Single-Minded Islamic Jihad Grows in Gaza's Shadows

(Reuters) Crispian Balmer and Nidal al-Mughrabi - 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.

2013-11-14 00:00:00

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