The Necessary Campaign to Destroy the Jenin Terrorist Hub

(Institute for National Security Studies-Tel Aviv University) Kobi Michael and Ori Wertman - The Jenin area has recently emerged as a breeding ground of terrorism and a relatively easy theater of action for Islamic Jihad, the largest and strongest active organization there. Cooperation is developing with other organizations, especially Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades of Fatah. Despite economic prosperity, relatively high employment rates, and the close connection with Arabs from Israel and the Israeli economy, Jenin has remained an active breeding ground for terrorism. The feeling of achievement of Islamic Jihad and the atmosphere of incitement, in addition to the activity of Iran in the area and its major ongoing support for Islamic Jihad, are increasing the motivation and determination of the young generation to enlist in the terrorist campaign against Israel. While special IDF operations aimed at arresting wanted terrorists seek to foil imminent terrorist attacks, armed Palestinians in the area are able to organize relatively easily. The absence of a large-scale campaign designed to strike a major blow against all terrorist infrastructure is perceived as Israeli weakness, leading the terrorist groups in Jenin to show audacity by initiating clashes and the Hamas leadership to show arrogance and euphoria. Furthermore, this concern also affects Hizbullah and Iran, thereby eroding Israeli deterrence. For this reason, the current policy in the Jenin area should be reconsidered, and the possible strategic value of a far more extensive campaign should be assessed to reshape the rules of the game in the Palestinian theater and counteract the impression that Israel is afraid to use force. Dr. Kobi Michael, a senior research fellow at INSS, served as deputy director general and head of the Palestinian desk at the Israel Ministry of Strategic Affairs. Dr. Ori Wertman is a research fellow at INSS.

2022-06-02 00:00:00

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