By Crispian Balmer and Nidal al-Mughrabi
“The Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad, which traded deadly fire with Israel at the weekend in Gaza, does not expect a subsequent truce to last long and has at least 8,000 fighters ready for war, a spokesman said.
Islamic Jihad is the second largest armed group in Gaza, after Hamas, which rules the tiny Mediterranean enclave. The two share a commitment to the destruction of Israel and both are classified as terrorist groups by most Western governments.
However, while Hamas has recently spent much of its energy on the business of government, Islamic Jihad has kept its focus firmly on the conflict, gaining in prominence and enjoying significant backing from Muslim supporters, including Iran.