Organization History• PIJ is an Islamic militant group and was founded in 1981 in the Gaza Strip by Shaykh Abd Al Aziz Awda and Fathi Shiqaqi.• They are dedicated to the violent destruction of Israel and the unification of the Muslim world under an Islam "purified" of modern Western influence.• The PIJ initially operated out of Egypt, but after the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat by Egyptian radicals, the PIJ leadership was exiled to the Gaza Strip.• In 1989, Shaqaqi established PIJs headquarters in Damascus, where it has remained since.
Organization History Continued..• They adamantly opposed the 1993 Oslo Accords and attempted to derail the peace process by committing a number of terrorist attacks against Israel.• Israel dealt PIJ a severe blow in 1995 with its assassination of Shaqaqi in Malta.• The group rejects any political arrangements or diplomatic activity to solve the conflict. PIJ believes that the only way to inspire Palestinians to act is through jihadist violence leading to the eventual destruction of Israel.
Leaders of PIJPIJ was founded in the late 1970s by Fathi Shaqaqi which was aPalestinian who led the Palestinian Islamic Jihad organization and wasthe initiator of suicide bombings. He formed PIJ along with Sheik Odehalso known as Adb Al Aziz Awda. Fathi Shaqaqi was born in 1951under Egyptian rule in Gaza, to a refugee family from Jaffa. WhenShaqaqi was older he attended college at the West Bank University ofBir Zeit, located in the Palestine territories, where he studiedmathematics. In the 1970s he went on to study medicine in Egypt, andit was here, during his medical training that he became stronglyinfluenced by the Muslim Brotherhood. He returned to OccupiedPalestinian Territory (OPT) where he practiced medicine in Jerusalem.While in Egypt Shaqaqi was also strongly influenced by the IranianIslamic Revolution that took place in January 1979, led by AyatollahKhomeini. Before being kicked out of Egypt he joined the militarygroup known as, Egyptian Islamic Jihad in the early 1980s.
After the assassination of the Egyptian President Anwar Sadat,Shaqaqi return to Gaza and formed Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)along with Sheik Odeh. Fathi Shaqaqi was shot on October 26,1995 in front of the Diplomat Hotel in Sliema, Malta, by Mossad.His assassination produced disarray in Islamic Jihad since nocompetent successor could replace Shaqaqi. His funeral inDamascus on November 1, 1995 was attended by some 40,000.
Sheik Odeh also known as Adb Al Aziz Awda was bornDecember 20, 1950 in Jabaliyah, Gaza Strip. Awda was one ofthe original founders and the spiritual leader of the PIJ and is stillinvolved in the organization, whose headquarters is inDamascus, Syria. He was listed as a Specially DesignatedTerrorist under United States law on 23 January 1995. Awda wasindicted in a 53-count indictment in the United States DistrictCourt, Middle District of Florida, Tampa. Awda was added to FBImost wanted terrorists on February 24,2006
PIJ New LeaderDr. Ramadan `Abdallah Shallah, earned a PH. D in banking andeconomics from the University of Durham in England. Shallahwas a professor at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Hemoved to Damascus at the beginning of 1996, to head theresistance of the PIJ
FundingPIJ receives essential support from Syria, which permits itsanctuary and from Iran which provides significant funding (and,according to some sources, nearly the entirety of PIJs budget).
Goals• While the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) wants to wage war against all of “the world’s leading infidel power”, the United States, their special focus goes towards the elimination of Israel, which they call "Zionist entity".• The majority of their attacks are violently planned and directed against Israeli. Not only those living in Israel, but those in the Palestinian territories as well. • They have targeted rockets and explosives directly at Israeli cities and citizens. Their goal is killing them, injuring the Israeli civilians and their military is not enough for them. Violence is their only means; they are against any political representation or process.• The Jihad agreement states "Jihad against the Jewish existence in Palestine" and says that "the Jihad is the obligation of every Muslim and must be carried out immediately, regardless of the formation of an Islamic state.”
• They want to over throw the “evil regimes in the Muslim countries”, because they believe that their leaders are only superficially Muslim. So it is their religious obligation to fight and get rid of them so they can establish a “truly Islamic regime”.• The liberation of Palestine and pan-Islamic revival are two inter-related commitments of the Jihad. They believe that Jihad is the only way to liberate Palestine, since Muslim victory and the elimination of Israel are destined by God’s words in the Quran.• Just like the Hamas, the principles of the Jihad are derived from those of the Muslim Brotherhood, but it does not work to benefit the Palestinian people. One of its primary focuses is on the guerilla warfare and terror activities.• They want to create an Islamic state in all of historic Palestine, including present day Israel.• “The ultimate goal of the Jihad is to impose Islam on the entire world as the only true religion”.
Geographic Operations/Location• The Jihad operates mainly in Gaza with activity also in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but has also carried out attacks in Jordan and Lebanon where some of their leaders are located.• The group’s senior leadership and controls are located in Syria, but they have representatives spread throughout the Middle East.
Outlooks & Expectations•The Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) is losing support and seems likely to stay arelatively small organization. They currently have fewer than 1,000 members. – This is partially due to the fact that they are more concerned with committing terrorist attacks rather than helping the poorer Palestinians, which then turn to Hamas. – It is also believe that their current leader Shallah, lacks the “charisma” of their previously gunned down leader Shaqaqi. – Many of their activities have been hindered in the United States after 9/11/01 due to a series of arrests and accusations.•Although they haven’t yet “directly targeted” the United States, we shouldbe aware since our most dominant religion is Christianity and to them that is“wrong”. But, we have had U.S. citizens become victims in PIJ attacks.•Regardless, they remain dedicated towards the violent destruction of Israeland its citizens through their terrorist actions.
Method of Operations• PIJ often favors suicide bombings as there method of choice• Suicide bombings was controversial amongst the group in 1996 but has gained support over the years• These bombings are primarily aimed at military and civilians and military personnel• Suicide bombing is used amongst PIJ because it is – Cost efficient – Hard to predict/spot – Causes massive casualties and panic – Delivers a strong message• There have been no direct attacks on U.S. properties or citizens—some have died in attacks, although the PIJ threatened to attack the U.S. embassy if it was relocated to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv
Claimed Attacks• An August 1987 shooting killed the commander of the Israeli military police in the Gaza Strip• A December 1993 shooting killed Israeli reservist David Mashrati aboard a bus• An April 1994 car bomb killed 9 people and injured 50 aboard a public bus• A January 1995 a suicide bomb killed 18 soldiers and 1 civilian near Netanya• A March 1996 suicide bomb at a Tel Aviv shopping mall killed 13 and injured seventy 5 more• A June 2001 suicide bomb killed 21 people in a Tel Aviv nightclub• A June 2002 suicide attack at the Meggido Junction killed 18 and injured 50• An October 2003 suicide bomb at a Haifa restaurant killed 22 and injured 60• An October 2005 bomb at a Hadera market killed 5 people• An April 2006 suicide attack in Tel Aviv killed eleven• A January 2007 suicide attack at an Eliat bakery killed three. Both the Al- Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and the PIJ claim responsibility.
FlagDome of the Al Aksa Mosque is at the centerwith two rifles coming out of it diagonally and The flag uses the sametwo fists coming out of the sides. colors as the PalestinianBetween the rifles it reads: flag.“God is the greatest”Superimposed in the center is Israel and its Mosque – Palestinianterritories. Nationalism and Powerful Religious SignificanceBottom line: Rifles – Groups Militancy"Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine.” Fists – Commitment to the JihadAcross the top (Koranic verse): Israel – Symbolizes that it“And those who strive in Our (cause) - We should belong to the Muslimswill certainly guide them to our Paths, Forverily Allah is with those who do right."