What is Palestinian Islamic Jihad and what is the difference with Hamas

The explosion that allegedly killed 500 Palestinians at Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza has led to endless accusations over who caused the tragedy: Palestinians blame Israel for a bombing, and the Israeli military blames the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group. due to the failed launch of a rocket that fell into the health facility.

Islamic Jihad joined Hamas’ surprise attack against Israel on October 7, when the war broke out.

What is Palestinian Islamic Jihad?

The Islamic Jihad is the second group with the greatest military strength in Gaza after Hamas, and in August 2022 and May 2023 she fought alone against Israel in two war escalations lasting several days. Islamist and paramilitary organization, operates in the Gaza Strip, but is also present in the West Bank.

The movement, which also defines itself as jihadist, aims to destroy the State of Israel, which it does not recognize, to establish an Islamic Palestinian State on the borders of the former British Mandate of Palestine between 1920 and 1947. The main Western states consider it a terrorist organization.

What differentiates Islamic Jihad from Hamas

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad is, after Hamas, the second strongest armed organization in Palestine. As detailed The World Orderthe main differences of Islamic Jihad with Hamas are the following

  • Does not participate in Palestinian politicsunlike Hamas, which has de facto governed the Gaza Strip since mid-2007. The jihad has gone so far as to boycott elections.
  • Focuses its objectives on armed struggle
  • It is considered more extremist than Hamas, but has fewer weapons, money and troops.

In recent hours, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group has denied responsibility for the explosion at the Gaza Hospital, thus rejecting the Israeli accusation that it was the failed launch of one of its rockets that caused hundreds of deaths.

The Islamist movement assured that Israel “makes up lies” and “is trying to evade its responsibility for the brutal massacre it committed by bombing” the medical center grounds.

“We affirm that the accusations promoted by the enemy (Israel) are false and unfounded, and that YIP, like the rest of the resistance forces in Gaza, “does not use places of worship or public facilities, especially hospitals, as military posts to store weapons or launch missiles.”they added in a statement.

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