On Islamic Jihad Movement

Interview with Nasser Abu Sharif, a representative of the Islamic Jihad Movement in Iran and a member of its political office.

1 - Why did the Palestinian Islamic Jihad(PIJ) refuse to go to the future elections to the "legislative council"?

The Islamic Jihad movement believes that the human being is the master of his destiny. Therefore, people have the power and they can decide its fate and destiny.

We refuse the elections because of being held and defined within the framework of Israeli occupation.

We rejected the elections based on the Oslo Agreement, which we consider worse than the Balfour Declaration, where the PLO abandoned 80% of Palestine in exchange for Israeli recognition of the Palestinian liberation organization and not recognition of the Palestinian people's fixed rights in Home. Therefore, we rejected Oslo in principle and boycotted all the outcomes, our security and what is safe, We continue to believe that the Palestinian people are in a state of liberation and therefore we must build the institutions of the Palestinian people that are leading the struggle for liberation and not to build a self-authority that has made the occupation a five-star occupation as expressed by Mahmoud Abbas himself. When the occupation removes the burden of more than 5 million Palestinians under its occupation, siege and full Zionist control, holds the Palestine authority responsible for these people. It's the occupation that has to bear the weight of its occupation, and we have to confront and resist it, not to take the burden away from it.

We are with the arrangement of the Palestinian House and the reconstruction of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which leads the Palestinian people to liberate their land and people, not an election based on the size of the occupation aimed at eliminating the burden of the Palestinian people.

We also believe that Mahmoud Abbas decided to go to elections, in order to renew his legitimacy and project he believes , which is to negotiate with the Zionist entity based on the change that took place in America with the Biden election.

We in the Islamic Jihad movement do not differentiate much between Biden and Trump, both support the Zionist project at the expense of the Palestinian right, both aimed at maintaining the supremacy of the Zionist entity.

The elections will serve our national project if we go to it in order to choose a new leadership that will lead the Palestinians’ project to liberate themselves from occupation by resisting and confronting its plans, not through security coordination with occupiers and protecting their settlers.

2- At the turn of 2019-2020, Zionism launched a series of air attacks on the positions of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza and Syria. As far as I know, there was nothing like this before. Can we say that the Zionists are afraid of strengthening the position of the Palestinian Jihad? Or did the Zionists have another reason for aggression?

The Islamic Jihad movement since its inception, has been a top priority of the Zionist entity trying to cross it off because the occupation knows that the movement has undermined its project, so the campaigns of extermination of the Islamic Jihad have not stopped, and unfortunately the security services and most Arab and Western states share this issue...

These are the general reasons for targeting Bahaa Abu al-Atta, who was leading the Northern Brigade in the Gaza Strip, and Akram al-Ajuri, a member of the movement's political bureau in Damascus.

Among The reasons, that the many attacks carried out by the Islamic Jihad movement, especially the Northern Brigade, against the Zionist entity and targeting of Netanyahu in his election campaign...

Yes, targeting a member of a political office abroad is not an Israeli policy, but the Zionist entity wants to highlight the situation in Syria and the presence of Iran, Hezbollah and Jihad on Syrian territory as part of the incitement against Iran and Syria.

3- In recent years, representatives of the PIJ have regularly visited Moscow. What common points of contact can you point out? Why are relations with Moscow quite successful?

Russia is a great country and has long ties with the Palestinian people, as well as an important international player.the Palestinian issue is one of the most important issues at the international and regional level, and no major countries can ignore it if they want a strong presence on the international and regional scene.

The Russians enjoy a balanced relationship with everyone, they take the same distance from all parties even if they do not agree with them in the presentation and vision, so we find Russia maintaining relations with the left, nationalist and Islamic movements with relations with the left, national and Islamic movements.

With Hezbollah and Hamas as well as Islamic Jihad and the rest of the parties, the Palestinians see Russia as a honest broker not like America, which is fully aligned with the Zionist occupation.

Russia through its balanced role establishes a relationship with the movement as one of the components of the Palestinian people, and it has an important role on the Palestinian field at home, as well as Islamic Jihad seen Russian a mediator that can be trusted in solving the problems of the Palestinian people and lifting the Zionist aggression .

The movement considered the dialogue as an opportunity to inform the Russian side of the developments in the occupied territories and ask the Russian side to help in solving the problems facing the Palestinian people due to the unjust policies of occupation...

4 – I know for a fact that the Palestinian Jihad has a fairly strong electorate in Gaza and the West Bank. What about the refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan? Whether there are supporters of PIJ in the camps of these countries.

Of course, the movement has supporters everywhere, and the movement cares more about its program and project, which is the liberation of all Palestine through confrontation the occupation in all its forms , and this project enjoyed by a majority of the Palestinian people.

For example, a 2015 poll conducted by the Nablus Survey Foundation run by Khalil Shaqaqi, most of the Palestinian people support an uprising and more than 60 percent support an armed uprising against the occupation. Yes, we have a presence in Lebanon and we have a presence in Syria and Yemen, but we rely on our loyalty to the real line of the Palestinian people and the line of the Arab and Islamic peoples. Over 20 years, most reliable surveys, more than 86% reject any relationship with the Zionist entity and do not recognize it and support the right of the Palestinian people to liberate and establish their state on their entire national soil. The Islamic jihad project is an expression of the nation’s position towards the Palestine and its Arab-Islamic identity.

5 - What is the basis of the socio-cultural work of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad among the Palestinian population?

Yes, we have cultural and social institutions. These institutions are not efficient, but they contribute to supporting the Palestinian people and supporting their steadfastness. There are charities like the Palestinian People's Relief Association and Muhjat al-Quds Foundation, which deals with prisoners, martyrs and freed prisoners, there are cultural institutions such as mosques, student and women's committees, unions and associations linked with the movement. Moreover, there are educational institutions such as Israa University in Gaza and there is a television network such as Palestine Today and Al-Quds today, as well as several radio stations, websites and news in addition to social media. We consider the most important role the struggle against the Zionist entity.