The clashes in Jenin on Monday between the IDF and Palestinian militants – that resulted in seven wounded among Israeli forces, as well as three deaths and 28 wounded on the Palestinian side – illustrate the increasing threat that illegal weapons, particularly rifles – as well as more sophisticated threats – pose to the West Bank.
Over the last few months, Iran has sought to threaten Israel from multiple fronts, with Iranian leadership recently meeting with members of Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Iran’s regime and its media routinely publish articles suggesting Israel is internally weak and that threats from Hezbollah and PIJ can now be used to destabilize it.
According to Israeli security forces, the operation in Jenin to apprehend two terror suspects escalated into a major clash, with only time telling how much worse it will get. But it is clear that this represents a serious problem.
A military vehicle was hit by explosive devices, causing it damage. IDF helicopters opened fire toward Palestinian gunmen, which illustrates the seriousness of the incident as well.
Iran's watchful eye on Israel's clashes in Jenin
Iran will be paying close attention to the aftermath of this clash. It has sought in the past to destabilize Jenin and create a power vacuum, to then exploit and funnel weapons into the city. Reports over the last several months have indicated how Iran seeks to not only move weapons to the West Bank but also create conditions to threaten Israel from multiple areas.
Iran recently hosted Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, while Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi traveled to Latin America. Tehran believes it is on a winning streak in the region and views Israel as the main adversary and obstacle to that winning streak. For this reason, it will seek to benefit and profit from any instability or fallout from Jenin, using proxies such as PIJ to achieve this.