An important blow to Hamas in the Jericho area

Hamas is trying to turn the city of Jericho into the capital of terrorism in the southern West Bank. The IDF and the Shin Bet uncovered a large Hamas terror infrastructure in the Aqbat Jaber refugee camp near Jericho, the PA is not fighting terrorism and the struggle for control of the area has only just begun.

Israel imposed an important blow to the Hamas organization which tried to establish itself in the Jericho area and set up a terror infrastructure in the Aqbat Jaber refugee camp called the Aqbat Jaber Battalion which was supposed to operate in the terrorist format established by the Islamic Jihad organization in the northern West Bank since May 2021 after the IDF military operation in the Gaza Strip.

The operation of the IDF and the Shin Bet in the Aqbat Jaber refugee camp near Jericho is important, during the operation 5 terrorists were killed, including the two terrorists Malek Lafi and Rafat Abeidat who carried out the shooting attack two weeks ago at the Mi Casa restaurant at Almog Junction in the Jericho area.

Yesterday’s successful operation came after an arrest operation conducted by the IDF last Saturday in the Aqbat Jaber refugee camp, during which it arrested 15 armed terrorists at the end of hours of exchange of fire between IDF soldiers and terrorists, so the IDF was unable to capture the members of the terrorist squad who carried out the shooting attack, but yesterday the IDF forces succeeded in the mission.

The city of Jericho is considered the quietest city in the West Bank and is located near the main traffic axis from the south to the north of the Jordan Valley, on this axis there is a lot of movement of Israeli vehicles.
The presence of armed terrorists in the Jericho area is very dangerous from a security point of view for Israel and hence the importance of the IDF operation in the Aqbat Jaber refugee camp.

The Hamas and Islamic Jihad organizations are taking advantage of the PA’s weakness and unwillingness to fight terrorism to establish armed terrorist groups called battalions in the territories of Judea and Samaria, so far about ten such terrorist groups have been established in the Nablus, Jenin and Tulkarm areas.

The terrorist group of Hamas known as the Aqabat Jaber Battalion in Jericho is an attempt by the terrorist organizations to spread to the south of the West Bank as well, the group grew in Jericho under the noses of the security forces of the PA who refrain from fighting against the armed terrorist groups, which forces the IDF and the Shin Bet to do the work in their place.

PA Chairman Abu Mazen sticks to his decision to cease security coordination with Israel.

Abu Mazen condemned the operation of the IDF in the Aqbat Jaber refugee camp and called it a crime, he demanded that the international community provide protection to the Palestinians from Israel.

Toni Blinken the US Secretary of State last week presented to the Chairman of the PA the administration’s plan to calm the security situation in the northern West Bank formulated by General Mike Fenzel, the coordinator between the administration and the security forces of the PA, the plan also received Israel’s approval.

General Fenzel proposes the establishment of a special Palestinian security force, with American funding, it will undergo training in Jordan and return to the West Bank and be stationed in Nablus and Jenin to confront the new terrorist groups that have emerged in the area.

PA Chairman Abu Mazen expressed concern that the American plan would lead to a civil war between the residents of the West Bank and paint him as Israel’s security contractor.

The PA chairman diplomatically opposed the American plan and sources close to him claimed that he was tired of being the administration’s executive contractor without accepting any plans with a political horizon.

The Hamas organization will continue to try and harness the city of Jericho, and other cities such as Qalqilya and Tulkarm, in its effort to provoke a new armed intifada against Israel, the smuggling of weapons is flowing at an increasing rate through the border with Jordan to the West Bank and Israel’s security forces are finding it difficult to stop the phenomenon.

Hamas sources say that the city of Jericho is of strategic importance because of its proximity to Jerusalem and the border with Jordan, Hamas plans to turn it into the southern terrorist capital of the West Bank just as Islamic Jihad turned the city of Jenin into the northern West Bank terrorist capital.

In the Aqbat Jaber refugee camp in the Jericho area, there are about ten thousand residents, the economic situation there is poor and the Palestinian Authority neglects its care, in the camp there are armed activists of the Fatah movement from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades group in cooperation with the operatives of the military wing of Hamas.

The battle between the IDF and the Shin Bet and the terrorist organizations for control of the Jericho area has only just begun, senior Hamas official Souheil Al-Hindi promised revenge for the death of the 5 terrorists, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh referred to the IDF operation in the Aqbat Jaber refugee camp yesterday and said that the continued killing of the Israeli occupation will be a disaster for it.

He promised that the new terrorist groups called battalions would continue their actions against Israel.

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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