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Islamic Jihad: Battle could last long, but Egypt is on our side

July 19, 2014 12:00 P.M. (Updated: July 19, 2014 1:38 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian resistance is drawing a new path for the Palestinian people and will continue until the basic goal of ending the siege imposed on the Palestinian people in Gaza is ended, a Islamic Jihad official said on Friday.

The movement's deputy secretary-general Ziad al-Nakhala told Ma'an TV channel Friday evening that "all options are open in the Gaza Strip, as the battle could last long and we should prepare for that if the enemy does not comply with our demands."

The statements came on the first day of the Israeli ground invasion, only a day after Hamas and Islamic Jihad offered a 10-year ceasefire agreement focused on ending the seven-year-old economic siege of the Gaza Strip that Israel rejected.

Al-Nakhala said that the Israeli occupation should realize that "we can confront this offensive, proving that Israel's arrogance is baseless."

Asked about Egypt's position toward the ongoing Israeli aggression on Gaza, al-Nakhala said it would be a mistake to accuse Egypt of treason or of compliance with the occupation.

Egypt, he added, understands the demands of Palestinian resistance factions and delivers those demands to the Israelis "who have been trying to impose their own stipulations."

"We must avoid any media battle with Egypt because that doesn't serve the interests of the Palestinian people in these dire conditions, and Egypt is on our side. We must have a united discourse on Arab media."

Separately, senior Hams official Ahmad Yousif confirmed to Ma'an that contacts between Egypt and the Palestinian factions had improved.

Egypt, he said, has always been supportive of the Palestinian question, and that supportive role cannot be excluded or ignored.

Egypt has come under fire in recent weeks for its inaction in the face of the Israeli assault, which has killed more than 310 Palestinians in 12 days.

Earlier in the week, Israel accused Hamas of violating an Egyptian-engineered ceasefire, which Hamas claimed it had not been shown by Egypt prior to its announcement.

The confusion led some to accuse Israel of manufacturing a pretext for stepping up its bombardment of Gaza, which expanded into a ground invasion within days.

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