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

10 year FSM Anniversary

Nothing says 'travel safe this weekend' like Joe Biden at the helm of a train [photo]

November 27, 2014  03:15 PM

"Holy caption contest, Batman!"

1K retweets win! Andy Levy nails 'how to talk politics' Thanksgiving guests with THIS zinger

November 27, 2014  01:15 PM

Ouch! Fox News' Andy Levy lets politics-talking Thanksgiving guests have it with brutal truth.

Another Media Matters attempt to propagandize Thanksgiving dinner put down

November 27, 2014  12:55 PM

Stop!

Finally, something Washington DC government is good at

November 27, 2014  10:45 AM

A model of government efficiency.

'Impeach'? The secret ingredient in the White House pie recipe is 'European butter'

November 27, 2014  07:53 AM

European, but tasty.

FSM Archives

More in MUST READS ( 1 OF 25 ARTICLES )