Single-Minded Islamic Jihad Grows in Gaza’s Shadows – Crispian Balmer and Nidal al-Mughrabi (Reuters)
Palestinian Islamic Jihad is quietly putting on muscle and has become the go-to group for both Iran and Syria.
“Islamic Jihad is dangerous because to a degree it is uncontrollable,” said Yoni Fighel, a retired Israeli army colonel and a senior researcher at the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya.
“It doesn’t have to feed all the Palestinians in Gaza, so it can be much more flexible and independent (than Hamas).”
A senior Israeli military official estimated that Islamic Jihad had 2-3,000 fighters. By comparison, Hamas had some 10,000 men to call on, with a further 10,000 in various police units.
Islamic Jihad receives more than $50 million a year in Iranian funding, Israel says.