Palestinian Islamic Jihad Claims New Drone Added to its Military Capabilities

On the occassion of International Quds Day, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) published footage of a previously unknown drone called Jenin.”

PIJ spokesperson, Abu Hamza, stated the drone was added to the group’s military capabilities to reinforce the Gaza Strip.

“Today we reveal the Jenin drone, which operates in the air force, which our mujahideen continue to reinforce inside the besieged Gaza Strip,” Hamza noted.

The PIJ publication shows observation video from the ground and from a drone hovering over what appears to be three Israel Defense Forces (IDF) vehicles parked adjacent to the Gaza security fence on Aug. 7, 2019. After a few moments, the drone releases an explosive projectile over one of the vehicles but misses by several feet.

The second half of the footage shows a room that appears to contain several types of drones operated by PIJ. The video concludes with a brief clip of the “Jenin” operating over what is presumed to be the Gaza Strip.

While the footage is important in the context of understanding PIJ’s military capabilities, especially in the field of drones, the publication appears to be exaggerated and edited in a manner to deceive the viewer.

Despite the group saying it was unveiling a new drone, its publication begins with operational activity of a different drone, purportedly from three years ago. This is easily discernable since the drone hovers over its target thus suggesting the drone is similar to the DJI S1000 and not the “Jenin” showed later in the publication.

Additionally, the actual footage of the “Jenin” fails to show any significant operational activity despite the clip’s description of it being on “one of its jihadist missions.”

As previously noted, understanding PIJ’s military capabilities is important. However, the video lacks detail and evidence. Perhaps the lack of information was done intentionally to keep its capabilities a secret from the IDF.

Other than the previously unseen video of an unsuccessful attack against an IDF military vehicle, and the clip of other possible drones in its arsenal, PIJ was able to demonstrate their new drone “Jenin” can fly, but failed to prove anything more significant in its touted publication.

Joe Truzman is an editor and senior research analyst at FDD's Long War Journal focused primarily on Palestinian armed groups and non-state actors in the Middle East.

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