Palestinian Islamic Jihad Secretary General Ziyad al Nakhala
© Erfan Kouchari/Tasnim News Agency
Palestinian Islamic Jihad Secretary-General Ziyad al-Nakhala in Tehran, August 2022
The movement's head said there was unity between all the Palestinian factions despite the fact that Hamas was not taking part in the current conflict.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad Secretary-General Ziyad al-Nakhala warned that his terrorist movement would resume fighting with Israel if its demands for the release of Islamic Jihad prisoners were not met, during a speech delivered as a ceasefire took effect between Israel and Islamic Jihad on Sunday night.

The movement's leader claimed that Israel had agreed to release Islamic Jihad official Bassam al-Saadi and hunger-striking prisoner Khalil al-Awawda in return for the ceasefire agreement. He additionally claimed that Israel was the one who "strongly sought to reach a ceasefire."

Saadi, a senior official of Islamic Jihad in the West Bank, was arrested on Monday by Israeli forces in Jenin. Shortly after, movement restrictions were issued for towns in the south due to concerns that the terrorist movement would attempt to carry out an attack in response.

"If the enemy does not abide by what we agreed on through the Egyptian mediator, we will resume fighting again, and God will do with us what He wills," warned Nakhala.

The ceasefire took effect at 11:30 p.m. on Sunday evening. Just minutes after it entered effect, rockets were fired in two waves from the Gaza Strip towards southern Israel. No faction took responsibility for the rocket fire.

Nakhala, who was in Tehran when Operation Breaking Dawn broke out, thanked Iran for its support of the movement and the Palestinian people.

Nakhala claims unity despite Hamas sitting out of conflict

The movement's leader called the operation a "victory" on Islamic Jihad's part, claiming that there was unity between all the Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip despite the Hamas movement not taking part in the conflict.

"Hamas did not interfere in the battle, but it is the backbone of the incubator of the resistance, and we will preserve our unity," said Nakhala.

Abu Hamza, the spokesman for Islamic Jihad's military branch, the Al-Quds Brigades, spoke after the ceasefire took effect, stating that the brigades will continue to "not know a way to ceasefire" and that the "battle is open."