November 23, 2022 | Flash Brief

Jerusalem Bombings, Jenin Body-Snatch Rock Israel

November 23, 2022 | Flash Brief

Jerusalem Bombings, Jenin Body-Snatch Rock Israel

Latest Developments

Remote-controlled bombs exploded near-simultaneously at two Jerusalem bus stops during Wednesday’s morning rush hour, wounding at least 22 and killing a 16-year-old Canadian-Israeli dual national. One day earlier, in the West Bank city of Jenin, Palestinian gunmen seized the body of an Israeli Druze youth, Tiran Ferro, who was critically injured in a car accident. While initial coverage reported Ferro was dead when his body was seized by Palestinian gunmen, Ferro’s uncle has claimed he was alive when taken from the Jenin hospital.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the Jerusalem bombings, though Hamas praised the attack and warned of more violence to come. Israel appears to have been caught by surprise, with its police chief, Kobi Shabtai, ordering all officers out onto the streets to search for additional bombs. The last such attack in the Israeli capital took place in 2011 and also targeted a bus stop. It similarly went unclaimed and was eventually blamed on a Hamas cell that included a recruit from East Jerusalem.

Expert Analysis

“The terrorist attacks in Jerusalem and Jenin are highly unlikely to have been coordinated, as the Jerusalem bombings would have been planned for weeks, whereas local gunmen seized on a tragic accident in Jenin. But there may be an overarching connection if it transpires that Palestinian terrorists in the West Bank, under the pressure of Israel’s Operation ‘Break the Wave’, are probing painful new tactics.” – Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

Palestinian Authority Losing Control in Jenin

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has little control over events in Jenin, which has become a hotbed for Palestinian terrorists. As part of Operation Break the Wave, Israeli security forces have been conducting raids and arresting Palestinian terrorists at an accelerated pace since March, while Iran and Hezbollah are supplying arms and promoting instability.

The Palestinian Authority and United Nations (UN) envoys were trying to negotiate the return of Ferro’s body, while both the outgoing Prime Minister Yair Lapid and the presumed incoming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have made statements demonstrating their commitment to return Tiran’s body to his family, with Netanyahu saying that Israel must act “with all means.” Israel must avoid Ferro’s body becoming a bargaining chip for which it pays the same terrorists on whom it has been cracking down in Jenin. To that end, the PA and UN mediators must impress on those holding Ferro’s body, as well as foreign observers, that he was a high-schooler uninvolved in any military action and that this is a purely humanitarian issue.

­Uptick in Palestinian Terrorists Targeting Israelis with Explosives

The Jerusalem attacks recall the recent increase of Israelis in the West Bank being targeted with explosives, as well as a car bomb that went off, apparently prematurely, outside the West Bank settlement of Mevo Dotan earlier this week. The use of explosive devices marks an escalation from more common attacks involving improvised stabbings, car-rammings, and shootings. But bombings also require greater preparation and the involvement of multiple parties, making their perpetrators’ capture far more likely. What should most concern Israelis is the possibility that East Jerusalem Palestinians are again being drawn into terrorism in solidarity with Palestinians in the West Bank, as seen in the August 2022 shooting that left seven injured, including several U.S. citizens and a pregnant woman.

Related Analysis

More Chaos in the West Bank as Palestinian Authority Loses Grip,” FDD Flash Brief

Hezbollah and Iran Are Destabilizing the West Bank,” FDD Flash Brief

Israeli Operations in West Bank Reflect Shrinking PA Control,” FDD Flash Brief


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