January 26, 2023 | Flash Brief

Israeli Forces Eliminate Terror Cell Planning Major Attacks

January 26, 2023 | Flash Brief

Israeli Forces Eliminate Terror Cell Planning Major Attacks

Latest Developments 

Israeli special forces conducted an unusually complex raid in Jenin on Thursday, eliminating a Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) cell suspected of planning major attacks. The Palestinian terrorist group responded by issuing threats of escalation. According to witnesses, the early-morning operation in the West Bank flashpoint town involved a vanguard of undercover commandos who, posing as milk delivery men, closed in on a safe house where a PIJ planning meeting was taking place. The IDF later released drone footage of terrorists attacking Israeli forces from civilian rooftops during the three-hour clash.

Expert Analysis

“The Jenin operation shows that almost 10 months into Operation Break the Wave, Israel retains its tactical skills in the face of dogged Palestinian attempts to pull off a terrorist outrage. There is additional psychological value to the blow delivered so deep within Jenin where Islamic Jihad had clearly thought it was sufficiently protected to hatch a new plot unmolested. For all the talk of a Palestinian national struggle, the gunmen of Jenin and other West Bank trouble spots are, for all intents and purposes, armed criminal gangs who pose as much danger to Palestinian civilians as they do to Israel.” Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

“IDF arrest operations like the one this morning have a single purpose — to prevent imminent terrorist attacks. Operation Break the Wave has been characterized by surgical operations based on precise intelligence. The fact that this operation is now continuing into its 10th month is a symptom of the pervasive lawlessness in areas of the West Bank caused by the unraveling of the Palestinian Authority.” — Enia Krivine, Senior Director of FDD’s Israel Program and Senior Director of FDD’s National Security Network

IDF Reports Seven Confirmed Terrorists Among Nine Dead

The Associated Press reported nine dead following the operation, including seven confirmed terrorists: four from Hamas and three from PIJ. AP also cited the Palestinian Health Ministry reporting that two of the dead were civilians and at least 20 others were injured.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) accused Israel of a “massacre” in Jenin and suspended coordination between Palestinian security forces and Israel. The PA had previously suspended coordination for a six-month period in 2020.

The Palestinian Authority Has Lost Its Grip on Jenin

The PA has little control over events in Jenin and much of the northern West Bank, which have become hotbeds for Iran-backed terrorist groups such as Hamas and PIJ. In September, then IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi said, “the increase in terrorism stems from the helplessness of the Palestinian Authority security forces.”

Operation Break the Wave, which the IDF launched in March 2022, has entailed near-nightly raids in the West Bank. According to IDF data, the number of Palestinian shooting attacks against Israelis in the West Bank last year increased from 19 in 2019 to 285 in 2022. Last year, Israeli security forces made over 2,600 arrests.

Related Analysis

Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) is an Iran-Supported Terror Organization,” FDD Flash Brief

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


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