How Israel Defeated a Terror Wave

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.

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Read more at JNS

More about: Islamic Jihad, Israeli Security, Palestinian terror, West Bank

 

Will Tensions Rise between the U.S. and Israel?

Unlike his past many predecessors, President Joe Biden does not have a plan for solving the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Moreover, his administration has indicated its skepticism about renewing the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. John Bolton nevertheless believes that there could be a collision between the new Benjamin Netanyahu-led Israeli government and the Biden White House:

In possibly his last term, Netanyahu’s top national-security priority will be ending, not simply managing, Iran’s threat. This is infinitely distant from Biden’s Iran policy, which venerates Barrack Obama’s inaugural address: “we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”

Tehran’s fist is today otherwise occupied, pummeling its own people. Still, it will continue menacing Israel and America unless and until the internal resistance finds ways to fracture the senior levels of Iran’s regular military and the Revolutionary Guards. Netanyahu undoubtedly sees Iran’s growing domestic turmoil as an opportunity for regime change, which Israel and others can facilitate. Simultaneously, Jerusalem can be preparing its military and intelligence services to attack Tehran’s nuclear program, something the White House simply refuses to contemplate seriously. Biden’s obsession with reviving the disastrous 2015 nuclear deal utterly blinds the White House to the potential for a more significant victory.

To make matters worse, Biden has just created a Washington-based position at the State Department, a “special representative for Palestinian affairs,” that has already drawn criticism in Israel both for the new position itself and for the person named to fill it. Advocated as one more step toward “upgrading” U.S. relations with the Palestinian Authority, the new position looks nearly certain to become the locus not of advancing American interests regarding the failed Authority, but of advancing the Authority’s interests within the Biden administration.

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Read more at 19FortyFive

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran, Joe Biden, U.S.-Israel relationship