Hamas, Hizbollah Urge Escalation of Intifada
The Lebanese Hizbollah and Palestinian Hamas Islamic groups called Friday for an escalation of the Intifada, or Palestinian uprising.
"The Intifada should be escalated, using all available means. It is normal for the Intifada to be developed," Khaled Mishaal, head of the Hamas political bureau, told thousands at a Hizbollah rally in Beirut's southern suburbs.
"The popular resistance and the armed resistance are heading together toward victory because the objective of our people is to expel the occupier and regain Jerusalem, sacred sites and every inch of Palestinian land," he said.
Mishaal said "our people in Palestine who have offered more than 270 martyrs, 10,000 wounded and 6,000 prisoners will continue the Intifada, are working to escalate it and will never back down."
"The Intifada is a message for abolishing the choice of negotiations and strengthening the choice of Jihad (holy war) and resistance," said the official from Hamas which is violently opposed to peace talks with Israel.
Mishaal rejected a recent proposal by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak -- trailing opposition rivals in opinion polls ahead of elections and fighting off challenges in his own party -- for an interim peace accord with the Palestinians.
"The projects that Barak is proposing are mere electoral outbidding tactics," he said.
Hizbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem also blasted "Barak's proposal which is a declaration of defeat before the Intifada."
"It proves the Israeli view which is based on postponing all solutions which would lead immediately to an explosion," he said.
Qassem called on the "Arab and Islamic peoples never to forget that the al-Aqsa Intifada will continue."
He also urged "a progressive development of the resistance because Israel only understands the language of weapons and is only defeated when its nationals fall under the direct strikes of our fighters."
"Although it is still in its early stages, the Intifada has made great achievements until now. It has succeeded in destabilizing the Israeli regime and Barak is today mourning his regime and is getting ready for early elections."
"No Israeli official can stand before the Palestinian people...and no regime in the Israeli entity will ever enjoy stability after today because our people will continue their Jihad and struggle," he said -- BEIRUT (AFP)
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