Iran is trying to establish a front outpost in the northern West Bank

The end of the Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip enables Israel to refocus on the northern West Bank and uproot from it the terrorist infrastructure of the Islamic Jihad organization. Bassam al-Saadi, who was arrested by Israel, is a central figure in Iran's effort to establish, through the Islamic Jihad, its front outpost in order to start a war of attrition against Israel.

Senior political officials in Jerusalem say that Israel did not commit, within the framework of the cease-fire agreement with the Islamic Jihad, to release from detention the administrative prisoner Khalil Al-Awaweda and the senior member of the Islamic Jihad Bassam al-Saadi who was recently arrested in Jenin and whose arrest ultimately led to the military operation in Gaza Strip.
Bassam al-Saadi is the most senior figure of the Islamic Jihad organization in the Northen West Bank, he holds very important security information that will help the Shin Bet to expose the secret infrastructure of the organization in the entire West Bank and its connections with the Gaza Strip and the leadership abroad, including communication methods, financing the activity and carrying out terrorist attacks against Israel.
Following the arrest of Bassam al-Saadi and his assistant, there is progress in the Shin Bet's investigation and the arrests of Islamic Jihad operatives throughout the West Bank continue.
So far, around 40 operatives of the organization have been arrested, including several senior figures in the Jenin area.

Security sources said that Sheikh Bassam al-Saadi led this effort using funds he received from the Gaza Strip for the purpose of purchasing weapons and financing terrorist attacks.
Indeed, in practice, in the city of Jenin, in its refugee camp and in the neighboring villages, there are already several hundred armed terrorists and thousands of weapons and large quantities of ammunition.
The Islamic Jihad managed to completely push the Palestinian Authority out of the Jenin area, it established a new military framework called the "Jenin Battalion" that also includes armed terrorists from other factions.
This new group began to spread towards the areas of Nablus and Tulkarm and carried out shooting attacks against IDF forces and settlers.
Bassam al-Saadi is a veteran of the Islamic Jihad organization, in the early 1990s he was among the 400 activists from Hamas and Islamic Jihad who were deported by Israel to Marj al-Zohur in Lebanon and has a personal acquaintance with the entire leadership of the organization in the Gaza Strip and abroad.
He spent 15 years in an Israeli prison and worked quietly and "under the radar" from his home in Jenin refugee camp.
The cease fire with the Islamic Jihad gives the Israeli Shin Bet once again an opportunity to focus on what is happening in northern Wes Bank and gather the intelligence necessary to uproot the terrorist infrastructure of the Islamic Jihad in the Jenin and Nablus areas.
The success of this effort will allow the PA to renew its governance in the area and strengthen its security .
It is very important that Israel cut off the connection of the military wing of the Islamic Jihad in the West Bank with the organization's leadership in the Gaza Strip, which has become very tight since Operation "Guardian of the Walls".
The leadership of the Islamic Jihad succeeded in the last year in recruiting terrorist squads in Jenin, Tulkarm, Nablus and Tubas.
According to sources in the Islamic Jihad, the mission of the organization's leader Ziyad Al-Nakhallah is to start a war of attrition against Israel in the West Bank, against the IDF and against the settlers.

Ziad Al-Nakhallah is currently in Tehran together with Akram Al-Ajouri, the head of the military wing of the organization, they are holding discussions with the top of the "Revolutionary Guards"

on how to strengthen the Islamic Jihad organization in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Yoni Ben Menachem

Senior Middle East Analyst

הערה: הכותב הוא מזרחן ומנכ"ל רשות השידור לשעבר

אודות יוני בן מנחם

יוני בן מנחם הוא מזרחן, עיתונאי ומנכ"ל רשות השידור לשעבר. הוא בעל עשרות שנות ניסיון בעיתונות הכתובה והמצולמת. דרכו של בן מנחם בעולם המדיה החלה כמפיק של הטלוויזיה היפנית במזרח התיכון. לאחר מכן, הוא מילא תפקידי מפתח רבים בתקשורת הישראלית: מנכ"ל רשות השידור, מנהל רדיו קול ישראל, כתב לענייניי שטחים, כתב ופרשן מדיני, פרשן לענייני המזרח התיכון ועורך ראשי ומגיש התוכנית 'מגזין המזה"ת'. 

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