Lebanese journalist Nadim Koteich accused the Islamic Jihad of starting the recent round of fighting with Israel. Speaking in an interview with the Lebanese LDC TV channel on May 11, 2019, he said that Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, representing the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran respectively, should have turned Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza into an opportunity for a national Palestinian compromise, but that instead, they have “thwarted all opportunities for peace” and have “ended up in a prison called Gaza.”
Following are excerpts:
Nadim Koteich: The peddling of the blood of the people of Gaza must stop. This battle was started by the Islamic Jihad, not by Israel.
Interviewer: Excuse me…
Nadim Koteich: This battle was started by the Islamic Jihad. The Islamic Jihad and Hamas had been in Cairo from Thursday, discussing a ceasefire. On Friday morning, the Islamic Jihad decided, all on its own, to shoot at two Israelis, which led to this battle in the Gaza Strip. No more peddling of the blood of Gazans!
[Israel] was forced into this battle, in which it had no interest. Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in 2005. The criminal Muslim Brotherhood enterprise, represented by the Hamas movement, and the criminal Iranian enterprise, represented by the Islamic Jihad, have thrown Gaza into a Palestinian civil war. We should call a spade a spade. The target of Hamas leader Sinwar is Ramallah, not Israel. He is fighting Mahmoud Abbas, not Israel.
Did Israel or didn't it withdraw unilaterally from Gaza in 2005?
Interviewer: But it continued its attacks…
Nadim Koteich: No, it did not.
Interviewer: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa…
Nadim Koteich: The attacks did not continue, Dima. We should call a spade a spade.
Interviewer: Did you hear about 2009? Did you hear about 2014?
Nadim Koteich: But how did the war start? The Palestinians should have turned the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza into an opportunity for a national Palestinian compromise. Instead, Hamas opted for a coup in 2007 and for a civil war. Instead of a two-state solution, we not have a three-state situation: a Muslim Brotherhood state in Gaza, a Mahmoud Abbas state in Ramallah, and an Israeli state in Israel. As long as there are three states, there cannot be a two-state solution. The resistance should realize what the natural solution for the Palestinian issues is. Hamas and the Islamic Jihad have thwarted all opportunities for peace, and they have ended up in a prison called Gaza.