Islamic Jihad Considers Run to Join Palestinian Unity Government
by Zach Pontz
The Islamic Jihad terror group is entertaining the idea of running in upcoming Palestinian National Council elections, if its conditions are met, a politburo member told Ma’an News Agency Thursday.
“We are pushing toward arranging the Palestinian arena, and the most important files are the Palestinian Liberation Organization, and the Palestinian National Council elections,” Shiekh Nafith Azzam said.
“If we agree on the political program and the decision-making mechanism and the structure, this will be a strong impetus to greater unity in the Palestinian front.”
The terrorist organization is backed by Iran and is seen as a more extreme alternative to Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Recently Israel’s security service, Shin Bet, uncovered a plot by an Islamic Jihad cell to kidnap Israelis.
The PNC is the legislative body of the Palestinian Liberation Organization. It represents Palestinian Arabs in exile as well as those in the West Bank and Gaza. The parliament is presently composed of appointees, and has so far excluded Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The reconciliation deal between Hamas and Fatah includes an agreement to reform the PLO, which has been criticized for failing to represent the whole Palestinian polity.
According to Ma’an, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine official Jamil Mezher said Tuesday that elections for the PNC would be held within six months.