Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip have called for a “day of popular rage” on Wednesday to protest Israel’s plan to apply its sovereignty to parts of the West Bank.
The call was issued after a meeting of several Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip on Sunday.
The factions called for the formation of “popular protection committees” in the West Bank to confront the annexation plan.
The factions called for “activating the comprehensive resistance as the most effective way to confront the occupation measures on the ground, as well as the plans to liquidate the Palestinian cause.”
Although the factions did not specifically call for the resumption of armed attacks against Israel, their talk about a “comprehensive resistance” is understood to include terrorist attacks against Israel.
Last week, Hamas’ military wing, Ezaddin al-Qassam, warned that, if implemented, the annexation plan would be considered a “declaration of war” on the Palestinians.
Several Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad officials have threatened in the past few weeks that they would resort to “all available means” to thwart the annexation plan.
The factions urged Palestinians to form a “unified national front for the popular resistance to manage the field engagement [with Israel] and establish popular protection committees in the West Bank to confront the settlers and the annexation measures.” They said that similar protests would take place in the Gaza Strip in the coming days.
In addition, the factions called on the Palestinian Authority to pursue the implementation of the decisions of PLO institutions to withdraw recognition of Israel and abrogate the Oslo accords and their security, political, and economic obligations.
Khalil al-Haya, a senior Hamas official who attended the meeting of the factions, said that the Gaza Strip would join the protests to foil the annexation plan. “Gaza cannot be excluded,” he said. “This is an illusion.”
Haya said that Hamas “considers Palestine, from the [Mediterranean] sea to the [Jordan] river, as occupied land.”
He added that it was a “legitimate and patriotic duty to confront the occupation until its defeat, with all forms of resistance, particularly the armed struggle.”
The Hamas official said that all areas of the West Bank slated for annexation by Israel would be considered as areas of daily clashes. “The occupation needs to know that we have a long arm and that our resistance is ready to do everything necessary to stop the enemy’s sinful schemes,” he added.
Emad al-Agha, a senior Fatah official in the Gaza Strip, said that the Palestinian leadership has entered the phase of confrontation with the Israeli government and US administration. “The Israeli government and the American administration are hostile towards the Palestinian people, who have no choice but to engage in confrontation to change the existing equation,” al-Agha said.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad official Nafez Azzam claimed that the annexation plan was part of a conspiracy to “liquidate the Palestinian cause” and said that the Palestinians were determined to foil it. Azzam called on the Arab countries to support the Palestinians in their effort to prevent Israel from carrying out its plan.