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October 03, 2023

Lucrezia Taddei, Flavie Curinier, Giorgia Cito, CENTCOM/AFRICOM Team

Brantley Williams, Mia Sadler, Editor; Evan Beachler, Senior Editor

Palestinian Islamic Jihad Flag[1]

Event: On October 3, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad's (PIJ) Al-Quds brigade conducted a military exercise involving live ammunition. The exercise involved a rocket launch from the Gaza Strip into the Mediterranean Sea to simulate raids on Israeli military sites. Ali Abu Shaheen, the leader of PIJ, underscored the organization’s determination to resist developments like the West Bank annexation, Israeli control over Jerusalem, and territorial changes. In recent weeks, there have been riots along the Gaza border, during which the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) faced gunfire and explosive attacks leading to retaliation. The IDF carried out tank and drone strikes on unmanned Hamas posts.[2]

Significance: The military drill likely signifies a threat to Israel. Based on the presence of live ammunition, PIJ is very likely to prepare for immediate combat. The involvement of various military units very likely suggests the pressing possibility of offensive actions. The focus on raids likely signifies intent to create substantial disruption, potentially making these actions imminent. This commitment is very likely rooted in the PIJ belief system and political ideology, which very likely views the Israeli state as a threat to Palestinian rights and territory. PIJ is very likely to play a leading and proactive role in confronting what they perceive as the Zionist agenda, likely engaging in actions aimed at preserving Palestinian identity and highlighting military resistance. This military exercise will likely be a starting point to gain more resources to expand their activity. In response to the PIJ’s actions, those sympathetic to the Palestinian cause will very likely extend support to the group. This support will very likely include diplomatic endorsement, resource allocation, and likely participation in the conflict. This involvement will likely lead to a complex web of alliances as regional actors will likely form partnerships to support the PIJ. It can likely intensify rivalries as conflicting regional powers may compete for influence in the region, using the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a proxy battleground.


  • The Counterterrorism Group (CTG) recommends that the Quartet for the Middle East, which includes the UN, EU, US, and Russia, appoint mediators to orchestrate talks between the Israeli government and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). CTG also recommends that all parties involved adopt diplomatic measures and conflict resolution initiatives to avoid a further escalation of violence in the region.

  • CTG recommends that international humanitarian organizations proactively aid civilians in the PIJ’s controlled areas. International humanitarian organizations should actively monitor and address any PIJ instances of human rights violations.

  • CTG recommends that the UN Security Council (UNSC) closely oversee the situation in Gaza and appoint a special investigative body to review the events. This would collaborate with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in order to monitor the situation in Palestinian territories.

  • CTG recommends that international intelligence services monitor other terrorist organizations or entities that could exploit the instability in Gaza. Security forces and international intelligence services should cooperate and take a proactive approach to avoid escalating violence.

  • If there is any additional and or critical information please contact us at The Counterterrorism Group (CTG) by Telephone 202-643-2848 or email


[2] Rocket fired from Gaza into sea in possible PIJ war simulation, The Jerusalem Post, October 2023,


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