PRC, Islamic Jihad vow to continue fighting

Both groups indicate they would accept truce that wouldn’t appear like "capitulation" to Israeli conditions.

By
March 12, 2012 21:59
2 minute read.
Israeli car damaged from Gaza rocket

Car damaged from Gaza rocket 390. (photo credit: REUTERS/Nir Elias)

The Islamic Jihad and Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip vowed on Monday to continue fighting against Israel.

The two groups indicated, however, that they would accept a truce only if it does not appear as “capitulation” to Israeli conditions and demands.

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They are also demanding that a new truce include guarantees that Israel would not target their leaders and members in the future.

Meanwhile, Hamas pursued efforts to achieve a cease-fire.

A number of top Hamas leaders are in Cairo for emergency talks with Egyptian authorities on ways of achieving an end to the violence.

The armed wing of Islamic Jihad, the Al-Quds Battalions, said that its members fired 180 rockets and mortars at Israel since last Friday, when the current round of violence erupted.

These included 80 Grad missiles and another 100 home-made Al-Quds rockets, the group said.

“We affirm the continuation of jihad and resistance as the only and best option to confront Zionist aggression,” the armed group said in a leaflet issued in Gaza City.

“We will continue even if we remain alone on the battlefield.”

Islamic Jihad said that it would not commit to any truce that “gives in to the unjust conditions of the enemy” or allows for the spilling of Palestinian blood, the leaflet added.

“We will continue to shell Zionist cities with rockets despite the unprecedented presence of warplanes over the Gaza Strip and the targeting of our fighters in various areas.”

The group called on Israelis to get accustomed to staying in shelters for lengthy periods.

Ziad Nakhaleh, the numbertwo man in Islamic Jihad, said that his group told the Egyptian mediators that it was opposed to any truce with Israel.

“We are prepared to die as martyrs in a war launched by Israel and we won’t backtrack,” he stressed. “How can we accept a truce with Israel without responding to its aggression?” The Popular Resistance Committees, the other group that has been firing rockets and mortars at Israel in the past few days, said it was “inconceivable” to talk about a truce at this stage.

Ayman Al-Shashniyeh, a top leader of the armed group, said that his men were not afraid of Israeli threats to step up military operations in the Gaza Strip.

He said that the targeted killing of the group’s leader last Friday would not pass without a harsh response from the “mujahideen [warriors].”

Despite the defiant statements from the two armed groups, senior Hamas official Mahmoud Zahar told Reuters that he expected the situation to calm down.

Zahar, who is in Cairo for talks with Egyptian officials on ways of achieving a ceasefire, was quoted as saying that it was up to Israel to choose the timing for ending the violence.

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