Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ)
The PIJ was formed by militant Palestinians in the Gaza Strip during the 1970s. The group is committed to the creation of an Islamic state in all of historical Palestine and the destruction of Israel through attacks against Israeli military and civilian targets. The group’s central leadership resides in Syria, but PIJ maintains small regional offices in Beirut and Tehran. PIJ receives financial assistance primarily from Iran. PIJ refuses to participate in the Palestinian Authority’s political process and rejects all negotiations with Israel. The group’s paramilitary wing— the al-Quds Brigades—has conducted numerous attacks, including large-scale suicide bombings. PIJ’s most recent suicide bombing was in January 2007 in the southern Israeli city of Eilat, killing three people. Since then the group has conducted numerous rocket attacks against Israeli targets near the Gaza Strip using indigenously produced rockets.
Despite deaths and arrests of leaders in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 2009, the group remained active—mostly by firing rockets from the Gaza Strip. Although US citizens have died in attacks mounted by the PIJ, the group has not directly targeted US interests.