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The glossary is comprised of nearly 250 terms related to the Israeli-Palestinian context. Given the rapidly shifting landscape, these terms cannot capture the full range of nuances, narratives and historical events. This tool is meant as a starting point and we encourage you to continue your exploration of this topic through further research. Last update and review: September 2015.


The definition of Jihad is derived from the Arabic root meaning "to strive," "to struggle" or "to make an effort." It holds a wide range of meanings within Islam, from an internal spiritual struggle to perfect one's faith to an overt and, at times, violent struggle to promote justice and Islamic legal and social codes. Jihad is closely identified with the injunction in the Qur'an to "command the right and forbid the wrong." Modern Islamist groups, especially fundamentalist ones, have used jihad as a means of "preserving the sanctity of Islam" through actively resisting and often combating those they consider as a threat to the religion. This struggle may be against both individuals and regimes deemed "un-Islamic." See "Jihad," Sohail Hashmi, CQ Press in Context.