August 14, 2003



Think Palestinian terrorists are using the "ceasefire" to search for a peaceful solution to the conflict? Think again: Militants re-arm under cover of Israel truce.

The head of Islamic Jihad in the Gaza strip has admitted the militant group is using an ongoing truce with the Israeli military to re-arm, heightening fears of an explosion of bloodshed when the ceasefire comes to an end next month.

In an exclusive interview with Scotland on Sunday, Mohammed al-Hindi warned that militant Palestinian groups are preparing for confrontations in the wake of Israeli military operations that could even lead to the collapse of the fragile truce ahead of next monthís deadline.

Al-Hindi said: "It is natural that we strengthen ourselves during hudna [the three-month ceasefire declared by Palestinian groups in June]."

The Islamic Jihad leader was responding to Israeli accusations that his group, which has carried out numerous suicide bombings and other attacks, is using the lull in hostilities to gather weapons and re-build its armed wing.

And he said that other groups, including Palestinian President Yasser Arafatís Fatah faction and Hamas, should follow Islamic Jihadís example.

"It is natural that the Palestinians, Fatah, the Islamic Jihad, Hamas, be ready to defend their people in the coming stages," he added.

(Via Little Green Footballs)

Posted by Forkum at August 14, 2003 08:08 AM