On Tuesday, an IDF unit entered the West Bank city of Jenin, where it was attacked by gunmen affiliated with the Iran-backed terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). After a short battle, the Israeli troops arrested twelve militants—including PIJ’s senior figure in the West Bank—and seized a large cache of arms and currency. The raid is the latest success in Operation Breakwater, launched by the IDF in March in response to multiple terrorist attacks. Yaakov Lappin explains:
[T]he number of attacks inside Israel dropped drastically as Operation Breakwater gained momentum, and nightly raids were conducted by the IDF in the heart of terrorist hornets’ nests like the Jenin refugee camp. A growing number of cells planning attacks on civilians were foiled at the planning stage, with Israeli security forces reaching them in their homes in the dead of night and surprising them.
The number of terrorists captured and cells thwarted has led to a significant drop in their motivation and intent to act, although the risk has, of course, not vanished.
Meanwhile, after a spike in attempts by Hamas and PIJ to orchestrate terrorism in the West Bank from their headquarters in Gaza and in Lebanon, such attempts have returned to more “normal” levels recently. These remote orchestration efforts, in which local terrorists are often recruited over the Internet and receive money to begin purchasing firearms (and recruit additional members), as well as instructions, are also focused on the northern West Bank.
The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) disrupts hundreds of such plots every year.