Palestinian Islamic Jihad

A tiny but fiercely militant Islamic group, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) is made up of a handful of loosely affiliated factions, the largest of which was led by Dr. Fatih Shaqaqi until his assassination in 1995. Although the PIJ has become well known for its violent tactics and its opposition to a negotiated peace with Israel, the group, headquartered in Syria, is relatively small and mysterious; it is said to receive financial assistance from Iran.

The PIJ was founded in Egypt in the late 1970s by three Palestinian students. Shaqaqi, Abdul Aziz Odeh, and Bashir Moussa, all Sunni Muslims who are said to have been inspired by the Shiite groups that came to power during Iran's Islamist revolution in 1978–1979.

The PIJ has focused primarily on terror attacks against Israel. Shaqaqi had publicly stated that the PIJ shares a name and ideology ...

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