The Islamic Jihad is “capable of fighting a major and long war with the Israeli army,” Nasser Abu Sharif said at a press conference in Tehran, more than a week after a series of Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip prompted resistance fighters in the besieged enclave to fire hundreds of rockets in retaliation.
During the five-day Israeli aggression, three Islamic Jihad leaders as well as over a dozen more Palestinians were killed.
Abu Sharif told reporters that the Gaza-based PIJ would never “make peace” with Israel.
He said Israel had been seeking to take out the PIJ since 1995, and had intensified it measures to do so, but to no avail.
“The Islamic Jihad has been a thorn in the eye of the Zionist regime,” the envoy added.
Abu Sharif said the PIJ had been developing its military might on a daily basis since it came to existence in 1981, which had become a source of grave concern for Israeli leaders.
“As the Zionists acknowledged, the Islamic Jihad came out of the recent war successfully. This was a clear indication of the movement’s growing power,” he pointed out.
Abu Sharif hailed a coordinated response by the Palestinian resistance faction to the Israeli raids, saying, “Although we suffered losses, the war brought unity to the Palestinian resistance groups which was very important.”
The Palestinian envoy said the recent Israeli aggression on Gaza and the Islamic Jihad was aimed at “restoring the exhausted power of Israel’s army, forging an alliance among political parties, and fostering unity among Israelis”.
He noted that Israeli society “was falling apart” and that Israeli authorities had admitted that they were facing a “grave crisis”.
“Zionist society is divided and a gap is widening between ultra-orthodox and secular Jews,” Abu Sharif said, adding that the issue had grown into “a big challenge” for Israeli leaders.