Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), the Gaza Strip’s second largest terrorist organisation, stated on Saturday that it does not believe another round of combat with Israel is likely “at this time.”
“The region is not prepared for such a round,” said Mohammed al-Hindi, the PIJ politburo chief in the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave.
Hindi was speaking at a lecture in Gaza hosted by the Atlas Center for Studies and Research, a Palestinian organisation that specialises in Israeli issues. Dozens of academics, political experts, and Palestinian group leaders attended the conference.
Hamas named the war “Sword of Jerusalem,” while Israel chose the name “Guardian of the Walls.”
According to Hindi, the war showed that the Palestinians support the “option of resistance” against Israel. The Palestinians, he said, will “foil all attempts to steal from them the achievements of the battle.”
Hindi claimed that before the war, there were attempts to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “in favor of the Zionist enemy and transform the Palestinian cause into an economic peace issue.” He did not provide details about the alleged attempts or the parties ostensibly behind them.
Hindi praised the Arab citizens of Israel for joining the protests against the war, “thus strengthening the unity of the Palestinian people in the face of a common enemy to defeat it with jihad (holy war) and resistance.”
The war also resulted in a major and profound shift in international and regional public opinion in favor of the Palestinians, Hindi claimed.
But, he cautioned, the war has not stopped: “The Zionist enemy does not want to acknowledge and absorb its defeat; it is trying to regain the initiative by continuing the aggression in Jerusalem, the West Bank and al-Aqsa Mosque, and by continuing the siege of Gaza.”
The Palestinian Authority was chastised by Hindi for failing to “defend the Palestinian national enterprise.” He warned of international and regional efforts to restart the peace process between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.
He also chastised the Palestinian Authority for its approach to Gaza rebuilding, calling it “corrupt and incapable of managing this file.”
The Palestinian Authority has insisted that the rebuilding be solely the responsibility of its Ramallah-based government. It has also requested that any cash sent to Gaza go solely through the PA authority.
“The conflict with the occupation is a struggle of will, that the Palestinians are waging with awareness and responsibility,” Hindi added. “We seek to drain the enemy at all levels and expose its deficient reality and its weak psychological reality.”