Islamic Jihad calls for release of Al-Saadi as military wing threatens Israel

Bassam al-Saadi, one of the leaders of the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine (Jaafar Ashtiyeh - AFP)

Middle East Monitor  /  August 4, 2022

Islamic Jihad renewed its call yesterday for Israel to release the movement’s official Bassam al-Saadi, who was arrested earlier this week in a raid on his home in Jenin. The call was made during a joint press conference by Islamic Jihad and the 61-year-old’s family.

In a separate press conference, the military wing of the movement in the Jenin refugee camp vowed to respond to the arrest.

The head of Islamic Jihad, Hani Jaradat, said that the movement was expressing its solidarity with Al-Saadi after this “criminal” act by the occupation state. He that the movement’s leadership in Gaza had submitted demands for the “immediate and urgent release” of both Al-Saadi and Khalil al-Awawdeh, who has been on hunger strike for 33 days in protest at his administrative detention with neither charge nor trial.

Al-Saadi’s son, Izz al-Din, told journalists that the Palestinian Authority should form a “medical committee to visit and report on his father’s condition after the attack on his house and family during his arrest.”

A masked man standing amongst a group of Palestinian fighters said that the Israeli forces “committed a heinous crime by storming the Jenin refugee camp… We will not stand idly by. Our response will match the severity of the crime.” The Israeli occupation forces, he added, are “fully accountable” for Al-Saadi’s life.

The leader of Islamic Jihad in Gaza, Khader Habib, told Anadolu on Tuesday that the Egyptians — who mediate between the Palestinian factions and Israel — have been told that the movement holds Tel Aviv fully responsible for the repercussions of Al-Saadi’s arrest.

On Wednesday, the Israeli Cabinet discussed the developments on the nominal border of the Gaza Strip, a day after the occupation state imposed a series of measures near the enclave, fearing a response from Islamic Jihad. Roads were closed adjacent to the border fence, and the Beit Hanoun/Erez and Karam Abu Salem/Kerem Shalom crossings were closed.