Emails with breaking news
Receive notifications of breaking news and special reports. The news and stories that matter are posted on workdays mornings.
By Keir Simmons
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Islamic Jihad Fighters Becoming "We are not an army and will not interfere in any international conflict," said a Tehran-backed leader Khaled al-Batsh said when asked whether the group would fire missiles on Israel at the direction of Iran.
"Our main task is to liberate our country, liberate our people. We are not part of an international conflict, "he added during an interview in Gaza City earlier this week.
Any conflict would take place "between two large countries, and I do not believe that there will be war between Iran and America. He added that he did not know how much help Iran provided to his group.
For decades, Iran has been supporting Islamic Jihad, the second largest militant group in the Palestinian enclave whose strength is steadily increasing. She and Hamas, which controls Gaza, vows to destroy Israel and is classified by the US as a terrorist group.
Israeli security officials have warned that Iran may "activate" Islamic jihad and other groups it supports to attack Israel. Iran sends hundreds of millions of dollars each year to groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad, according to a report from the Tel Aviv University's National Security Studies Institute. Iran also offers military assistance, including arms supplies and training, according to the study.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad have fought in a series of conflicts with Israel since the Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip were dismantled in 2005 and Hamas took control of the internationally recognized Palestinian Authority two years later.
In early May, the latest fighting broke out, with militants shooting hundreds of rockets at Israel and Israeli air strikes hitting 350 targets in the Gaza Strip. The violence killed 27 people in the Gaza Strip – both militants and civilians – and four Israeli civilians.
Iran-USA. Tensions have also worsened dramatically under President Donald Trump, who has withdrawn the US from a landmark nuclear pact of the Obama era and re-imposed the punishment of economic sanctions. The government has previously acknowledged that Iran has complied with the agreement, but also claims that it has provided cover to the Islamic Republic for the continuation of its ballistic weapons program and for strengthening its regional influence.
In recent weeks, the US has sent a strike group for aircraft carriers and bomber planes into the region. She also carries a Patriot rocket battery to an unknown country in the region.
On Friday, Trump announced that the US would send another 1,500 troops to the region.
Meanwhile Gaza lurches towards a total humanitarian collapse The relief organizations warned more than a decade ago, which is controlled by Hamas and is under an Israeli and Egyptian blockade.
The United Nations estimates that among its 2 million inhabitants, unemployment is over 50 percent and that the population of about 2 million suffers from chronic blackouts. non-potable water and rising poverty rates. Seventy-five percent of the Gazans are refugees or descendants of refugees displaced from their homes after the founding of the state of Israel.
Al-Batsh also rejected US attempts to end the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian impasse. He described Trump as a "criminal" and rejected the so-called "Deal of the Century" of his government, which aimed to end the Israeli Palestinian conflict.
He described the announcement of a donation workshop next month this past weekend as an attempt to bribe the Palestinians.
"Our land is not for sale," he said. "The peace plan, called the Deal of the Century, is rejected by all of us."
Palestinian leaders have rejected the efforts of Trump's son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner.