Constant Incitement and Hamas’s Ambitions Are Behind a Spike in Terrorist Activity

Dec. 21 2021

On Sunday, gunmen fired on Israeli troops in a West Bank village; on Thursday Palestinian terrorists shot at a car carrying yeshiva students, killing one and injuring two others. These events come on the heels of several attacks, and attempted attacks, in the past few weeks. Yossi Kuperwasser looks at what’s behind them:

The recent uptick in terrorist attacks in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria necessitates distinguishing between two parallel tracks that underpin the violence. One is the ongoing incitement, intended to create a consciousness of struggle in the general public, particularly among Palestinian youth. The second is Hamas’s interest in increasing terrorism within, and emanating from, Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria. The connection between the tangible expressions of these two trends has ignited a multitude of attacks and has unleashed fears that Israel is facing another wave of terrorist attacks.

This effort is also not new and is a permanent part of Hamas’s and Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s policy aimed at harming as many Israelis as possible, [attempting to] undermine national resilience in Israel, and demonstrating these movements’ adherence to “the path of struggle,” in contrast to Fatah, while they refrain from acting from Gaza and igniting another war.

Although the [Fatah-led] Palestinian Authority works to limit Hamas’s freedom of action, it is being dragged by the competition into increasing incitement, heaping praise on the perpetrators of the attacks, and accusing Israel of executing the terrorists killed during the attacks. Thus, the Palestinian Authority itself is guilty of fanning the flames and leading more terrorists to decide that it is time to act.

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Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Hamas, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror, West Bank

Iran’s Responsibility for West Bank Terror

On Friday, a Palestinian stabbed an Israeli police officer and was then shot by another officer after trying to grab his rifle. Commenting on the many similar instances of West Bank-based terror during the past several months, Amit Saar, a senior IDF intelligence officer, predicted that the violence will likely grow worse in the coming year. Yoni Ben Menachem explains the Islamic Republic’s role in fueling this wave of terrorism:

The escape of six terrorists from Gilboa prison in September 2021 was the catalyst for the establishment of new terrorist groups in the northern West Bank, according to senior Islamic Jihad officials. The initiative to establish new armed groups was undertaken by Palestinian Islamic Jihad in coordination with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, implementing the strategy of Qassem Suleimani—the commander of the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guards who was assassinated in Iraq by the U.S.—of using proxies to achieve the goals of expansion of the Iranian regime.

After arming Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, Iran moved in the last year to support the new terrorist groups in the northern West Bank. Iran has been pouring money into the Islamic Jihad organization, which began to establish new armed groups under the name of “Battalions,” which also include terrorists from other organizations such as Fatah, Hamas, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. First, the “Jenin Battalion” was established in the city of Jenin, followed the “Nablus Battalion.”

Despite large-scale arrest operation by the IDF and the Shin Bet in the West Bank, Islamic Jihad continues to form new terrorist groups, including the “Tulkarem Battalion,” the “Tubas Battalion,” and the “Balata Battalion” in the Balata refugee camp.

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Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Palestinian terror, West Bank