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Friday, March 16, 2012

Islamic Jihad: "Sure, we're terrorists"

From AFP:

Gaza militant group Islamic Jihad seeks to create a "balance of terror" with Israel, a senior member of its military wing has told AFP in an exclusive interview.

Speaking shortly after a truce ended a four-day flare-up in violence between Gaza militants and Israel, a senior leader of Islamic Jihad's Al-Quds Brigade hailed the fact that it forced "a million Israelis to hide in shelters."

The leader, who goes by the nom-de-guerre of Abu Ibrahim, also warned that the Brigades possesses long-range weapons that could hit the Israeli city of Tel Aviv and could be used in its next conflict with the Jewish state.

"What we seek with our rockets is not to kill Israelis, but to maintain a balance of terror," he told AFP during the interview, conducted at a secret location, flanked by armed bodyguards.

"The fact that a million Israelis were stuck inside shelters and suffered as as our people do is more important for us than deaths."
That's actually the textbook definition of terrorism. The deaths aren't the point; it is to instill terror in the people.

Abu Ibrahim warned that the Brigades had weapons that could hit beyond the town of Ashdod, which lies some 35 kilometres (20 miles) north of Gaza.

"If the occupation targets any leader of any Palestinian group whatsoever or any citizen, the Brigades will respond with force and expand the reach of the response beyond Ashdod," he said.

The group possessed "thousands" of rockets and had expanded its arsenal by exploiting "the opportunities offered by the (Arab) revolutions, particularly the fall of the Egyptian regime," he added.
I'm skeptical that they got any weapons from Egypt, but they got plenty from Libya going through Egypt.
Still, he said, "it is not easy to transport sophisticated weapons into Gaza," adding that 70 percent of its rockets "are made locally by a specialised section."

"We now have guided missiles similar to Grads and we used them during the last conflict."
Not sure how plausible this is. I'm sure that they sent people to Iran to learn how to manufacture rockets, but if any of the longer range rockets or guided were locally manufactured, I think we would have heard that from Israel. They have all the forensic evidence, after all.

He acknowledged the group receives "fundamental support" from Lebanon's Hezbollah group, saying it had trained thousands of Brigades fighters.

He said the group was not receiving weapons from Iran, as Israel has charged, but praised Tehran's "great support," citing funds it gives to the families of "martyrs" and the wounded in Gaza.
(h/t Challah)