October 22, 2023 | Flash Brief

Israel Thwarts West Bank Terrorists in Mosque Hideout

October 22, 2023 | Flash Brief

Israel Thwarts West Bank Terrorists in Mosque Hideout

Latest Developments

Israeli carried out a rare air strike in the West Bank on October 22 to foil a Palestinian terrorist attack being hatched from inside a mosque compound. The strike on Al Ansar Mosque in Jenin came in parallel to Israel’s war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip and stepped-up exchanges of fire across the Lebanese border with Hezbollah and Palestinian terrorists.

The Israeli military said the strike targeted an underground bunker where Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad were preparing an imminent attack. They had previously used the bunker on October 14 to launch an IED attack on Israeli troops at the West Bank border, but it resulted in no casualties. 

The Palestinian Authority reported two deaths in Israel’s latest strike, which entailed a missile penetrating an exterior wall of the mosque, causing limited structural damage. It was not immediately clear what kind of aircraft carried out the strike.

Israel’s response to the October 7 cross-border onslaught by Hamas in Gaza has included intensified security sweeps in the West Bank. More than 700 suspected members of Hamas and other terrorist groups have been detained. Dozens of Palestinians have been killed in clashes, along with an undercover Israeli police commando.

Expert Analysis

“As it manages twin war fronts with Gaza and Lebanon, Israel is trying to prevent a third in the West Bank. There, its regular interdictions going back years have prevented a major weapons build-up in the hands of Palestinian terrorists. But the unique demography, with Israeli and Palestinian communities in close proximity, means that even a low-intensity terrorist attack could quickly exact casualties and generate escalation.” — Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

“Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups are willing to employ all possible methods to target Israel, even if it involves utilizing resources from other fronts such as Lebanon, Syria, or the West Bank. Israel’s preemptive measures to protect itself against terrorist factions in the West Bank reinforce the notion that this ongoing battle is gradually expanding into a multi-front war.” — Joe Truzman, Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

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