Armed Groups

Most Palestinian political parties have armed wings, though the structural and organisational relationship between the two institutions in each party is not always clear.

Following 2007 infighting, Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces targeted Hamas’s social and military infrastructure in the West Bank. The security campaign launched under the banner of “one arm, one authority” also targeted Fatah activists critical of the PA leadership. The PA security forces’ policies towards armed groups have been criticised by politicians and activists for criminalising resistance.

In Gaza, Hamas’s Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades (IQB) have developed exponentially, while other groups have been allowed to maintain their armed wings and new groups such as Salafi-jihadists have grown.