In a statement by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad organization, the four were killed during training ■ According to initial reports, the four were killed by Israeli army fire
Palestinian Islamic Jihad (in Arabic Harakat al-Jihad al-Islami al-Filastin), known by Israelis simply as Islamic Jihad, was formed in 1979 by Islamic fundamentalist Fathi Shkaki and other radical Palestinian students who split from the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood in the Gaza Strip, whom they considered too moderate.
Following the assassination of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat in 1981, Egypt expelled Islamic Jihad, which was thought to have collaborated with the Muslim Brotherhood in the killing, from its territory to the Gaza Strip. The group, which holds the stated goal of wanting to destroy the State of Israel and create an Islamic state in Palestine in its place, has been designated as a terrorist group by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, Australia and Israel.
Islamic Jihad began focusing its terrorist activities against Israel in the 1980s. Before the First Intifada broke out in 1987, the group carried out several terrorist attacks against Israelis in the Gaza Strip. In August 1988, its leaders, Shkaki and Abd al-Aziz Odah, were expelled to Lebanon.
In Lebanon, Shkaki formed close contacts with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, which at the time was funding and arming Hezbollah, the Lebanese-based Shi'ite militant group. Shkaki set about reorganizing Islamic Jihad, as well as learning new terror tactics from Hezbollah.
In 1989, Islamic Jihad moved its headquarters to Damascus, Syria, where its headquarters has remained. It is believed that the group is funded by the regimes in Syria and Iran. Its main theater of operations is the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but the group has also operated in Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt.
In the Palestinian territories, Islamic Jihad formed an alliance with Hamas after the signing of the 1993 Oslo Accords between Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction and Israel. Islamic Jihad and Hamas, which is much larger in numbers than Islamic Jihad, share one main ideological difference: Islamic Jihad believe that Islamic law should first be forced upon Arab and Muslim states, and then the rest of the world, including Israel. Hamas, which is also an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, has reversed those priorities, focusing first on eradicating Israel and creating a Palestinian caliphate in Palestine, and then launching violent jihad against moderate Arab and Muslim regimes. However, Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, has signed a ceasefire agreement with Israel while Islamic Jihad has stated it would not abide by the agreement, which includes the halt of rocket fire from Gaza into Israel. Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad view the Palestinian Authority, led by Mahmoud Abbas, to be tainted by Western secularism, and consider it to be an illegitimate leader of the Palestinian people.
The two groups have joined forces on numerous occasions, one of the most notable being the bloody suicide bombing at the Beit Lid Junction in Israel in 1995, in which eight Israelis were killed and more than 50 others wounded. Israel has responded to Islamic Jihad terrorist activities mostly through a policy of targeted killings of its operators and leaders. In 1995, Shkaki was shot and killed in Malta by an unidentified passenger on a motorcycle. It is widely believed that Israel's Mossad espionage agency was behind his murder.
Since Shkaki's death, fellow founder Sheikh Abdullah Ramadan Shallah has led Islamic Jihad.
Suspected member of Islamic Jihad allegedly planned to fire an anti-tank missile at an Israeli vessel with the goal of kidnapping soldiers for use as bargaining chips
Fares Arkab, 29, was shot in the abdomen during clashes on the Israel-Gaza border, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry ■ Islamic Jihad claims he was a member of their military wing
Malik Yusef Naher Asadi, 26, hit a Border Police officer near the Acre city market, then drove on and struck two soldiers near the city railway station in March. Prosecution confirms the incident was politically motivated
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis Arrives in Kabul in Unannounced Visit, Believes in Victory in Afghanistan
'We do look toward a victory in Afghanistan,' Mattis says, adding, 'Not a military victory — the victory will be a political reconciliation' with the Taliban
In the capital of Kabul, the bombing took place in an area near an Afghan spy agency facility as well as the U.S. embassy and other Afghan and international institutions
The Islamic Jihad cell, which was uncovered following the arrest of another cell, was in the early stages of plotting the attack
Analysis Islamic Jihad Joins Rocket Fire at Israel, Bringing Another Round of Fighting in Gaza Closer
On the background of the protests in Iran, Israel makes great efforts to prove Tehran is supporting guerrilla groups across the Middle East while neglecting the distress of average Iranian at home
'We will not accept any escalation by Hamas or any other terrorist group,' Netanyahu says at Air Force graduation ceremony
Hamas leaders in Gaza are convinced that now isn’t the time for a direct conflict with Israel - and they have several routes to pressure Islamic Jihad to follow suit, from risking popular antagonism to threatening the loss of privileges they currently enjoy