THE HEAD of Hamas’s political bureau Ismail Haniyeh says all the Palestinian resistance factions firmly support the families of the East al-Quds neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah in the face of the Israeli regime’s threat to forcefully evict them from their homes.
‘I say to our people in Sheikh Jarrah: The resistance with all its factions and the nation are standing behind the steadfast citizens who are defending Jerusalem (al-Quds), the al-Aqsa Mosque and our holy sites,’ the Palestinian Information Centre quoted Haniyeh as saying.
The top Hamas leader hailed the Sheikh Jarrah families for refusing to accept an Israeli court’s offer that would make them tenants of their own homes and for sticking to their land and rights and for showing a high level of responsibility and awareness.
Palestinian families facing the threat of forced eviction from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood on Tuesday rejected an Israeli court’s so-called conflict resolution proposal that would enable Israeli settlers to eventually confiscate their land in 15 years.
Palestinian families facing expulsion from their homes in the East al-Quds neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah have rejected an Israeli court’s compromise deal.
The four families were required by Israel’s supreme court to respond to the proposal, put forward in August, under which they would be offered ‘protected tenancy status’ for a 15-year period in return for accepting that their land belongs to the Israeli Nahlat Shimon settler organisation.
Haniyeh further said the Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood had been lately under a lot of pressure to accept the unjust compromise that would strip them of their own homes’ ownership.
Local sources reported that the Israeli police on Tuesday quelled a group of activists who rallied in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood to express their solidarity with its residents and forced the activists to leave the area.
In a statement on Tuesday, Haron Nasser al-Din, a member of the political bureau of Hamas, said the issue of Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood cannot be compromised, warning Israel that it will pay the price for its ‘crimes’ in the occupied city of al-Quds.
The official stressed the Hamas movement’s rejection of ‘any form of compromise on the homes threatened with seizure in Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood,’ noting that the Israeli judiciary is part of the Israeli occupying regime’s security system that facilitates the seizure of the lands and homes of al-Quds by settlers.
The Israeli regime’s plans to force a number of Palestinian families out of their homes at the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of East al-Quds and Israeli violent raids on worshippers at the al-Aqsa Mosque prompted Palestinian retaliation that was followed by a brutal Israeli bombing campaign against the besieged Gaza Strip on May 10.
About 260 Palestinians were killed in the Israeli offensive.
In response, Palestinian Resistance movements, chief among them Hamas, launched Operation al-Quds Sword and fired more than 4,000 rockets and missiles into the occupied territories, killing 12 Israelis.
Apparently caught off guard by the unprecedented barrage of rockets from Gaza, Israel announced a unilateral ceasefire on May 21, which Palestinian resistance movements accepted with Egyptian mediation.
- The Palestinian Islamic Jihad has threatened Israel with open war if any Palestinian inmate dies.
The Palestinian Islamic Jihad resistance movement has announced a state of general mobilisation among the ranks of its fighters, warning that it will launch a new armed confrontation with the Tell Aviv regime in case Israeli officials press ahead with their repressive measures against Palestinian prisoners.
‘We fervently stand by the prisoners, and warn the Israeli occupation not to harm their lives,’ Mohammed Shalah, an Islamic Jihad leader, told Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen television news network last Monday evening.
He added, ‘The martyrdom of each of the prisoners would aggravate the situation and will spare no one unharmed … The resistance front would intervene and take actions to protect Palestinian prisoners.’
Shalah noted that Israel is well aware of the fact that Palestinian resistance factions will not leave their loved ones defenceless in the regime’s prisons.
‘We will defend the captives with all available means. All options are on the table,’ he asserted.
The Supreme Council for Hamas captives holds Israel responsible for lives of hunger strikers.
‘Our current struggle is not less important than battles fought in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, al-Quds, and elsewhere in Palestinian territories … The resistance will not back down. We are ready to start a direct war in case a Palestinian inmate is martyred,’ the Islamic Jihad leader pointed out.
‘Prisoners will see that all Palestinian groups and the entire nation are by their side,’ Shalah said, stressing that a joint operations room has been set up to monitor the situation of Palestinian detainees.
Back on October 23, the secretary general of the Islamic Jihad resistance movement said the group’s threats to go to war with Israel in support of its prisoners forced the Tell Aviv regime to end its new suppressive policies toward Palestinian detainees and make concessions.
‘Some 250 of our inmates went on hunger strike a few days ago in protest at restrictions imposed on them. Our message to the Zionists was very clear: We will respond with force if you do not stop the criminal measures,’ Ziad al-Nakhala said during an interview with IRNA news agency in Tehran.
Following our threats, Nakhala said, Israeli officials agreed to make concessions in return for the non-disclosure of the matter, as it could have triggered backlash inside the occupied territories.
The al-Quds Brigades, the Islamic Jihad’s military wing, also said in a brief statement on October 14 that it would go to war if Israel did not end the punitive measures imposed on the movement’s prisoners after the heroic escape of six Palestinians from a maximum-security Israeli detention Centre last month.
‘We announce a state of general alert among the ranks of our fighters. We are completely prepared and at the ready,’ the statement read.
A Palestinian advocacy group says 33 Palestinian women are being held under inhumane conditions in Damon prison in the occupied territories.
Nakhala had also said that the Islamic Jihad was prepared to ‘go to war’ with Israel for its members imprisoned in Israeli jails.
‘The Islamic Jihad will not leave its members in Zionist prisons to be victims at the hands of the enemy. Accordingly, we will stand with them and support them with everything we have, even if this means we must go to war for their sake,’ he said on October 13.
Islamic Jihad official Tareq Ezaddin said on October 22 that ‘the prisoners decided to suspend the hunger strike after they scored a victory against the administration of the occupation prison authorities’.
‘The victory is a turning point in the confrontation with the Israeli jailers,’ Ezaddin said.
Israeli prison authorities keep Palestinian inmates under deplorable conditions lacking proper hygienic standards. The prisoners have also been subjected to systematic torture, harassment, and repression.
Many Palestinian prisoners have resorted to hunger strikes to protest against harsh prison conditions and Israel’s infamous ‘administrative detention’, under which the regime incarcerates Palestinians without charge or trial for renewable periods of three to six months.
Currently, there are seven Palestinian prisoners who are on hunger strike. Two of them, Kayed al-Fasfous and Miqdad al-Qawasmi, have been on hunger strike for more than 100 days.
Last month, Qawasmi was admitted to the intensive care unit in Kaplan Medical Centre as his health condition deteriorated.