Palestinian Islamic Jihad

Palestinian Islamist militant organization / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine (Arabic: حركة الجهاد الإسلامي في فلسطين, Harakat al-Jihād al-Islāmi fi Filastīn), commonly known simply as Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), is a Palestinian Islamist paramilitary organization formed in 1981.

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Islamic Jihad Movement
حركة الجهاد الإسلامي في فلسطين
FounderAbd Al Aziz Awda
LeaderFathi Shaqaqi (1981–1995)
Ramadan Shalah (1995–2018)
Ziyad al-Nakhalah (2018–present)
Dates of operationOctober 1981 – present
Split fromMuslim Brotherhood
Active regionsGaza Strip
IdeologyPalestinian nationalism
Islamic nationalism
StatusDesignated as terrorist organization by Australia, Canada, the European Union, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Size8,000 (2011)[1]
Part ofAlliance of Palestinian Forces

PIJ formed as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood and was influenced ideologically in its formation by the Islamic regime in Iran. It is a member of the Alliance of Palestinian Forces, which rejects the Oslo Accords and whose objective is the establishment of a sovereign Islamic Palestinian state.[2] It calls for the military destruction of Israel and rejects a two-state solution.[3] The organization's financial backing has historically come mainly from Syria and Hezbollah.[4][5] Since 2014, PIJ has seen its power steadily increase with the backing of funds from Iran.[6]

The armed wing of PIJ is Al-Quds Brigades (also known as "Saraya"), also formed in 1981, which is active in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, with its main strongholds in the West Bank being the cities of Hebron and Jenin. Its operations have included suicide bombings, attacks on Israeli civilians, as well as the firing of rockets into Israel. PIJ has been designated a terrorist organisation by the United States,[7] the European Union,[8] the United Kingdom,[9] Japan,[10] Canada,[11] Australia,[3] New Zealand[12][13] and Israel.[14]