April 12, 2023 | Flash Brief

Terrorists Arrested as Iran-backed Militants Foment Chaos in West Bank

April 12, 2023 | Flash Brief

Terrorists Arrested as Iran-backed Militants Foment Chaos in West Bank

Latest Developments

Israeli security forces arrested five members of a Palestinian terror cell in Jenin on Tuesday, hours before they planned to carry out an attack. Security forces also confiscated ammunition and military equipment from the group. While it is unclear which organization the individuals arrested were affiliated with, the militant groups Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades — both of which are backed by Iran — announced their members clashed with Israeli troops during the raid.

The Palestinians returned fire and threw explosives, but no Israeli was injured. The raid comes on the same day as the funeral of Lucy Dee, the British-Israeli mother who terrorists killed along with two of her daughters while they were driving on a highway in the West Bank on Friday.

Expert Analysis

“Israel is battling Iran-sponsored terrorism on every front, including in the West Bank. This is not really an Israeli-Palestinian conflict; it’s an Israeli-Iranian conflict with Palestinian terror groups acting as Tehran’s proxies. The octopus is fighting back with all its tentacles to distract from its own brutality and instability at home.”  — Richard Goldberg, FDD Senior Advisor

“Iran and its network of proxies and armed groups are implementing a strategy to destabilize the West Bank and Israel by carrying out terrorist attacks against Israeli targets. Iran exploited a weak Palestinian Authority and an unstable Israeli political climate to advance the so-called armed struggle against the Jewish state. It’s clear who is orchestrating the multi-front conflict on Israel’s borders.” — Joe Truzman, Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Palestinian Terrorist Groups Continue Attacks

Attempts by Palestinian terrorist groups to attack Israeli targets continue on a dangerous upward trajectory. On Tuesday morning, two senior members of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades fired shots at an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) post in Elon Moreh. The IDF said soldiers in the area responded by locating and killing both suspects. The troops recovered M-16 rifles and a handgun at the scene. One of the suspects, Saud al-Atiti, was a member of the Palestinian security forces.

Iran Coordinates Militant Groups

Since the middle of last week, Palestinian militant groups sponsored and coordinated by Iran have assaulted Israel on multiple fronts. The Jewish state has been combatting terrorist attacks from the West Bank while fending off rocket barrages from the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, and Syria. Iran has long sought to organize the factions of Palestinian militant groups against Israel, including fomenting unrest inside Arab-dominated parts of Israel, with Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander Hossein Salami telling the regime-backed Fars News Agency last year that the IRGC uses the PIJ and other proxy groups to threaten Israel and increase tensions in the West Bank.

Further Analysis

Analysis: Iran Leverages Armed Groups Against Israel,” by Joe Truzman

Iran is pushing Israel toward a multi-theater conflagration,” by Jacob Nagel

Mapping Terrorism in the West Bank,” by Joe Truzman


Iran Iran Global Threat Network Iran-backed Terrorism Israel Palestinian Politics