update deskIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

PA: Samaria terrorists could acquire advanced rockets within a year

Intelligence gathered by Ramallah indicates ongoing Iranian attempts to smuggle explosives, funds and know-how into Judea and Samaria.

A rocket purportedly fired from Jenin, in northern Samaria, on June 26, 2023. Source: Twitter.
A rocket purportedly fired from Jenin, in northern Samaria, on June 26, 2023. Source: Twitter.

Palestinian terror groups might be able to launch advanced rockets toward central Israel from Samaria within a year, Palestinian Authority security officials told Israel’s Kan News public broadcaster on Thursday.

According to Kan Arab affairs correspondent Elior Levy, these rockets would be more advanced than the primitive projectiles fired from Samaria toward Afula and Bat Hefer over the past year, and would have capabilities similar to the ones Hamas has fired from the Gaza Strip.

Intelligence gathered by Ramallah indicates ongoing Iranian attempts to smuggle explosives, funds and know-how from Lebanon through Jordan and into Samaria, the report said.

Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad cells in the Jenin area have tried to launch at least eight rockets across the Samaria security fence in recent months. No casualties or damage were recorded in any of these attacks.

After Israel eliminated three Islamic Jihad commanders on May 9, 2023, IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said that one of the three, Tariq Muhammad Ezzedine, had been involved in acquiring improvised rockets to be launched from Samaria into Israeli population centers.

Over the past week, Jordanian forces raided two storage facilities where explosives were kept on behalf of the Islamic Republic, Arab media reported. The warehouses were reportedly located in a suburb of Amman, near an airport used by the U.S. Air Force.

Kan News cited a source familiar with the case as saying that it is widely believed that Tehran and its proxies are linked to the depots, with Iran’s fingerprints being all over the explosive devices that were discovered.

As the IDF fights Hamas in Gaza, Tehran continues to instigate terror in Judea and Samaria by flooding the area with weapons, The New York Times reported two months ago, citing U.S., Israeli and Iranian officials.

The majority of the weapons smuggled into Judea and Samaria are small arms and assault rifles, analysts said. However, the United States and Israeli officials said that the Islamic Republic is also smuggling in advanced weaponry, including anti-tank missiles and rocket-propelled grenades.

Judea and Samaria saw a dramatic rise in terrorist attacks in 2023 compared to the previous year, with shootings reaching the highest level since the Second Intifada of 2000-2005, according to IDF data.

During an April visit to the Binyamin region of Samaria, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant vowed to fight Iran’s attempts to foment violence.

“Also here in Judea and Samaria, Iran’s tentacles are trying to bring about terror attacks. Smuggling of weapons, explosives, squads, money, intelligence—all to harm Israeli citizens,” said the defense minister.

“It starts in Tehran, reaching Beirut, Damascus, Judea and Samaria and Gaza. Iran’s wicked hand can be seen everywhere,” he continued, vowing to “cut off these cruel hands wherever they are.”

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