May 2, 2023 | Flash Brief

Hamas, Islamic Jihad Fire Rockets at Israel

May 2, 2023 | Flash Brief

Hamas, Islamic Jihad Fire Rockets at Israel

Latest Developments

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said on the morning of May 2 that three rockets “were launched from Gaza toward Israeli territory” following the death of Islamic Jihad leader Khader Adnan after an 86-day hunger strike in an Israeli prison. Later in the day, Palestinian militants in Gaza fired more than 22 rockets toward southern Israel, causing civilian injuries and material damage. The terrorist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad said they were responsible for the barrage.

The State Department designated Islamic Jihad as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 1997. The Islamic Republic of Iran is Islamic Jihad’s main patron and funder.

Expert Analysis

“Khader Adnan — a member of a U.S.-designated terrorist organization — routinely incited violence and praised terrorists who murdered innocent civilians. Palestinian terrorist groups will likely exploit his death as a rallying cry to foment violence against Israelis.” — Joe Truzman, Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Adnan Was a Key Terrorist Enabler

Khader Adnan, 44, was a veteran Islamic Jihad operative and the main spokesperson of the organization. Adnan began his political life as a member of Islamic Jihad when he studied at the Birzeit University and dedicated many years to outreach for the group. Since then, Israel has arrested Adnan 13 times for his malign activities.

Earlier this year, Israel indicted Adnan for membership in a terrorist organization and for inciting terrorism against the Jewish state. Israeli authorities wrote in the indictment that Adnan is a “known and influential senior [Islamic Jihad] operative … who carried out various organizational activities, including visiting and encouraging the families of Islamic Jihad prisoners, consoling the families of deceased Islamic Jihad operatives … and giving various speeches on behalf of the Islamic Jihad.”

Adnan once called on fellow militants to be “the next person to fire bullets, the next to have his body parts blown all over,” a reference to suicide bombing. In a condolence speech for a terrorist involved in the killing of IDF soldier Noam Raz in 2022, Adnan said, “from this home we will bless all the homes of the martyrs and prisoners. We are united in the uprising against the occupation. We remain on the path of jihad and uprising while carrying the flag, the flag of resistance.”

Related Analysis

Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) is an Iran-Supported Terror Organization,” FDD Flash Brief

Assessing Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s Military Capabilities After the August 2022 Conflict,” FDD Flash Brief


Iran Iran Global Threat Network Iran-backed Terrorism Israel Palestinian Politics