THE Palestinian Islamic Jihad resistance movement strongly warns the Israeli regime and illegal settlers against keeping up their provocations in the holy occupied city of al-Quds.
‘Any attack on al-Quds will trigger a regional war,’ Al-Quds Al-Arabi, a pan-Arab daily, cited Khaled al-Batsh, one of the resistance group’s leaders, on Tuesday as saying.
In the event of such a provocation, regional resistance groups would be fielding their whatever weapon to fight the attacker ‘on all arenas,’ he added.
Palestinians want the eastern part of the holy city as the capital of their future state.
The Israeli regime, however, lays claim to the entire city, therefore, imposing huge restrictions there on the Palestinian freedom of movement.
It also allows its illegal settlers to regularly invade the al-Aqsa Mosque’s compound, Islam’s third-holiest site, in al-Quds’ Old City, even providing them with armed protection by the Israeli army.
The settlers toured the mosque’s courtyards before they performed Jewish rituals on Monday morning.
Al-Batsh reminded the Israeli occupation of the resistance’s capabilities in defending the holy city by making mention of the ‘Operation Sword of al-Quds’.
The name was used by the resistance groups based in the Tel Aviv-blockaded Gaza Strip, including the Islamic Jihad, to specify their defensive operation against the regime’s latest war on the coastal sliver that took place last May.
The Islamic Jihad warns the Israeli regime amid its continued attacks on the holy occupied city of al-Quds’ Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood.
The operation saw the resistance firing more than 4,000 rockets against the occupied territories, forcing the regime to desperately call for a ceasefire after just 11 days.
‘The operation directed the region towards new equations that the dedicated resistance forces are trying to reinforce and stabilise,’ the official said.
Al-Batsh, meanwhile, urged the Palestinians to preserve and invigorate their solidarity, describing Palestinian unity as a legitimate means of defending the nation’s rights.
- A well-known Palestinian prisoner’s health condition has deteriorated, amid deliberate Israeli negligence of his situation, to a status that is ‘similar to clinical death’, a report says.
‘The health condition of cancer-stricken prisoner Nasser Abu Hamid is deteriorating rapidly and has reached a very critical and dangerous stage that may lead to his death at any moment,’ the Palestinian Information Centre reported on Tuesday.
The 49-year-old was first arrested in 1987 during the First Palestinian Intifada (Uprising). Thereafter, he spent his life in and out of Israeli detention centres and prisons up until 1996.
Last time, he was arrested during the Second Intifada in 2002 for ‘resisting the Israeli occupation’, and sentenced to serving seven life sentences and an additional 50-year jail term.
According to his family, he underwent surgery to remove a lung tumour last October and was transferred to an Israeli jail before a complete recovery, leading to further deterioration of his situation.
Israeli prison authorities, however, delayed his treatment, only enabling the victim’s transfer back to the hospital about 10 days ago.
One of his brothers said the victim’s malignant tumour was ‘discovered in August last year. Yet the occupation’s deliberate stalling and neglect led to the deterioration of his health,’ Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen television network has reported.
Head of the Palestinian Prisoners Club (PPC) Kaddoura Fares also told the network that ‘prisoner Abu Hamid was suffering from a collapse in his immune system’.
Currently, some five thousand Palestinian political prisoners are being held in as many as 24 Israeli prisons and detention centres.
Besides dismal sanitary conditions, the prisoners are subjected to other inhumane and degrading circumstances, including administrative detention, solitary confinement, and bans on family visits.
- The ruling Taliban in Afghanistan have warned neighbouring Tajikistan and Uzbekistan of ‘consequences’ in case they fail to return the Afghan Air Force aircraft and helicopters that were flown into their territories by fleeing pilots during the US military exit in August last year.
All Afghan Air Force aircraft and helicopters ‘taken abroad must be returned … (without) testing our patience,’ Taliban Defence Minister Mawlawi Mohammad Yaqoob Mujahid said in his speech at an Afghan Air Force event in Kabul on Tuesday.
‘I respectfully call on Uzbekistan and Tajikistan not to test our patience and not to force us to take all possible retaliatory steps to retake the aircraft,’ the Afghan official was quoted as saying by TOLO News.
In his speech, the Taliban official said all the pilots and flight engineers who had fled the country were welcome to return to Afghanistan. He described the pilots as heroes.
‘They wouldn’t be honoured in foreign countries. We will honour them. They are the treasure of our country,’ the Taliban minister said in his Tuesday speech.
Afghanistan had over 164 active military warplanes before the US withdrawal and now there are only 81 left in the country, according to the Defence Ministry reports cited by TOLO.
Meanwhile, Afghan pilots who were held at an Uzbek camp, near the city of Termez, before their evacuation had described their stay in the country as captivity.
Their hopes began to lift just a week ago when US officials arrived to carry out biometric screening of the personnel.
A former US diplomat said the United States owed it to the fugitive Afghan pilots.
‘I hope we have plans underway to make sure the aircraft they got out get back to the United States and certainly do not return to the Taliban,’ said John Herbst, a former US ambassador to Uzbekistan.
Dozens of Afghan Air Force aircraft and helicopters, including A-29 light attack planes and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, were flown out of Afghanistan as the country’s ground forces collapsed and the Taliban swept to power.
Separately, it was reported on Tuesday that US-trained Afghan pilots and other personnel in Uzbekistan had begun leaving the country for the United Arab Emirates.
A pilot, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the transfer, which was expected to take place in several waves, had started last Sunday.