Hamas and Islamic Jihad Are Coordinating a Terror War

April 11 2022

Yesterday, an Israeli was stabbed at the tomb of the patriarchs in Hebron. The night before, a Palestinian mob destroyed the shrine known to Jews as the tomb of Joseph. On Thursday, a Palestinian opened fire at a bar in downtown Tel Aviv, killing three and wounding several others—of whom six remain in the hospital as of yesterday morning. These attacks were just the latest in a spate of stabbings, shootings, and car-rammings throughout Israel, most of which were foiled, and some of which proved deadly. Udi Dekel points to the causes of this uptick in bloodshed, and Jerusalem’s efforts to combat it:

We are in the midst of a murderous terror campaign, whose main orchestrator is Hamas in close coordination with Palestinian Islamic Jihad; four coordination meetings have recently taken place in Beirut between Salah al-Aruri—in charge of Hamas’s military operations in the West Bank, and Ziyad a-Nahala—general-secretary of Islamic Jihad. The purpose of this campaign is to unite the fronts of the Palestinian struggle against Israel into a comprehensive arena and encompass the activities of the various factions. At the same time, this deployment aims to increase and to accelerate the undermining of Palestinian Authority control over the West Bank, as is evident in the Jenin area, which is controlled by terrorist elements.

In recent months, Hamas has run an intensive incitement campaign, especially in advance of Ramadan—a time when religious and national sentiments are heightened—targeting Palestinian youth and adults alike, . . . regardless of their organizational affiliation. The campaign encourages self-sacrifice in the name of a sublime religious-national goal, and it is supposed to be the first in a three-stage escalation: the first one, shooting attacks by individuals in Israeli cities, has so far been noticeably successful. The second involves igniting Jerusalem and the West Bank following the success of the attacks and due to Israel’s [expected] harsh response.

The third [stage] is conditioned on the success of the second phase and on Israel’s response—widespread escalation in the West Bank and Jerusalem will give Hamas legitimacy to provoke a confrontation with Israel, through rocket and missile launches from the Gaza Strip.

Israel, for its part, is pursuing policies and actions designed to disrupt the Hamas plan. The government is acting wisely as it seeks to separate the Palestinian population in the West Bank from the terrorists in its midst and allow the Palestinian public as much of a routine as possible, including adhering to its intention of providing relief [from restrictions on travel and so forth] during Ramadan.

Read more at Institute for National Security Studies

More about: Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Israeli Security, Palestinian terror


The Right and Wrong Ways for the U.S. to Support the Palestinians

Sept. 29 2023

On Wednesday, Elliott Abrams testified before Congress about the Taylor Force Act, passed in 2018 to withhold U.S. funds from the Palestinian Authority (PA) so long as it continues to reward terrorists and their families with cash. Abrams cites several factors explaining the sharp increase in Palestinian terrorism this year, among them Iran’s attempt to wage proxy war on Israel; another is the “Palestinian Authority’s continuing refusal to fight terrorism.” (Video is available at the link below.)

As long as the “pay for slay” system continues, the message to Palestinians is that terrorists should be honored and rewarded. And indeed year after year, the PA honors individuals who have committed acts of terror by naming plazas or schools after them or announcing what heroes they are or were.

There are clear alternatives to “pay to slay.” It would be reasonable for the PA to say that, whatever the crime committed, the criminal’s family and children should not suffer for it. The PA could have implemented a welfare-based system, a system of family allowances based on the number of children—as one example. It has steadfastly refused to do so, precisely because such a system would no longer honor and reward terrorists based on the seriousness of their crimes.

These efforts, like the act itself, are not at all meant to diminish assistance to the Palestinian people. Rather, they are efforts to direct aid to the Palestinian people rather than to convicted terrorists. . . . [T]he Taylor Force Act does not stop U.S. assistance to Palestinians, but keeps it out of hands in the PA that are channels for paying rewards for terror.

[S]hould the United States continue to aid the Palestinian security forces? My answer is yes, and I note that it is also the answer of Israel and Jordan. As I’ve noted, PA efforts against Hamas or other groups may be self-interested—fights among rivals, not principled fights against terrorism. Yet they can have the same effect of lessening the Iranian-backed terrorism committed by Palestinian groups that Iran supports.

Read more at Council on Foreign Relations

More about: Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror, U.S. Foreign policy