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Profiles Thursday, 9 August, 2001, 14:24 GMT 15:24 UK
Who are Islamic Jihad?
Israeli police at the scene of the Jerusalem bomb blast
The group has carried out a string of attacks against Israelis
Islamic Jihad is a mysterious presence among militant Palestinian groups.

Main Islamic Jihad bomb attacks
Nov 1994: 3 soldiers killed at the Netzarim junction in the Gaza Strip
Jan 1995: 18 soldiers and one civilian killed near Netanya
April 1995: 8 soldiers killed when an explosives-laden van ran into a bus
2 Oct 2000: 2 civilians killed in bomb attack in West Jerusalem
2 June 2001: 21 people killed by suicide bomber in Tel Aviv disco
17 July 2001: 2 Israeli soldiers killed by suicide bomber
29 Nov 2001: three passengers killed by suicide bomber on bus in Israel's north
The faction has a small support base. Unlike the far bigger Hamas, which runs schools and hospitals, Islamic Jihad has no real social or political role.

The group is based in the Syrian capital, Damascus, and its financial backing is believed to come from there and Iran.

Islamic Jihad is committed to the creation of an Islamic Palestinian state and the destruction of Israel through holy war. It also opposes pro-Western Arab governments.

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad originated in the Gaza Strip during the 1970s.

Assassinated leader

It traditionally tries to carry out attacks against Israeli targets on the anniversary of its murdered leader Fathi Shaqaqi in Malta in October 1995.

The group operates primarily in Israel and the occupied territories, but has also carried out attacks in Jordan and Lebanon.

Other than Thursday's bomb attack in central Jerusalem, the most recent attack by Islamic Jihad took place on 17 July this year. A suicide bomber killed two Israeli soldiers in northern Israel.


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03 Nov 00 | Middle East
02 Nov 00 | Middle East
02 Nov 00 | Middle East
02 Nov 00 | Middle East
02 Nov 00 | Middle East
02 Nov 00 | Middle East
02 Nov 00 | Middle East
02 Nov 00 | Middle East
17 Oct 00 | Middle East
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