At the Heart of a Siege: The Resistance

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The blockade on Gaza Strip has been called the “longest in history”, and it has been almost seven years that the Palestinians have been suffocating by the Israeli embargo. While the Occupation is cunningly imposing collective punishment on the Palestinian people, the resistance keeps on the track more powerfully than ever. These people have shown they are not doomed to oblivion, never, ever. The series “At the Heart of a Siege” deals with the issue of Gaza Siege from new angles most of which have not been dealt with so far. In “The Resistance”, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which has been long active in the military resistance against the occupation, introduces its other significant contributions to the well-being of the Palestinian community in various aspects. Despite all the disgusting plots, surprisingly, the Israelis are waging wars which they are not prepared to win at all.

TIME CODE: 00:00_05:00

  • Narration: The Palestinian Islamic Jihad was founded in late seventies by a group of Palestinian youth. These young Palestinian men, including the founder of the movement “FathiShaqaqi”, were studying at Egyptian universities. Meanwhile, Arabs and Muslims were ignoring the Palestinian cause and did not consider it a central cause of the Arab and Muslim world. They also neglected the importance of the Islamic aspect of the cause. As a result, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad was developed as an idea and a project to revive the Islamic thought in Palestine.

SOUNDBITE [Arabic], Nafid Azzam, Islamic Jihad Movement Leader: “The first organizational core of the Islamic Jihad Movement formed in Egypt. The first group of us consisted of students in the Egyptian universities. The founder Dr. Fathi Shaqaqi(May Allah bless his soul) saw that there must have been an Islamic frame to include the answer of the hard Palestinian question: “How does Islam view Palestine and what is the role of the Islamic movement in the most critical causes of this era?””

SOUNDBITE [Arabic], Ahmed Almudallal, Palestinian Islamic Jihad Senior Official: “Those who adopted the Palestinian cause and worked on it during the Palestinian Revolution were far from the Islamic ideology. Some of them were secularists and some others were Marxists and nationalists or were part of other movements. However, the Islamic movement did not influence the reality of the Palestinian revolution. For that, the Islamic Jihad Movement was answering the question about the Palestinian cause.”

SOUNDBITE [Arabic], Khalid Al- Juaidi, Liberated Prisoner: “When Dr. Fathi Shaqaqicame with his ideas and vision stating that Palestine should not be forgotten as a central cause of the Islamic nation and its uniqueness shall not be forgotten, I found what I was missing. I found my vision through the ideas of Abu Ibrahim, FathiShaqaqi, May Allah bless his soul.”

  • Narration: In the early eighties, Dr. FathiShaqaqi along with a number of young Palestinian men returned to Palestine to build the organizational basefor the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The movement started the battle of popular and political mobilization relying on the fact that the whole of Palestine from its sea to its river is an Islamic endowment. It is religiously impermissible to give up a single grain of its sand.

SOUNDBITE [Arabic], Abu Ahmed, Quds Brigades Spokesman: “According to the principles of the Islamic Jihad, it is a Palestinian Islamic movement. This means that the main battlefield is Palestine from its sea to its river. The main goal of the movement is to raise Allah’s word in Earth through following the Islamic legislation and through ending the occupation.”

SOUNDBITE [Arabic], Ahmed Almudallal, Palestinian Islamic Jihad Senior Official: “The idea of the Islamic Jihad Movement started to take shape for the population and spread among the intellectuals of Palestinians in universities and cultural or intellectual institutions. It also played a role in advocacy in mosques.”

SOUNDBITE [Arabic], Hassan Abdu, Middle East Affairs Expert: “All this has finally led to the emersion of what is called the Islamic Jihad Movement on the land of Palestine. It was meant to shoulder the responsibility to encounter the occupation, as the secular stream was withdrawing away from resistance.”

  • Narration: The Palestinian Islamic Jihad became famous at a time when patriotic operations against the Israeli occupation had stopped. The Israeli occupation became a tyrant and the West Bank and the Gaza Strip became easy for the Israeli settlers who wandered freely in the streets to shop and buy goods for a lower price than they were used to in their settlements.

SOUNDBITE [Arabic], Nafid Azzam, Islamic Jihad Movement Leader: “Yes, the factions of the Liberation Organization were absent. The Palestinians were doing and saying nothing. Therefore, the Arab countries were pushing the Palestinians towards solutions and compromises.”

SOUNDBITE [Arabic], Khalid Al- Juaidi, Liberated Prisoner: “In the period of mid-eighties, Rabin was announcing the Iron Fist policy on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. I saw myself how the Israeli occupation was insulting and humiliating the Palestinian youth.”

TIME CODE: 05:00_10:00

SOUNDBITE [Arabic], Ahmed Almudallal, Palestinian Islamic Jihad Senior Official: “The Zionist enemy was escalating. They were spreading in all the lanes, streets, and squares of Palestine. However, the movement was convinced that its ideas would never have the historical credibility unless they are used practically.”

  • Narration: The resistance work of the members of the Islamic Jihad Movement started when they were able to implement some operations of self-defense against the Israeli occupation and its settlers. These settlers killed and humiliated the Palestinians. So, that was the beginning of a new revolution that the occupation did not expect on the Palestinian land.

SOUNDBITE [Arabic], Khalid Al- Juaidi, Liberated Prisoner: “I clearly remember how the Israeli Occupation Army killed my grandfather with cold blood in 1967 for no reason. I used to watch how my mother felt, and few years later, my maternal uncle was imprisoned. He spent many years in prison through which he was tortured many ways. I also remember when I was seven years old I went to visit him. I saw all the torturing marks on his body. So all the things I lived in my childhood played a major role in shaping my national and Islamic character to defend this enemy.”

SOUNDBITE [Arabic], Abu Ahmed, Quds Brigades Spokesman: “Most of the operations that happened were in response to the Occupation crimes. In early 1080s, Khalid Al-Juaidi, the released detainee fighter Ahmed Abu Haseera, Al Hasani and many others implemented simple operations because they had no big facilities.”

  • Narration: Khalid Al-Juaidicontinued chasing the Israeli occupation soldiers in the streets and suburbs of Gaza. The number of the soldiers he killed reached three, and he wounded four. As a result, he was imprisoned and sentenced tofour life imprisonments while one life sentence would keep him in jail until death. However, his operations forced the Israeli soldiers and settlers to stop wandering freely in the streets of Gaza.

SOUNDBITE [Arabic], Khalid Al- Juaidi, Liberated Prisoner: When I used to go search for those Zionists in the Gaza Strip, I spent long hours looking for one Zionist. But I couldn’t find any. As I remember, this enemy was saying through their newspapers that whoever wanted to go to hell, should have gone to Gaza. After I implemented two Jihadi operations, it was hard for the Israelis to enter Gaza. That was followed with the “Intifada of Stones” and all types of normalization with Israel ended. The Israelis normally escape the places where they face fear and horror.”

SOUNDBITE [Arabic], Hassan Abdu, Middle East Affairs Expert: These operations limited the entrance of enormous numbers of Israelis who used to come to the Gaza Strip. These operations were a revenge for the Palestinian identity that was about to vanish and fade away because of the Israeli prisoners.”

  • Narration: The Palestinian Islamic Jihad adopted the armed resistance as an important way to liberate Palestine. Therefore, made the members of the movement targets of the occupation and many leaders of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad were imprisoned; as the occupation thought they would influence the movement and destroy it by that.

SOUNDBITE [Arabic], Nafid Azzam, Islamic Jihad Movement Leader: “We were imprisoned in 1983. We were the first purely Islamic group that entered the Israeli jails. So the first declared Islamic group was imprisoned in the Israeli jails because of the issue of the “Islamic Talee’a magazine”. Dr. Fat’hi al-Shuqaqi (may Allah bless his soul) was imprisoned on 2 March 1986. That was proceeded with the imprisonment of Ahmed Abu Haseera and Mohammed Al hasani who were released in the last “Detainees Exchange deal”. Investigations have revealed information about implementing more than 8 jihadi operations by the Islamic Jihad Movement that were not announced at that time. The last of those was the operation of Gaza Square, which I think was in February 1986.

TIME CODE: 10:00_15:00

SOUNDBITE [Arabic], Ahmed Almudallal, Palestinian Islamic Jihad Senior Official: “The Israeli occupation and its soldiers were targeted any moment and any place inside Palestine. This caused feelings of fear and confusion among the Zionist enemy as their future on the land of Palestine is in great danger. The Zionist studies confirm that members of the Islamic Jihad movement are increasing in numbers and the fame of the movement spread among all the Palestinians. In addition, its militant wing today has a strong influence in the battlefield with the Zionist enemy, which is much stronger than it used to be.”

  • Narration: Since the foundation of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, its weapons have been developing. At the beginning, they depended on simple means like stones and knives. Then they used guns and implemented patriotic operations recently. They have had rockets that were used in late 2012.

SOUNDBITE [Arabic], Hassan Abdu, Middle East Affairs Expert: “There was development and progression of the militant work of the Islamic Jihad. In late eighties, there was a humble militant wing with little facilities called “The sword of Islam”. Most of its members were assassinated, then they moved to the Jihadi Islamic force “Kasam” in 2000. With al-Aqsa intifada and after the assassination of most of the leaders of “Kasam” and the imprisonment of others, another wing was formed which is the present Al-Quds Brigade. It is probably the most distinguished and powerful. In addition to the power and the tactical ability of the fighters, it is important to have qualitative weapons. from the beginning, there were knives then bullets, then explosive devices then weapons were developed to become local-made rockets. These rockets reachesAsqalan then Ashdod. Then in the last war, the Eight-Day War, the rockets reached Tel Aviv and Tel as-Sabi and other distant areas.”

SOUNDBITE [Arabic], Ahmed Almudallal, Palestinian Islamic Jihad Senior Official: “These rockets were able to create a security and a military nightmare of the Zionist enemy. They could make a new equation in confronting the Zionist enemy telling him that today is the day of victory and there is anbalance of horror. We can also say that there is an equation to combat after the Operation of Cast Lead and the Eight-Day War with the Zionist enemy.”

  • Narration: The power of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad reached its peak during the Blue Sky War or the stones of Sijjil. The resistance movements in Gaza used those names for the War begun by the Israeli Army on 14 November 2012. The Israeli army called it the “Pillar of Cloud”. In that war, the Israeli occupation could not stop the resistance, so they called for help and ceasefire was then declared a truce that the Palestinian Islamic Jihad was a part of.

SOUNDBITE [Arabic], Hassan Abdu, Middle East Affairs Expert: “Jihad has emerged as a main power and there cannot be any true without the Islamic Jihad. Therefore, the Islamic Jihad was present because of its presence and steadfastness in the battle and the ability to manage in the eight-day war. So the negotiations continued between Hamas and the Islamic Jihad Movements to express the internal unity of resistance. In addition, that was meant to express the shared confrontation in field that was reflected in the political presence in Cairo in the mutual negotiations with the Israeli occupations with the help of other parties, mainly the Egyptians.”

SOUNDBITE [Arabic], Abu Ahmed, Quds Brigades Spokesman: “Since the moment Tel Aviv, they enemy has been thinking of stopping the conflict. However, we did not allow that because it would have made its goals come true while we did not collect the fragments of our fighters from the streets. I did not allow that to happen, so we carried on in this battle until now so that the enemy knows that its message has failed. The assassination of the martyr al-Ja’bari and the killing of the Palestinian people is priceless. They enemy has to think twice before doing such a step and know they realize that the resistance has reached a point where there is no return.”

  • Narration: The great support for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad by the population made it intensify its efforts and enhance its other peaceful means to achieve its goals to liberate Palestine.Therefore, the movement wanted to put education on top of its list of social services for the Palestinian people, starting from kindergartens to universities.

TIME CODE: 15:00_20:00

SOUNDBITE [Arabic], Um Mohammed Alhattab, Kindergarten Principal: “Our kindergarten is a deep-rooted kindergarten that was founded 20 years ago. It provides services to the marginalized areas in the Gaza Strip like the distant areas by the borders. It provides services to all categories like people of martyrs’ families and prisoners’ families. The services include the poor families like the children of the workers who stopped working.”

SOUNDBITE [Arabic], Nafid Azzam, Islamic Jihad Movement Leader: “The Islamic Jihad movement tried to contribute to the society. It established hospitals, centers for handicap care and kindergartens. It also has a strong presence in universities, academies and syndicates of different titles and activities. Therefore, one never feels that the Islamic Jihad movement is only a bullet against Israel.”

  • Narration: The Palestinian Islamic Jihad contributed to providing social services through charitable organizations. These organizations take care of the families of the martyrs, the prisoners and the wounded who have been targeted by the Israeli occupation army that destroys life in Palestine with all means.

SOUNDBITE [Arabic], Ameen Mauod, Father of Martyr Mervat Masuod: “I am the father of the martyr MervatMasoud. In fact, the situation is hard but thank Allah then “Muhjat Al-Quds Foundation that helps the families of martyrs. It fulfills their needs and provides medications, too. The foundation pays the families visits in Eids and different occasions and helps them as much as they can, Alhamdulillah.

SOUNDBITE [Arabic], Abed El-Fatah Jooda, Father of Martyr Mahmoud Jooda: “I am Abd Al Fattah Mahmoud Juda, the father of the martyr Mahmoud Juda. I visit Muhjat Al-Quds Foundation for help. I would like to thank them for the efforts they exert for me and for the daughters, the wife, and the mother of the martyr. His daughters and wife receive a monthly allowance and good care. With the help of Allah, his mother was sick, needed a disc surgery and could not walk for 6 months. Muhjat Al-Quds Foundation paid the entire expenses of the surgery.”

SOUNDBITE [Arabic], Badea Al-Masri, Director of Mohajt Al- Quds: We in the Islamic Jihad Movement felt that we should establish an institution to take care of the families of the martyrs, prisoners, and fighters in the occupation prisons. This includes the prisoners and the wounded there who need permanent and continuous medical care or social services for the families of the martyrs and their children.”

  • Narration: The family of the martyr “Mervat Masoud” is one of the families that became poor.Then fatal diseases invaded the bodies of the parents. These diseases require many medications and they may need to travel abroad.

SOUNDBITE [Arabic], Ameen Mauod, Father of Martyr Mervat Masuod: “This is true. I am the father of the commando Mervat Masuod. Her Mother is a cancer patient. We went to Muhjat Alquds Foundation and they stood by us in an honorable way. Until now, every time we travel for medical treatment, they try to help us as much as they can.”

SOUNDBITE [Arabic], Um Alaa Masuod, Mother of Martyr Mevat Mauod: “I am a sick woman and our financial status is hard. But Alhamdulillah, MuhjatAlquds Foundation helped, when I and my husband travelled to receive medical treatment. Going to Israel is cheaper, but we are not allowed so the foundation helped us going to Egypt.”

  • Narration: Among those whom the Palestinian Islamic Jihad did not forget, are the men targeted by the Israeli occupation warplanes and tanks. They had their body limbs amputated or became handicapped because of their injuries. They are still receiving medical treatment and care. The specialized entities of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad are sponsoring them and providing them with all their needs to have dignified lives.

SOUNDBITE [Arabic], Naael Abu-Fanouna, Medical Unit Director, Muhjat Alquds: “In fact, such institution rises above the hard reality we live because of the circumstances our Palestinian nation is going through. This includes unjust Israeli siege. These institutions support the civilian society inside the Gaza Strip and try to help people overcome their pain and troubles as much as possible. They also exert every effort, so they are like light in the life of the wounded people and the civilian society.”

TIME CODE: 20:00_25:00

SOUNDBITE [Arabic], Ahmed Saad, Wounded: “As I was heading to work in Gaza through in Al-Saftawi Street, I was surprised with a Zionist bombing. This Zionist targeting caused me wounds and damage of the left side of my body specificallymy left arm and leg, when I was at the hospital, Mohjat Al Qouds intuition is took care of me, it provided my medicine and needs as a patient, it also provided me with a bed and many other domestic needs as patient.”

SOUNDBITE [Arabic], Ibrahim Awad, Wounded: “I was injured on April 5, 2011. My legs were amputated. I traveled with the help of MuhjatAlquds Foundation. I left for a year and went to Syria to receive the treatment. Then from there I left to Iran, and I received a complete treatment. Our brothers in Iran did their best with the medication. Alhamdulillah I had artificial limbs in Iran and as you can see, I can walk normally.”

  • Narration: The services were not limited to those who were targeted by the occupation. They were expanded to more than that when the Palestinian Islamic Jihad established hospitals and medical clinics that provide services to all the Palestinians; especially those who live in the poor and distant neighborhoods.

SOUNDBITE [Arabic], Mohammed Abu-Maalawi, Diabetes Patient: “I have diabetes and I had a cut with glass. I came here and they helped me with the treatment. I come here every day to change the plaster on the cut; I do not go anywhere else. Alhamdulillah, changing the plaster is for free because my financial status is hard. I have this disease for a long time. It is not new.”

  • Narration: Thus, the Palestinian Islamic Jihadhad to develop its media which became one of the most influential tools for the local, Arab and international audiences.Therefore, the movement had to its own position that could not be ignored among the Palestinian People. It also hadan Islamic, Arab and international presence as a Palestinian resistance faction.

SOUNDBITE [Arabic], Nafid Azzam, Islamic Jihad Movement Leader: “Now there are many websites for the Islamic Jihad on the internet. There are radio stations and a TV Channel. There are some publications and books distributed with the title of the Islamic Jihad. We completely believe that media has a role in life in general. As for Palestine that became the place of this brutal conflict, media becomes that much more important. Media has great significance to express the situation and combat the Israeli aggression, which is using weapons of modern media too.”

SOUNDBITE [Arabic], Tariq Izzu-deen, The Prisoner’s Voice Radio Director: “We thank the Islamic Jihad movement that supported and defended this radio station. We in this station carry the Palestinian cause and make the cause of the prisoners a priority by focusing on it. It is merely humanitarian cause as we care about them. We also have our own program cycle in which we combine the prisoners’ affairs with the public affairs. The prisoners in jails also want to listen to and know what happens outside.”

SOUNDBITE [Arabic], Ahmed Almudallal, Palestinian Islamic Jihad Senior Official: “The last polls confirmed that Al-Quds radio station and the Prisoners’ Station were of the most popular stations among the Palestinian population. Although their fund and facilities come from the Islamic Jihad Movement, their language is not partisan. Moreover, our weapons will continue being present in front of the Zionist enemy as long as there is an occupied land and sacred places being Judaized and a siege imposed on the people of the Gaza Strip. It will be there as long as there is continuous Zionist cruelty against our land, people, sanctities and prisoners inside the jails too. The weapons of the Islamic Jihad never stop.”


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