Hamas, Islamic Jihad agree to keep anti-Israeli marches "popular, peaceful"

Source: Xinhua| 2018-11-02 00:01:57|Editor: Chengcheng
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GAZA, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- Leaders of Islamic Hamas movement and Islamic Jihad held a joint meeting in Gaza city on Thursday and agreed to keep the anti-Israel weekly marches and protests "popular and peaceful."

A joint statement issued following the meeting that was held at the office of Hamas politburo Chief Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza said that the two groups' leaders discussed joint issues and activities related to the current Palestinian situation.

"The two sides agreed to continue the Great March of Return and defying the Israeli siege until it achieves its goals that were agreed upon with the highest commission of the marches, and to keep it popular and peaceful," said the statement.

During the meeting, Hamas chief in Gaza Yehya Sinwar announced that the marches and activities to break the siege will go on without stop.

The statement said that the two groups highly appreciate and evaluate the efforts of Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations to "ease the suffering of our people and achieve aspirations of ending the Israeli siege."

Since March 30, the Palestinians have been going on with anti-Israel marches and protests in five different locations in eastern Gaza Strip, along with the border with Israel.

Demonstrators have been burning tires, releasing dozens of arson balloons that caused large fires into southern Israel, cutting barbed wires of the border fence, and clashing with Israeli soldiers.

The health ministry in Gaza said that at least 217 Palestinians have been killed and 23,000 injured since the start of the Great March of Return.

Meanwhile, a senior Egyptian security intelligence delegation arrived in the Gaza Strip on Thursday evening in a fifth visit within the last couple of weeks to speak with Hamas leaders on restoring calm in the Gaza Strip.

Leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine Jamil Mezher told reporters in Gaza that the delegation held a meeting with members of the highest commission of the Great March of Return.

"The commission's members will reiterate to the Egyptian delegation that the marches will go on because they are the right of our people to end the unfair siege imposed on the Gaza Strip," said Mezher.

Sallah Abdul Aati, member of the highest commission, denied that his commission had received any instructions or orders from any of the factions to stop the marches.

However, a well-informed source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the Palestinian factions in Gaza agreed to calm down violence during the protests on the 32nd Friday of the Great March of Return.

The Turkish Anadolu Agency had said earlier Thursday that a significant progress has been made in the dialogue the senior Egyptian security intelligence delegation held over the past couple of weeks with Hamas movement in Gaza.

The report said Hamas will stop releasing arson balloons into Israel and stop destroying the barbed wire of the border fence between eastern Gaza Strip and Israel.

Hamas will also act on limiting the participants in the marches at a distance of 500 meters far from the border.

Hamas officials declined to comment on such report.