Dr. Mohammad Al-Hindi, a prominent leader of the Islamic Jihad, said on Thursday that his movement will continue to fight the occupation despite Sharon’s threats to target all of the group’s political and military leaders.

Al-Hindi said in a press release that ‘The arrest, assassination and the repeated threats against leaders of the movement would only make us stronger and more persistent in struggling against the occupation, which is still waging criminal warfare in all the Palestinian cities, like what happened in Nablus this morning.’

He slammed the Israel disrespect of the calm declared by the Palestinian factions, saying that while the factions committed to a relative calm, Israel escalated its killing and settlement activities and speeded up the construction of the separation wall and the isolation of Jerusalem.

The Islamic Jihad leader said his movement had repeatedly threatened that it will respond to the Israeli offensive against its operatives. The group’s decision to declare calm stemmed not from weakness, but from strength, he said.

Al-Hindi confirmed the movement’s commitment to the calm, but said it does not mean that ‘we sit in the audience seat while Israel continues its aggression against our people.’

Commenting on the latest suicide attack in Netanya, Al-Hindi said it is a ‘normal reaction to the occupation’s crimes targeting [Islamic Jihad]  leaders and operatives.’ He said 350 supporters and members of the group have been directly affected by the ‘campaign.’