The “Islamic Jihad” movement faces difficult issues after the recent escalation in Gaza

The Palestinian Saeed refers to the crater made by an Israeli missile in the asphalt near the “Palestinian Tower”, in the Rimal neighborhood, west of Gaza City, in a bombardment against a leader of the Islamic Jihad movement in early August. .

“This is the place where I was sitting,” Saeed said, referring to the leader, Tayseer al-Jabari.

Israel bombed the Palestinian Tower, where al-Jabari was meeting with 7 members of the “Jihad”, on the sixth floor of the building, a Palestinian source confirmed to “AFP”.

The latest round of escalation began on August 5, when Israel launched a military operation it said targeted the Islamic Jihad movement and resulted in the deaths of at least 49 Palestinians, including 17 children; While more than 350 were injured, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in the Strip.

On the Israeli side, there were 3 injuries from shrapnel, after the “movement” decided to respond to what happened by launching batches of rockets towards Israel.

The Islamic movement admitted that the Israeli strikes represented a slap in the face to its leaders, especially as they revealed the failure of some of the militants’ rockets, as well as the split between “Jihad” on the one hand, and the ruling “Hamas” movement. in the Gaza Strip, on the other.

For his part, Yair Lapid, the Hebrew prime minister, said that the Israeli bombardment “dealt a devastating blow against” the entire supreme military leadership of the Islamic movement in Gaza; backed by Iran.

According to Israel, the aerial and artillery shelling of Islamic Jihad positions was part of a “preemptive operation to prevent a possible attack.”

But Ahmed al-Mudallal, a member of the movement’s political bureau, confirmed to AFP that the attacked leaders were replaced by others “in a matter of minutes”, despite his conviction, which he lost his son Ziad, that the movement had received a heavy blow.

Ziyad Al-Mudallal was a field commander in the Islamic Jihad movement, and was killed during the bombardment that targeted prominent leader Khaled Mansour.

According to Al-Mudallal, “this round was difficult.” In the same statement, he added: “We have lost many high-ranking and important military leaders to us.”

missile malfunction

Islamic Jihad responded to Israel by firing more than a thousand rockets, some of which landed on agricultural land while others intercepted the Iron Dome system.

On the other hand; Israel claims that “some of the civilian deaths in Gaza were caused by the failure of the militants’ rocket fire,” which is also pointed out by some local residents.

Local rockets accidentally killed several Palestinians, including four children, in the Jabalia camp; This made Islamic Jihad elements a target of criticism, especially through social media.

“I was at home with my wife and children when we heard the sound of a huge explosion,” says Abdul Rahman. Two minutes later, I looked out the window and saw a horrible scene in front of me.”

He added, preferring not to give his full name for security reasons, “a house near ours was destroyed and I saw the remains of the martyrs and wounded,” continuing: “One of the rockets fired at Israel landed on the house. .”

As for Suha, a resident of the Jabalia refugee camp, he described it as “a war with errors of the occupation and the resistance”, referring to Israel and the Islamic Jihad movement.

But Suha, after choosing not to give her full name for the same reasons, said that she “saw a missile hitting her neighbours’ house” and that “the presence of the occupation is always the reason”. And he added: “I ask the resistance to scrutinize more.”

Activists circulated on the Internet a video clip showing the moment when a rocket was launched from the Gaza Strip, which soon deviated from its trajectory in the direction of one of the inhabited buildings; Then an explosion was heard and plumes of smoke began to rise.

Muhammad Shehadeh, a political analyst for the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor, recorded that “(Islamic Jihad) tried to improve the range and explosive power of its missiles; But this was not in accordance with a solid scientific basis.”

Shehadeh considers that the missiles “that exceeded 40 kilometers were not good, from the mechanical and technical point of view; What made him return to Gaza”.

The same political analyst noted that these mistakes were “a source of great frustration and bitterness for the residents of the Gaza Strip.”

pull apart

The bloody Israeli escalation in the Gaza Strip, which lasted 3 days, widened the circle of division between the “Jihad” and “Hamas” movements; Where the latter refrained from participating in the fighting.

A prominent member of the “Hamas” movement told “AFP” that the leaders of the movement were enraged by what they considered reckless on the part of the Islamic Jihad movement.

Amid the escalation, Ziad al-Nakhala, the secretary general of Islamic Jihad, declared “victory” from his home in Iran.

For political analyst Shehadeh, “Hamas has always offered to help Islamic Jihad design and improve missiles; But in jihad, they always claimed to control it.”

Shehadeh believes that, unlike previous conflicts, Islamic Jihad did not have much to show during the Egyptian-mediated escalation that ended on August 7.

He added: “Hamas usually accepts a ceasefire with some tangible results for the residents of the Strip; But the last conflict did nothing.”

As for the spoilsport, who continues to mourn his son, he promised that “the movement will recover”, noting that “before it lost other leaders; But the resistance of the people and the march of jihad did not stop.”