July 14, 2023

Jenin on the March and Iran’s Effort to Destabilize the West Bank

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by Farhad Rezaei, Senior Research Fellow

The long-simmering tensions in Jenin, a city on the West Bank, exploded in a recent span of violence.

In the last few days there has been a roadside bomb wounding several Israeli soldiers and border guards, a helicopter attack on Palestinian militants that killed five, a revenge shooting against five Israeli settlers, an Israeli settler rampage in a number of Palestinian villages, and a drone strike on a cell of militants traveling by car. Even by the standards of violence for this area, these events stand out.

Essential for understanding these events are changes in the thinking of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps-Quds Force (IRGC-QF). In its original formulation, Iran’s terror proxies utilized an asymmetric attritional strategy of generating pressure via persistent terrorist activity against an enemy with a superior military capability. Hezbollah, the model proxy, perfected this strategy when fighting the Israeli occupation of Lebanon.