One of the most striking characteristics of the Palestinian uprising which began in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in December 1987 is the saliency of Islamic fundamentalist groups. One such an organization, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, played a major role in fomenting the riots. Its structure and ideology pose a problem of a special kind: a militant Sunni movement, steeped in Sunni action and traditions, yet inspired and emboldened by the Shi’i revolution in Iran. An Islamic resurgence was evident both in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip since the late 1970s. As in other parts of the Arab Middle East, it was related, to a large degree, to the disappointment with the secularist notion of revolutionary Arab nationalism. Central to the concepts of the Gaza group with regard to the notion of jihad, was the idea that Arab society cannot be cured by gradual, reformist action.