Iran encourages terrorism in the West Bank

In the West Bank there are alarming signs of security escalation and Iran is pushing the Islamic Jihad to try and take over the northern West Bank. Israel's security officials and the Palestinian Authority are dealing with a new young generation in the West Bank that was born after the second intifada and tends to adopt the path of armed struggle.

It is worth paying attention to what General Hossein Salami, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, said on August 21 in an interview on the website of the office of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
Hossein Salami referred to the situation in the territories and said: "The Gaza Strip is not the only arena of resistance and struggle, the struggle has also moved to the West Bank, the Palestinians have succeeded in arming the West Bank, which is an area completely separate from the Gaza Strip".
He tried to indirectly imply in his words that Iran is behind this process and added: "Just as Gaza is armed with weapons
, the West Bank can be armed in the same way and this thing will happen".
He did not elaborate but added that the Iranian government is the true friend of the Palestinians who stands by them to the end in the most difficult situations.
The statement of the commander of the Revolutionary Guards followed the visit of Ziyad Nachala, the Secretary General of the Islamic Jihad, and Akram al-Ajouri, the head of the organization's military wing, in Tehran 3 weeks ago during the IDF's military operation in the Gaza Strip. The purpose of the visit was to wake up the "sleeping cells" of the Islamic Jihad in the West Bank and increase armed activity against Israel.
Over the past year, the Islamic Jihad organization, under the guidance of Iran, has been working to establish an independent territory in the northern West Bank that will not be subject to the power of the PA.
A kind of a front base of Iran.
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 push the PA completely out of the Jenin area, it established a new military framework called the "Jenin Battalion" which also includes armed activists from other groups such as the "al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades" of the Fatah movement and even armed activists of Hamas.
This framework began to spread towards the areas of Nablus and Tulkarm and carried out shooting attacks against IDF forces and settlers.
In the past year, the leadership of Islamic Jihad succeeded in recruiting terrorist squads in Jenin, Tulkarm, Nablus and Tubas.
According to sources in Islamic Jihad, the mission of their leader, Ziyad Al-Nakhala, is to start a war of attrition against Israel in the West Bank, against the IDF and against the settlers.

Signs of escalation on the ground

Last Saturday night, terrorists shot at an Israeli passenger bus in the Ofra settlement area near the town of Silwad east of Ramallah.
Large forces of the IDF and the Shin Bet have since been trying to locate the shooting terrorists.
In the Qalqilya area, the security forces captured 3 Palestinian women who were apparently on their way to an attack, in their car was found a "Carlo" submachine, ammunition and a suicide note.
The wave of terrorist attacks is expanding from the Jenin and Nablus area also south towards Ramallah, on the Palestinian street they say that this is a direct response to the IDF's military operation in the Gaza Strip and the assassinations of terrorists in Nablus and Jenin by the IDF.

The new young generation

In 2015, a new generation began to grow in the West Bank, a generation that experienced the four major operations of the IDF in the Gaza Strip and began to re-embrace the idea of armed struggle against Israel.
The social media made a great contribution to the assimilation of the idea of armed struggle and resistance in the minds of the members of the new young generation and infiltrated their consciousness with the ideas of the armed struggle against Israel.
The anger and frustration led in 2015 to the outbreak of the" Knife Intifada" and the younger generation was greatly influenced by the incitement of the terrorist organizations regarding Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The new young generation that carries out attacks acts individually or in small groups, usually it does not belong to any terrorist organization and makes the decisions to carry out attacks independently while it is fed by the Palestinian incitement system.
In Jenin and Nablus, operatives of various organizations such as Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad began to cooperate for the purpose of attacks against Israelis and managed to push away the security forces of the PA so that they would not operate in areas such as Jenin, Nablus and Tulkarm.
Their preferred attacks are shooting attacks on IDF checkpoints and Israeli vehicles on the main roads.
On August 9, Israel's security forces killed the 19-year-old wanted terrorist Ibrahim Al-Nabulsi in the city of Nablus
Al-Nabulsi was an example of the new Palestinian generation, a generation born after the second intifada and now embraces the armed struggle ideas, this is the will he left through a recording of his voice after his death which said: "Do not lay down your arms".
This is the generation that Israel's security forces and the Palestinian Authority now have to deal with in 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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