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Analysis: Israel, Islamic Jihad, and Other Palestinian Armed Groups Enter Conflict


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FDD's Long War Journal

Joe Truzman

May 16, 2023

On May 8, Israel launched Operation Shield and Arrow when it eliminated three senior members of Iran-backed terrorist group Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip. The IDF identified Khalil Bahtini, Jihad Ghanam, and Tareq Izzeldin as members of Islamic Jihad killed in the operation.

Bahtini was a senior Islamic Jihad commander who had been in charge of the recent rocket attacks against Israel and served as a liaison with the group’s politburo, the Israeli military said. Ghanam held command responsibilities that included weapons and money transfers between Islamic Jihad and Gaza’s ruling Islamist terrorist group, Hamas. Izzeldin coordinated between Islamic Jihad cadres in Gaza and the West Bank and was “planning multiple terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians,” the military said.

Following the Israeli military strikes, the Joint Operations Room (JOR) of the Palestinian factions launched Operation Revenge of the Free (ثأر الأحرار) and began a campaign of rocket and mortar fire targeting Israeli communities and cities, including Tel-Aviv and the outskirts of Jerusalem.

The Joint Operations Room of the Palestinian Factions

Hamas founded the JOR in 2017. It comprises approximately twelve armed Palestinian factions coordinating military operations against Israel during a conflict.

While Hamas leads the JOR, it appears it did not participate in firing rockets at Israel. Hamas’ absence on the battlefield was a positive development for the Israeli defense establishment, which therefore chose to not strike Hamas targets during the conflict. In its statements, the JOR expressed unity and coordination among its members – despite Hamas refraining from involvement. 

During the conflict, Palestinian militant groups fired approximately 1,468 rockets, or approximately 298 per day, toward Israel over five days of fighting, according to the Israeli military. In the May 2021 Gaza conflict, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other armed Palestinian groups fired approximately 4,340 rockets in eleven days, or about 434 daily. The discrepancy in the number of rockets fired in 2021 and 2023 supports the appearance that Hamas sat out active combat during last week’s campaign.

Ten Armed Militant Groups Participated in the Conflict


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JERUSALEM, Israel – Israeli military and security forces launched a major attack on centers of terrorist operations in the northern West Bank city of Jenin Sunday night. Palestinian authorities reported 8 dead and 27 wounded in the attacks, which included more than a dozen airstrikes. The numbers of dead and wounded are expected to climb due to the size of the operation.

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Gun battles break out in West Bank as Israel's military launches huge 'counterterrorism' raid killing at least seven Palestinians in militant stronghold

    At least seven people were killed in the drone strikes with dozens more injured
    Incursion resembles major operation carried out in second Palestinian uprising

David Averre

02:18 EDT, 3 July 2023


The army this morning said its forces had struck a 'joint operations centre', which served as a command post for the 'Jenin Brigade', a local militant group.

The area is nominally under the control of president Mahmud Abbas's Palestinian Authority, which has partial administrative control in the West Bank.

Lt. Col. Richard Hecht, an Israeli army spokesman, said the operation began just after 1 a.m. with an airstrike on a building used by militants for planning attacks. He said the goal of the operation was to destroy and confiscate weapons.

'We're not planning to hold ground,' he said. 'We're acting against specific targets.'

'People were aware that we were probably going in, but the method of striking from the air basically caught them by surprise.'

He said troops remained inside the camp but were after 'specific targets' and 'not trying to hold ground.'

'We are still seizing weapons and ammunitions' and 'infrastructure', Hecht said, adding the focus was on Jenin camp and that there was no specific timeline for ending the operation.


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Published July 3, 2023 8:46am EDT

Israel deploys thousands of troops, drones in attack on Jenin stronghold in terrorism 'hotspot'

Palestinian officials say at least 8 people were killed and 50 injured during the West Bank operation

By Anders Hagstrom Yonat Friling | Fox News

The Israeli military deployed thousands of troops and drones in an attack on a Palestinian militant stronghold in the West Bank on Sunday night.

Military officials expect the roughly 2,000 troops to remain in the West Bank city of Jenin for up to 48 hours after launching the operation. Palestinian officials say at least eight people were killed and 50 were wounded in the attack, which was larger than any operation Israel has carried out this year.

"The operational command center served as an advanced observation and reconnaissance center, a place where armed terrorists would gather before and after terrorist activities," the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement, adding that it also served as "a hub for coordination and communication among the terrorists."

"Over the past hours, our security forces have been operating against terror hotspots in the city of Jenin. In the face of terrorism, we will take a proactive and decisive approach.:snip:  https://www.foxnews.com/world/israel-deploys-thousands-troops-drones-attack-jenin-stronghold-terrorism-hotspot.amp

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