‘We will only halt our operations under four conditions,’ said Zakaria Zubeidi, commander of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in Jenin. He insisted on an end to the blockade on Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s headquarters, an Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories, the dismantling of settlements and the release of Palestinian prisoners.

Zubeidi accused Israeli public radio of ‘distorting’ his remarks and ‘taking them out of context in a premeditated way in order to cloud the real position of the Brigades’.

In an interview broadcast by Israeli radio on 14 June, Zubeidi said: ‘I will have no problem in stopping attacks after an Israeli retreat in our sector and when [the Israelis] no longer come in every day with their tanks to kill us’.