Potential Threats To Israel:
Palestinian Terrorist Groups
Despite the progress between Israel
and the Palestinians, there are still Palestinian
groups engaged in terrorist activities. In February
and March 1996, these groups launched a series of bus
bombings in Israel, killing more than 60 civilians.
These same forces have been responsible for dozens of
other attacks, on soldiers and civilians, since the
signing of the Declaration
of Principles in 1993 in an effort to destroy the
peace process. These groups refuse to make peace with
Israel under any circumstances and include:
Hamas: Originally a social
welfare organization, Hamas
has evolved into a militant antipeace process
organization bent on Israel's total destruction
and the establishment of a Palestinian State. Hamas
has been responsible for the majority of terrorist
attacks that have occurred since the signing of
the Declaration of Principles on September 13, 1993.
It has tens of thousands of supporters in the West
Bank and Gaza
and receives its primary funding from Iran.
Hamas also operates an extensive fundraising
network in the United States. Antiterrorism
legislation passed in 1995 was aimed at stopping
Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ):
The PIJ originated among militant Palestinian fundamentalists
in the Gaza Strip in the 1970s. It espouses Islamic
holy war with the goal of the destruction of Israel
and the creation of an Islamic Palestinian State.
Because of America's support for Israel, the U.S.
is considered an enemy of the PIJ. The PIJ also
operates a network in the United States.
Popular Front for the Liberation
of Palestine (PFLP): Founded in 1967 by George
Habash, this MarxistLeninist group advocates
PanArab revolution, opposes the 1993 Declaration
of Principles, and has suspended its membership
in the PLO. The PFLP
has claimed responsibility for a number of attacks.
Palestine Liberation Front (PLF):
The PLF is split into pro-PLO, pro-Syrian,
and proLibyan factions. The pro-PLO Abu
Abbas group is based in Iraq, openly supported Iraq
in the Gulf War, and has been responsible for numerous
terrorist attacks, including the 1985 attack on
the Achille Lauro cruise ship in which U.S. citizen
Leon Klinghoffer was murdered.
Radical Islamic Ideology
While the great majority of Muslims
do not embrace radical Islamic
ideology, the groups that do are threats to the U.S.,
Israel and to moderate Arab regimes. Whatever differences
in emphasis may exist among these groups, they share
several common features:
belief in the use of violence to achieve their political
refusal to accept nonMuslims as equal citizens
in the Middle East.
of Jewish sovereignty on any land in Israel.
aim to impose an Islamic form of government throughout
the Middle East.
distinction between military and civilian targets.
Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)