The leadership of the Islamic Jihad abroad is leading the battle against Israel

The leadership of the Islamic Jihad abroad is now conducting the round of fighting against Israel with the encouragement of Iran which is pushing for continued rocket attacks on Israel. The Islamic Jihad threatens to extend the campaign until the parade of flags in the capital next week and to attack Jerusalem with rockets.


Following the successful IDF operation during which the entire military elite of the Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip was eliminated, the management of the battle was transferred to the leadership of the organization abroad.

Hamas sources say that those currently leading the campaign are Ziyad Al-Nakhala, the Secretary General of the Islamic Jihad, and Akram al-Ajouri, the head of the organization’s military wing who are staying in Beirut.

Mohammed Al-Hindi, head of the political department, who was in Cairo and held talks with Egyptian intelligence on the terms of the ceasefire, left Egypt and went to Beirut for consultations with the leadership of his organization.

This new situation allows Iran to further increase the pressure on the Islamic Jihad leadership to continue firing rockets at Israel.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abd Allahian spoke on May 12th with Ziyad Al-Nakhla, the Secretary General of the Islamic Jihad, expressed his support and encouraged him to continue launching the rockets at Israel.


Iran fears that Israel will succeed in changing the rules of the game and establish a new deterrence equation, something that will negatively affect all of its affiliates in the Middle East and harm their motivation to actively participate in Iran’s strategy for a multi-arenas confrontation with Israel.


Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, said on May 12th that the entire region is following what is happening in the Gaza Strip and that Hezbollah provides assistance to the Islamic Jihad within certain limits and will not hesitate to intervene if required.

The Islamic Jihad is trying to gain time and drag Israel into a sort of war of attrition, to show that it is holding on its own against the IDF and also to increase the internal pressure in Israel on the government so that it ends the “Shield and Arrow” operation quickly, that is why it increased the firing towards the Israeli depth.


It also launched rockets towards Jerusalem to signal his ability to disrupt the parade of flags in Jerusalem next Thursday, the decision was agreed upon by all Palestinian factions including Hamas.


Sources in the Islamic Jihad say that the organization is considering extending the round of combat until after the 18th of the month, which is the date of the march of flags in Jerusalem, in order to disrupt the march and announce the second phase of the round of fighting under the title “The Battle for Jerusalem”, hoping that Hamas will join the battle.


Daoud Shihab, spokesman for the Islamic Jihad, said that the firing of the rockets at Jerusalem is a message that the eyes of the resistance are open and looking at Jerusalem and see everything that is happening there and what the enemy is planning.


The Islamic Jihad is looking for a way to come out of the round of fighting as the one who won without giving up on its demands from Israel, especially regarding the cessation of targeted assassinations.


The fact that Israel is re-adopting the policy of targeted assassinations in the Gaza Strip is considered by the Islamic Jihad leadership to be very challenging and it endangers the leadership abroad as well as the leadership in Judea and Samaria.


The Islamic Jihad is furious with the Hamas movement for sitting on the fence once again.
Sources in the Gaza Strip claim that Hamas is acting according to its interests and is interested in continuing the truce after Israel promised it to work with Qatar to increase the monthly aid grant amounting to $30 million and that it would agree that the profits from the operation of the “Marin” gas field off the coast of Gaza would be shared between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.


The issue of operating the “Marin” offshore gas field came up recently in the security meetings initiated by the US in Aqaba and Sharm el-Sheikh in preparation for the month of Ramadan.


The working premise of the Islamic Jihad at the moment is that Israel is under pressure and understands that prolonging the round of fighting is not in its favor, Islamic Jihad claims that the security echelon is exerting heavy pressure on Prime Minister Netanyahu to end the battle in order to preserve the achievements of the army and the Shin Bet.


Therefore, the Islamic Jihad is hardening its positions with the encouragement of Iran, assuming that eventually Israel will be forced to agree to end the policy of targeted assassinations.


Using psychological warfare, Islamic Jihad claims that the organization has so far only used a part of its capabilities and that the lengthening of the fighting round serves it well and gives it an opportunity to strike hard in the depths of Israel, it completely ignores the Israeli operational and intelligence achievement of eliminating the entire top of its military leadership in the Gaza Strip.




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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