The Islamic Jihad grew stronger in Judea and Samaria 

After the "Shield and Arrow" operation, the confrontation between Israel and the Islamic Jihad moves to Judea and Samaria where the organization managed to establish itself and establish an extensive terrorist infrastructure. Islamic Jihad activists are full of motivation to take revenge on Israel and try to take control of the territories of Judea and Samaria and overthrow the PA rule.



The Islamic Jihad was beaten hard by Israel in the Gaza Strip, it lost most of the leadership members of its military wing who were assassinated by Israel and until the organization in the Gaza Strip is restored, it is the leadership abroad that operates the organization from Syria and Lebanon. 


Its two leading leaders now are Ziyad Al-Nakhala, the organization’s secretary-general, and Akram Al-Ajouri, the head of the Islamic Jihad’s military wing. 


On May 14th, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad published an official announcement contains  the names of 11 of the organization’s field commanders who were killed by the IDF in addition to its 6 senior commanders, this is another achievement for the IDF and the Shin Bet. 


Officials in the Islamic Jihad say that the organization will recalculate its course and draw lessons from what happened in the Gaza Strip, the battle is now moving to the West Bank and the organization is full of motivation to take revenge on Israel and it intends to increase its resistance operations against the IDF forces and the settlers and build new armed groups in all parts of Judea and Samaria . 


A replacement will soon be appointed for Tarek Izz A-Din, the senior Islamic Jihad leader whom the IDF assassinated in the Gaza Strip in the “Shield and Arrow” operation, who was responsible for the establishment of the Islamic Jihad in Judea and Samaria and even tried to establish terrorist infrastructures in the cities of Jenin and Nablus that would manufacture and launch rockets and drones carrying explosives towards the main cities in Israel. 


In the Gaza Strip it is said that the Islamic Jihad now understands that Israel has not weakened due to its internal problems and is united against it and against Iran, therefore it is planning a new strategy for confrontation with Israel, its rivalry with Hamas has increased and this will be expressed in the struggle for control of the West Bank territories where a security vacuum has been created due to the weakening of the PA. 


The Islamic Jihad plans to take over Judea and Samaria and overthrow the PA rule with the help of Iran, which will transfer extensive funding to it and increase the smuggling of weapons through Jordan to Judea and Samaria for the Islamic Jihad operatives, Iran gives priority to the Islamic Jihad in this matter over Hamas. 


The Islamic Jihad is concerned about the operational and intelligence superiority of Israel which was reflected in the fighting in the Gaza Strip, in Judea and Samaria, the situation may even become more difficult for the Islamic Jihad because it does not have rockets there with which it can attack Israel, the professional level of the IDF’s special units in the West Bank far exceeds the level of members of the armed groups of the Islamic Jihad. 


Islamic Jihad is a small terrorist organization compared to Hamas, but it has an important position in the Samaria region, Israel has the intelligence and operational ability to focus on it and eliminate its infrastructure in Judea and Samaria. 


The Minister of Defense Yoav Galant has not yet made the decision to embark on a major military operation against the terrorist organizations in northern Samaria, he is still studying the issue but the Shin Bet supports the offensive approach, it is time to continue to strike the Islamic Jihad also in the territories of Judea and Samaria, which are currently the main arena of struggle for the terrorist organizations . 


Operation Shield and Arrow was a complementary operation to the large arrest operation that Israel has been conducting in Judea and Samaria since March 2022 and its purpose was to crush the military leadership of the Islamic Jihad. 


During the “Shield and Arrow” operation, the IDF arrested 25 operatives of the Islamic Jihad in Judea and Samaria in order to prevent terrorist activity from the West Bank. 


Operation “Shield and Arrow” is also intended to convey a message to the leadership of the Islamic Jihad that Israel must stop the organization’s terrorist activities in Judea and Samaria. 


The Israeli security establishment is very concerned about the activities of the Islamic Jihad in northern Samaria and the large amount of weapons that are smuggled into their hands, the military infrastructure in Judea and Samaria was operated by the apparatus of Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip and Israel is now trying to sever this connection. 


The terrorist activity in Judea and Samaria will continue and even increase, this is what the Islamic Jihad is planning, but it is not the only player in the field, there is also the Hamas movement and new terrorist groups that all want to harm Israelis. 


The Gaza Strip is currently taking a break and the confrontation between Israel and the terrorist organizations is returning to the main arena which is Judea and Samaria. 

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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