Up to ten organized armed groups, often linked to political movements of various ideologies, were active in Gaza in the summer of 2014. However, their military capacity and their level of involvement in the hostilities against the IDF varied significantly. Several of these groups not only fired rockets and mortar shells but also participated in military engagements with the IDF.
During the hostilities, the two largest and best-equipped groups, the Izz Al Din Al Qassam Brigades and Al Quds Brigades, regularly issued statements regarding attacks. Security experts have noted that while the Al Qassam Brigades may have targeted civilians in the past as part of its military strategy, in 2014 its declared official policy was “to focus on military or semi-military targets and to avoid other targets, especially civilians.”
The Al Nasser Salah Al Din Brigades, which is the military wing of the Popular Resistance Committees was the third largest organized armed group operating in Gaza in 2014. The other groups with a similar type but lower level of engagement include: the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, the military wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine or “PFLP”; the Gaza branch of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Fatah’s military wing; the National Resistance Brigades; and the military wing of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP). Other, smaller armed groups are present in Gaza but it remains unclear whether they participated in the 2014 hostilities. (United Nations Human Rights Council report, paragraphs 59-61, pp. 17-18.)
Saturday, August 8, 2015
Not Just Hamas is in Gaza
When discussing last year's war in Gaza it is often viewed as a war between the State of Israel and Hamas. But although Hamas is the dominant party in Gaza there are other political groups there as well and they also fought as well. The recent report from the United Nations Human Rights Council about the tragic war in Gaza last year mentions this fact.