Tayseer al-Jabari was the senior commanding officer of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)’s Northern Gaza Division. Israeli authorities accused him of heading PIJ’s anti-tank guided missile array and several PIJ divisions preparing attacks against Israel. He was killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza on August 5, 2022.Ruth Marks Eglash and Yonat Friling, “Israel kills top Islamic Jihad terrorist in Gaza, announces formal military operation,” Fox News, August 5, 2022, https://www.foxnews.com/world/israel-kills-top-islamic-jihad-terrorist-gaza-announces-formal-military-operation.
Jabari had succeeded Bahaa Abu el-Atta, who died in a targeted Israeli strike in Gaza in November 2019.Josef Federman and Fares Akram, “Israel targets Islamic Jihad leader, sending message to Iran,” Associated Press, November 12, 2019, https://apnews.com/article/religion-syria-ap-top-news-tel-aviv-international-news-9e45c7e17abf4275a9dc54e1c90cce5b; Fares Akram and Joseph Krauss, “Israeli strikes on Gaza kill 10, including senior militant,” Associated Press, August 5, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/israel-strikes-gaza-rising-tensions-4539de5f30c605b3423d3472351cd638. During Israel’s 11-day conflict with Hamas and PIJ in May 2021, Jabari was responsible for launching hundreds of rockets toward Israeli territory, according to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). During that conflict, a PIJ cell under Jabari’s direction also shot at an Israeli car traveling near the Gaza border, wounding one. After his August 2022 death, the IDF accused Jabari of recently carrying out anti-tank missile attacks against Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers.“Who was Tayseer al-Jabari, the top Islamic Jihad commander killed by Israel?,” Jerusalem Post, August 5, 2022, https://www.jpost.com/middle-east/article-714035. An IDF statement said Jabari “was entrusted in making many decisions inside the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization and was responsible for multiple attempted terror attacks against Israeli civilians.”Ruth Marks Eglash and Yonat Friling, “Israel kills top Islamic Jihad terrorist in Gaza, announces formal military operation,” Fox News, August 5, 2022, https://www.foxnews.com/world/israel-kills-top-islamic-jihad-terrorist-gaza-announces-formal-military-operation. The Israeli military called the operation targeting Jabari a preemptive strike.“Israeli airstrikes on Gaza kill senior figure in Palestinian militant group.,” New York Times, August 5, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/08/05/world/israel-gaza-airstrikes#israel-gaza-airstrikes.
On August 5, 2022, Israel launched Operation “Breaking Dawn,” striking PIJ targets in Gaza. At least 10 people were killed, including Jabari. PIJ Secretary-General Ziad Nakhalah warned there would be no red lines against Israel and PIJ was “going into battle.”“Islamic Jihad’s leader, currently in Tehran, vows: ‘We are going into battle,’” Times of Israel, August 5, 2022, https://www.timesofisrael.com/liveblog_entry/islamic-jihads-leader-currently-in-tehran-vows-we-are-going-into-battle/. That day, PIJ launched dozens of missiles toward Israeli civilian centers. No Israeli casualties were reported.Steve Hendrix, Hazem Balousha and Shira Rubin, “Israeli strikes in Gaza kill senior militant leader and at least 9 others,” Washington Post, August 5, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/08/05/israel-gaza-idf-strike/. Hamas Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah both offered condolences to PIJ on Jabari’s death.“Hezbollah offers deep condolences to Islamic Jihad Movement over the martyrdom of the senior commander Tayseer Jabari and a number of his brethren,” Al-Manar TV, August 5, 2022, https://english.almanar.com.lb/1657790; “Israeli airstrikes on Gaza kill senior figure in Palestinian militant group.,” New York Times, August 5, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/08/05/world/israel-gaza-airstrikes#israel-gaza-airstrikes.
- Extremist entity
- Palestinian Islamic Jihad
- Type(s) of Organization:
- Non-state actor, terrorist, violent
- Ideologies and Affiliations:
- Iranian-sponsored, Islamist, jihadist, Palestinian, Salafist, Sunni, takfiri
- Head of Operations, member of PIJ’s Al-Quds Brigades military council, commander of the northern Gaza Strip
PIJ is a Palestinian Islamist terrorist group sponsored by Iran and Syria. Founded in 1979 as an offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, PIJ is the second-largest terrorist group in Gaza today (after Hamas).
Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.
On October 27, 2018, domestic terrorist Robert D. Bowers carried out an anti-Semitic attack at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. He fired on congregants as they gathered for worship, killing 11 people and wounding six others.