In Arabic: Harakat Al Jihad Al Islami Fi Filastin (Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine).
PIJ operates in the Palestinian territories, Israel, Lebanon and Syria.
Backing & Affiliations :
PIJ's focus on the Palestinian cause before the Islamic cause also reflects a distinctive turn in Islamist thought of the 1970s. At that time, other jihadist movements believed that a pan-Islamic revolution should and would have to precede uniting Palestine. PIJ reversed this thinking, and focused first on the Palestinian cause as the catalyst for pan-Islamist revolution.
- April 9, 1995: Two suicide attacks, both using rigged cars as weapons, exploded on Jewish settlements in Gaza, killing eight and injuring 42.
- May 2001: Stoned to death two boys kidnapped from a West Bank settlement.
- October 4, 2003: a suicide bomber exploded herself at Maxim restaurant in Haifa, injuring 60 and killing 21.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad emerged out of a period in which Arab Muslims were concerned with the Palestinian cause and with a revolution that they hoped would bring changes to Arab countries with deep divisions between rich and poor, limited political freedom and minimal autonomy, after many years of Western imperialism. Several of these ideas fused in PIJ to create a unique ideology combining Palestinian nationalism, pan-Islamism and the sanction of armed struggle to achieve its ends.
The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt impressed the founders of PIJ in the 1970s. (The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in 1928. It believes that Islam could solve social ills that neither socialist nor capitalist systems could.) In the 1970s, other militant Islamist groups condoning terrorist violence, such as the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, emerged.
The 1979 Iranian revolution was also influential. It demonstrated that a successful revolution could be carried out in an Islamic idiom.
Last, but not least, PIJ was founded in the interests of Palestinian nationalism. Its Islamist focus was unusual in the 1970s, when the ideas of secular groups (such as Fatah), or Marxist groups (such as the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine) dominated the understanding of how Palestinians would solve their national crisis.