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Hamas Sees Hizballah 'Victory' As Cause for New Intifada

  • Julie Stahl Jerusalem Bureau Chief
  • 2006 14 Aug
Hamas Sees Hizballah 'Victory' As Cause for New Intifada
Jerusalem (CNSNews.com) - Islamic Jihad fired rockets similar to Hizballah's katyushas at the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon on Monday just as the ceasefire between Israel and the Hizballah terrorist organization was beginning to take hold.

But even before the ceasefire, a Hamas columnist said that Palestinians would be the greatest beneficiaries of what he called the Hizballah victory. He said it paved the way for a third Palestinian uprising.

Writing in the Hamas paper Al-Risala, columnist Ibrahim Abu Heija said that the "Palestinian resistance" [a euphemism for terrorism] would be the "greatest beneficiary" of what he called Hizballah's victory.

"This is an important moment that the Palestinian resistance must seize," wrote Abu Heija in the paper, which is published twice weekly and distributed in the Hamas power base of Gaza.

Palestinian groups "benefited" from a similar moment six years ago, at the beginning of the Al-Aqsa intifadah, Abu Heija said.

Hizballah congratulated the Lebanese people on their "big victory" over Israel in a leaflet distributed to citizens on Monday.

Hizballah claimed victory when Israel withdrew unilaterally from a south Lebanese security zone six years ago, in May 2000 - a move that inspired Palestinians to launch their violent uprising later that year.

More than 1,000 Israelis - many of them civilians - have been killed since then in Palestinian terror attacks.

"And now, after the ceasefire [hudna] has been tried and the experience of changing the [Palestinian] Authority reached its peak, the door will be opened for a third Palestinian intifada, that will transform the resistance from the stage of reaction [to Israeli] actions to [resistance] that is carried out at our initiative," he said, according to a translation provided by the Middle East Media Research Institute.

"In general, it is important for the Palestinian resistance to exploit the effects of the victory in Lebanon for its own interests in order to achieve its rights and move forward towards its objectives, and to encourage the whole public to unite behind its program," he wrote last week.

Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility on Monday for launching two Grad rockets that landed at the port of Ashkelon, a city that's been repeatedly hit by Kassam rockets.

The rockets are similar to the Katyushas, which Hizballah has been firing at northern Israel.

Following the attack, Palestinians reported that three Palestinians had been killed in an Israeli air strike in Gaza. The army said it had identified three terrorists as they returned to collect their rocket launcher and had fired on them.

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