Terror groups team up for joint ‘escalation of resistance’ against Israel

Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front leaders call Jewish visits to Temple Mount a ‘declaration of war on the Palestinian people.’

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Leaders of three Palestinian terror organizations met Saturday in Beirut to plan a joint escalation of their ‘armed resistance’ against Israel as the border with the Gaza Strip has heated up over the last week and IDF arrest operations and the destruction of terror infrastructure continues almost non-stop in Judea and Samaria.

Palestinian media reported over the weekend that Ziyad al-Nakhalah, Secretary-General of Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement (PIJ), Saleh al-Arouri, Deputy Head of the Political Bureau of Hamas, and Jamil Mazhar, Deputy Secretary-General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) “discussed current developments.”

These included the continued incursions by the IDF into Palestinian areas, which the army does almost nightly to prevent terror operations, the “policy of annexation and settlement,” and Israeli threats to renew targeted assassinations of terror leaders.

It was vital, they said, to “escalat[e] comprehensive resistance, especially the armed resistance,” and agreed to coordinate all their efforts “to confront the Zionist aggression.”

The groups also denounced Israel’s alleged “aggression against Jerusalem as part of frantic attempts to impose a new reality in the Holy City.”

Regarding the Israeli capital, the organizations said they were angered by the steady rise in the rate of Jewish visitations to the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site, which they, as is their usual practice, labeled as “settlers storming the Al-Aqsa Mosque.” The three called this “a declaration of war on the Palestinian people, which must be confronted and responded to with all force.” This seemed to be an invitation for all intents and purposes for extensive rioting on the Mount, which occurs regularly after incitement in the Palestinian media.

The hard-liners also publicized their joint anger at the Palestinian Authority (PA), both for its actions against them and cooperation with Israel.

They condemned the PA’s “continued political arrests,” and what they called “the persecution of activists and resistance fighters,” as the PA has recently made an effort to contain their rivals’ growing influence in Judea and Samaria, which directly threatens its control of their territory.

Regarding Israel, they denounced their rival’s “agreements and efforts to normalize relations with the occupying entity,” said the reports, “in exchange for material gains,” a pointed jab at the PA’s reputation for corruption in high places.

Read  IDF reopens Gaza humanitarian corridor despite Hamas attacks

The IDF, Shabak and Border Police recorded an additional joint success early this morning against Palestinian terrorism, destroying a combat control room and dozens of prepared explosives in the Nur al-Shams refugee camp near Tulkarem in northern Samaria in a brigade-level operation.

One IDF soldier was moderately injured by shrapnel in the firefight that ensued between the troops and terrorists.