JaljaLat (Windy Storm) is the new term in Gaza Strip to describe the phenomena of local Islamic groups who connect themselves, voluntarily, to the idea of Global Jihad and to Al Qaeda.
Unlike Hamas, which refers to himself as a local Islamic resistance against Israel in what they believes is the Historical Palestine, from the River (Jordan) to the sea, and who seek recognition and diplomatic relations with the Western Democracies, the JaljaLat groups are devoted to the concept of world wide Jihad against the Crusaders ( Christians) and Jews as such.
The JaljaLat groups began to flourish in Gaza especially after Hamas took over Gaza Strip in 06/2007 (see - Two Palestines). Indeed the first known group is the Army of Islam, which claimed, in 06/2007, loyalty to Al Qaeda although it was, probably, nothing more then empty words.
In early 08/2007 a videotape, posted in one of the web sites related to Al Qaeda, showed, in the first footage of its kind, a group of masked men, wearing black, practicing basic military drill in sand dunes. The videotape was claimed to be taken in Gaza Strip showing Mujahidin from a new organization - “Jaish al-Umah” – Army of the Nation (see - Gaza Al-Qaeda ).
Deferent Islamic groups with ephemeral names took responsibility on a series of attacks against Christian institutions and personnel in Gaza, which took place in 2007-8, such as the “Army of Believers - the Al Qaeda Branch on the Land of Palestine” (see - Gaza 02.15.08 and Gaza 01.12.08).
Israel has long accused Al Qaeda of infiltrating the Palestinian territories. The Israeli army’s intelligence chief claimed that more Al Qaeda members had entered the Gaza Strip after Hamas blew up the wall on the Egyptian border on 01/22/2008 (see - RAFAH CROSSING).
In an interview to ‘al-Hayat al Jadida’, a London-based Arabic newspaper, the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas said, in late 02/2008: “I can say without doubt that Al Qaeda is present in the Palestinian territories and that this presence, especially in Gaza, is facilitated by Hamas.”
In the last few months, especially following OPERATION CAST LEAD, almost all footages and videos released by Al Qaeda As-Sahab media branch allocated substantial part of air-time to boost and encourage Muslim volunteers to go and to fight in Gaza with the Islamic brothers against Israel. It must be mentioned that at the beginning and the peak of the war in Iraq, up to early 2007, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Palestinian issue were mentioned only as foot notes in Al Qaeda’s publications.
A group naming itself Jund Ansar-Allah (Soldiers of the Victorious God), began to form in Southern Gaza Strip and inspired by Al Qaeda and Global Jihad announced its establishment in the Gaza Strip in 11/2008. That group is the first manned with a substantial number of Muslim volunteers from the Arab World, hardliners from Hamas and the PALESTINIAN Islamic Jihad. The group performed its first attack against Israel on 06/08/2009 (see - Nahal-Oz 06.08.09). Jund Ansar-Allah is estimated by Israeli intelligence as a well trained 400 men strong organization.
JaljaLat in Gaza is no longer a concern only for Israel. It is a major concern for Egypt and severely jeopardizes even the authority of Hamas in Gaza (see - Rafah 08.14.09).
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