State Dept. Designates Ziyad al-Nakhalah as a Global Terrorist

Palestinian supporters of the Islamic Jihad chant slogans against resuming peace talks with Israel

Palestinian supporters of the Islamic Jihad chant slogans against resuming peace talks with Israel / AP


The State Department has designated Ziyad al-Nakhalah as a specially designated global terrorist.

Ziyad al-Nakhalah is the Deputy Secretary General of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a group that was designated by the U.S. State Department as a Foreign Terrorist Organization on October 8, 1997.  PIJ’s openly stated goal is the destruction of Israel.  Since its inception, PIJ has carried out numerous attacks, including large-scale suicide bombings against Israeli civilian and military targets.  PIJ attacks have also killed Americans abroad.  PIJ receives financial assistance and training primarily from Iran.

The Department of State strongly condemned the December 22, 2013 Tel Aviv bus bombing conducted by PIJ as a "deplorable violent act targeting civilians."

Publicly, Ziyad has repeatedly taken credit for attacks against Israel.  For example, Ziyad took credit for PIJ’s indiscriminate missile attacks into Israel in 2011, 2009, and 2008.  Ziyad has also cultivated strong relations with the Government of Iran, the world’s primary State Sponsor of Terrorism.  In 2012, Ziyad emphasized the importance of expanding and improving relations with Hamas, another designated FTO.  For example, in October 2012, PIJ announced that it had joined forces with Hamas to carry out attacks against Israel.  Shortly thereafter, PIJ and Hamas claimed responsibility for firing at least 50 mortar shells into Israel the day before that announcement.

The designation means U.S. citizens cannot engage in transactions with al-Nakhalah, and all his properties and assets in the United States have been frozen.

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