A New Command for Depleted Palestinian Jihad Islami

Muhammad al Hindi, leader of Jihad Islami, Iran’s Palestinian surrogate in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, has just returned home from four months in Tehran.

DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s counter-terror sources report that questions are being asked in Washington and Jerusalem about why al Hindi and his party of 40 terrorists were allowed to return to the Gaza Strip via Sinai and land at Cairo international airport, without a move by Israeli security and counter-terror authorities.

The party consisted of a fresh batch of Jihad Islami jihadists mobilized in Syria and Lebanon and trained for command positions in six-month courses at Revolutionary Guards’ special forces facilities in Iran.

A high-ranking Israeli military source told DEBKA-Net-Weekly: “Muhammad al-Hindi has brought to Gaza Jihad Islami’s new high command structure. This means that Tehran is in the process of building a new Gazan army alongside Hamas.”

This is because the ayatollahs know they can count on the Jihad Islami, their own creation, to follow orders to the letter, unlike Hamas, and turn against Hamas in a potential dispute between the rulers of Gaza and Tehran.

Since his return, al Hindi has set certain steps in motion:

1. He has ordered Jihad Islami’s networks on the West Bank and Gaza Strip to hold off on suicide attacks on Israeli targets.

According to DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s counter-terror sources, this order is virtually meaningless since, in the last six months, Israel’s Shin Bet and army have practically wiped out the terrorist group’s operations chiefs on the West Bank – from network leaders down to the small fry

2. Qassam missile and mortar barrages from Gaza against Israeli military and civilian targets will continue unabated amid an effort to transfer the campaign to the West Bank and start battering dense Israeli populations.

3. The operatives who went to ground are ordered to come out in the open. Jihad Islami is no longer a clandestine army.

4. Jihad Islami will stay out of the vendetta between the Palestinian Fatah and Hamas, while keeping in with Cairo to keep its traveling routes open. The group will also maintain good relations with Fatah to guarantee its members a free hand to operate on the West Bank.

5. Jihad Islami must establish its own television and radio station in Gaza. Al Hindi brought with him from Tehran a team of technicians.

DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s counter terror sources further report that Tehran’s new plans for its surrogate in Gaza elevates Al Hindi to the top leadership slot in place of Abdullah Ramadan Shalah, who is relegated to the role of spiritual-ideological mentor.

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