Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ)
The Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ) is a Sunni Islamist militant group seeking to establish an Islamist Palestinian state that is committed to the destruction of Israel. It is the second-largest militant group in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, founded in 1979 as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. The group has drawn inspiration from the Iranian revolution and receives support from Iran, Syria, and Lebanese Hizballah. PIJ’s military wing, al-Quds Brigades, has been responsible for many attacks on Israeli targets since the 1990s. PIJ sometimes operates in coordination with HAMAS, although the groups have had a tense relationship because PIJ occasionally disagrees with HAMAS’s strategy for confronting Israel.
Israel, the Gaza Strip, and the West Bank; maintains a presence in Lebanon and Syria and offices in Tehran
Most sources estimate 1,000 members
TACTICS AND TARGETS
PIJ primarily employs small-arms and mortar and rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip against Israeli targets in Israel and the West Bank. The group conducted suicide bombings from the late 1990s to the mid-2000s. It also has man-portable air defense systems, mortars, armed unmanned aircraft systems, antitank guided missiles, and IEDs.
FOREIGN TERRORIST GROUP DESIGNATION
The US Department of State designated PIJ as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 1997 and designated PIJ’s Secretary General Ziyad al-Nakhalah as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist in 2014.
Secretary General of PIJ since 2018, leads PIJ’s leadership council
Deputy Secretary General of PIJ since 2018, member of the Political Bureau
5-7 August 2022
Fires approximately 1,100 rockets at Israel in response to the death of one of its leaders, killing 15 Palestinians with errant rockets and causing a few injuries in Israel.
10-21 May 2021
Along with HAMAS, launches more than 4,000 rockets toward Israel, killing 11 civilians and one soldier.
23-24 February 2020
Fires nearly 100 rockets toward Israel in response to the death of three of its fighters, causing at least a dozen injuries.
12-14 November 2019
Launches more than 400 rockets at Israel after Israeli forces kill a senior PIJ commander, causing some injuries.
12-14 November 2018
Along with HAMAS, fires more than 400 rockets toward Israel, killing one person and wounding dozens of others.