July 20, 1998 Special Dispatch No. 2

Leaders of Islamic Jihad and Hamas Call for Renewed Bombings

July 20, 1998
Palestine | Special Dispatch No. 2

On Sunday morning July 19, 1998, a car bombing was foiled near Jerusalem's busy Zion Square, when smoke was seen coming from a white Fiat mini-van. Jallal Romani, a thirty-year old Palestinian father of three with a steady job at a family construction company, was pulled from the vehicle by an off-duty Israeli policeman and a bus driver. Jerusalem Police Chief Yair Yitzhaki said inside the van 160 gallons of "flammable liquid" and several pounds of nails were found, capable of causing considerable amounts of damage and casualties. Following are calls by HAMAS and 'Islamic Jihad,' to escalate attacks on Israel, published by the Palestinian media in the past three days.

In a July 17 Gaza rally marking the third anniversary of the death of Mahmoud Arafat Al-Khawaja -- founder of the military wing of the 'Islamic Jihad' -- 'Abdallah Al-Shami, one of the leaders of 'Islamic Jihad', said:

"...The goal of the 'Jihad' movement is to sow belief and revolution, to launch from the heart of defeat and to carry renewed blessings for the nation, through knife-stabbings, bombs, and car-bombs, in order to turn the region into a flaming torch and a volcano of fury [blasting] in the face of the occupier... "

"Our people are capable -- despite our meager means - of repeating the Beit-Lid [bombing] dozens of times, to make the world explode in a new Intifada, and to make Netanyahu understand in the only language he does understand - as a member of the Knesset said, 'Netanyahu understands only the language of pain…'"

"Who can make Netanyahu understand the language of pain except for the Sons of Al-Qasam [the military wing of the Islamic Jihad organization] and Al-Qassam [the military wing of the HAMAS movement]?" Salah, Hisham, 'Abdallah, Anwar, Muhyi, and Yahya[1] are capable of feeding the enemy with pain and making it drink blood. "

The rally was also attended by HAMAS and Fatah leaders. Sheik Nafez 'Azzam of the Islamic Jihad said:

"The only option regarding that entity [Israel] is Jihad, resistance and struggle. The blood of the martyrs demonstrates that the struggle continues."[2]

HAMAS leader, Sheik Ahmad Yassin, declared in a speech delivered via telephone to a rally held in Jenin that "struggle in all its forms and resistance to the occupation should be escalated."[3]

[1] The last two are Muhyi Al-Din Al-Sharif and Yahya 'Ayyash and the others are apparently Islamic Jihad activists.

[2] Al-Istiqlal, July 7, 1998; Al-Istiqlal is an organ of the Islamic Jihad movement. Its publication in Gaza was allowed again after a long period.

[3] Saut Al-Haqq wa Al-Hurriyya, July 17, 1998

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