Jenin, the Iranian Terror Stronghold Near Afula

Inspired by Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza, Iran is building up a terrorist stronghold in northern Samaria.

By Aviel Schneider | | Topics: Iran, War on Terror
Terrorists in Jenin. Photo by Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90

What happened earlier this week in the Palestinian city of Jenin is not just another bloody conflict between Israeli forces and Palestinian terrorists. The refugee camp in Jenin has become the outpost of the Iranian axis behind enemy lines, ie. inside Israel. As such, Israel must fight this terrorist base in the heart of the country, a mere 10 kilometers from Afula and Mount Tabor.

“All options are open,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday after the bloody terrorist attack near the Jewish settlement of Eli in Samaria. He didn’t say exactly what he meant by that, but everyone understands that Israel’s security forces in northern Samaria must use new tactics.

A major operation is on the table in Jenin and Nablus (biblical Shechem). Twenty-eight Israelis have been killed by Palestinian terrorists in 100 terrorist attacks since the beginning of the year. According to Israeli security sources, 300 planned attacks were foiled, and the Israeli security service Shin Bet warns of 180 possible upcoming terrorist attacks. Even if the Israeli army launches an operation against the Iranian terrorist bases in Jenin, the number of individual terrorist attacks and raids like yesterday in the biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria will increase. In some ways, the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah could calm things down on the Palestinian side, but Israel’s national-religious coalition in Jerusalem is not cooperating with Ramallah.

Israeli military vehicles during clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinians in the West Bank city of Jenin on June 19, 2023. Photo by Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90

The reality of northern Samaria is changing before our eyes. If previously Israeli security forces’ entry into Jenin was met with little fire and resistance, today’s Israeli forces have to deal with large improvised explosive devices and other ambushes. Palestinian resistance and tactical capabilities against Israel’s soldiers in Jenin have increased dramatically. Several months ago we warned in our Telegram channel that Israel’s tactics had to adapt to the TikTok era. Every day we are flooded with videos and TikTok clips showing how and where Israeli soldiers are in Palestinian villages or cities, by jeep or on foot.

The Palestinian public has become an extremely effective early warning system for terrorists. When they see Israeli soldiers in their neighborhood, they quickly pull out their mobile devices and film the action from the kitchen window or balcony. So-called “covert” operations by Israel to capture or kill Palestinian terrorists are being broadcast live on Palestinian social media channels. We often refrain from showing our readers the gruesome photos and videos of shootings and killed terrorists that have gone viral.

Clips like this go viral on Palestinian networks every week. They betray Israel’s tactics and thus warn the terrorists. It was only a matter of time before the Israeli convoys were surprised with explosive devices and other ambushes, as happened this week in Jenin.

What are these terrorist groups actually doing? They are attempting to restrict the IDF’s freedom of action within the city of Jenin and prevent soldiers from arresting wanted terrorists. They aim to create a new balance of power that will force Israel to think twice about “entering Hell and counting the dead.” Iran funds Islamic Jihad in Jenin, but also boosts Hamas in its effort to create this living hell. This is accompanied by hate speech on Palestinian networks pumping venom into the minds of young Palestinians to attack Jews. Terrorists know full well that they won’t survive carrying out such attacks. They do so with the full understanding that they are leaving their lives on this earth and meeting the promised 72 virgins in paradise.

The role of the Israeli security forces is to urgently thwart in a proactive manner all terror activity before it results in attacks like in the biblical heartland yesterday. At the same time, the terrorists are building terror fortresses complete with traps, and this requires the IDF to be creative, do the unexpected, act faster and penetrate harder to break the terrorists. If the IDF has acted a certain way up until now, this new reality requires different, perhaps more turbulent action and the deployment of larger forces alongside more sophisticated operations. Israel’s right-wing governing coalition has to make a bold decision, because during their tenure terror has increased in the country, and that doesn’t match the promises they made to their voters and the people of Israel.


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