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Palestinian Islamic Jihad Leader Behind the Rise in West Bank Militancy Arrested


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FDD's Long War Journal

Joe Truzman

August 4, 2022

Bassam al-Saadi, the head of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in the West Bank, was arrested Monday night in Jenin during a combined operation involving the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and other Israeli security agencies.

A statement published by Israel’s security agency, Shabak, alleged al-Saadi was behind the military buildup of PIJ in the West Bank, particularly in Jenin. He was also a driving force in the radicalization of PIJ operatives in the area. The statement added that al-Saadi was arrested at his home in a “special forces operation” with Asharaf al-Jada, a former “PIJ prisoner” and al-Saadi’s “closest aide.”

If the Shabak’s statement is true, it will validate FDD’s Long War Journals assessment last year that a military build up of militant organizations was occurring in the West Bank. [See FDD’s Long War Journal: Analysis: The Surge in Militant Activity in the West Bank]

During Monday night’s operation, militants from Katibat Jenin clashed with Israeli security forces resulting in the death of one Palestinian, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. The militant, Derar al-Kafrini, was later claimed by Katibat Jenin as one of its members. [More on Katibat Jenin and other groups: Analysis: Understanding the Militant Groups Behind the Violence in the West Bank]

*In a bid to calm tensions, images of al-Saadi were leaked after his arrest to show that he was in good health and had not been gravely harmed in the operation.

(Snip)

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* I Doubt it will work.

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Aug 5, 2022 About six civilians were reported injured in the Gaza Strip Friday night amidst shelling by Israel, as rockets were fired from Gaza toward Israel. The exchange of missile fire represents a massive escalation in the conflict, which the The Palestinian Ministry of Health says has already taken the lives of ten civilians.

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