March 26, 2024 | Flash Brief

Israel Intercepts Advanced Iranian Weapons En Route to West Bank

March 26, 2024 | Flash Brief

Israel Intercepts Advanced Iranian Weapons En Route to West Bank

Latest Developments  

The Shin Bet and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) stated on March 25 that a significant weapons smuggling plot by Iranian operatives was thwarted in “recent months.” The operatives, led by members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), were attempting to smuggle advanced weapons from Iran into the West Bank for terror attacks against Israelis. The scheme would have armed West Bank Palestinian agents recruited by a senior Fatah official, Munir Makdah, who as a resident of Lebanon’s Ain al-Hilweh Camp is a known Hezbollah and IRGC operative, according to the Shin Bet and IDF.

The Shin Bet and the IDF said they uncovered Munir Makdah’s recruitment efforts in the West Bank through intensive investigations and intelligence gathering, leading to the seizure of a substantial cache of advanced weapons intended for terrorist cells. The weapons confiscated include a variety of explosives, grenade launchers, anti-tank mines, and firearms.

The Shin Bet and the IDF said the Iranian agents responsible for the operation include members of Unit 4000, the Special Operations Department of the Intelligence Organization of the IRGC. Also identified in the scheme is a Special Operations Unit of the IRGC Quds Force in Syria known as Unit 18840.

Expert Analysis

“The interception of Iranian-backed smuggling networks who are seeking to move arms to the West Bank is an incredibly important success by Israel. Over the last several years, numerous weapons have been smuggled to terrorist groups in the West Bank, increasing their threats against civilians and fueling their attempts to destabilize the Palestinian Authority. It is essential that Israel be supported in its work to prevent and deter arms smuggling to terrorists in the West Bank.” Seth J. Frantzman, FDD Adjunct Fellow

“This is by far the most significant haul of illicit weapons to have been smuggled into the West Bank since the surge of terrorist-led violence that began over two years ago. Although groups like Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades have been at the forefront of violence in the West Bank, it is evident that the financial and material backing from the regime in Tehran has enhanced their capabilities. The substantial haul of advanced weapons highlights the significant threat posed by Iranian-backed terrorism on Israel’s doorstep.”Joe Truzman, Senior Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Jordanian MP Who Smuggled Weapons into West Bank Repatriated by Israel,” FDD Flash Brief

Israeli Authorities Foil Weapons Shipment from Turkey to West Bank,”  FDD Flash Brief

Hezbollah smuggling weapons to the West Bank amid surge in militant activity,” by Joe Truzman


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