What is Islamic Jihad? The Hamas ally at war with Israel

(Reuters) – Islamic Jihad, a Palestinian militant group that’s an ally of Hamas and took half within the Oct. 7 assault on Israel from Gaza, has denied Israel’s accusations that it was behind a strike on a hospital in Gaza that killed lots of of individuals.

Following are some details about Islamic Jihad:

* Israelis and Palestinians have blamed one another for bombing of Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza Metropolis late on Oct. 17. Israel mentioned Islamic Jihad was accountable, saying a failed rocket launch by the group hit the hospital. Islamic Jihad denied this, saying it didn’t have any exercise in or round Gaza Metropolis at the moment.

* Based within the late Nineteen Seventies by Fathi Shiqaqi and Abdel-Aziz Odeh, Islamic Jihad gained help amongst Palestinians disillusioned with Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO). Shiqaqi was assassinated in 1995 in Malta, apparently by Israeli brokers.

* The group is sworn to destroying Israel and changing it with an Islamic state spanning what was pre-1948 British Mandate Palestine, together with the West Financial institution and Gaza, which Israel captured within the 1967 Center East warfare.

* A recipient of Iranian funding and know-how estimated by Israel to be within the tens of hundreds of thousands of {dollars} yearly, Islamic Jihad has overseas headquarters in Beirut and Damascus and its deployment within the Israeli-occupied West Financial institution, whereas extra restricted than in Gaza, has lately grown.

* Islamic Jihad has the second-biggest armed community in Gaza after that of the enclave’s governing militant group Hamas. Up-to-date figures on Islamic Jihad’s power are tough to come back by, with 2021 estimates starting from about 1,000 to a number of thousand gunmen, in keeping with the CIA’s World Factbook. The group additionally has a major arsenal of rockets, mortars and anti-tank missiles. Islamic Jihad doesn’t disclose such info.

* Not like Hamas, Islamic Jihad has not contested Palestinian parliamentary elections and seems to don’t have any ambition to type a authorities in Gaza or the West Financial institution.

* Islamic Jihad is designated a terrorist group by Israel, the US and European international locations.

(This story has been refiled to take away repeated phrases in paragraph 7)

(Compiled by Reuters reporters; Modifying by Edmund Blair)

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