From all points of view, Gaza is a powder keg . For years the corner head of Palestinian fundamentalism is de facto again governed by Hamas since 2016, a situation reinforced by the fact that the Palestinian Authority led by Mahmoud Abbas, ha canceled the last two elections waited in 2021 , because it fears losing power (as it already happened in the 2007 elections in favor of Hamas). “The elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council (Plc) – recalls the European council for foreign relations – should have taken place on May 22, 2021, but have been postponed indefinitely by the president Mahmoud Abbas due to Israel’s refusal to allow the inclusion of East Jerusalem. The move was opposed by most factions – including Hamas, the PFLP and the DFLP – and by the Fatah splinter factions led by Nasser Kidwa, Marwan Barghouti and Mohammed Dahlan. Analysts cited internal rivalries in Fatah as the main reason for Abbas’ decision. Following the cancellation of the elections, the Palestinian Authority (PA) arrested several plc candidates, apparently for having ‘defamed’ Abbas. Ecfr – should have taken place on July 31, 2021, but have been postponed indefinitely by President Mahmoud Abbas due to Israel’s refusal to allow the inclusion of East Jerusalem. ”
Gaza: the power plant stops. More bombings and rockets
And so the leadership of Gaza remains with Hamas which exercises it thanks to Ezzedin Al Quassam Brigades and to the Internal Security Force, its secret service. But Hamas certainly does not have a monopoly on force in Gaza, where a second radical and anti-Zionist force has grown and taken root. Harakat al-Jihad al-Islami al-Filastini, better known as Palestinian Islamic Jihad (Pij) formed in 1979 by the Islamic fundamentalist Fathi Shaqaqi and other radical Palestinian students in Egypt who had separated from the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood in the Gaza Strip, which they considered too moderate. Like Hamas, its expressed goal is there destruction of the State of Israel which according to Islamic Jihad will lead to the unification of the Arab and Islamic world, “purified of modern Western elements”.
Pij has grown to become the second armed movement in the Gaza Strip and the third in the occupied Palestinian territories. The Pij is led since 2018 by Ziad al-Nakhala , 69, who is strongly linked to Iran, Hezbolah and Syria, while his main competitor, now the organization’s deputy secretary, Hohammad al Hindi, was closer to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. Ziad al-Nakhala is even more radical than Hamas . “The Zionist enemy – he said in recent days – has started this aggression and must expect a relentless fight from us. There will be no respite after this bombing.”
Israel is well aware of this and for years has waged a relentless fight against this terrorist organization responsible for a long series of attacks in Israel. The latest operation was in fact directed against Palestinian Islamic Jihad and not against Hamas. Tayseer al-Jabari , the commander of Islamic Jihad killed in an Israeli bombing raid on an apartment in the Gaza Strip, was in charge of the terrorist group’s missile arsenal and was the group’s main coordinator with Hamas. Jabari had taken the place of Baha Abu Al-Ata, another Jihad commander, killed by Israel in a similar raid in November 2019. The raid now risks strengthening the military collaboration between Hamas And Palestinian Islamic Jihad , ensure jihadist recruitment and promote a new wave of terrorism and rocket attacks against Israel. No prospects on the horizon until the United States, with Europe as (very) junior partner, promotes a truly innovative peace initiative that meets the needs of all parties involved.