Hamas is leading a security escalation in the West Bank and East Jerusalem

Israeli security establishment is concerned about the strengthening of Hamas' activity in the West Bank, which is trying to increase terrorist attacks and shake the stability of the PA. The head of the Shin Bet sent a warning to Yichya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, but Hamas rejects it outright, Israel and the PA have a common interest in fighting against Hamas.

In recent weeks, Hamas organization has begun a wild campaign of incitement through its media and social networks to bring about a security escalation on the Temple Mount and in East Jerusalem ahead of the Jewish holidays season in Israel, which will give a boost to the new wave of terrorism in the West Bank.

Hamas once again recycles the false slogan that Al-Aqsa Mosque is in danger and threatens to implement the new equation that it established in May 2021 of “Gaza-Jerusalem”.

According to security officials in Israel and the PA, Hamas was also behind the recent violent events in the city of Nablus following the arrest of two wanted terrorists by the Palestinian Authority’s security forces, which led to live fire battles between armed terrorists and the Palestinian Authority’s security officials in the city, during the events a Palestinian security man was killed and 4 other residents were injured.

Hamas is trying to shake the stability of the PA

PA security officials claim that Hamas led to the creation of a situation of security chaos in the city of Nablus while the PA acted carefully to thwart the Hamas conspiracy.
The strategy of Hamas together with the Islamic Jihad is to create security chaos in the entire northern West Bank that will gradually spread to the center and south as well.

Munir al-Jaroub, one of Fatah’s senior leaders in the West Bank, accused Hamas of being behind the security events in the city of Nablus and the attacks on the official institutions and headquarters of the Palestinian Authority’s security forces.
“Hamas acts from narrow political considerations to serve its allies in the region”, he said.

Hamas tried to show that the Palestinian Authority has failed and can no longer maintain the security situation in the West Bank.

Behind this plan stand Iran and Hezbollah who want to turn the West Bank into a new battlefield and they are pouring a lot of money into the hands of the young generation in the West Bank so that they will purchase weapons and ammunition and carry out attacks against Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Terrorism against Israeli targets

Israeli Shin Bet is very concerned about Hamas’s strategy to try and set fire to the West Bank and East Jerusalem while it maintains relative peace in the Gaza Strip in order to continue to receive humanitarian concessions, to rehabilitate the Strip from the damage of the last war, to continue to put thousands of workers to work in Israel and to restore its military infrastructures that were severely damaged in the Israel’s military operation in May 2021.

A senior security official says that Hamas is trying to enjoy all the worlds and at the same time it is operating terror squads in the West Bank to carry out attacks against IDF soldiers and settlers.
A few days ago, the Shin Bet captured a Hamas terrorist cell that carried out a shooting attack on Israeli vehicles near the village of Einavos in the West Bank, and also arrested a terrorist who carried out the shooting attack at the Carmel settlement.

A week before that, the Shin Bet captured a large Hamas terrorist cell whose members are from the Hebron area and Nablus which was recruited to carry out a series of attacks using weapons and explosive devices.

The Shin Bet’s investigation revealed that the members of the squad were recruited from the Gaza Strip by an operative of the military wing of Hamas named Yichya Abu Saifan.

Senior security officials said that Hamas’ goal is to destabilize the West Bank and increase the level of violence by recruiting residents from the West Bank into its ranks

. The head of the Shin Bet Ronan Bar issued a warning addressed to Yichya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip who is also the head of the organization’s military wing.

In a warning published in the Israeli media, the head of the Shin Bet warned that Israel will not allow Yichya Sinwar to continue the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip but at the same time also direct terrorist operations in the West Bank.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum reacted sharply to the warning issued by the head of the Shin Bet to Yichya Sinwar and said that Israel’s threats are not new And they are not frightening and they reflect the political and security impasse that the leaders of the occupation have reached “because of the equations of resistance that Hamas imposes on Israe”l.

Yichya Sinwar is behaving calmly, he is convinced that he has immunity and that Israel will not harm him and that it is not interested in another round of fighting before the Knesset elections in November.

Regarding the attempt to destabilize the PA rule in the West Bank, the situation in the West Bank is different from the situation in the Gaza Strip in 2007 when Hamas expelled the PA from the Gaza Strip and took control of it by force.

The IDF forces are the sovereign in all the West Bank territories and have overall security responsibility, Hamas organization does not have enough military power in the West Bank to deal with the IDF forces.
In practical terms, it is the presence of IDF forces in the West Bank that injects oxygen into Abu Mazen’s regime and allows him to continue to breathe and prevents Hamas and the other terrorist organizations from taking over the Muqataa in Ramallah and overthrowing Abu Mazen’s rule.

Israel and the Palestinian Authority have a common interest in continuing to maintain the rule of Abu Mazen, the Israeli Shin Bet captured during the last few years a number of Hamas terror cells that planned to overthrow the PA government through a series of terrorist attacks that would undermine the stability .of the PA, Abu Mazen received regular updates from Israel on the issue and thanked her for it

. Hamas in the West Bank is dangerous to the PA government and Israel’s security, Abu Mazen understands this, the question is when will he wake up to return and fight terrorism, will it only be when the knife is placed on his neck?

Yoni Ben Menachem Senior Middle East Analyst

About Yoni Ben Menachem

Yoni Ben Menachem is a Middle East senior analyst ,a journalist and
the former CEO of the Israel Broadcasting Authority(IBA). He has
decades of experience in written and video journalism. Ben
Menachem’s path in the media world began as a producer for
Japanese television in the Middle East. After that, he held many key
positions in the media The Israeli: CEO of the Israel Broadcasting
Authority, director of “Kol Israel” Radio, reporter on West Bank and
Gaza Strip affairs, political reporter and commentator, commentator
on Middle East affairs and editor-in-chief and presenter of the
program “Middle East Magazine”. 

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