March 12, 2024 | Flash Brief

Israel Thwarts Suicide Attack in West Bank

March 12, 2024 | Flash Brief

Israel Thwarts Suicide Attack in West Bank

Latest Developments

Israeli forces on March 11 intercepted a Palestinian man who they said was en route to commit a suicide attack in Israel. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Shin Bet released a joint statement saying that commandos from the IDF’s elite Duvdevan unit killed 34-year-old Jenin resident Muhammad Jaber in the town of Zeita, close to the West Bank security barrier. Jaber was armed with a firearm and a primed explosive device.

On March 12, the IDF arrested Mahdi Fayyad in Jenin, accusing him of shooting and hurling explosives at Israeli forces. The IDF also arrested two other wanted men and seized an assault rifle. Furthermore, IDF troops confiscated four lathes used to manufacture weapons in the village of Urif, near Nablus, and arrested seven other wanted Palestinians throughout the West Bank.

Expert Analysis

“Suicide bombings have a profound resonance in the Israeli psyche. During the Second Intifada, just under half of all Israelis killed died at the hands of Palestinian suicide bombers. Terrorists blew themselves up on buses, in cafes, and in other civilian venues. Suicide attacks are not common today, as Israel has become deft at guarding against them, but terrorists continue to attempt to deploy these lethal attacks not only to kill and maim Israelis but also to draw headlines.” Enia Krivine, Senior Director of FDD’s Israel Program and National Security Network

“The return by Palestinian terrorists to old tactics such as suicide bombings signals that the conflict persisting in the West Bank for more than two years remains a serious threat to Israeli security. As a result of the current war in Gaza, terrorist groups are intensifying their efforts to foment violence during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in an attempt to distract Israel and force a permanent ceasefire.” Joe Truzman, Senior Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Terrorists Call for Month of Terror

On March 10, Muslims began the monthlong celebration of Ramadan, which has previously been marred by violence between the Palestinians and Israel. On March 3, the Iran-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad spokesman Abu Hamza called for this year’s Ramadan to be a “month of terror” and for Iran-backed terrorist groups to “unify” against Israel.

The October 7 terrorist attack by Iran-backed Hamas in southern Israel has led to an increase in recruitment for the group in the West Bank as well. A Jenin-based Hamas commander told CBS News in February that the war was helping the group attract new members in the West Bank. According to the IDF, Israeli forces have arrested approximately 3,500 wanted persons in the territory since October 7 — 1,500 of whom are associated with Hamas.

Palestinian Cop Murders Two Israelis in West Bank,” FDD Flash Brief

Two Islamic Jihad Terrorists Killed by Israeli Airstrike in Jenin,” FDD Flash Brief

Terror Attack in Southern Israel Kills Two and Wounds Four,” FDD Flash Brief


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