Islamic Jihad of Palestine
Like HAMAS, operates primarily in Palestine and the occupied territories with the objective of establishing an autonomous Palestinian state, although it is also active in other parts of the Middle East, including Jordan and Lebanon. It was founded in 1979 – 80 by Palestinian students in Egypt highly influenced by the Islamic revolution in Iran, on one hand, and by the radicalization and militancy of Egyptian Islamic student organizations, on the other. The founders— Fathi Shiqaqi , Abd al-Aziz Odah , and Bashir Musa —were disappointed by the moderation of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and by what they considered neglect by the Egyptian Islamists of the priority that should be given to the Palestinian problem. Islamic Jihad is a much smaller, less organized group of Islamist radicals with closer ties to Iran, which has provided financial assistance. Headquartered in Syria, from which it receives logistical assistance. Unlike HAMAS, it has no network of schools, clinics, or mosques, and focuses entirely on the use of violence and terror. One of Islamic Jihad's founders, Shiqaqi, was killed by Israeli agents in 1995 in Malta. Its current leader, Ramadan Shallah , who had previously lived and worked in Tampa, Florida, now operates in Damascus, Syria.