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Iran's Plan To Turn The West Bank Into A Terror Base - The Gatestone Institute - 17.08.23

by Bassam Tawil


Palestinian terrorists... have already turned the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip into a base for firing tens of thousands of rockets towards Israel. Now, the terrorists, with the help of Iran, are trying to use the West Bank to launch rockets at Israeli civilian communities.


Even worse, US Congressional oversight, required for any deal with Iran, was nullified this week when the Biden Administration, apparently to avoid oversight, announced its plans with Iran during Congress' summer recess.


The MEMRI report... noted that the armament efforts in the West Bank are energetically assisted by the Islamic Republic of Iran, on the orders of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.


Judging from the statements of the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad leaders, the Palestinian terrorists who are now firing rockets at Israeli communities from the West Bank could not have done so without the assistance of Iran. Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad do not recognize Israel's right to exist, period.


The Hamas Covenant... openly states: "There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad [holy war]. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavours." (Article 13)


Those Americans and Europeans who are calling for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank are ignoring the threats by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad to continue the fight until the elimination of Israel. The rockets that are being fired from the West Bank should serve as a loud alarm bell to all those who continue to talk about the so-called two-state solution.


It is not difficult to imagine what would happen if Israel pulled out of [the West Bank]. After the Israeli pullout from the Gaza Strip in 2005, the Palestinian terror groups fired tens of thousands of rockets into Israeli cities and towns. An Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank would mean handing the area to the total control of Iran and its Palestinian terror proxies and turning it into yet another base for Jihad -- not only against Israel but the West.


Palestinian terrorists have already turned the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip into a base for firing tens of thousands of rockets towards Israel. Now, the terrorists, with the help of Iran, are trying to use the West Bank to launch rockets at Israeli civilian communities.


Palestinian terrorists are working hard to turn the West Bank into a launching pad for waging war on Israel. They have already turned the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip into a base for firing tens of thousands of rockets towards Israel. Now, the terrorists, with the help of Iran, are trying to use the West Bank to launch rockets at Israeli civilian communities.


The US Administration's recent move to give Iran access to at least $16 billion, including $6 billion held in South Korea, as part of a prisoner exchange deal, will undoubtedly benefit Tehran's Palestinian terror proxies: Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The two terror groups, which seek the destruction of Israel, have long been receiving financial and military aid from Iran's mullahs.


Even worse, US Congressional oversight, required for any deal with Iran, was nullified this week when the Biden Administration, apparently to avoid oversight, announced its plans during Congress' summer recess. As reported by Richard Goldberg on August 15, in "The Disastrous Implications of the $6 Billion Hostage Deal: That it will encourage hostage diplomacy among our foes is the least of the problems":


"That the White House announced this deal during the August congressional recess was no coincidence. Emergency hearings cannot be held. Resolutions of disapproval cannot be fast-tracked. President Biden has successfully evaded the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, which requires him to notify Congress of any agreement with Iran related to its nuclear program before lifting sanctions."


In the past three months, a group affiliated with the Iranian-backed Hamas terror movement fired at least six rockets towards Israeli communities from the Jenin area in the northern West Bank.


On August 15, the Israel Defense Forces tweeted:


"6 rockets in 3 months


"That is the number of failed rocket launch attempts carried out in the area of the Menashe Regional Brigade in the past 3 months, the most recent being a short while ago.


"We will continue operating to thwart any threats against Israeli civilians."

On July 27, the IDF announced:


"A rocket launch was carried out toward the Israeli community of Ram On.

"However, the rocket remnants were located adjacent to the Palestinian town of Silat al-Harithiya by security forces.


"This is a prime example of terrorists using new ways to threaten innocent Israeli civilians without a care for Palestinian lives."


The most recent rocket was fired towards Israel on August 15. The terror group behind the attacks is called Ayyash Battalion, named after Yahya Ayyash, a Hamas arch-terrorist who was behind a series of suicide bombings in Israel during the 1990s. The bombings he orchestrated killed about 90 Israelis, a great deal of whom were civilians. Ayyash is celebrated by many Palestinians, who have named streets and other locales in his honor.


The rockets launched from the Jenin area have so far caused no damage, and no one was hurt.


In a video posted on social media on August 15, the Ayyash Battalion said:

"Our mujahideen [warriors] were able to shell the settlement of Shaked, west of Jenin, with a Qassam 1 rocket in response to the occupation crimes against our people and to avenge the blood of our martyrs."


Last month, the same terror group said that "despite the complex and sensitive security conditions [in the West Bank], and the lack of capabilities and tools, the Ayyash Battalion continues to develop and prepare [for carrying out rocket attacks]." According to the group, "the preparation and development are continuing, and the next phase will be greater."


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Iran's Plan To Turn The West Bank Into A Terror Base - by Bassam Tawil for The Gatestone I
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Bassam Tawil is a Muslim Arab based in the Middle East.


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