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News > World

Thousands Rally on 35th Anniversary of Islamic Jihad Founding

  • Woman holds portrait of a Palestinian victim of Israeli terrorism.

    Woman holds portrait of a Palestinian victim of Israeli terrorism. | Photo: Twitter/ @momenfaiz

Published 7 October 2022

The rally was organized concurrently with the West Bank, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen.

On Thursday, thousands of Palestinians rallied on the 35th anniversary of establishing the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) movement. It is the first rally since the last round of tensions the PIJ had with Israel in August.


Palestine Calls on Israel to Stop Killing Its People

The rally was held in western Gaza under the motto "Our fight is to continue until Jerusalem," and was organized concurrently with the West Bank, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen. Dozens of the group's armed wing militants were deployed in the city's main streets, carrying rifles and wearing masks and military uniforms. They also displayed homemade rocket launchers.

Ziad al-Nakhala, secretary-general of the group, who resides in Iran, told the rally in an online speech that the recent round of tensions was necessary to express their "non-submission to the enemy in carrying out its attacks whenever and however it wants."

"The Islamic Jihad's decision to constantly fight and preoccupy the enemy is a vision, a position, and a duty to drain its energy and impede its policies," he said, noting that the movement's militants and leaders "will not leave their positions as long as the Israeli occupation remains on Palestinian land."

He also said that Jerusalem was and will remain the focus of the conflict, and they "will fight in defense of our land, Al-Aqsa Mosque, and churches."

"Israel is trying to turn the Palestinian cause into a humanitarian issue that it addresses by opening the labor market and other economic temptations to extinguish the spirit of resistance and dismantle it later," al-Nakhala said.

Leaders of Palestinian factions, including the Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas, attended the rally, where Palestinian flags, the black banners of the PIJ, and pictures of its leaders and other militants assassinated by Israel were raised.

In August, controversy arose in the wake of tensions between the Islamic Jihad and Israel over Hamas' non-participation in the fighting, which led to differences between the two groups. In a recorded speech, Hamas' deputy chief Saleh Arouri told the rally that despite differences, Hamas and the PIJ are "one unit, one strategy, and one approach."

If differences do occur, they are marginal and will be overcome immediately, he said, adding that "the armed resistance factions can impose a cordon on Israel that "has no future on the land of Palestine."

About 50 Palestinians, including 17 children and four women, were killed, and over 300 were injured in the latest wave of tensions between Israel and the PIJ in Gaza in August, which lasted for three days.

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