- Islamic Jihad, the New Lord of Gaza? – Shlomi Eldar
Over the past few months, Israeli security forces have noted the growing influence of Islamic Jihad on Hamas. Seeking to avoid problems with Iran, the Hamas leadership feels it has little choice but to follow Islamic Jihad’s dictates when dealing with Israel and Egypt. This was exacerbated following the appointment of Ziyad al-Nakhalah as secretary-general of Islamic Jihad in September 2018. Nakhalah replaces Abdullah Ramadan Shalah, who has been in a coma ever since he suffered a stroke in April 2018. Nakhalah was his deputy.
Islamic Jihad and Hamas fully cooperated operationally during armed conflicts with Israel. Yet Islamic Jihad competes with Hamas over Palestinian public opinion, particularly on who was more loyal to the idea of a genuine armed jihad against Israel. In the last few months, Islamic Jihad has transformed from an organization that takes its cues from Hamas to an activist group that initiates its own activities. On Jan. 22, an Islamic Jihad sniper in Gaza shot an IDF officer in the head during a riot along the border fence. (Al-Monitor)