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Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ)


Originated among militant Palestinians in the Gaza Strip during the 1970s. PIJ-Shiqaqi faction, currently led by Ramadan Shallah in Damascus, is most active. Committed to the creation of an Islamic Palestinian state and the destruction of Israel through holy war. Also opposes moderate Arab governments that it believes have been tainted by Western secularism.


PIJ activists have conducted many attacks including large-scale suicide bombings against Israeli civilian and military targets. The group decreased its operational activity in 2003 but still claimed numerous attacks against Israeli interests. The group has not yet targeted US interests and continues to confine its attacks to Israelis inside Israel and the territories. US citizens have died in attacks mounted by the PIJ.



Location/Area of Operation

Primarily Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and other parts of the Middle East, including Lebanon and Syria, where the leadership is based.

External Aid

Receives financial assistance from Iran and limited logistic support assistance from Syria.

Sources and Resources

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Created by John Pike
Maintained by Steven Aftergood
Updated May 21, 2004