Israel has grappled with a persistent wave of terrorism in Judea and Samaria since the conclusion of Operation “Guardian of the Walls” in the Gaza Strip in May 2021.
It is high time for the IDF to revise its operational strategies.
The brief military operation undertaken in the Jenin refugee camp is insufficient to quell the surge in terrorism.
Despite the successes of the Shin Bet, which have thwarted 350 terrorist attacks so far this year, the situation remains dire.
Since the beginning of the year, 35 Israelis have lost their lives due to acts of Palestinian terrorism.
The Islamic Jihad leads the terrorism in Judea and Samaria, closely collaborating with the Iranian “Revolutionary Guards.”
Ziad Al-Nakhala, the Secretary General of the Islamic Jihad, directly coordinates terrorist activities with General Hussein Salami, the commander of the “Revolutionary Guards,” and General Ismail Ka’ani, the commander of the “Quds” force.
In recent months, Hamas’ military wing has actively joined the armed terrorist groups’ struggle in Judea and Samaria.
It has reactivated dormant cells and executed severe attacks on IDF soldiers and settlers.
Furthermore, Hamas has established a terrorist infrastructure named the “Al Ayash Battalion” in the Jenin refugee camp.
This battalion is responsible for manufacturing and launching rudimentary rockets toward Israeli settlements.
While Hamas controls the Gaza Strip, Israel does not hold it accountable for the terrorism it fosters in Judea and Samaria.
Hamas transfers funds and instructions from the Gaza Strip to terror cells in Judea and Samaria, while also propagating virulent incitement on social media platforms.
The Islamic Jihad has successfully built a robust terrorism infrastructure in northern Samaria. However, Iran is pressuring both the Islamic Jihad and Hamas to expand their terrorist activities across Judea and Samaria, particularly in the Hebron area.
The Hebron region, which has remained relatively calm over the past two years, boasts an extensive network of Hamas field operatives.
It appears that Saleh al-Arouri, the head of Hamas’ military wing in Judea and Samaria, has decided to escalate tensions in this area.
This decision played a significant role in a recent terrorist attack in the Mount Hebron region, resulting in the tragic death of Israeli citizen Bat Sheva Nigri.
The Shin Bet has apprehended the two terrorists responsible for the attack.
They are Hamas members from the Shantir family in Hebron.
Beyond mere imitation, the IDF is concerned that Hamas may intensify terrorism in the Hebron region, particularly along major roads used by Israeli citizens and IDF forces.
This involves a focus on attacks against Israeli vehicles.
This trend could escalate in the coming months, especially during the upcoming holidays.
Consequently, the IDF should bolster security along the primary roads in southern Judea and Samaria by deploying additional forces.
If necessary, the IDF may mobilize reserve forces to safeguard these main traffic routes in Judea and Samaria until after the holidays.
The successful apprehension of the two terrorists responsible for Bat Sheva Nigri’s murder in the Hebron area is a significant intelligence triumph for the Shin Bet.
This success could potentially thwart future terrorist activities in the Hebron region as a result of the ongoing investigation.
To mitigate Iran’s influence on the ground, the IDF must take action in northern Samaria and the Gaza Strip.
Presently, the Islamic Jihad is the primary instigator of terrorism, receiving instructions, funds, and smuggled weapons from Jordan.
Hamas joined this campaign belatedly, but Israeli intelligence officials are adept at identifying operatives within Hamas and Islamic Jihad who collaborate to orchestrate attacks.
Judea and Samaria are witnessing an influx of new recruits and volunteers for the ranks of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad.
Consequently, the Shin Bet must escalate its targeted countermeasures against these terrorist operatives.
Israel cannot allow terrorism to migrate southward from northern Samaria to other regions within Judea and Samaria.
This necessitates proactive efforts by the IDF to target the refugee camps in northern Samaria, which serve as the hub of Iran-supported terrorism.