First Published: 2005-09-13

Jihad to continue campaign against Israel

Armed Palestinian faction vows resistance will continue as long as Israel controls Gaza Strip access.


Middle East Online

Hindi (4th R) tours one of the former settlements

NETZARIM, Gaza Strip - The armed Palestinian faction Islamic Jihad vowed Tuesday to continue its campaign against Israel as long as the Jewish state continued to control access in and out of the Gaza Strip.

"Islamic Jihad does not consider what has happened in the Gaza Strip as a total retreat as the Zionist enemy continues to strangle our territories and our air space," one of the group's leaders, Mohammed al-Hindi, told a news conference in a former Israeli settlement.

"The resistance will continue until the total end of occupation and until we are able to exercise complete sovereignty on this part of our cherished land," he added.

Israel and the Palestinians have so far been unable to reach agreement on future access in and out of Gaza.

The main Rafah terminal leading from Gaza into Egypt has been indefinitely closed. Travellers and merchandise will instead have to travel via a kibbutz which straddles the borders of Israel, Egypt and Gaza.

Israel has indicated that it is prepared to allow civilians to eventually exit Gaza via Rafah but insists it continues to check all incoming civilians and traders over fears of weapons smuggling.

Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas said Monday that the question of access had to be resolved if Gaza was not to be turned into a "giant prison".

Islamic Jihad, while smaller than the Islamist movement Hamas, has been behind numerous suicide attacks during the five-year Palestinian uprising.

Like all the factions, it is meant to be observing a truce but has taken part in a number of attacks recently claiming that they are a response to Israeli "violations".


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