November 15, 2023 | Flash Brief

IDF Battles Palestinian Terrorists in West Bank City of Tulkarm 

November 15, 2023 | Flash Brief

IDF Battles Palestinian Terrorists in West Bank City of Tulkarm 

Latest Developments  

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) conducted a 15-hour operation in the West Bank city of Tulkarm on November 14, killing several Palestinian terrorists. During the operation, the IDF discovered an explosives laboratory and arrested a wanted terror leader who tried to escape under the cover of an ambulance. Israel has continued to target terrorist infrastructure in the West Bank throughout its war with Hamas in Gaza, arresting approximately 1,700 West Bank terror suspects, the majority affiliated with Hamas.  

Expert Analysis  

“Terrorist threats against Israel continue in the West Bank. It is important that Israel keep up the pressure on Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and other groups in the West Bank to prevent them from taking advantage of the focus on the war in Gaza. Iranian-backed groups such as Islamic Jihad have stockpiled weapons in the last year and pose an increasing threat to stability in the West Bank.” — Seth J. Frantzman, FDD Adjunct Fellow 

“Israel is fighting the multi-front war that it has been preparing for. It cannot afford to take its eye off the ball in the north, south, or east. Each of these fronts has been armed by the tentacles of the Iranian octopus. The question on everyone’s mind is whether Israel will target the head of the octopus in Tehran.” — Enia Krivine, Senior Director of FDD’s Israel Program and National Security Network 

Iran-Backed Terror Organizations Still Active in West Bank 

According to FDD research, there have been approximately 700 terror attacks in the West Bank since Hamas attacked Israel on October 7. In recent years, Gaza-based terror organizations Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) have become more dominant in the West Bank, creating pockets of lawlessness and hotbeds of terrorism. The West Bank cities of Jenin, Nablus, and Tulkarm are known centers of power for Iran-backed Palestinian terror organizations.  

Iran’s Investment in Terror 

Iran has provided Palestinian terrorist organizations with financial support, technical knowledge, and training, and was complicit in the Hamas-led terror attacks of October 7 that killed over 1,200 Israelis. In a July 1 newspaper interview, PIJ secretary-general Ziyad al-Nakhalah said that with Iran’s help, the terrorist group has formed “combat battalions in all Palestinian cities in the West Bank.” 

A Palestinian Authority in Decline 

The Palestinian Authority (PA) is experiencing declining popularity among Palestinians due to its arbitrary imprisoning of political opponents, financial instability, and corruption, among other factors. According to a March survey by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, 73 percent of Palestinians believe it is time for President Mahmoud Abbas to resign. The regime in Tehran has recognized the PA’s decline as a valuable opportunity, thus increasing support to armed terrorist organizations to further destabilize the West Bank and hasten the PA’s possible collapse. 

Israel Vows to Eliminate Hamas Terror Leader Yahya Sinwar,” FDD Flash Brief  

Hamas-Led Terrorist Cell Thwarted in West Bank,” FDD Flash Brief  

10 Things to Know About Hamas,” FDD Insight 


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