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Palestinian Islamic Jihad

Description: The dome of the Al Aksa Mosque is at the center. Two rifles extend diagonally from behind the mosque. Between the rifles, in Arabic, is the phrase "God is the greatest." The mosque rests on two red fists extending right and left horizontally. A map of Israel and the territories, colored in green, is superimposed over the fists and the Mosque.

Two Arabic phrases circle the image. The phrase at bottom says "Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine." At the top is a Koranic verse: "And those who strive in Our (cause) - We will certainly guide them to our Paths, For verily Allah is with those who do right."

Explanation: The symbol vividly uses red, green and black, the colors of the Palestinian flag. Black: The rifles behind Al Aksa Mosque are a reference to the group's militancy; the Mosque is a symbol of Palestinian nationalism and has powerful religious significance. Red: The red fists represent the group's commitment to jihad. Green: The map of Israel, including the territories, is in green, the color of Islam, denotes PIJ's view that the land should belong to Muslims.

Name Variations | Overview | Focus of Operations | Major Attacks | Leaders | Ideology | Goals | Methods | Sponsors | U.S.- Related Activities

Name Variations

Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine


Established in Gaza in 1980 by radical members of the Muslim Brotherhood, Palestinian Islamic Jihad is dedicated to the violent destruction of Israel and the unification of the Muslim world under an Islam "purified" of modern Western elements. Unlike the larger and better-funded Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad does not manage social welfare programs; it concentrates instead on spectacular attacks against Israeli civilians and military forces, sometimes using women and children as suicide bombers. In 1995 a former adjunct professor at the University of South Florida in Tampa named Ramadan Abdallah Shallah took over the organization after the assassination of its previous leader, Fathi Shikaki, and called for Israel's destruction. Another University of South Florida professor, Sami Al-Arian, has been indicted for raising funds for the group.

Focus of Operations

West Bank, Gaza, Israel, Syria, Lebanon

Major Attacks



Militant Islamic Fundamentalism



Suicide bombings and paramilitary operations against civilian and military targets.


Iran, Lebanon, Syria.

U.S.-Related Activities