January 27, 2023 | Flash Brief

Hamas Agents Caught Recruiting in West Bank, Israeli Security Agency Says

January 27, 2023 | Flash Brief

Hamas Agents Caught Recruiting in West Bank, Israeli Security Agency Says

Latest Developments

The Israeli Security Agency (ISA), also known as the Shin Bet, revealed on Wednesday that it had uncovered an elaborate terror recruiting operation in the West Bank led by Farah Hamed, a member of Hamas in Gaza. According to ISA, Hamed belongs to a unit responsible for recruiting Palestinians in the West Bank to attack Israelis. Israel deported Hamed to Gaza in 2011 as part of a prisoner exchange in which Israel recovered kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for 1,027 prisoners, many with Israeli blood on their hands.

Expert Analysis 

“It has become clear that Hamas is undertaking significant Gaza-based efforts to escalate the ongoing violence in the West Bank. The year and a half of armed conflict there — increasing since the summer of 2021 — has benefited Hamas by undermining the Palestinian Authority’s rule and keeping the IDF focused on almost daily operations in the West Bank, allowing Hamas time to rearm after its clash with Israel in May 2021.” — Joe Truzman, Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

A Growing Threat from Gaza

Last month, ISA foiled what it called a “significant terror attack,” arresting four Palestinians in the West Bank and confiscating an explosive device disguised as a fire extinguisher that the cell planned to detonate in an unspecified Israeli city. According to ISA, the group was taking orders from two Gaza-based terror organizations working together.

Gaza-based Hamas Has Stepped Up Recruiting Efforts in the West Bank

The Shin Bet broke up at least two other Hamas terror cells in the West Bank taking orders from Gaza last year. In October, the agency arrested a Hamas cell in the West Bank — directed and funded by Hamas militants in Gaza — that was reportedly planning shooting attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians. A month earlier, the Shin Bet arrested a Hamas cell directed from Gaza that shot at an Israeli vehicle in the northern West Bank.

A Concerted Effort by Terrorist Groups

The rise in violence that has occurred over the last year and a half reflects a concerted effort by Palestinian terrorist groups to destabilize the West Bank and undermine the Palestinian Authority. However, the operation of key Gaza-based militant groups in the West Bank is a relatively new phenomenon that warrants close attention.

Related Analysis

Jerusalem Bombings, Jenin Body-Snatch Rock Israel,” FDD Flash Brief

Taming West Bank Chaos Remains a Challenge for Israel,” FDD Flash Brief

Mapping Terrorism in the West Bank,” by Joe Truzman


Israel Palestinian Politics