The security situation in the West Bank is volatile. A mosaic
of terrorist groups — many backed by the Islamic Republic of
Iran — has found the West Bank ripe ground for plotting violence
and attacking Israelis. After a major increase in terrorist
attacks in Israel in early 2022, it became clear to the Israel
Defense Forces (IDF) that the Palestinian Authority (PA) lost
control of parts of the West Bank. Israeli security forces
Operation Break the Wave on March 31, 2022, in an effort to contain the unrest.
The map below shows the timing and location of violence perpetrated by Palestinian terrorists as well as responses from Israeli security forces. Links to recent FDD analysis appear below the map.
Between March and May 2022, terrorists primarily from the West Bank
carried out a series of attacks in Israel, murdering 19 people. In
response, the IDF has carried out near-nightly raids into the West
Bank. This has caused friction between the IDF and the Palestinian
population. However, without these operations, West Bank security
could very well have deteriorated further. Israeli security forces
have arrested more than
and disrupted dozens of attacks.
The PA’s weakness in the West Bank partly stems from a number of factors. One is a lack of legitimacy, thanks to the refusal of PA President Mahmoud Abbas to either leave office or allow for political reforms. The regime in Iran is also working to weaken the PA through terrorist proxies. Specifically, Hamas and Islamic Jihad seek to destabilize the West Bank as part of a broader bid to create a more chaotic environment in anticipation of a succession crisis whenever Abbas eventually departs the scene. Iran-backed militants groups have established a joint operations room in Jenin, in the northern West Bank, to respond to IDF incursions. This fusion center enables terrorists from different (and sometimes competing) factions to fight the IDF together.
As terror attacks and IDF operations continue, FDD is tracking the known incidents of violence and analyzing their impact.