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    Exchanges of fire between Israel and Gaza: what is the Palestinian Islamic Jihad?

    The movement engaged in the armed struggle against Israel, founded in 1981 and which works mainly from the Gaza Strip, has been the target of Israeli strikes since Friday.

    Targeted by Israeli strikes in the Gaza Strip since Friday, Islamic Jihad, founded in 1981, is a Palestinian organization engaged in the armed struggle against Israel.

    Created by students from the Islamic University of Gaza, it is considered close to the Islamist movement Hamas, in power in the Palestinian enclave since 2007.

    The two groups, supported by Iran, which is Israel’s number one enemy, are linked to the movement of the Muslim Brotherhood, a brotherhood established in Egypt in the 20th century.

    The Islamic Jihad works mainly in Gaza but the group is also present in the West Bank, Palestinian territory occupied since 1967 by the Jewish state. Israel says relations between the group and Tehran have strengthened.

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    A “preemptive attack”

    “The leader of Islamic Jihad (Ziad al-Nakhala) is in Tehran as we speak,” Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said Friday, as his country bombarded Gaza in a “preemptive strike” against the armed group, for fear of reprisals after the arrest in the West Bank of one of its leaders a few days earlier.

    General Hossein Salami, head of the Revolutionary Guards, the ideological army of the Islamic Republic of Iran, told the head of Islamic Jihad on Saturday that the Palestinians were “not alone” in their fight against Israel.

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    In 1992, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, the Al-Quds Brigades, was founded.

    The organization was led by Fathi Chakaki until 1995, when this writer and doctor was assassinated in Malta by a team sent by the Israeli foreign intelligence services, the Mossad.

    Claims responsibility for multiple suicide bombings

    Considered a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States and the European Union, Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for several suicide attacks targeting Israelis, especially during the second Intifada (Palestinian uprising, 2000-2005).

    In particular, he led a suicide attack in 1989 against a bus linking Tel Aviv to Jerusalem that killed 16 people. Many leaders of this radical organization are currently based in Damascus, Syria.

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    · Rejection of the Oslo Accords

    Islamic Jihad opposes any negotiation with Israel and rejects the Oslo accords, signed by the Palestinian Authority and the Jewish state in 1993. Although the organization regularly coordinates its actions with Hamas, the current escalation demonstrates a certain independence.

    Hamas has not fired rockets into Israel since the outbreak of violence began on Friday, as in 2019 when Islamic Jihad and Israel exchanged deadly fire for several days following the death of a military commander. Islamist group in an Israeli operation, Baha Abou Al-Ata.

    He was the leader of the organization in northern Gaza. His successor in this post, Tayssir Al-Jabari, was killed in an Israeli raid on Friday.

    Source: BFM TV

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