Beneath the media spotlight on Hamas lies a lesser-known but fiercely radical group: Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). PIJ has honed the brutal art of terror to imperil the notion of peace in the Middle East. From its foundation by Dr. Fathi Shaqaqi, a nerdy, poetry-loving, Gaza-born pediatrician with a penchant for revolutionary thought, to its reputation for pioneering suicide attacks, the PIJ’s tactics have fueled a generational war against compromise and coexistence.

Harboring a dualism of nationalism and radical Islamism, the last three decades have proven PIJ’s unyielding resolve to destroy Israel.

00:00 Intro
00:44 PIJ origin story: Dr. Fathi Ibrahim Abdulaziz Shaqaqi
02:40 Combining nationalism with Islamism
04:13 PIJ terrorism in the 1980s
04:59 Connections to Hezbollah and Iran
05:21 Suicide attacks
06:25 Mossad assassination
07:31 PIJ vs Hamas
09:30 PIJ indoctrination methods
11:29 PIJ involvement on October 7
12:15 Growth and dangers of PIJ

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Image and footage credits:
Dan Hadani Collection
The Pritzker Family National Photography Collection
The National Library of Israel
Executive Producer:
— Barry Skolnick
Co-Executive Producer:
— Shmuel Katz
Translation credits:
Portuguese: Saymon Pires,, @safralivraria

About Explainers: From ancient Jewish traditions to the modern State of Israel, we explain it all. Diving into anything and everything related to Jewish culture, history, and even religion.
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About Unpacked: We provide nuanced insights by unpacking all things Jewish. People are complex and complicated — yet we’re constantly being pushed to oversimplify our world. At Unpacked we know that being complex makes us more interesting. Because of this, we break the world down with nuance and insight to drive your curiosity and challenge your thinking.

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