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Islamic Jihad: Israel breaks ceasefire agreement, ‘must take full responsibility’

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The leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group in Gaza on Thursday accused Israel of reneging on commitments under a truce that ended an outbreak earlier this month.

Ziad Nakhaleh’s televised remarks came as the PIJ held simultaneous rallies in the Gaza Strip, Damascus and Beirut, weeks after three days of violence that ended in the Egyptian-brokered truce.

“The enemy continues to evade the commitments he made to our brothers in Egypt,” Nakhaleh said.

“The enemy government must take full responsibility,” he said, referring to the Jewish state.

His comments came after military prosecutors earlier Thursday filed an indictment against Bassem Saadi, the leader of Islamic Jihad in the West Bank, whose August 1 arrest sparked the spate of fighting.

Saadi’s indictment included charges of membership in a terrorist group, conducting operations on behalf of the terrorist group, inciting terrorism, assisting others to contact an enemy and theft of a false identity.

A military court further extended Saadi’s pretrial detention on Thursday, ordering his detention until Sunday, when a hearing will be held to keep him in custody until the end of the legal proceedings. There was no immediate date set for his trial.

Bassem Saadi, leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group in the West Bank, appears for a hearing at Ofer prison outside Jerusalem on August 25, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

In response to Saadi’s initial arrest, the PIJ announced that it was declaring a state of alert. The Israel Defense Forces, claiming to have concrete indications of an imminent attack on the Gaza border, put the area under lockdown for four days, fearing that the PIJ might attempt to fire anti-tank missiles at Israeli targets along the border. the border.

Eventually, the IDF launched a series of airstrikes in Gaza against a senior PIJ commander and several anti-tank guided missile squads in an operation called Breaking Dawn, which prompted rocket fire from the Strip.

After nearly three days of fighting, a ceasefire agreement was signed which would have included “Egypt’s commitment to work for the release” of Saadi and another Palestinian detainee, Khalil Awawdeh. said a spokesperson for the terror group.

Israel has no plans to release the prisoners sooner, officials said after the ceasefire. Awawdeh’s administrative detention was temporarily suspended, but Israel’s highest court denied him full release.

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