Palestinian Islamic Jihad on Wednesday ended a three-day rift with Hamas which followed the killing of an Islamic Jihad military commander by Hamas policemen earlier this week.
Islamic Jihad official Abdullah A-Shami told Hamas news website Al-Resalah that his movement decided to resume contact with Hamas following internal deliberations carried out by Hamas in a bid to overcome the schism with Islamic Jihad, whose rocket unit commander Raed Jundiya was shot in the head by Hamas policemen on Saturday.
“[Hamas] is a faction fighting the Israeli occupation,” Shami explained.
The two Islamic movements have gradually grown apart following Hamas’s decision to abandon its alliance with Iran and Syria in early 2012 and rely more significantly on Qatar and Egypt. Palestinian Islamic Jihad has remained ideologically committed to the Syria-Iran axis. A further source of tension is Hamas’s enforcement of the ceasefire understandings with Israel following operation Pillar of Defense, going so far as to deploy units to prevent rocket fire by various Gaza factions, including Islamic Jihad.
Hamas established an inquiry committee following Jundiya’s death, but Islamic Jihad demanded that the committee include representative of all Gaza factions, a demand Hamas rejected.
On Wednesday, Islamic Jihad announced that the committee would publish its recommendations within hours, demanding that Jundiya’s killers be brought to justice, having “breached all the regulations and coordination mechanisms agreed upon [between Hamas and Islamic Jihad].”
In a previous communique, issued Sunday, Islamic Jihad condemned Hamas for “providing a great free service to the Zionist enemy, whether intentionally or inadvertently.” Jundiya was commander of the Al-Quds Brigades’ rocket unit, and as such topped Israel’s wanted list, the organization claimed.