Skip to main content

Hamas sits out Islamic Jihad escalation in favor of deal with Israel

The latest escalation in Gaza showed where Israel and Hamas' interests converge, as neither wants to see Islamic Jihad gain too much power.
Read in 

Egyptian-mediated contacts between Israel and Islamic Jihad resulted in a cease-fire in the early hours of Nov. 14. It was the first time Hamas did not participate in contacts between the two sides. For leaders of the second largest organization in Gaza, it was a redefining moment. Until now, Hamas as the sovereign force in the enclave had conducted all cease-fire negotiations that ended the armed clashes between Israel and Gaza, including the three major offensives of the past 11 years: Cast Lead (2008-9), Pillar of Defense (2012) and Protective Edge (2014). The smaller organizations were considered lower-level components of the anti-Israel “resistance” and were not involved.

Now that the sides have agreed on a truce, the Secretary General of Islamic Jihad Ziyad Al-Nakhaleh as well as his deputy Akram Al-Ajouri, whose son was killed in a Nov. 12 bombing of an apartment building in Damascus, and the organization’s Gaza leader Mohammed Al-Hindi can declare victory, having solidified their standing vis-à-vis Israel, Hamas and Egypt. Iran, too, can be pleased that its unconditional aid for the organization paid off in saving its proxy from having to surrender to Israel.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.