Islamic Jihad chief: Sharon plan to kill me does not scare me, Syria not to close our offices
In comments to Albawaba.com, secretary general of Islamic Jihad, Ramadan Shalah, said Syria wouldn’t respond to the American demand of closing down the movement offices in Damascus.
The Islamic Jihad leader comments came after the Israeli Foreign Ministry issued a statement that the US told Israel that it asked Syria to shut down the movement’s offices in the Syrian capital. Shalah who was talking on the phone from Damascus told Albawaba.com “no Syrian official has contacted them regarding that affair” ruling out at the same time the discussion of the issue with the Syrians in future.
“We are here in Syria as refugees devoid of returning to our homeland, Palestine. When the United States and the other nations which advocate Israel help us return to our land, we will naturally return to our country and there will be no problem,” said Shalah.
He added, “the issue will not be a topic of discussion between us and our Syrian brothers particularly in view of the informational character of our offices. Work in our offices does not go beyond the work of every Arab or Muslim who deals with the Palestinian issue.”
The Islamic Jihad leader dismisses as “baseless” the Israeli claims that the movement’s Damascus office is responsible for planning commando operations carried out by Islamic Jihad activists inside the occupied territories and Israel. He reiterated that Islamic Jihad, as an organization fighting against Israel, is present inside Palestine, where operations are planned and implemented.
“If the Zionist regime and the United States are facing a crisis either inside Israel or due to the US policy in the region, both of them should look for something else other than the Palestinians in the Diaspora who want their right of return to their homeland,” added Shalah.
However, the Islamic Jihad chief said that he would take seriously the reports about the orders the Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon has given to the Israeli intelligence service (Mossad) to assassinate him. Earlier this week, The Sunday Times published a report that Israel had placed Shalah on top of the list of activists to be assassinated by Mossad.
Commenting on this report, Shalah said, “we are dealing with a deadly and terrorist enemy. We should take these threats seriously particularly in view of the many assassinations carried out by Israel against Palestinian leaders who led the struggle with Israel for years.”
He added, “from the first day on which we chose Jihad against the Zionist occupation we recognized the costs and sacrifices we are willing to offer. We consider ourselves living martyrs and ready to die as martyrs.” (Albawaba.com)