Iran’s Militarization of West Bank Raises Concerns – part 2


The Secretary-General of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), Ziyad al-Nakhalah, was interviewed by the al-vefag (Al-Wifaq) newspaper affiliated with the Supreme National Security Council media outlets. In the interview, al-Nakhalah discussed various topics, including firing rockets from Lebanon, normalization with Israel, prospects for Oslo Agreement, and the ongoing protest in Israel. The interview was also published on the PIJ website.

The interview with Al-Nakhala provides a clear insight into the stance of his Iranian patrons and the purpose of his visit to Iran in mid-June. During the interview and his visit, Nakhala emphasized the significance of advancing armed activities in the West Bank and Iran’s crucial contribution in providing military, economic, and political support to the PIJ.

Iran places great importance on expanding its activities in the West Bank and aims to enhance the process of Lebanonization concerning actions against the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). This involves deploying tactics such as using Explosively Formed Penetrators (EFP) explosive devices against the IDF forces, employing snipers, and setting up ambushes.

Additionally, the interview revealed Iran’s intention to undermine the process of normalizing relations between Israel and Gulf countries. Al-Nakhala was quite direct in expressing his belief that there is a feeling of Arab humiliation resulting from American pressure. He pointed out that certain illegitimate regimes in Arab nations have capitulated to Israel’s demands, leading to the establishment of direct or indirect relations with the Israeli state.

It is noteworthy that during the recent confrontation with Israel, Operation “Shield, and Arrow,” the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) found itself standing alone without the support of Iran or other components of the “Resistance Camp” like Hamas or Hezbollah and faced heavy losses, with the deaths of most of its operational commanders in Gaza.

Part of the interview :

Is firing missiles from southern Lebanon toward the Zionist enemy a new equation for the resistance?

Lebanon does not recognize peace with Israel and has Lebanese lands still under Israeli occupation. The Lebanese resistance considers this occupied Palestinian land and stands in solidarity with the Palestinian people. The resistance in Lebanon views Israel as a permanent threat and sees its actions as oppressive.

The recent missile launch from Lebanon sends a powerful message of support and solidarity with the Palestinian people, particularly in defending the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Even though the number of missiles may be limited, their significance lies in their moral message to the Palestinian resistance and their reminder to Israel that Lebanon stands united with the Palestinian cause. This intervention shows that when Israel commits aggressive acts against the Palestinian people, the resistance in Lebanon is willing to respond in solidarity.

How prevalent is the fighting spirit of the Egyptian, Arab, and Muslim soldiers in the region?

The recent incident on the Egyptian borders, where an Egyptian soldier took action against Israeli forces, reflects the feelings of citizens who perceive Israel as an enemy to all Arabs and Muslims. When faced with Israeli aggression against Palestinians, it is only natural for individuals in Arab countries to support and defend their fellow Palestinians. This spirit of resistance against Israel remains prevalent throughout the region.

The fighting spirit against Israel is deeply ingrained among Arab and Muslim populations in the region. The existence of Israel in place of Palestine, particularly regarding religious and Islamic heritage, including the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem, is a matter of instinctive concern for these communities. The occupation’s behavior, such as demolishing homes, confiscating lands, and committing violence, has evoked natural resistance from Arab and Muslim citizens.

How do you currently perceive the status of the Oslo Accords and the Palestinian Authority (PA) in light of recent victories achieved by the resistance? What is the current relationship between the resistance and the PA?

A: The Oslo Accords can be considered null and void, and this is not only my view but also that of the authority that initially signed the agreement. The Accords have lost their relevance due to the refusal of a key party to acknowledge or abide by them. As a result, Israeli actions have focused on establishing new facts on the ground, aimed at exerting control over Palestinian lands and intensifying settlement activities in the West Bank.

The Palestinians had hoped to establish a viable state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip through the Oslo Accords. However, settlements now cover over 60% of the West Bank, leaving only 40% for Palestinian inhabitants, including areas of minimal value. The Israeli agenda revolves around the concept of settlements and the idea that Palestinians must either work as laborers in service to Israeli society or leave the land altogether. According to official estimates, this reality has led to over 700,000 settlers in the West Bank, with nearly 800,000 settlers in total throughout Jerusalem and the West Bank. Israeli control extends to establishing cities, infrastructure, roads, companies, and agricultural lands, leaving no room for a formula of understanding between Palestinians and Israelis. The absence of prospects for a settlement stems from Israel’s unwillingness to pursue it, and they have presented an outcome beyond anyone’s expectations. Unfortunately, despite some Palestinians recognizing the Oslo Accords, Israel is pushing for a Jewish state in the West Bank, thereby eliminating the possibility of a peaceful resolution. All agreements with the Palestinians have effectively become null.

Regrettably, there is a sense of Arab humiliation resulting from American pressure. Illegitimate regimes in Arab countries have surrendered to Israel, leading to the establishment of direct or indirect relations with Israel. These acts of recognition prevent Palestinians from exercising their right to resist while the Arab regimes continue to pursue and besiege Palestinians, even within Gaza. The Zionist project leaves no room for peace. However, we must persevere through these challenging circumstances and establish a state of resistance within our available means. With the help of God, things will improve under the resistance.

Regarding the resistance, the Arab regimes have become desperate in their search for a solution to the Palestinian issue. The talk of a peace project with Israel has significantly diminished. What remains are merely the dreams of certain regimes to appease the Americans. There is no genuine settlement project with Israel in the region.

How do you assess the situation of the Zionist entity after a large wave of demonstrations and internal disputes within Israel?

The internal disputes within the Zionist entity pose a significant threat to its future. These disputes have created divisions within Israeli society at the civil and military levels. The presence of two distinct segments, one with Eastern ethnic origins and the other with Western ethnic origins, has led to sharp racial differences within Israeli society. Additionally, there are ideological contradictions, particularly between those leaning towards the right or the fundamentalist current and the liberal current.

The economic conditions in Israel have somewhat mitigated the severity of these conflicts, as job opportunities are available for all citizens. However, as political effects and law changes favor the extreme right, tensions escalate, and divisions become more apparent. Demonstrations against proposed judicial reforms aiming to transform Israel into a more extreme national religious state have attracted hundreds of thousands of protesters, reflecting the polarized public opinion within Israel.

Part 1

​Iran Dossier Firing rockets from southern Lebanon – a new dimension for the resistance 

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