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Islamic Jihad leader: Israel exploiting ceasefire

Aug. 18, 2008 2:55 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 18, 2008 2:55 P.M.)
Gaza - Ma'an - Israel is winning "collective gains" from the ceasefire with Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip, the most significant of which is border security and maintaining the inter-Palestinian rivalry, Islamic Jihad leader Ibrahim An-Najjar said on Monday.

In a press release, An-Najjar expressed his hope that Palestinian resistance factions will soon reconsider the "humiliating" ceasefire. He said "resistance must be reactivated" as it is the "sole card in the hands of the Palestinian people," he explained. An-Najjar also highlighted that "the Israeli occupation understands only the language of force."

Israel and Palestinian armed groups in Gaza, including Islamic Jihad, began a cesefire on 19 June. Since then Palestinian homemade rocket attacks and Israeli incursions in Gaza have all but stopped, but Israel has failed to lift its crippling blockade of the Strip as it pledged in the ceasefire agreement.

The Islamic Jihad leader criticized Palestinian factions for what he called "iron commitment" to the ceasefire while Israel reneges on its pledges. He referred to Palestinian reactions towards Israeli claims that Palestinian factions were violating ceasefire. He described those Palestinians who approved Israeli claims as "fishing in troubled waters."

With regards to the Palestinian approach to the conflict, An-Najjar talked about two approaches; resistance and the Palestinian Authority (PA). He asserted that his movement stands in the heart of the resistance approach, as the PA's strategy of negotiations is fruitless. "We do not believe that both approaches could be combined," he added.

An-Najjar also reiterated the necessity to resume national Palestinian dialogue which should not be limited to Fatah and Hamas, because the two faction the cause of the crisis.

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