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Islamic Jihad leaders: We are committed to ceasefire with Israel – Arab-Israeli Conflict

Palestinian Islamic Jihad militants attend a military parade in Gaza October 19, 2016..
(photo credit: REUTERS)

Senior Islamic Jihad leaders said their group remains committed to a ceasefire that Hamas and it struck with Israel at the conclusion of the 2014 Gaza War, the Islamic Jihad-linked Palestine Today reported.

Islamic Jihad leaders Khaled al-Batsh and Nafidh Azzam made the remarks on Sunday in a meeting with senior Egyptian Intelligence Services officials in Gaza City.

“The [Islamic Jihad] delegation affirmed its [group’s] commitment to the ceasefire which was reached by way of an understanding in 2014,” the Palestine Today report said of the meeting between the Islamic Jihad leaders and the Egyptian intelligence officials.

The Islamic Jihad leaders comments on the 2014 ceasefire came following an escalation in tensions between Islamic Jihad and Israel in late October and early November.

On October 30, Israel demolished a tunnel that Islamic Jihad’s armed wing Saraya al-Quds dug from Gaza into Israel’s territory, killing some 12 of the group’s members who had been inside the underground corridor.

A few days following the demolition, Islamic Jihad vowed to exact revenge against Israel at “the suitable time” and build more tunnels to kidnap Israeli soldiers.

Batsh and Azzam also told the Egyptian delegation that greater efforts need to be undertaken to resolve the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Gaza suffers from acutely high unemployment rates and highly insufficient electricity and water infrastructure. Substantial parts of the Strip also have not been reconstructed since the 2014 war.

In January, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nikolay Mladenov said Gaza is beyond a “humanitarian crisis” and is “on the verge of a total systems failure.”

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