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Region of Concern: Palestine; Israel

Written By Iris Hautaniemi Forsberg; Edited by Cameron Munoz, Senior Editor

Date: July 4, 2023

Jenin in the West Bank[1]

Event: On July 3, the Deputy Head of the Political Bureau of Hamas, Saleh Al-Arouri, called on young men in the West Bank to “Fight with all the weapons, all your anger and with any means possible to defend our honor in Jenin”. In the statement, he said, "There are hundreds of thousands of settlers living illegally in the West Bank, according to international law. We have hundreds of thousands of young men who are ready to become martyrs and defend the holy places.”[2] The terrorist organization Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) also released a statement saying they are ready to sacrifice their lives to stop the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in Jenin. PIJ, which, along with Hamas, receives financial aid from Iran, has increased cooperation with Fatah gunmen in the northern West Bank during the last months and has also established several armed cells and increased recruitment in Jenin. The latest statements come after the IDF’s latest counterterrorism operation in Jenin, where at least eight Palestinians died, and over 50 were injured.[3]

Significance: The latest counterterrorism operation by IDF in Jenin will almost certainly increase extremist youth sentiments in the West Bank, very likely resulting in growing support for terrorist groups and a surge in recruitment numbers. PIJ and Hamas will likely focus on digital propaganda through social media to reach younger audiences by showing videos and pictures of the IDF attacking Palestinians and holy sites sacred to Muslims. Palestinians not formally joining terrorist groups will very likely continue to have strong anti-Israeli sentiments, very likely resulting in violent clashes between ordinary Palestinians and Israelis in the West Bank. Palestinian terror groups will likely target Jewish settlements in the West Bank, which will very likely further risk violent confrontations between Israelis and Palestinians. The PIJ and Hamas will very likely continue to receive financial aid from Iran, which will want to take advantage of the increasing tensions between Israel and Palestine. Increased involvement from Iran will also likely include other Iran-backed groups operating in surrounding countries, such as Lebanon and Syria, which likely will attack Israel from different directions through drones and rocket launches. Rising tensions and violence in the West Bank will likely challenge the IDF to successfully deter all threats from different directions.

Recommendations: The Israeli government should immediately reach out to the Palestinian Authority (PA) to talk about the situation in the West Bank. Israeli law enforcement agencies should evacuate West Bank areas with heavy fighting to stop civilians from collateral damage and frequently publish situational updates on official channels, both social and traditional media. The Israeli government and the IDF should increase social media monitoring and launch counter-media campaigns intended for Palestinians to stop disinformation and mitigate online recruitment to terrorist groups. The IDF should refrain from targeting places of worship and only use proportionate violence not to escalate the tension further while also avoiding targeting areas with human rights groups, like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, and journalists that operate in the area. Human rights organizations and journalists should increase monitoring and reporting of any abuses or disproportionate violence from both IDF and Palestinian groups. IDF forces should also cooperate with other intelligence agencies to uncover money and weapons transfers from Iran to Palestinian groups and monitor potential developments in surrounding countries.


[1] Jenin, West Bank by Google Maps

[2] Hamas urges young Palestinians to join fighting in Jenin, The Times of Israel, July 2023,

[3] Palestinian terror groups: Jenin raid won’t achieve its goals, The Jerusalem Post, July 2023,


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