PIJ holds military parade in Gaza amidst threats by Israel
During the parade involving various cities throughout the besieged coastal enclave, hundreds of masked militants of al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the PIJ, roamed the streets and displayed various military equipment, including heavy weapons, mortar shells and sniper's arms.
Dozens of cars, military jeeps carrying hundreds of fighters and missiles, and anti-aircraft weapons belonging to the PIJ were mobilised around the streets.
The military parade is the first public event since the 3-day military campaign between the Israeli army and the PIJ in early August.
On 5 August, Israel launched a military assault on the PIJ, assassinating its commander, Tayseer al-Jaabari, and three of his assistants.
The targeted assassination came just days after detaining a PIJ leader in the occupied West Bank, which unilaterally escalated tensions.
The Israeli army then carried out dozens of airstrikes against residential buildings, military sites, and civilian properties under the pretext that they belonged to Islamic Jihad, the second most powerful armed Palestinian organisation in Gaza.
On 7 August, the assault ended after an Egypt-brokered truce, supported by Qatar and the UN. At least 50 Palestinians were killed by Israel, and more than 260 others were wounded during the assault.
However, Israel continues to threaten Palestinian armed factions in Gaza, particularly the PIJ and the Gaza-run Islamic Hamas movement, under the pretext that they are at fault for the situation in the occupied West Bank.
Officially, the Head of Israel's Shin Bet security service Ronen Bar recently warned Yahya Sinwar, a senior Hamas leader to stop encouraging attacks against Israel and attempt to ignite the conditions in the West Bank.
"Simply, the situation in Gaza cannot remain calm while Hamas is igniting the West Bank by recruiting cells and planning armed attacks against Israel," Bar said, during his Shin Bet meeting, according to the Israeli Channel 12.
In turn, Khaled al-Batsh, a senior PIJ leader, said to The New Arab that "the Israeli threats do not afraid of the Palestinian resistance. They (Israelis) know very well that we are the owners of the land as well as we have our full right to defend our land as well as our people."
"Such scene of heavy weapons will not disappear from our territories as long as the Israeli occupation still occupied our area (...) we will continue to fight the Israeli occupation until Palestine is liberated," said Batsh.
He stressed that Palestinian resistance still adheres to the choice of resistance and steadfastness and does not deviate from their path in resisting the usurping Israeli occupier.
"We will keep our resist of the Israeli occupation until liberating the whole historical Palestine," he said, "We will not accept any other solution with Israel."
"Even though PIJ was involved in many battles with Israel, al-Quds brigades are still launching an army in the West Bank that revived the revolution and resistance," he added.
"We believe in the popular revolution and the resistance (...) the armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine," Jamil Alyan, another senior PIJ official, told The New Arab, stressing that the conflict is an ideological fight and a struggle for land.
"We are not intimidated by any of the enemy's threats (...) to fight against Israel, not only by firing rockets at the occupied towns, but also we are determined to capture Zionist soldiers so that would help us to free our prisoners from Israeli prisons," he said.
Islamic Jihad is one of the Palestinian Islamic resistance movements launched in 1987. It does not recognise Israel and its stated public goal is to liberate historic Palestine.