The military activity of the Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip, especially the firing of rockets at Israel in times of crisis, is managed from a joint headquarters of all the Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip which coordinates the firing at Israel.
This war room was established in its current form in 2018 and it includes military arms of 12 different Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip.
Senior officials in the Israeli security establishment say that this is the headquarters of the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip.
The main purpose of establishing this body was to demonstrate national unity during an emergency, to cover up the differences of opinion between Hamas and Islamic Jihad, to determine the nature of the response and to carry out coordinated attacks against Israel with the agreement of all factions.
The joint war room is trying to improve its activity, in the last three years it has carried out exercises whose emphasis was coordination between the military wings of the various factions, its first serious test was in May 2021 against the IDF’s operation, against the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip , after they attacked Jerusalem with rockets.
The other goal of this joint war room is to deter Israel and formulate a deterrence policy according to developments on the ground.
In December 2022, the Palestinian factions, at the initiative of the joint war room, held a joint military exercise, the scenario of which was the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers from a military post of the Givati Brigade on the border of the Gaza Strip.
Hamas officials say that during the “Shield and Arrow” operation, Hamas had a representative in the joint war room even though the movement sat on the fence and did not actually participate in the fighting against Israel.
During the operation, the joint war room established a new tactic as part of the psychological warfare against Israel and the response by firing rockets after the assassinations of the senior members of the Islamic Jihad’s military wing came only after 36 hours in an attempt to leave the IDF and the Israeli home front in a state of alertness and uncertainty.
The goal of the joint war room operation is also to try and disrupt the activity of Israel’s air defense systems, the “Iron Dome” system and the “David’s Slingshot” system and to find loopholes in them in order to penetrate them and hit civilian targets.
During Operation “Shield and Arrow”, the terrorist organizations launched about 1500 rockets from the Gaza Strip towards Israel.
One of the strategies formulated by the Joint war room during the “Shield and Arrow” operation was to switch to Israel’s war of attrition and not allow it to end the round of fighting quickly, therefore, the round of fighting between the IDF and the Islamic Jihad was prolonged and lasted for 5 days, only following heavy pressure from Egypt and Qatar, the Islamic Jihad agreed to the ceasefire, but Israel must take into account that in the next round of fighting against the Palestinian terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip, they will try to resort to the strategy of the war of attrition in an attempt to morally and economically harm Israel and paralyze the lives of its citizens in large parts of the country.
The media activity of the joint war room, which publishes messages every few hours in emergency situations, is intended to increase the trust of the residents of the Gaza Strip in the military activities of the Palestinian factions and to give them the feeling that the joint war room can provide them with a sense of security and also coordinate military aid to the Gaza Strip through launching rockets towards Israel from other fronts such as southern Lebanon or southern Syria.
According to the Palestinians, the joint war room is also working with the various mediators in negotiations on a ceasefire or an attempt to prevent the “March of Flags” in Jerusalem from marching through the Muslim neighborhoods in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Hamas officials say that the joint war room is trying to keep the Palestinian problem at the top of the world’s priority list despite the international community’s intense preoccupation with the war in Ukraine.
Senior security officials in Israel say that the joint war room of the Palestinian terrorist organizations is a legitimate target for the IDF to strike in any military battle against Hamas or the Islamic Jihad.
Israeli intelligence is collecting information on the location and activities of this headquarters, so far the IDF has not tried to damage it for various reasons, but it is only a matter of time, it is an important headquarters that operates the terror against Israel from the Gaza Strip, hitting it is only a matter of time.