Islamic Jihad Leader in Gaza Vows to Oppose Trump's Peace Plan

As the organization celebrates 32 years since its founding, Ziad al-Nakhalah says that Islamic Jihad has imposed new rules of the game in the struggle against Israel

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Islamic jihad militants take part in a military show marking the 32nd anniversary of the organisation's founding, October 3, 2019.
Islamic jihad militants take part in a military show marking the 32nd anniversary of the organisation's founding, October 3, 2019.Credit: \ IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA/ REUTERS

The leader of Islamic Jihad vowed Saturday to fight any Israeli-Palestinian peace plan proposed by U.S. President Donald Trump's administration "with all the power at our disposal."

“We are reiterating here – no to the cursed Oslo Accords and no to everything that has stemmed from them, including the ‘deal of the century,’ which we will fight against with all the power at our disposal,” Ziad al-Nakhalah said, referring toTrump’s as yet unveiled peace plan.

>> Read more: As the White House holds back on Israeli-Palestinian peace, concerned senators step in | Analysis

Nakhalah addressed thousands of Islamic Jihad activists in the Gaza Strip at a conference to mark the 32nd anniversary of the organization’s founding.

He said that Islamic Jihad’s military wing, the Al-Quds Brigades, is at the forefront of the battle against Israel and has even imposed new rules of the game. “The Gaza Strip, which was a no-man’s land in which Israel did as it pleased, has become a key cornerstone of resistance to the occupation. They take it into account and build strategic plans for it.”

At the conference, which was attended by representatives of all the Palestinian factions, Nakhalah also spoke about the internal schism in Palestinian society. He argued that all the different organizations complement one other and criticized “a portion of the Palestinian people that’s convinced it’s possible to make peace with the Zionist enemy, but not among ourselves.”

Israel says Islamic Jihad was behind last month’s rocket fire at the Israeli coastal city of Ashdod, which cut short Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech at a campaign rally in the city.

As Haaretz later reported, Netanyahu planned to respond with a large-scale military operation that the defense establishment feared would start a war. National Security Advisor Meir Ben-Shabbat even warned the chairman of the Central Elections Committee that the planned operation might force the September 17 election to be postponed. Netanyahu backed down after Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit said he couldn’t launch the operation without convening the security cabinet.