July 3, 2024 | Flash Brief

Four Palestinian Islamic Jihad Operatives Killed Planting Explosives in the West Bank

July 3, 2024 | Flash Brief

Four Palestinian Islamic Jihad Operatives Killed Planting Explosives in the West Bank

Latest Developments

An Israeli airstrike killed four Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) members in Nur Shams, near the West Bank city of Tulkarm, on July 2. “An IDF [Israel Defense Forces] aircraft struck a terrorist cell in the area of Nur Shams while they planted an explosive device,” the Israeli military stated. A military source told The Times of Israel that the cell was being monitored and was struck when it began positioning a roadside bomb.

The thwarting of the attempted roadside attack follows a spate of recent PIJ bombings that claimed the lives of two Israeli soldiers and wounded more than a dozen troops in the northern West Bank. PIJ claimed responsibility for a deadly roadside bomb attack in the northern West Bank on July 1, in which one Israeli officer was killed and another was seriously wounded. Separately, on June 27, IDF sniper team commander Capt. Alon Sagciu, 22, was killed, and 16 troops were wounded in a PIJ roadside bombing in the West Bank city of Jenin.

Expert Analysis

“Following their recent string of successes, Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists in the West Bank sought to plan and execute another attack on Israeli troops. A sophisticated network that provides financial and military support facilitates the group’s ability to carry out such attacks. This network affords terrorist groups the ability to acquire the necessary materials and military know-how to manufacture explosive devices and establish bomb-making facilities. This did not happen overnight, and alarmingly, this strategy has likely been replicated by terrorist groups in other West Bank cities.” Joe Truzman, Senior Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

The IDF’s use of an airstrike to eliminate terrorists who were attempting to plant an explosive device illustrates the growing terror threat in the northern West Bank. Terrorist groups, backed by Iran, are seeking to increase their deadly capabilities and spark a larger conflict. These terror groups want to leverage the war in Gaza to create new fronts against Israel.” — Seth J. Frantzman, FDD Adjunct Fellow

Senior PIJ Members Killed in Jenin Counterterrorism Operation

On June 13, Israeli forces operating in the northern West Bank city of Qabatiya killed “two senior terrorists” belonging to Islamic Jihad’s Katibat Jenin branch, the IDF said. The duo was identified as Muhammed Shalabi and Muhammed Fayyad in a statement published by PIJ.

PIJ described Muhammed Shalabi and Muhammed Fayyad as members “of the military council of the Jenin Brigade.” The statement acknowledged they died “in an armed clash after the occupation forces surrounded them on the resilient land of Qabatiya.”

Israeli forces launched the raid based on intelligence provided by the Israeli Military Intelligence Directorate, Aman, and the Shin Bet. During the operation, “fighters engaged in an exchange of fire with the wanted persons that included firing shoulder-fired missiles at the building,” the IDF said.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad Claims Responsibility for Fatal West Bank Bombing,” FDD Flash Brief

The West Bank: A 3-year crisis led by Palestinian terrorist groups,” by Joe Truzman

Mapping Terrorism in the West Bank,” by Joe Truzman

Issues:

Israel Israel at War Jihadism