Israel’s prime target: What is Palestinian Islamic Jihad? | Israel-Palestine conflict News


Israel has continued its air assaults on Gaza for a 3rd day in a row, killing at the very least 27 Palestinians, together with five women and five children, because it focused 4 leaders of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad motion (PIJ).

Israeli forces killed Ali Ghali, commander of PIJ’s rocket-launch unit, within the newest assault on a constructing in Gaza’s southern Khan Younis.

Greater than 400 retaliatory rockets have been fired from Gaza in the direction of Israel since Wednesday, with most intercepted by Israeli missile defences.

What’s the Palestinian Islamic Jihad?

The PIJ was based in 1981 by Palestinian college students in Egypt with the goal of building a Palestinian state within the West Financial institution, Gaza and different areas illegally occupied by Israel.

Whereas the armed group is sharply vital of the Palestinian Authority and its insurance policies, it doesn’t take part in politics and limits its function to navy confrontations with Israel.

Iran provides Islamic Jihad with coaching, experience and cash, however a lot of the group’s weapons are domestically produced.

Though its base is Gaza, Islamic Jihad maintains a big presence within the West Financial institution city of Jenin and has management in Lebanon and Syria, the place it maintains shut ties with Iranian officers.

Who’re PIJ’s members?

The present secretary-general of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad is Ziad al-Nakhalah, who was elected to steer the group in 2018. Al-Nakhalah was born within the Gaza Strip in 1953, and have become concerned with the Islamic Jihad in 1982, enjoying an important function in forming the navy wing of the motion.

Lots of the group’s senior members have been killed by Israel.

The group’s founder, Fathi Shaqaqi, a doctor from Rafah within the Gaza Strip, was assassinated in Malta in 1995.

Final 12 months, Israeli air raids killed two senior leaders, Khaled Mansour, who died in Israeli air strikes in Rafah within the southern Gaza Strip, and Taysir al-Jabari, commander of the motion’s northern area, and a member of the group’s “navy council” – the group’s decision-making physique in Gaza.

Al-Jabari was answerable for the Islamic Jihad actions in Gaza Metropolis and the northern Gaza Strip in the course of the 2021 assault by Israeli forces, when during 11 days of fighting at the very least 260 individuals had been killed in Gaza and 13 in Israel.

Al-Jabari had changed Bahaa Abu al-Ata who was additionally killed by Israeli forces in a 2019 assault. Abu al-Ata’s killing was the primary high-profile assassination of an Islamic Jihad determine by Israeli forces for the reason that 2014 war in the Gaza Strip.

The rocket unit commander, Ghali, was a central determine in Islamic Jihad, accountable for focusing on and launching explosives, and a veteran of a number of rounds of combating with Israel.

The PIJ introduced three of its commanders had been killed in Israeli air assaults on Monday and pledged to “avenge” their deaths.

Is the group an enormous menace to Israel?

The Israeli navy mentioned the three Islamic Jihad leaders it killed had been accountable for rocket assaults in opposition to Israelis within the occupied West Financial institution.

Israeli military chief spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari mentioned: “Our precept is evident: whoever harms us – we’ll strike at them and with nice power. Our lengthy arm will attain each terrorist at a time and place of our selecting,” he added.

Within the occupied West Financial institution, Israel has led a seamless marketing campaign of mass arrests and killings in Jenin and different occupied West Financial institution cities, aimed toward fighters affiliated with PIJ’s al-Quds Brigades and different Palestinian armed teams.

The navy operations search to crush a rising shift in the direction of an more and more organised Palestinian armed resistance in Jenin and Nablus that emerged on the heels of a mass popular outburst of Palestinian resistance in Could 2021.

Does worldwide regulation enable Israel to focus on the group?

Human rights teams have ceaselessly referred to as out Israel’s violations of worldwide regulation in Gaza and the occupied West Financial institution.

The United Nations particular rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories, Francesca Albanez, mentioned final 12 months throughout related assaults that Israeli air raids on the besieged Gaza Strip “not solely are unlawful however irresponsible”.

Her statements got here after Israel launched an assault on Gaza in what it characterised as a “preemptive” act of self-defence in opposition to the Islamic Jihad group.

Are Hamas and the Islamic Jihad the identical?

Islamic Jihad is the smaller of the 2 predominant Palestinian teams within the Gaza Strip and is vastly outnumbered by the governing Hamas organisation, but it surely has grow to be the driving power in confrontations with Israeli forces.

Whereas it doesn’t have long-range rockets like Hamas, PIJ possesses a big arsenal of small arms, mortars, rockets and anti-tank missiles.

“Islamic Jihad is understood to oppose the peace course of and the negotiation strategy with Israel. It adopts an armed battle in opposition to the Israeli occupation like Hamas. Islamic Jihad is a really shut ally with Iran. Due to the hyperlinks to Iran, we’re seeing one of many causes of Israel’s assault,” Ibrahim Fraihat from the Doha Institute has informed Al Jazeera.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad are sometimes united in opposition to Israel and are crucial members of the joint operations room that coordinates navy exercise among the many varied armed teams in Gaza.

Following the Israeli raids on Gaza on Wednesday, Hamas and PIJ issued related statements promising a “agency response from the unified resistance forces, whose unity is manifested in its best type within the discipline”.

Islamic Jihad generally acts independently of Hamas and the connection between the 2 teams has been tense when Hamas exerted strain on PIJ to cease assaults in opposition to Israel.

Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here