Jihadists Flexing Muscles in West Bank

by JOEL HIMELFARB January 14, 2013

Israeli security sources plan to step up arrests of jihadists to prevent West Bank unrest from morphing into a third intifada. AFP reported Thursday that the decision follows an upsurge in violence ranging from stone-throwing to Molotov cocktail attacks on West Bank roads.

In the past 48 hours, there have been numerous press reports like this describing Palestinian attacks on Israeli troops in the West Bank. An elite Israeli Army unit was attacked by a 500-person mob in Jenin on Thursday when it tried to apprehend suspected terrorists. Palestinians shot video showing at least four youths hanging onto an Israel Defense Force (IDF) jeep, with one perched on its roof.

Two days earlier, an IDF undercover unit entered Tamoun, a village south of Jenin, in search of two Palestinian Islamic Jihad operatives. As IDF troops left the village with one terror suspect, they were attacked by rioters who pelted them with stones and bottles. The army had to scramble a large force to the scene to quell the violence.

The riots follow reports that Hamas is becoming bolder in challenging Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, whose Fatah organization controls the West Bank.

London's Sunday Times reported last month that Hamas boss Khaled Meshaal has instructed the group's West Bank "sleeper cells" to prepare for armed struggle to seize control of that Palestinian territory. Citing intelligence services including the Shin Bet, the Times claimed that Iran was working to create a third jihadist proxy force in the West Bank (after Hizballah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza).

A poll released last month by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found that 48 percent support in the West Bank and Gaza for Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, compared to 45 percent for Abbas.

Last week, senior Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzook proposed that Abbas dismantle the Palestinian Authority and turn the West Bank over to Hamas. Marzook said that Hamas' success in waging war against Israel qualified it to run the West Bank.

PA spokesman Ahmed Assaf responded by suggesting that Hamas was going soft on Israel: "How can Hamas agree to a state without Jerusalem and the right of return for Palestinian refugees? Does Hamas want to cover up for Israeli occupation and the Judaization of Jerusalem and Islamic holy sites?"

Assaf accused Hamas of conducting secret talks with Israel about the establishment of a temporary Palestinian state.

 

Joel Himelfarb, a veteran Washington journalist, is co-author of the best-selling Myths and Facts: A concise record of the Arab-Israeli conflict. A former member of the Washington Times editorial board, his work has been published by media outlets including The Wall Street Journal; the Jerusalem Post; the Daily Caller; Breitbart.com; the American Spectator; Policy Review; and Middle East Quarterly.


blog comments powered by Disqus

'Seems insane': Fox News' Ed Henry questions how fence jumper made it inside White House

September 20, 2014  09:41 AM

"How could not ONE Secret Service officer stop last nite's jumper from getting to door"?

'ISIS takes notes': Fence-jumper makes his way into White House's front doors

September 20, 2014  00:39 AM

The man made it through the North Portico doors before he was eventually apprehended.

Labor Department ups hashtag politics ante with grumpy cat meme

September 19, 2014  10:55 PM

The cat really drives the #RaiseTheWage argument, though, doesn't it?

State Department releases list of anti-ISIS coalition partners 'in some capacity'

September 19, 2014  09:36 PM

President Obama’s announcement Thursday that France would be joining a coalition of 40 countries in the fight against ISIS had many asking, “Let’s see the list.” On Friday night, the State Department obliged, issuing a list of countries that had agreed to assist the United States “in some capacity.” Via @StateDept, a list of countries/partners […]

'Anarchy!' Wendy Davis ignores debate rules, talks over moderator [video]

September 19, 2014  08:54 PM

"Easy Wendy, this is not 'Nam."

FSM Archives

More in MUST READS ( 1 OF 25 ARTICLES )