A class of fighters trained by the Al-Aqsa Brigades, Fatah’s armed military wing, graduated on Sunday in the northern Gaza Strip.
The group stated during the graduation ceremony, that they intend to continue armed resistance against the Israeli occupation.
The fighters are part of the Brigades controlled by Fatah, the party which also controls the caretaker government in the West Bank. Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas is also a member of the party.
Abbas is currently taking part in talks with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on details of a possible peace agreement before the end of Olmert’s term in mid-September.
The general commander of the Al-Aqsa Brigades and leaders of the Consultation Council (senior leadership of the party who discuss Fatah policy) attended the graduation along with members of other Palestinian factions.
Trainees practiced military shows and skills such as storming buildings and kidnapping soldiers, and demonstrated the launch of rocket-propelled grenades for the ceremony audience.
Al-Aqsa Brigades asserted that the graduation of a class of fighters sends a clear message to Israel that resistance is still a valid choice for freeing Palestinian lands and the Al-Aqsa mosque.
The group also maintained that the current state of rivalry in the Palestinian factions in the West Bank and Gaza should come to an end in order to defend Palestinian rights and demand an end to the siege of the Gaza Strip.