Originated among militant Palestinians in the Gaza Strip during the 1970s. PIJ-Shiqaqi faction, currently led by Ramadan Shallah in Damascus, is most active. Committed to the creation of an Islamic Palestinian state and the destruction of Israel through holy war. Also opposes moderate Arab governments that it believes have been tainted by Western secularism.
PIJ activists have conducted many attacks including large-scale suicide bombings against Israeli civilian and military targets. The group increased its operational activity in 2001 during the Intifadah, claiming numerous attacks against Israeli interests. The group has not targeted US interests and continues to confine its attacks to Israelis inside Israel and the territories.
Primarily Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and other parts of the Middle East, including Lebanon and Syria, where the leadership is based.
Receives financial assistance from Iran and limited logistic support assistance from Syria.