The Islamic Jihad draws lessons from its mistakes

The Islamic Jihad began the process of drawing lessons from the last round of fighting in the Gaza Strip. The leadership of the organization made wrong decisions that caused it a lot of damage, but it places the responsibility on the Egyptian intelligence.

Islamic Jihad lost in the last round of fighting against Israel, the organization is now doing soul-searching and drawing lessons regarding the question of how to restore the intelligence capabilities of the organization and correctly read Israel’s intentions and also how to restore its support in the Gaza Strip after dozens of rockets fell due to technical malfunctions of the organization in the territory of the Gaza Strip, instead of in the territory of Israel, and killed countless innocent Palestinians.
Now the Islamic Jihad is preparing to try and improve its position in the Gaza Strip, with the help of money from Iran it will restore the houses destroyed by the IDF bombings and compensate the families whose children were killed by its rockets in the territory of the Gaza Strip.

The Islamic Jihad made several mistakes.

A. It did not correctly read the situation on the ground with regard to its activists arrested in Israel: Khalil Al-Awawda, who has been on hunger strike for about five months, and Sheikh Bassam al-Saadi, the senior figure arrested by the IDF in Jenin, It was sure that their lives were in danger and climbed on A tall tree.
B. The organization’s leadership authorized Taysir al-Jabari to prepare anti-tank fire at Israeli targets on the border of the Gaza Strip under the mistaken assumption that Israeli intelligence would not detect the preparations on the ground and Israel would contain the attacks..
The Islamic Jihad was surprised to discover that it was deeply penetrated in terms of intelligence and Israel exposed all its plans and the location of its commanders.
C. The organization did not correctly assess Israel’s intelligence capabilities, it did not locate Israel’s secret activity that planned the assassination of Taysir Al-Jabari, and according to it the Egyptian intelligence gave it false promises that Israel wanted calm and was ready to consider the release of the two operatives of the organization.
d. The organization obeyed the directives of Iran, its leader Ziyad Nakhala was in Tehran with the head of the military wing Akram Al-Ajouri and the two followed the instructions of General Hossein Salami, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
E. The organization ignored Hamas’ position and took a militant line that cost it dearly.

On the other hand, the Hamas organization acted with wisdom and discretion.
At the very beginning, Hamas assessed that the arrest of the senior Islamic Jihad figure, Basam al-Saadi, was not a dangerous act that required a military response from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, on the other hand, Hamas justified the firing of rockets by the Islamic Jihad in response to the assassination of the organization’s senior commander Taysir al-Jabri .
When Hamas realized that the Islamic Jihad was operating from foreign considerations, they took a step back, they contented themselves with sending a representative on their behalf to the joint war room of the Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip but did not participate in the fighting, not a single Hamas rocket was launched towards Israel, Hamas explained its position to the Egyptian intelligence who transferred it to Israel.
The Hamas organization has shown great understanding by virtue of being the sovereign in the Strip for the difficult conditions in which more than two million Gazans live in the Strip who do not want to enter into a military conflict with Israel without a clear picture of the situation regarding the goals and the possible results, especially in light of the fact that 15 thousand Gazan workers go to work every day in Israel and the Gaza Strip receives from Qatar a monthly grant of 30 million dollars for the needy.

Israel had no part in the split between Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the tensions and rivalry between the two organizations are regularly under the surface and emerge in times of crisis.
The terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip do not have a single and agreed national plan for a war against Israel, despite the high coordination between Hamas and Islamic Jihad, they have separate plans and different considerations.
The Islamic Jihad is closely connected to Iran and the Syrian regime and receives instructions from Tehran, Hamas makes the decisions independently even though it is also close to Iran but there is a serious dispute within it about the reconciliation with Bashar Assad’s regime, the leader of Hamas abroad Khaled Mashaal strongly opposes this.
The bottom line is the leadership of the Islamic Jihad made wrong decisions and from now on it will be very careful before entering a new round of fighting against Israel.

Yoni Ben Menachem

Senior Middle East Analyst

Yoni Ben Menachem Senior Middle East Analyst

About Yoni Ben Menachem

Yoni Ben Menachem is a Middle East senior analyst ,a journalist and
the former CEO of the Israel Broadcasting Authority(IBA). He has
decades of experience in written and video journalism. Ben
Menachem’s path in the media world began as a producer for
Japanese television in the Middle East. After that, he held many key
positions in the media The Israeli: CEO of the Israel Broadcasting
Authority, director of “Kol Israel” Radio, reporter on West Bank and
Gaza Strip affairs, political reporter and commentator, commentator
on Middle East affairs and editor-in-chief and presenter of the
program “Middle East Magazine”. 

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