The Palestinian Islamic Jihad is a militant terrorist organization that operates mainly in the Gaza Strip where most of its military strength is located. The PIJ also operates terror cells in cities in Judea and Samaria, mainly in Jenin and Shechem (Nablus.)
The PIJ has headquarters in Lebanon and Syria and is a proxy of Israel’s archenemy, the Islamic Republic of Iran. Both are determined to eliminate Israel as the state of the Jewish people.
With Iran’s help, the PIJ has grown militarily and now has an arsenal that includes:
- Rockets that reach up to 120 km (north of Tel Aviv)
- Mortars of various ranges
- Cornet-type anti-tank missiles
- Anti-aircraft missiles
- Sniping capabilities
- Attack tunnels (that penetrate Israel for terror attacks)
- Explosive drones and
- A naval unit.
Here is a short film that shows the scope of their rockets:
In the 1990s, the PIJ began suicide attacks against Israelis in Israel and Judea and Samaria, and carried out more than 400 bombings in the years 2000-2005, murdering 134 Israelis and injuring 880.
When in 2007 Hamas, the larger Palestinian terror group, took over Gaza, the PIJ became the secondary terror group. Yet it continued rocket attacks on Israelis across the border.
The PIJ was founded in 1981 in Egypt but was expelled from the country. Its leaders moved to south Lebanon, where they collaborated with the militant Palestinian organization of Hezbollah and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Iran is the main sponsor of PIJ. It funds the organization with tens of millions of dollars annually, as well as providing it with weapons and military training. Although the PIJ is Sunni, and Iran is mostly Shiite, they nevertheless unite to achieve their common goal, the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state.
Concerning the Middle East crisis: Iranian leader, Khamenei states that Palestine is “a part of their body and the only solution is the elimination of the root of this crisis, which is the Zionist regime – the Jewish state of Israel
The PIJ claims to be the indigenous people of the land of Israel which they call Palestine and is determined to continue the armed struggle until Israel’s defeat. They do not accept any “Two State Solution” and refuse to acknowledge Israel’s existence under any conditions.