MARWAN AL-BARGHOUTHI, the Fatah leader imprisoned in Israel, called on the Palestinian leaders ‘to go to the Gaza Strip in order to take part in the battle of resilience and resistance together with our people, and to remove the siege and reconstruct the Strip’.
Al-Barghouthi also urged ‘popular mobilisation and rallies to denounce the aggression and to reject the occupation’.
Meanwhile, the national and Islamic forces in the Gaza Strip held an emergency meeting ‘in light of the continuation of the all-out war on our people in the Gaza Strip, which reached its peak with massacres, a war of genocide by the occupation army against our besieged people in the Gaza Strip, the fall of a large number of martyrs and wounded, and destruction of homes over their occupants’.
The forces stressed the following: ‘The forces salute the masses of our people and greet their legendary steadfastness and huge sacrifices.
‘They also value the rallying of our people around their valiant resistance in spite of the siege and starvation. They call on the national consensus government to meet the needs of our people and provide the necessary requirements for facing the barbaric Israeli aggression.
‘The forces hold the extremist right-wing occupation government responsible for the escalation of its aggression and crimes against our people in the Gaza Strip. This includes shelling, siege, the fall of a large number of martyrs and wounded, and the destruction of homes.
‘This requires immediate effective international intervention to protect our people from the occupation policies and its criminal measures and to hold its war criminals accountable in front of international tribunals.
‘The forces send a greeting of respect and pride to all the resistance factions and highly value their resistance and confrontation of the aggression by all available means in defence of our people in the steadfast Gaza Strip.
‘They call for enhancing and developing field coordination and stress the need for activating the central joint operations room to confront the ongoing barbaric aggression against our people.
‘They stress the legitimate right to resistance and its continuation until the occupation is defeated and all our people’s objectives are achieved.
‘The national forces support the Palestinian leadership’s move to go to UN institutions in order for the state of Palestine to accede to all international conventions and pacts, especially signing the Rome Statute and joining the International Criminal Court to impose isolation, boycott, and collective sanctions on the Israeli occupation state and try the war criminals and officials in front of these courts.
‘They also call for reconsidering the agreements signed with the occupation state. The forces call on the Arab ministerial council, held today, to bear its responsibilities by supporting our people in their steadfastness and resistance of the occupation and moving internationally to adopt a binding resolution at the Security Council that condemns the Israeli occupation and calls for stopping it immediately and lifting the injustice on our people, as well as supporting the tendency of the Palestinian leadership to activate the Geneva convention and provide protection for our people under occupation and move actively to hold the extremist right-wing government accountable for its crimes in front of international courts.
‘The national forces call on the sisterly Arab states, especially the sisterly Arab Republic of Egypt, to intensify their efforts to stop the Israeli aggression against Gaza and put pressure on the occupation state to stop all forms of aggression against our people.
‘The forces stress adherence to the end of the division, applying the agreement of May 4th 2011, restoring national unity, and completing the other agreed-on mechanisms, especially calling on the PLO Activation and Development Committee to convene quickly to come up with mechanisms to put our house in order and manage our battle with the occupation on the local, regional, and international levels.
‘The forces greet the masses of our steadfast people inside, in the diaspora, Jerusalem, and the 1948 areas for escalating their moves in solidarity with Gaza in the face of the criminal Israeli aggression, stressing the unity of our people inside and in refugee camps and the diaspora in the face of the occupation and in adhering to rights until the evacuation of the occupation to ultimately achieve freedom, independence, return, self-determination, and the establishment of our fully sovereign independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.
‘They also greet all the medical emergency staff, Civil Defence, journalists, police, municipalities, and all workers in the field. They appeal to the masses of our people in the north not to respond to the requests of the enemy to vacate their homes and to return to their homes, while ensuring their defence and their right to live in dignity.
‘Glory to the martyrs and wounded and their families. Greeting to the resistance. Glory and immortality to the martyrs. Thank you.’
• Hamas and Islamic Jihad said on Tuesday that they were not consulted over the terms of a truce deal with Israel, with the Al-Qassam Brigades branding the proposal as ‘surrender.’
‘To avoid confusion and to be clear with our people, Al-Qassam Brigades confirm that we haven’t been contacted by any official or unofficial entities about terms of this alleged initiative.
‘If what has been circulated is true, this initiative means kneeling and submissiveness and so we completely refuse it and to us, it’s not worth the ink used in writing it,’ a statement added.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said Hamas was not officially informed by any party.
‘We are a people under occupation and resistance is a legitimate right for occupied peoples,’ he said.
Egyptian sources said on Monday that the initiative was based on consultations with Israel, the Palestinian National Authority and all Palestinian factions.
Senior Islamic Jihad official Khalid al-Batsh welcomed Egypt’s role, but said that there was only contact between Egypt and Israel.
‘Initiatives shouldn’t be proposed through media outlets, but rather through the obvious channels, which are resistance factions and their leaders.’
Deputy secretary-general of the group, Ziad al-Nakhalah, said late on Monday that there couldn’t be a cease-fire agreement without guarantees to end Israeli aggression and the blockade on Gaza.
He added: ‘We are open to any initiative, but rocket fire won’t stop unless a real and appropriate agreement is reached.’
Israel’s security cabinet on Tuesday accepted an Egyptian cease-fire proposal, a government spokesman said, after a week of deadly bombings on Gaza which killed over 200 Palestinians.
‘The cabinet has decided to accept the Egyptian initiative for a cease-fire starting 9am today,’ Ofir Gendelman, spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, said on Twitter.
Israeli ministers in the security cabinet had begun meeting early on Tuesday to consider the Egyptian proposal for a cease-fire to start immediately from 9am.
President Mahmud Abbas said on Monday evening he supported the Egyptian cease-fire initiative and urged all sides to comply to protect ‘the blood of our people and our higher national interests’.
No Israelis have been killed during the military assault on Gaza.
• Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman says that Israel must go all the way and take control of the Gaza Strip and that the end goal must be the removal of Hamas from the Gaza Strip.
He said a cease-fire is a mere preparation for the next round of violence.