OpinionIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

Iran’s plan to drive Jews out of ‘Palestine’

The growing cooperation between Fatah and the Iranian-backed PIJ terror group should worry not only Israel and Abbas, but all Western countries.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Ziad al-Nakhalah (left, without a mask) meets with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran. Source: President.ir.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Ziad al-Nakhalah (left, without a mask) meets with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran. Source: President.ir.
Bassam Tawil

Iran’s mullahs are seeking to create a situation where Jews no longer feel safe in their own country and are forced to leave. To achieve this goal, the mullahs have instructed their Palestinian terror proxies, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), to step up their campaign of terrorism against Israel and Jews.

The mullahs have also succeeded in recruiting to their jihad (holy war) to destroy Israel members of the Palestinians’ ruling faction, Fatah, headed by Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has repeatedly stated his intention to support any Palestinian terror group that seeks the destruction of Israel and kills Jews. On June 14, Khamenei wrote:

“Islamic Jihad & other Palestinian resistance movements have found the main key to fighting the Zionist regime. The continually growing authority of resistance groups in the #WestBank is the key to bringing the Zionist enemy to its knees, & this course must be continued.”

Over the past 28 months, Hamas, PIJ and other terror groups have increased their attacks against Israel and Jews to placate their sponsors in Tehran and persuade them to provide them with more money and weapons.

The leaders of Iran, Hamas and PIJ share the same goal: eliminating Israel and killing as many Jews as possible. They do not differentiate between a Jew living in Israel and a Jew living in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank). In their view, all Jews are settlers, regardless of where they live. For them, there is no difference between Tel Aviv and a Jewish settlement in the West Bank. They see Israel as one big settlement that must be removed from the face of the earth.

PIJ Secretary-General Ziad al-Nakhalah, who recently visited Tehran and met with Iranian leaders, revealed that the main goal behind the increased terror attacks on Israelis was to make the Jews feel unsafe to a point where they would leave their country. A Hamas delegation headed by Ismail Haniyeh also visited Tehran to discuss ways of stepping up the terror campaign against Israel.

Nakhalah pointed out that Jews came to Israel so that they can live in safety and stability. “When they don’t find this stability and peace, they will return to where they came from,” he said in an interview with the Iranian newspaper Al-Vefagh.

“The Jews in other countries live in peace and prosperity. The only place where they’re being killed is in Palestine. Therefore, when we continue our fight, they will change their mind and realize that they made a historical mistake by coming to this place. They will realize that there is no chance of life for them and that they therefore should leave this country,” he said.

This statement by the PIJ leader is important because it shows that the Palestinian terror attacks against Israel are not being carried out because of checkpoints, settlements or harsh economic conditions. Instead, their purpose is to force the Jews out of their country and replace Israel with an Islamic state controlled by Iran and its proxies, especially Hamas and PIJ.

Those who believe that the Palestinian campaign of terrorism is a legitimate resistance against the “occupation” in the West Bank are totally clueless. If this were true, why are Hamas and PIJ carrying out attacks against Jews in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and other Israeli cities? Murdering a Jew in a restaurant in the center of Tel Aviv is not an act of “resistance” against an “occupation.”

As Nakhalah said, the goal is to make Jews feel insecure and leave Israel. He and his Iranian patrons want to drive the Jews not only out of the West Bank, but all of Israel. He is grateful to Iran’s mullahs for helping the Palestinians achieve this goal.

Thanks to Iran, Nakhalah said, the Palestinian terror groups are now capable of manufacturing their own weapons.

“The Palestinian people have gained a lot of experience and expertise from the [Iranian] Islamic Revolution over the past 40 years,” Nakhalah said.

“Today, the Palestinians manufacture their own weapons, including missiles, mortars, and explosive devices. An important part of this experience was gained by the Palestinian people from our brothers in the Islamic Republic, and this has a great impact. The missiles are being used to strike the occupied cities, in particular Tel Aviv.”

Nakhalah revealed that his group was working to step up terror attacks against Israel in the West Bank on instructions from Khamenei who, he added, affirmed the need to “strengthen the resistance” there.

When Hamas and PIJ talk about “resistance,” they are referring to various forms of terrorism, including firing rockets at Israel, as well as shootings, stabbings and car-rammings.

Also on the instructions of Iran’s mullahs, PIJ is working to form “combat battalions” in all Palestinian cities in the West Bank to carry out terror attacks against Israel and Jews. These groups, responsible for a series of terror attacks over the past few years, include the Jenin BattalionLions’ DenNablus Battalion and Balata Battalion, in addition to militiamen affiliated with Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah. These terror groups, according to Nakhalah, are armed and funded by Iran through PIJ.

What is most worrying about Nakhalah’s statements is his revelation that PIJ is also arming members of Abbas’s Fatah faction. The P.A. and its security forces are dominated by Fatah loyalists who receive their salaries from Abbas’s P.A. government in the West Bank.

If true, Nakhalah’s statements mean that Iran and PIJ have infiltrated the P.A., which has long been receiving financial aid from the United States, European Union and other Western countries. If Fatah members are being funded and armed by Iran and PIJ, this means that’s it is only a matter of time before the entire P.A. is transformed into a terror organization.

“We have benefited from opening up to the bases of Fatah,” the PIJ leader stated.

“Among the bases of Fatah, there are segments that oppose a settlement [with Israel] and the Palestinian Authority. We decided to open up to these segments, arm them and provide them with aid.”

Abbas’s Fatah faction is already carrying out terror attacks against Israelis. A number of Fatah terror groups have been boasting of these attacks, according to Palestinian Media Watch.

Mohammed al-Masri, director of the Palestinian Center for Strategic studies, acknowledged that Fatah and the P.A. security forces are leading the recent terror wave against Israelis. He stated that “63%-65%” of the “martyrs” in the “daily confrontations” with Israel are from Abbas’s Fatah—meaning about two-thirds of the dead terrorists in the West Bank are from Fatah. Masri added that most of those 63%-65% are officers in the P.A. security forces.

The same statistics were broadcast by Fatah on its own Awdah TV station:

“More than two-thirds of the martyrs in the West Bank over [the last] year and a half belong to the Fatah faction and the Palestinian Authority… More than 355 of our Palestinian people’s prisoners are from the Palestinian security forces.”

The growing cooperation between Fatah and the Iranian-backed PIJ terror group should worry not only Israel and Abbas, but all the Western countries that continue to view the P.A. as a partner for any peace agreement with Israel.

It should also serve as a warning to the Biden administration, which continues to explore ways to appease Iran’s mullahs by reaching a new nuclear deal with them. This policy of appeasement, including the lifting of economic sanctions on Iran and rewarding it with billions of dollars in cash, is likely to further empower the mullahs and their proxies and encourage them not only to pursue their jihad against Israel, but also to “export the Revolution,” as required by their Constitution:

“In the formation and equipping of the country’s defence forces, due attention must be paid to faith and ideology as the basic criteria. Accordingly, the Army of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps are to be organized in conformity with this goal, and they will be responsible not only for guarding and preserving the frontiers of the country, but also for fulfilling the ideological mission of jihad in God’s way; that is, extending the sovereignty of God’s law throughout the world (this is in accordance with the Qur’anic verse ‘Prepare against them whatever force you are able to muster, and strings of horses, striking fear into the enemy of God and your enemy, and others besides them.'”

Presumably an additional $100 billion infusion would enable Iran to join China in escalating their military presence in Latin America and further their long-term goal of displacing the United States as the world’s leading superpower.

If the Biden administration is hoping to bribe the mullahs not to use their nuclear weapons—at least on the Biden administration’s watch (after that would presumably be fine)—while at the same time permitting the mullahs to have as many nuclear weapons as they like, is this plan really in the best security interests of the United States?

Originally published by the Gatestone Institute.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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