Palestinian Islamic Jihad

Executive Summary:

Palestinian Islamic Jihad (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). The U.S. State Department claims that PIJ has fewer than 1,000 members, though in 2011 the group claimed to have at least 8,000 battle-ready fighters in Gaza.

PIJ is dedicated to eradicating Israel and establishing an autonomous Islamic Palestinian state in the lands currently comprising Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. PIJ believes that the land of Palestine is consecrated for Islam, that Israel usurped Palestine, and, therefore, that Israel is an affront to God and Islam and that Palestine’s re-conquest is a holy task. Accordingly, PIJ refuses to negotiate with Israel, rejects a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and carries out numerous terror attacks against Israeli targets and interests. Unlike Hamas, PIJ does not participate in the political process or provide social services.

PIJ’s primary sponsor is Iran, which has provided the group with millions of dollars in direct funding, as well as training and weapons. PIJ has partnered with Iranian- and Syrian-sponsored Hezbollah in carrying out joint operations.

Based in Gaza until 1987, PIJ’s leadership was then exiled to Lebanon, where it reportedly began cooperating with Hezbollah and began receiving training from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.Holly Fletcher, “Palestinian Islamic Jihad,” Council on Foreign Relations, April 10, 2008, http://www.cfr.org/israel/palestinian-islamic-jihad/p15984. PIJ’s leadership relocated to Syria in 1989, but left a small group in Lebanon that launched joint attacks with Hezbollah in the 1990s.Holly Fletcher, “Palestinian Islamic Jihad,” Council on Foreign Relations, April 10, 2008, http://www.cfr.org/israel/palestinian-islamic-jihad/p15984. Syria has also provided military aid and sanctuary to PIJ, allowing the terrorist group’s leadership to occupy a Syrian Army base from 1989 until 2012.“Country Reports on Terrorism 2013: Chapter 6. Foreign Terrorist Organizations,” U.S. Department of State, April 30, 2014, http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2013/224829.htm.

According to the U.S. State Department, PIJ’s senior leadership continues to reside in Syria and some other leaders live in Lebanon, though most PIJ members live in Gaza.“Country Reports on Terrorism 2013: Chapter 6. Foreign Terrorist Organizations,” U.S. Department of State, April 30, 2014, http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2013/224829.htm. International Arabic-language newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat reported in 2012 that PIJ’s Syria-based leadership had relocated to Iran but continued to enjoy positive ties with their Syrian patrons. However, a PIJ official denied that report, claiming “relations between [PIJ] and the Syrian government are excellent, unlike Hamas,”“Islamic Jihad Leadership Relocates to Iran,” Asharq Al-Awsat (London), July 22, 2012, http://www.aawsat.net/2012/07/article55241265. whose leadership left Syria after refusing to support the Assad regime during the Syrian civil war. Official representatives of the group are also stationed elsewhere in the Middle East,“Country Reports on Terrorism 2013: Chapter 6. Foreign Terrorist Organizations,” U.S. Department of State, April 30, 2014, http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2013/224829.htm. including Iran.Asmaa al-Ghoul, “Hamas Isolated as Iran Boosts Ties with Islamic Jihad, Fatah,” Al-Monitor, February 12, 2014, http://www.al-monitor.com/pulseen/originals/2014/02/islamic-jihad-fatah-hamas-iran-palestinians.html; “Islamic Jihad: Israeli Attacks on Gaza Backfired,” Tasnim News Agency, July 15, 2014, http://www.tasnimnews.com/english/Home/Single/432079.

Doctrine:

PIJ seeks to create a state based on sharia (Islamic law) in all the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River—including Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. Like Hamas, PIJ portrays the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a religious clash, not merely a territorial dispute. PIJ believes that the land of Palestine is consecrated for Islam and that, therefore, Israel usurped Palestine. Consequently, Israel’s very existence is an affront to God and Islam, and destroying Israel and reconquering Palestine are religious obligations.

In PIJ’s ideology, an Islamic state of Palestine can be established only through jihad (holy war) and the destruction of Israel. According to the “Manifesto of the Islamic Jihad in Palestine,” a document discovered by federal authorities investigating a Florida man with suspected PIJ ties, the group rejects “any peaceful solution to the Palestinian cause” and affirms “the Jihad solution and the martyrdom style as the only choice for liberation.”“Statement of the Attorney General Indictments,” U.S. Department of Justice, February 20, 2003, http://www.justice.gov/archive/ag/speeches/2003/02202003pressconference.htm. Accordingly, PIJ completely rejects negotiations with Israel or a two-state solution.

PIJ’s founders, Fathi Shaqaqi and Abd al-Aziz Awda, drew initial inspiration from the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. However, both men left the Brotherhood in the late 1970s, feeling the group had become too moderate and did not focus enough on the plight of the Palestinians.Holly Fletcher, “Palestinian Islamic Jihad,” Council on Foreign Relations, April 10, 2008, http://www.cfr.org/israel/palestinian-islamic-jihad/p15984. Inspired by Ayatollah Khomeini’s Islamic Revolution in Iran, Shaqaqi and Awda founded PIJ on the principles Khomeini advocated, with the goal of creating an Islamic state within the land that constituted the Palestine mandate prior to Israel’s creation in 1948.Holly Fletcher, “Palestinian Islamic Jihad,” Council on Foreign Relations, April 10, 2008, http://www.cfr.org/israel/palestinian-islamic-jihad/p15984.

PIJ is dedicated singularly to violent jihad. While Hamas has engaged in indirect talks with Israel (including on prisoner exchanges and ceasefires), PIJ refuses to negotiate with Israel (though the group has participated in pan-Palestinian ceasefires negotiated by Egypt). Also unlike Hamas, PIJ generally does not provide social services.Holly Fletcher, “Palestinian Islamic Jihad,” Council on Foreign Relations, April 10, 2008, http://www.cfr.org/israel/palestinian-islamic-jihad/p15984. However, in 2013, when Iran and Hamas were estranged due to Hamas’s abandonment of the Iranian-allied Assad regime in Syria’s civil war, Iran tasked PIJ with distributing $2 million in Iranian food aid in Gaza from the Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation, a Beirut-based Iranian charity. The New York Times interpreted the move as an attempt to extend Iran’s influence in Gaza while undermining Hamas and strengthening the rival PIJ.Fares Akram, “In Gaza, Iran Finds an Ally More Agreeable Than Hamas,” New York Times, July 31, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/01/world/middleeast/in-gaza-iran-finds-a-closer-ally-than-hamas.html.

Organizational Structure:

Ramadan Shallah served as PIJ’s secretary-general from 1995 until 2018. That September, PIJ’s leadership council elected Ziad al-Nakhalah to be the new secretary-general.Susan Aschoff, “Jihad Leader Emerged from Shadows of USF,” St. Petersburg Times, February 21, 2003, http://www.sptimes.com/2003/02/21/TampaBay/Jihad_leader_emerged_.shtml; Iran-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad names new leader,” Associated Press, September 28, 2018, https://apnews.com/d14e7e6a4a68481980b6db8052853f03. PIJ is governed by a leadership council. PIJ elected nine new members to the council in September 2018 in the group’s first international elections since 1980. The political council is made up of 15 members, nine of whom are elected by balloted voting. The secretary-general appoints two members, and the remaining four are approved by the council. The council represents PIJ members in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Israeli prisons, and abroad. Elections are reportedly to be held every four years.Ahmad Abu Amer, “Has Iran’s influence increased in Palestinian arena?” Al-Monitor, October 16, 2018, https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/10/palestinian-islamic-jihad-elections-iran-influence.html.

PIJ’s leadership has operated from Syria since 1989, when they relocated from Lebanon after Israel expelled them a year earlier. In 2012, rumors circulated that the group’s leadership had relocated to Iran, but a PIJ official denied that.Holly Fletcher, “Palestinian Islamic Jihad,” Council on Foreign Relations, April 10, 2008, http://www.cfr.org/israel/palestinian-islamic-jihad/p15984; “Islamic Jihad Leadership Relocates to Iran,” Asharq Al-Awsat (London), July 22, 2012, https://eng-archive.aawsat.com/theaawsat/news-middle-east/islamic-jihad-leadership-relocates-to-iran. According to the U.S. State Department, PIJ operates primarily in the Gaza Strip but its leaders also live in Lebanon and elsewhere in the Middle East.“Country Reports on Terrorism 2017,” U.S. Department of State, September 2018, 322, https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/283100.pdf.

The al-Quds Brigades, PIJ’s armed wing, carries out violent attacks against Israel. The Brigades has regional staff commands. Each member within a command oversees a cell within that command’s region. The PIJ leadership issues orders and staff commanders carry out PIJ operations and coordinate cells.“Terrorist Organization Profile: Al-Quds Brigades,” START: National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, accessed June 28, 2014, http://www.start.umd.edu/tops/terrorist_organization_profile.asp?id=4430. The U.S. State Department claims that PIJ has fewer than 1,000 members,“Country Reports on Terrorism 2013: Chapter 6. Terrorist Organizations,” U.S. Department of State, April 30, 2014, http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2013/224829.htm. though the group claimed in 2011 to have at least 8,000 battle-ready fighters in Gaza.Crispian Balmer and Nidal al-Mughrabi, “Islamist Jihad Ready for All-Out War with Israel,” Reuters, November 3, 2011, http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/03/us-palestinians-israel-islamicjihad-idUSTRE7A24RR20111103.

Financing:

Iran is PIJ’s primary source of financial support, according to the U.S. State Department.“Country Reports on Terrorism 2013: Chapter 6. Terrorist Organizations,” U.S. Department of State, April 30, 2014, http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2013/224829.htm. A 1998 lawsuit against Iran in U.S. federal court revealed that the Islamic Republic allocated $2 million in its annual budget to PIJ.Richard Sisk, “Terror Victim’s Dad Wins $247M Lawsuit Vs. Iran,” New York Daily News, March 12, 1998, http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/news/terror-victim-dad-wins-247m-lawsuit-iran-article-1.789077. That number has since skyrocketed—in late 2013, PIJ sources revealed that the terror group received about $3 million per month from Iran.Hazem Balousha, “Islamic Jihad May Respond If Israel Enters Syria War,” Al-Monitor, September 2, 2013, http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/09/islamic-jihad-syria-us-strike.html. During the 2012 war between Israel and Hamas, PIJ fired rockets into Israeli territory and hung banners across Gaza streets with the phrase, “Thank you, Iran.”Hazem Balousha, “Islamic Jihad May Respond If Israel Enters Syria War,” Al-Monitor, September 2, 2013, http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/09/islamic-jihad-syria-us-strike.html. A February 2014 report by Ali Nourizadeh, director of the Center for Iranian Studies in London, stated that Iran provides PIJ with $100 to $150 million annually.“Expert: Hamas Received $2 Billion from Iran; Islamic Jihad Gets $150 Million Annually,” Algemeiner, February 11, 2014, http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/02/11/expert-hamas-received-2-billion-from-iran-islamic-jihad-gets-150-million-annually/.

In mid-2015, a senior PIJ leader said the group was suffering from its worst financial crisis in history. One PIJ leader attributed the crisis to Egypt’s closure of the smuggling tunnels beneath the Gaza-Egypt border. The same source also said Iran had cut back its funding to the group.Hazem Balousha, “Islamic Jihad’s coffers run dry,” Al-Monitor, June 2, 2015, http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/06/palestine-islamic-jihad-financial-crisis-money-iran-hezbolla.html. Iran reportedly cut funding because PIJ refused to issue a statement supporting Iran in its conflict against Saudi Arabia in Yemen.Khaled Abu Toameh, “Report: Iran stops cash flow to Islamic Jihad organization,” Jerusalem Post, May 21, 2015, http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Report-Iran-stops-cash-flow-to-Islamic-Jihad-organization-403727. Iran had reportedly cut PIJ’s funding by 90 percent as of January 2016. The loss in funding allegedly forced PIJ to slash salaries of its employees. According to media reports, Iran still considered PIJ a “friend” but one the country is unable to continue to support financially. PIJ’s leaders insisted the group still had good relations with Iran.“Iran cuts 90% of support for Palestinian Islamic Jihad,” Middle East Monitor, January 11, 2016, https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/23278-iran-cuts-90-of-support-for-palestinian-islamic-jihad.

In May 2016, the Iranian government reportedly restored its relations with PIJ with an annual allocation of $70 million. The allocation followed visit to Tehran by a PIJ delegation the previous month.“Iran resumes funding for Palestinian Islamic Jihad: report,” i24 News, May 25, 2016, https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/international/middle-east/114490-160525-iran-resumes-funding-for-palestinian-islamic-jihad-group-report. As of August 2018, Iran reportedly transferred $30 million annually to PIJ and $70 million to Hamas.Elior Levy, “Iran's $100 million aid to Hamas and Islamic Jihad,” Ynet News, August 3, 2018, https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5321985,00.html. In February 2019, PIJ spokesman Abu Hamza told Iran’s Al-Alam TV that “since the day of its establishment, the Islamic Republic [of Iran] has been supporting the Palestinian fighters financially, militarily, in raining, and in all aspects.”“Islamic Jihad shows off tunnels, rocket workshop on Iran TV,” Times of Israel, March 1, 2019, https://www.timesofisrael.com/islamic-jihad-shows-off-tunnels-rocket-workshop-on-iran-tv/.

A U.S. lawsuit filed in June 2020 alleged Qatar provided funding to Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) through three Qatari financial institutions, the Qatar Charity, Masraf Al Rayan, and Qatar National Bank. The Qatar Charity is a member of the U.S.-sanctioned Union of Good charity network. All three institutions have links to members of the Qatari royal family. The plaintiffs are friends and family members of 10 victims who died in terror attacks in Israel carried out by Hamas and PIJ. The lawsuit accuses Qatar of coopting “several institutions that it dominates and controls to funnel coveted U.S. dollars (the chosen currency of Middle East terrorist networks) to Hamas and PIJ under the false guise of charitable donations.”Ray Hanania, “Lawsuit names Qatar’s royal family in killings of 10 Americans in Israel,” Arab News, June 11, 2020, https://www.arabnews.com/node/1688051/middle-east; Adam Kredo, “Lawsuit Alleges Qatar Secretly Financed Terror Attacks that Killed Americans,” Washington Free Beacon, June 10, 2020, https://freebeacon.com/national-security/lawsuit-alleges-qatar-secretly-financed-terror-attacks-that-killed-americans/.

Recruitment and Training:

Recruitment

Fathi Shaqaqi founded PIJ after being jailed for his involvement in the Palestine Liberation Force.Stephen E. Atkins, Encyclopedia of Modern Worldwide Extremists and Extremist Groups (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2004), 239. Original PIJ recruits included ex-prisoners Shaqaqi met in jail, upon their return to the Gaza Strip.Stephen E. Atkins, Encyclopedia of Modern Worldwide Extremists and Extremist Groups (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2004), 239. Shaqaqi was also able to recruit in the early 1980s through early PIJ member Abdul Aziz Awda, a popular preacher and professor of Islamic law. Awda attracted many to the PIJ cause through his sermons at one of Gaza’s largest mosques.Stephen E. Atkins, Encyclopedia of Modern Worldwide Extremists and Extremist Groups (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2004), 239.

Since PIJ’s goal has always been to execute strategic military operations against Israel, the group has focused on targeted recruiting rather than simply gaining a large membership. For example, PIJ recruited students to demonstrate at Bir Zeit University in the early 1980s. An April 1987 incident resulted in Israeli forces opening fire on demonstrators, resulting in the death of one student.Stephen E. Atkins, Encyclopedia of Modern Worldwide Extremists and Extremist Groups (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2004), 239.

PIJ’s leadership began recruiting suicide bombers in the early 1990s and originally did not permit women to serve in that role. However, PIJ officially began recruiting female suicide bombers in 2003, justifying women bombers as defending their honor against Israeli invaders. PIJ’s first female suicide bomber, a 19-year-old student named Hiba Daraghmeh, attacked a shopping mall, killing three.Debra D. Zedalis, “Female Suicide Bombers,” Strategic Studies Institute, June 2004, http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pdffiles/pub408.pdf. The next such bomber, Hanadi Jaradat, a 29-year-old lawyer, blew herself up in a restaurant in October 2003, killing 21.Debra D. Zedalis, “Female Suicide Bombers,” Strategic Studies Institute, June 2004, http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pdffiles/pub408.pdf. Selection and persuasion methods for women suicide bombers are similar to those employed for men. Recruiters of female suicide bombers “take advantage of the candidates’ innocence, enthusiasm, personal distress, and thirst for revenge,” according to U.S. Army civilian professional Debra Zedalis.Debra D. Zedalis, “Female Suicide Bombers,” Strategic Studies Institute, June 2004, http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pdffiles/pub408.pdf.

In 2015, PIJ reportedly recruited 200 men between the ages of 19 and 22. According to a 2018 estimate by the U.S. State Department, PIJ has almost 1,000 members.“Country Reports on Terrorism 2017,” U.S. Department of State, September 2018, 322, https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/283100.pdf.

Training

Like other violent Islamist groups, PIJ uses training methods and tactics such as exercises in suicide operations and battlefield tactics against Israeli soldiers. PIJ has boasted of opening its ranks to children as young as six years old. PIJ “summer camps” draw as many as 10,000 participants per session.Harriet Sherwood, “Playing Politics: Summer Camp for Gaza’s Children,” Guardian (London), July 29, 2010, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/jul/29/gaza-children-militant-summer-camps. The camps’ activities include wielding AK-47s, planting land mines, and mock operations to kidnap Israeli soldiers.“Following Hamas Lead, PIJ Opens Camps to Train Child Soldiers,” Tower, June 13, 2013, http://www.thetower.org/following-hamas-lead-palestinian-islamic-jihad-opens-camps-to-train-child-soldiers/. PIJ spokesman Daoud Shihab describes such training of children as a way to ensure “a generation strong [in] resistance.”“Following Hamas Lead, PIJ Opens Camps to Train Child Soldiers,” Tower, June 13, 2013, http://www.thetower.org/following-hamas-lead-palestinian-islamic-jihad-opens-camps-to-train-child-soldiers/.

These “Generation of Faith” camps are not restricted to combat training, however. Recruits are “educated intellectually, militarily, and politically.”Hazem Balousha, “Islamic Jihad, Hamas Hold Military Training Camps for Children,” Al-Monitor, June 21, 2013, http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/06/gaza-summer-camps-children-islamic-jihad.html#. Ahmad al-Moudalal, a PIJ leader who helps to train children fighters, explained, “We are resistance movements. It is therefore normal for us to want to attract young people, instill the culture of resistance in their minds and prepare them to bear arms against the Israeli enemy.”Hazem Balousha, “Islamic Jihad, Hamas Hold Military Training Camps for Children,” Al-Monitor, June 21, 2013, http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/06/gaza-summer-camps-children-islamic-jihad.html#.

According to the U.S. State Department, members recruited in 2015 were subjected to training programs between 36 days and six months.“Country Reports on Terrorism 2017,” U.S. Department of State, September 2018, 322, https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/283100.pdf.

Also Known As:

  • Type of Organization:
    Non-state actor, terrorist, violent
  • Ideologies and Affiliations:
    Iranian-sponsored, Islamist, jihadist, Palestinian, Salafist, Sunni, takfiri
  • Place of Origin:
    Egypt
  • Year of Origin:
    1979
  • Founder(s):

    Fathi Shaqaqi and Abd al-Aziz Awda

  • Places of Operation:

    Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, Lebanon, Syria

Mohammad al-Hindi

Deputy Secretary-General

Fathi Shaqaqi

Co-founder, former secretary-general (deceased)

Abd al-Aziz Awda

Co-founder

A key component of PIJ’s doctrine is the belief in violent jihad in order to liberate Palestine. PIJ has been responsible for numerous suicide attacks and hundreds of rockets against Israeli civilian centers, resulting in the deaths of dozens of Israeli civilians and soldiers. While PIJ has signed on to wider Palestinian ceasefires with Israel, it is highly unlikely the group will ever renounce terrorism, which has become an integral part of PIJ’s raison d’etre. PIJ believes its goal of creating an Islamic Palestine can be achieved only through the destruction of Israel, and so jihad has become a central tenant of PIJ’s ideology. In pursuit of its jihadist ideology, PIJ has launched numerous bombing attacks against Israeli civilian targets.

  • Designations
  • Associations
  • Media Coverage
  • Rhetoric

Designations by the U.S. Government:

  • October 8, 1997: Secretary of State designates Palestine Islamic Jihad - Shaqaqi Faction as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.“Chapter 6. Foreign Terrorist Organizations,” U.S. Department of State, May 30, 2013, http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2012/209989.htm.

Designations by Foreign Governments and Organizations:

Ties to Extremist Entities designated by the U.S. or foreign governments:

Ties to other entities:

  • Syria

    PIJ has been based in Damascus since 1989. An anonymous PIJ source told London’s Asharq Al-Awsat in July 2012 that the PIJ leadership fled Syria for Iran,“Islamic Jihad Leadership Relocates to Iran,” Asharq Al-Awsat (London), July 22, 2012, http://www.aawsat.net/2012/07/article55241265. though PIJ officially denied that it had abandoned its base in Syria.“Islamic Jihad Leadership Relocates to Iran,” Asharq Al-Awsat (London), July 22, 2012, http://www.aawsat.net/2012/07/article55241265. Despite Iranian support for PIJ and Syria, PIJ has otherwise appeared to remain neutral in the Syrian civil war.Asmaa al-Ghoul, “Palestinian Islamic Jihad: Iran Supplies All Weapons in Gaza,” Al-Monitor, May 14, 2013, http://www.al-monitor.com/pulseen/originals/2013/05/gaza-islamic-jihad-and-iranian-arms.html. According to PIJ spokesperson Daoud Shihab, “Palestine is greater than all axes, and we do not accept to be part of the [Syria] conflict.”Asmaa al-Ghoul, “Palestinian Islamic Jihad: Iran Supplies All Weapons in Gaza,” Al-Monitor, May 14, 2013, http://www.al-monitor.com/pulseen/originals/2013/05/gaza-islamic-jihad-and-iranian-arms.html. PIJ has, however, threatened to respond if Israel involves itself in the Syrian civil war.Hazem Balousha, “Islamic Jihad May Respond If Israel Enters Syria War,” Al-Monitor, September 2, 2013, http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/09/islamic-jihad-syria-us-strike.html.

  • Qatar

    A U.S. lawsuit filed in June 2020 alleged Qatar provided funding to PIJ and Hamas through three Qatari financial institutions, the Qatar Charity, Masraf Al Rayan, and Qatar National Bank. The Qatar Charity is a member of the U.S.-sanctioned Union of Good charity network. All three institutions have links to members of the Qatari royal family. The plaintiffs are friends and family members of 10 U.S. citizens who died in terror attacks in Israel carried out by PIJ and Hamas. The lawsuit alleges Qatar Charity allegedly worked with Masraf Al Rayan bank and Qatar National Bank to forward Hamas and PIJ millions of dollars. It further accuses the Qatari government of coopting “several institutions that it dominates and controls to funnel coveted U.S. dollars (the chosen currency of Middle East terrorist networks) to Hamas and PIJ under the false guise of charitable donations.”Ray Hanania, “Lawsuit names Qatar’s royal family in killings of 10 Americans in Israel,” Arab News, June 11, 2020, https://www.arabnews.com/node/1688051/middle-east; Adam Kredo, “Lawsuit Alleges Qatar Secretly Financed Terror Attacks that Killed Americans,” Washington Free Beacon, June 10, 2020, https://freebeacon.com/national-security/lawsuit-alleges-qatar-secretly-financed-terror-attacks-that-killed-americans/.

Media coverage/analysis of group

Media coverage of PIJ is much less subjective than with other groups. While pundits may find themselves sometimes split... Read More

Ziad al-Nakhalah, August 5, 2022

“We are going into battle. There are no ceasefires after an attack.”“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/.

Ziad al-Nakhalah, August 5, 2022

“We are starting the fight, and the fighters of the Palestinian resistance have to stand together to confront this aggression.”Fares Akram and Joseph Krauss, “Israeli strikes on Gaza kill 8, including senior militant,” Associated Press, August 5, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/israel-strikes-gaza-rising-tensions-4539de5f30c605b3423d3472351cd638.

Ziad al-Nakhalah, April 25, 2022

“Our nation is faced with the Zionist regime’s onslaught, which seeks to Judaize al-Quds and create new realities on the ground. The Palestinian nation is creating new equations in its confrontation with the Zionist regime.

“The Zionists use military force and under the guise of international organizations exploit the compromising Arab countries that have recognized the legitimacy of this occupying regime. They also cause conflicts with the Palestinian people in order to take advantage of them.

“Despite Israeli efforts to Judaize al-Aqsa Mosque and destroy the identity of the Palestinian people, the aggressors in Yemen are trying to get closer to the Zionist regime in any way possible.

“The countdown for the Zionist regime has begun, and today it is rapidly going downhill on the domestic front and in its confrontation with the Palestinian intifadas (uprisings).”“Islamic Jihad leader: Palestinians creating new equations in confrontation with Zionist enemy,” Press TV, April 25, 2022, https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/04/25/680983/Palestinians-Islamic-Jihad-movement-Ziad-Nakhala--.

Abu Hamza, spokesman, April 2022

“We will let the days and the battles to come do the talking about the ability of the resistance to break through this so-called (Israeli) barrier.”Agence France-Presse, “Gaza militants prepare tunnels as next conflict looms,” France 24, April 19, 2022, https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20220419-gaza-militants-prepare-tunnels-as-next-conflict-looms.

Yousef al-Hasayneh, senior PIJ member, April 7, 2022

Following a terror attack in Tel Aviv that killed at least three and wounded seven:

“This heroic operation deep in Tel Aviv confirms how frail [Israel] is, how susceptible it is to being broken."Aaron Boxerman, “Islamic Jihad praises attack, doesn’t claim responsibility,” Times of Israel, April 7, 2022, https://www.timesofisrael.com/liveblog_entry/islamic-jihad-praises-attack-doesnt-claim-responsibility/.

Ziad al-Nakhalah, May 8, 2021

“It is impossible to remain silent in the face of what is happening in Jerusalem. The enemy must expect our response at all times.”Elior Levy, “Islamic Jihad threatens ‘response at any moment’ against Israel for Jerusalem unrest,” Ynet, May 8, 2021, https://www.ynetnews.com/article/r1Vl6Q7dd.

PIJ statement, May 6, 2021

“Jerusalem Day is the day for standing up to Zionist-American terrorism. This year we mark this day in the shadow of the ‘Ramadan Intifada’ and the voices of jihad on the steps of the Damascus Gate, the Al-Aqsa Mosque and in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. If the enemy continues, the fire of Ramadan Intifada will reach the settlements and beyond. We call on our people in Jerusalem and the West Bank to revolt against the Zionists, resume ramming and stabbing attacks at checkpoints and shoot without hesitation anywhere soldiers and herds of settlers are located.”Liad Osmo, “Islamic Jihad calls for more terror attacks ahead of Jerusalem Day,” Ynet, May 6, 2021, https://www.ynetnews.com/article/SkH7W2110000.

PIJ statement, February 23, 2020

“We are placing our hands on the trigger and we will avenge the blood of the martyrs by firing on Tel Aviv.”Anna Ahronheim, “Palestinian Islamic Jihad bombards South after clash near Gaza border,” Jerusalem Post, February 24, 2020, https://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/IDF-fires-mortar-shells-at-terrorists-in-southern-Gaza-Strip-report-618454.

Ziad al-Nakhalah, PIJ secretary-general, January 5, 2020

The death of Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani is a “huge loss but at the same time he will be a model for all Muslims and free people in the world regarding how to confront America and the Zionist entity.”dam Rasgon, “Hamas, Islamic Jihad heads give condolences to Iran’s FM on Soleimani’s death,” Times of Israel, January 5, 2020, https://www.timesofisrael.com/hamas-islamic-jihad-heads-give-condolences-to-irans-fm-on-soleimanis-death/.

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.

Fact:

On September 30, 2017, there was a small explosion at Myanmar’s embassy in Cairo, Egypt, though there were no casualties. Hasm later claimed responsibility for the attack, the militant group’s first on a civilian target, saying it was a warning in response to the Myanmar’s military crackdown on Rohingya Muslims. 

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