Appendix G – Statement of Reasons – Palestinian Islamic Jihad
(Also known as: PIJ; al-Quds
Brigades; Harakat al-Jihad al-Islami fi Filistin; Islamic Jihad; Islamic Jihad
Palestine; Islamic Jihad – Palestine Faction and Islamic Holy War)
The following information is
based on publicly available details about Palestinian Islamic Jihad. To the
Australian Government’s knowledge, these details are accurate and reliable and
have been corroborated by classified information.
Basis for listing a terrorist
Division 102 of the Criminal
Code provides that for an organisation to be listed as a terrorist
organisation, the Attorney-General must be satisfied on reasonable grounds that
directly or indirectly engaged in, preparing, planning, or assisting in or
fostering the doing of a terrorist act (whether or not a terrorist act has
occurred or will occur); or
the doing of a terrorist act (whether or not a terrorist act has occurred or
Details of the organisation
PIJ is a Sunni Islamist
Palestinian militant organisation committed to the destruction of the state of
Israel. The group was founded in 1981 in Gaza by Dr Fathi abd al-Aziz Shaqaqi
and Shayk Abd al-Aziz Awda, both of whom were originally members of the
Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. Believing the Muslim Brotherhood to be too
moderate, the two created PIJ as a radical militant alternative focused on the
liberation of Palestine.
PIJ consists of a leadership
council and a military wing, called the al-Quds Brigades. Responsibility for
PIJ attacks is claimed by the al-Quds Brigades. Unlike groups such as Hamas and
Hizballah, which maintain extensive political and social apparatuses alongside
their terrorist wings, PIJ focuses exclusively on militant activity. It is
therefore unnecessary to distinguish the al-Quds Brigades from the PIJ as a
Despite being a Sunni group, PIJ
was inspired by and remains ideologically supportive of Iran’s Islamic
Revolution and maintains close ties with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps
PIJ’s main source of funding is
Iran. PIJ also receives donations from Syria and the Palestinian community.
PIJ’s goal is the establishment
of a sovereign Islamic state within the geographic borders of the pre-1948
British mandated Palestine. It promotes the military destruction of Israel as
the only viable means to attain this goal. Accordingly, PIJ refuses to
participate in the political process and rejects the possibility of a
negotiated settlement to the Israel/Palestine problem.
Leadership and Membership
The current leader of PIJ is Dr
Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, who took over from Fathi abd al‑Aziz Shaqaqi in
1995 after Shaqaqi’s death. Shallah is based in Damascus, from where he and his
leadership council coordinate fundraising and procurement for the al-Quds
Brigades in Gaza, Lebanon and the West Bank.
PIJ recruits the majority of its
militants from Palestinian refugee communities in Gaza and the West Bank. It is
a secretive organisation and the exact size of its membership is not known,
although the total size of PIJ, including its political leadership in Damascus
and militant activists in the Palestinian Territories, is likely to be less
than 1000 members.
Terrorist activity of the organisation
Directly or indirectly engaged in
the doing of terrorist acts / Directly or indirectly preparing and/or planning
PIJ claimed responsibility for
more than 30 suicide bombings between 1987 and 2006. Since that time, the
majority of its attacks have consisted of indiscriminate rocket and mortar fire
into southern Israel from Gaza. Its attacks are generally indiscriminate in
nature, seeking to maximize casualties.
Some recent examples include:
29 October 2011: PIJ launched a number of
rockets into several areas of Israel’s Southern District, killing one Israeli
civilian and wounding two.
20 August 2011: PIJ militants launched a series
of rockets into Israel’s southern district, killing one Israeli civilian and
8 January 2011: suspected PIJ militants fired
two mortar rounds into an area of Israel’s Southern District, wounding two Thai
PIJ has confined its attacks to
the Levant and has not deliberately targeted Western interests.
On the basis of the above
information, ASIO assesses PIJ continues to directly and/or indirectly engage
in, preparing, planning, assisting, advocating or fostering the doing of terrorist
acts, involving threats to life and serious property damage. This assessment is
corroborated by information provided by reliable and credible intelligence
In the course of pursuing its
objectives PIJ is known to have committed or threatened action:
causes, or could cause, serious damage to property, the death of persons
or endanger a person’s life; and
the intention of advancing PIJ’s political, religious or ideological
the intention of intimidating the public and sections of the public.
Other Relevant Information
Links to Australia
There are no known links to
PIJ is proscribed as a terrorist organisation by
the governments of Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United
States. PIJ is also listed by the European Union for the purposes of its
anti-terrorism financing measures.
is also included in the DFAT Consolidated List that refers to United Nationals
Council Resolution 1373 in relation to countering financing of terrorism.