Hamas, Fatah, Hezbollah, Jihad, the settlers…Who’s who in Palestine

The conflict in the Gaza Strip between Hamas and Israel has once again highlighted the myriad of non-state actors, militias and armed organizations that share the stage with different objectives, loyalties, alliances and enemies. difficult to understand. 

The non-state status of the Palestinian National Authority also opens the door for various entities to partly occupy positions of authority, while Israeli collusion with the violence of Jewish settlers in West Bank territory is also one of the main reasons for instability. 

These are the main non-state actors operating in the area: 

The Islamic Resistance Movement is the main actor in the attack on Israeli territory that began the latest escalation of violence in Gaza. 

A Sunni Islamist, he seeks to establish an Islamic State in Palestine and is radically opposed to the recognition of Israel.

It is considered a terrorist group by the vast majority of Western countries and organizations such as the European Union, but some states such as Iran or Qatar – which has hosted a political office of the Islamists for a decade – consider it a valid interlocutor in Gaza.

It is in conflict with Fatah and has completely controlled the Gaza Strip since 2007, which led Israel to blockade the enclave.


Main secular and nationalist party within the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), whose historic leader was Yasser Arafat.

Its secretary general, Mahmoud Abbas, is president of the Palestinian National Authority that governs the occupied West Bank and is Palestine’s internationally recognized interlocutor.

It recognized Israel in the Oslo Accords in 1993 and was harshly criticized by other Palestinian sectors for that decision. 

Rival of Hamas, does not participate in the escalation of violence in Gaza.

Radical Palestinian Islamic organization considered terrorist by the EU, USA, and Israel.

It calls for the destruction of the State of Israel, the Oslo Accords and rejects the “two-state” solution to the conflict. He wants to establish a Palestinian Islamic State throughout the disputed territory.

It is considered by several analysts to be the most radical group and opposed to any type of dialogue with Israel. 

It operates in the Gaza Strip, West Bank, and from Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. 

It is a Lebanese Shiite Islamist party, emerged after the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in the 1980s.

Inspired by the Iranian Islamic Revolution of Ayatollah Khomeini and, since its inception, it is considered the main surrogate agent of Iran. 

It is an integral part of Lebanese politics and is represented in the Parliament of the country of cedars.

Hezbollah is considered a terrorist group by the EU and the US, among others. 

His conflict with Israel arises both from his support for the Palestinian cause and from Iran’s interest in destabilizing Israel.

In 2006 there was a war between the two that left hundreds dead. 

Israeli settlers

Israeli settlers are one of the main causes of instability in the area, protected by Israel to occupy land and harass the Palestinian civilian population in the West Bank. 

According to the UN, their activities are “the greatest threat to peace.”

Religious and ultra-Zionist, they defend that all the territory between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River is Jewish and the Palestinians should be expelled.

The colonies are illegal under international law and sometimes even under the law of the State of Israel, but their growth has not stopped. 

Their actions have unleashed cycles of violence and reprisals, tensions seen by many as one of the main triggers of last Saturday’s Hamas terrorist attack.

By Web Desk