June 22, 2023 | Flash Brief

Israel Kills Three Palestinian Terrorists in Rare West Bank Drone Strike 

June 22, 2023 | Flash Brief

Israel Kills Three Palestinian Terrorists in Rare West Bank Drone Strike 

Latest Developments  

An Israeli drone strike in the northern West Bank killed three Palestinian terrorists on June 21, including two members of Islamic Jihad and one member of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said that intelligence provided by the Shabak Israel’s internal security agency, identified the terrorist cell as having “carried out a number of shooting attacks towards communities” in the West Bank, including near the village of Jalamah shortly before the drone strike occurred.   

Expert Analysis 

“The ongoing conflict in the West Bank did not happen by chance. Islamic Jihad, the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, and other terrorist organizations — especially those influenced by Iran — understand the Palestinian Authority’s influence is at an all-time low. The absence of a governing authority has allowed terrorist organizations a free hand to expand and launch a campaign of attacks against Israeli forces and civilians in the West Bank and Israel.” Joe Truzman, Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal  

West Bank Violence Spikes 

Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for targeting an IDF troop carrier with a roadside bomb in Jenin on June 19. The following day, two members of Hamas shot dead four people in the West Bank city of Eli at a restaurant and gas station. A security guard at the scene killed one of the gunmen. Israeli forces later located and killed the second gunman in the town of Tubas.  

Terrorist Track Record 

Islamic Jihad and the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades are U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations. Since 2021, both organizations have routinely attacked Israeli communities, civilians, and security forces in the West Bank. On May 29, Israeli security forces in Jenin shot and killed Ashraf Ibrahim, an al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terrorist and Palestinian Authority security officer, after he opened fire on them.  

Israel launched Operation Shield and Arrow on May 9 with strikes that killed three Islamic Jihad leaders responsible for a massive daylight rocket salvo on the border town of Sderot a week earlier. In the ensuing fighting, Islamic Jihad and other Palestinian terrorist organizations launched 1,200 rockets at Israel over five days, while Israeli forces killed another four Islamic Jihad leaders and around 15 other terrorist operatives. 

Related Analysis 

Israel Deploys Helicopter to West Bank Clash,” FDD Flash Brief 

Iran-Backed West Bank Chaos,” by Joe Truzman 

Iran’s Multifront Strategy Against Israel,” by Jonathan Schanzer