What happens when you’re a senior ranking commander in the PIJ?
Eventually, your time is up and an F-16 executes a precision-guided airstrike through your window…wiping you and maybe even some of your loved ones off the face of the earth. And just like this past week, days of trading rockets and bloodshed usually occurs between Israel and one of its enemies many.
So who are the “Palestinian Islamic Jihad”?
They are a terrorist organization based out of Damascus, being an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, but primarily operating in the West Bank and Gaza. The group is heavily funded by Iran and has ideals closely linked to the Islamic Republic of Iran. They want to see the destruction of Israel throughout whatever means possible, which will, in turn, pave the way for a wider global Islamic movement. They use suicide bombings, rocket attacks, and other types of terrorist activities to reap havoc on civilian populations.
And how did this all happen?
The group was founded in Gaza in 1981. But since then it has moved around. From Egypt to Lebanon, and now to having its headquarters in Syria. They have a long history of terror attacks with the armed resistance beginning in 1984. They have received training from Hezbollah, funding from Iran, and ideological agreeance from other groups throughout the Middle East.
So if the PIJ and Hamas are different, how does this affect the conflict?
Let’s talk specifically about this most recent confrontation. So far, it looks like Hamas is staying out of it. They have resisted joining the fight with rockets but have still expressed their support of the PIJ. This means that Israel has stayed away from Hamas targets thus far and focused their response on exclusively PIJ targets. This is good because if Hamas were to join, the situation could quickly escalate into something much bigger. Things are tense right now but hopefully, war will be once again avoided in Gaza.