated with the Islamic Jihad. In January 2007, an Islamic Jihad member carried out the terror attack in Eilat, in which three people were killed.   

A month later, a suicide bomber affiliated with the organization was caught in the city of Bat Yam. The group was also responsible for a terror attack in Tel Aviv's old central bus station on April 2006, in which 10 people were killed and dozens were injured.


Abeidi, also known as Abu al-Qassam, said that "the organization is considering halting the suicide bombings in order to help bring both sides, the Israelis and the Palestinians, to a mutual calm and ceasefire."


According to Abeidi, the Islamic Jihad has no intention of thwarting the efforts to reach a truce between Israel and the Palestinians, as the calm will bring about an ease of restrictions on the Palestinian population, will relieve the residents' suffering and will resume the financial aid, which will also be used to pay the salaries of hundreds of government workers.


"We are not interested in hindering an improvement in the situation of the Palestinian population. We hope this will be made possible as part of an agreement honoring the Palestinians' rights and will take place as part of a mutual ceasefire and calm," he said.


'Israeli violations will be met with harsh responses'

Abeidi added that his organization was willing to exert any effort in order to improve the lives of the Palestinians living in the West Bank and of the rival organizations.


He also said that his organization supported the efforts of Salam Fayyad's government to lift the international siege imposed on the Palestinians.


The al-Quds commander added that he hoped Israel would stop pursuing Palestinians and hurt innocent people.


"This is not said from a point of weakness, but from deep concern to the Palestinian situation and interest. The Islamic Jihad will decide on its stance in accordance with the developments, and any stance it decides on will be in favor of the Palestinian people."


The Islamic Jihad rejected calls from the Palestinian Authority to join the deal between Israel and the PA granting amnesty to dozens of Palestinian fugitives. Abeidi said that the decision to halt terror attacks was not aimed at guaranteeing amnesty to the organization's members.


"We want a mutual and dignified truce which will guarantee the Palestinians an honorable life," he explained.


"Israeli violations will be met with harsh responses by the organization's fighters and the Palestinian resistance. This is our decision and it proves that all the talks in Israel on an external Iranian influence are nonsense," Abeidi said.


פרסום ראשון: 07.19.07, 00:18
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