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Operation Shield and Arrow

Shin Bet reveals recently killed Gaza terrorist commander led rocket-manufacturing unit in West Bank

Israeli defense minister says security forces were prepared for Gaza operation since last week

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issues a statement regarding Operation Shield and Arrow alongside IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevy, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Shin Bet Director Ronen Bar, May 9, 2023 (Photo: Avi Ohayon/GPO)

The head of Shin Bet, Israel’s Internal Security Agency, revealed on Tuesday that one of the recently-eliminated Gaza terrorist commanders was leading a rocket-manufacturing unit in the Judea and Samaria region, known as the West Bank.

Tareq Izz ed-Din, a senior Islamic Jihad commander based in Gaza, headed the terrorist organization’s activities in the West Bank, including a cell that focused on manufacturing rockets.

“In recent weeks, [the cell] had begun producing rockets and launchers,” revealed the director of Shin Bet, Ronen Bar.

Bar called it “a dangerous precedent” because the threat of rockets has so far been largely limited to the Gaza Strip region.

“We don’t intend to let Afula… become a target for [rocket] fire,” concluded Bar, referring to a northern Israeli town, which is within shooting range from the restive northern West Bank region, including terror hubs such as Jenin and Nablus.

Israel is concerned about terrorist organizations establishing significant rocket-manufacturing capabilities in the West Bank. If successful, the entire Galilee region and densely populated central Israel, including Ben-Gurion International Airport, would become within shooting range, similar to the Jewish state’s southern Gaza border communities.

The Israeli military recently killed three senior Islamic Jihad terrorists in Gaza during a major operation dubbed Operation Shield and Arrow.

Islamic Jihad is an Iranian terrorist proxy that receives significant funding from the ayatollah regime in Tehran.

In his public statement, the Shin Bet chief, Bar, stressed the fact that Islamic Jihad is “fully funded by Iran. The hands are Palestinian, but the voice is Iran’s.”

“We won’t let Iran work via proxies,” he added.

Unlike its larger rival, Hamas, which has diverted resources to establish a regime infrastructure in the Gaza Strip, Islamic Jihad’s resources are entirely earmarked for terrorist activities against the Jewish state.

In recent years, the Gaza-led Hamas terrorist group has periodically shown tactical restraint for fear it could lose its political power base in Gaza were it to cross lines against Israel.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, a retired IDF general, praised the joint IDF-Shin Bet anti-terror operation in Gaza.

"The IDF and Shin Bet carried out a precise and successful operation against the leadership of the Islamic Jihad organization in the Gaza Strip last night," said Gallant.

"We will not tolerate shooting that threatens the residents of Israel, this is not only an act of terrorism, but a challenge to our presence," vowed Gallant.

In a public address, the defense minister revealed that Israeli military and intelligence agencies had been prepared for the Gaza operation since last week.

"Already on Tuesday, I had instructed the IDF and the Shin Bet to be ready to thwart the three terrorists who were killed last night, who are responsible for firing rockets into Israel and for directing numerous attacks in Israel,” stated Gallant.

While the defense minister described the Operation Shield and Arrow as a success thus far, he cautioned that the Jewish state must be prepared.

"We must be ready for any scenario, including a prolonged campaign and expanding the firing ranges. It is very important that the citizens, under your leadership, be disciplined, attentive and listen to life-saving instructions. The IDF and the security forces are prepared by all means on all fronts," said Gallant.

The IDF-Shin Bet joint Gaza operation displayed the Jewish state’s excellent real-time intelligence capabilities. Within a very short
timeframe, Israel simultaneously eliminated the three terrorist commanders at three different locations in the Gaza Strip.

IDF Spokesperson Daniel Hagari commended the military-security cooperation.

"This is about professionalism in planning and precision in execution that led to this operational achievement. This is planning with tweezers in the heart of a civilian population – a targeted assassination in a multi-story building in a dense area, seconds between the impact, a very narrow time window and at 2 a.m. all the buildings are attacked and the three operatives are killed."

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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