Tonight, an anonymous poster, to whom I am most grateful, drew my attention to two very interesting pieces by Amal Saad-Ghorayeb:
- Why Islamic Jihad is the new Hizbullah
- Hamas and Islamic Jihad after the cease-fire: a new division of labour?
One of the articles also references this article:
This is all very interesting.
According to its Wikipedia entry, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) only has about 1000 members. I would have to assume that the military wing of PIJ, called the al-Quds Brigades (aQB) would be even smaller. One “terrorism study” website claims that the aQB receive about 2 million dollars from Iran annually but does not give any sources or fact in support of that figure. Either way, 2 million dollars annually for an organization of less than 1000 is really not very much. And yet, this is what representatives of the aQB have declared during a press conference today:
“The Brigades fired 620 rockets on the occupied territories including dozens of Grad missiles and Fajr 5 rockets in addition to Fajr 3 rockets during the operation “Blue Sky”. It added that its fighters used for the first time Kornet rockets, anti-warships missiles and advanced rockets launchers.
Meanwhile, the spokesman stressed that al-Quds Brigades’ military depot was fine, adding that the resistance didn’t use but a simple amount of its abilities. “The enemy had acknowledged that dozens of its occupation soldiers have been killed and injured as a result for the qualitative operation, in addition to destroying communication networks.” “The intelligence weapon was also engaged during this war. We were able to penetrate 5000 mobiles for Zionist officers and soldiers took part in the offensive on Gaza,” the spokesman said, adding that ten mujahedeen (fighters) were martyred during the offensive. “Today, one of the rounds of the conflict with the Israeli enemy has ended. In this round the resistance dictated its word, will and determination. In this round the resistance dictated a new style of confrontation and a qualitative weapon that has changed the deterrence equation,” the statement said.
If this is true – and I have seen no other source supporting these claims – this is quite amazing. The hacking into the Israeli phone network is a typical Hezbollah tactic, as is the use of the advanced Russian Kornet anti-tank missile (which can defeat even the most advanced versions of the Israeli Merkava tank). I did not see any reports of anti-ship missiles fired from Gaza, but that does not mean that this is not true.
Of course, at this point, the firstpriority is to check how much truth there is to these claims, or whether this is again an example of the type of empty grandstanding we have so often seen from various Palestinian groups. My gut feeling is that these claims will prove to be true and, if that is the case, then indeed something very interesting might be happening: the appearance of a sophisticated and mature Palestinian resistance movement, something which the Palestinian people desperately need.
A request to all of you now:
PLEASE, IF YOU FIND ANY INTERESTING INFORMATION ABOUT THE PALESTINIAN ISLAMIC JIHAD, THE AL-QUDS BRIGADES, OR ANY GOOD ANALYTICAL MATERIALS ABOUT THIS TOPIC, PLEASE FORWARD IT TO ME
Many thanks in advance and kind regards,
PS: I found some recent footage of today’s declaration by the aQB along with some footage of aQB rocket launches: