Gaza resistance pledges to fight international forces

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he agreed with the idea of an international force for the Occupied Territories, proposed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy at the Paris donors’ conference Dec. 18. The an-Nasser Salah Addin Brigades, military wing of the Popular Resistance Committees, vocally rejected the idea, spokesman Abu Abeer saying: “We will not receive any international forces with flowers; instead we will be ready to blow [up] our bodies in these forces as we will consider them a new occupation which we must get rid of by any means.” Later, the an-Nasser Brigades called on Abbas to resume dialogue with Hamas “before it is too late.” (Ma’an News Agency, Dec. 18)

EU Middle East envoy Marc Otte told the Jerusalem Post a mechanism for an international security presence in the Gaza Strip “could be devised quickly” if Israel and the Palestinians reach an agreement on the matter. Sarkozy said that France “proposes the deployment, when the time and conditions are right, of an international force to assist the Palestinian security services.” (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 19)

Thousands of people took to the streets of Gaza Dec. 21 for the funeral of eight people killed in the previous day’s Israeli incursion into the are of al-Maghazi refugee camp. During the procession bullets, were fired in the air, amid chants demanding the resistance respond to the Israeli aggression. (Ma’an News Agency, Dec. 21)

Scores of other Palestinians, including a 7-year-old boy, a woman and a Reuters sound operator, were wounded in the Israeli incursion. Islamic Jihad and Hamas each claimed two of the men as their own. (Arab News, Dec. 21)

Al-Quds Brigades spokesman Abu Ahmad said that the Israeli attacks mean that they seek to eliminate the Palestinian resistance. He also added that the Brigades’ rockets had become a strategic threat to Israeli cities. (Ma’an, Dec. 21)

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