Goals of the Armed Palestinian and Pro-Palestinian Groups

Hamas (armed wing Izz-el-Din al Qassam Brigades, shortened Al Qassam Brigades)– Izz-el-Din al Qassam was one of the leaders of the Arab revolt in Palestine in 1936-37. Hamas is the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Hard to say what their goal is.

They want to get rid of Israel (see what that means below), sure, but they recently proposed a two state solution. Nobody believes this but Hamas has been moderating radically over the last four years and even before. I know this sounds nuts but this is the most HUMANE war that Hamas and the Palestinians have ever fought against Israel other than the big wars.

Hamas hasn’t even imposed Sharia in Gaza because they don’t want to. Another example of moderating influence. Hamas fights directly alongside Marxist groups like the PFLP, and you see them together at demos. The PFLP are almost atheists, so I don’t think Hamas is big on shoving Islam down everyone’s throat.

Hamas also recently said,

We have always lived with the Jews and Christians and we have no problems living with them in the future

so this idea that they are out to kill all the Jews in Israel or make them leave seems dubious. Nevertheless, it’s leaders continue to make ominous statements like the leader of Hamas armed wing, Mohammad Deif said at the beginning of the recent attack on October 7:

You (Jews) are not entitled to one inch of this land.

Nevertheless, most groups make an exception for the native Palestinian Jews and say that all of them can stay. In the seminal and extremely radical original charter of the PLO issued in 1964, it said that any Jew who could trace their ancestry in the land back to before 1917 (the Balfour Declaration), could stay if they were going to be peaceful.

Armed force of 40,000+, armed with standard weapons, machine guns, anti-tank guns, anti-aircraft guns, torpedoes, a variety of drones including suicide drones, RPG’s, grenades, explosive charges, and a variety of artillery such as short- and long-range missiles, anti-personnel missiles, and mortars.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad (armed wing Saraya al-Quds, in English The Army of Jerusalem) – This is so hard to say as they never make any public statements on this question. They are extremely close to Iran and all Iran wants is a plebiscite on the future of the region. After that they figure there will be no more apartheid state. This is what destroy Israel, wipe out Israel, etc. really means.

A corollary would be saying, “Wipe out, destroy apartheid South Africa,” as in, “Get rid of the regime or government, not kill all the people.” Long ago Islamic Jihad said all of the Jews could stay if they agreed to live under Islamic law. More recently, in 2009, they supported a one-state solution where all the Jews could stay as long as Palestinians and Jews had equal rights.

They’re perfectly happy in the West Bank and Gaza though where there is no Sharia. Rarely makes antisemitic statements. Armed force of 12,000. Armed with explosive charges, mortars, machine guns, and a variety of missiles such as 107mm short-range and also long-range rockets.

Al-Nasser Al-Saladin Brigades (armed Fatah rejectionists) – Secular. Officially support a 2 state solution at the moment. Fatah (PA) has not imposed Sharia in the West Bank, so they don’t want it in Israel either. Size unknown. Armed with missiles.

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP – armed wing Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades) – Abu Ali Mustafa was the leader of the group who was assassinated by Israel in 2001. Extremely secular, Marxists, almost atheists, many Christians. The official old position of the leaders of the group was that all of the Jews could stay in a single state if they were peaceful. But the bases often call for throwing out all the Jews. They surely don’t want Sharia. Size unknown. Armed with mortars and missiles.

Mujahedin Brigades – Nobody knows. Extremely secretive but possibly huge organization. Islamists. They cut off a dead Israeli soldier’s head, so I’d say they’re hardliners. Armed with standard arms, RPG’s, anti-tank guns, and missiles. The group is extremely secretive but is said to have at least 20,000 members.

Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) – Secular, clan based Leftists. Hard to say what their view on what they want, but it would probably along the lines of the PFLP and DFLP. Surely don’t want Sharia. Size unknown, standard armaments.

Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP, armed wing National Resistance Brigades – Martyr Omar al-Qasim Forces) – Omar al-Qasim was one of the leaders of the Democratic Front. He died of an illness in an Israeli prison in 1989. He was known for leading hunger strikes. Extremely secular, Marxists, almost atheists. Officially support a 2 state solution. Surely do not support Sharia. Website here, but it’s not updated very often. Size unknown, armed with standard arms, machine guns, anti-tank guns, mortars, and missiles.

Al Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade – Secular, officially support a 2 state solution. Fatah split. Fatah (PA) has not imposed Sharia in the West Bank so they don’t want it in a single state either. However, they are known to make statements saying that the Jews need to leave Palestine. Makes anti-Semitic statements on a fairly regular basis. Size unknown, armed with standard arms, missiles, RPG’s, anti-tank guns, and explosive charges.

PFLP-GC (armed wing Jihad Jibril Brigades, named after late leader Ahmad Jibril’s son, Jihad Ahmed Jibril, leader of the armed wing who was killed in a car bomb in Beirut in 2002). – Secular Leftist group close to Syria. They’ve never made any statements on what they prefer. I’m sure they don’t want Sharia. Size unknown. Armed with standard arms and missiles.

Very small Salafist groups in Gaza – Probably very hardline on Israel, but they’ve never made any statements, so know one knows. They definitely want Sharia. Size unknown, armed with standard arms and missiles.

Hezbollah (English, Army of God) – Will accept but does not prefer a 2 state solution. Probably want a plebiscite like Iran. They have not imposed Sharia in Lebanon and don’t intend to, so they don’t want it in Palestine. Official statements by Nasrallah envision the Israeli Jews packing up and leaving Israel. Does not take orders from Iran. Part of the Axis of Resistance.

100,000 members. Arsenal of 200,000 missiles, including standard arms, some precision missiles, multiple rocket launchers, anti-tank guns, drones, including suicide drones, anti-aircraft guns, and anti-ship missiles. Its mobile corps has motorcycles and jeeps.

Islamic Resistance in Iraq – This is a collection of groups generally known as the PMU Brigades, an armed Shia pro-Iran formation that is part of the Iraqi Army. The media always refers to this as an “Iranian militia” and makes it s seem like Iran is attacking our bases. It’s not.

The Iraqi military itself literally attacks our bases in Iraq on a near-daily basis. I suppose that sounds bad so the media never reports that. Does not take orders from Iran. Part of the Axis of Resistance. 50,000+ in a variety of formations, including a few Sunni, Christian, and Yazidi formations. Armed with standard arms, missiles, and drones. They have all sorts of weapons, including missiles and drones.

Ansar Allah (English, Army of God) – Often referred to as the Houthis, but the Houthis are just one of the many tribes that make up this group. The Houthis are mostly Shia, but some are Sunni, others say they are both Sunni and Shia, and still others say they are neither Sunni nor Shia. Does not take orders from Iran. Armed with standard arms and a significant arsenal of advanced drones, missiles, and rockets developed based on Iranian prototypes with the help of Hezbollah. Also has anti-ship missiles.

Probably wants a plebiscite. Arguably an anti-Semitic group, unfortunately.

Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya (English, Islamic Group, armed wing Fajr Forces) – Sunni Lebanese group. Active for the first time since 1990. Islamists. Armed with standard arms and missiles. Supports Sharia in Lebanon. Close to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Note that all groups supporting a 2 state solution, including the PA, see it as “a preliminary step in the resolution of the conflict.” I’m sure they would all be happy with a single state solution too, especially as they’re all secular.

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