Who’s leading whom in the Gaza Strip? Does Hamas lord over the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a militant movement supported by Iran, or is it the other way around? Over the past few months, Israeli security forces have noted the growing influence of the Islamic Jihad on Hamas. Seeking to avoid problems with Iran, the Hamas leadership feels it has little choice but to follow the Islamic Jihad’s dictates in their actions when dealing with Israel and Egypt.
This was exacerbated following the appointment of Ziyad al-Nakhalah as secretary-general of the Islamic Jihad in September 2018. Nakhalah replaces Abdullah Ramadan Shalah, who has been in a coma ever since he suffered a stroke in April 2018.