TEL AVIV – Iran has been prodding Palestinian jihadists to resume hostilities against Israel, a Palestinian security official told Breitbart Jerusalem.
He said that Palestinian security services have noticed increased efforts on the part of the Iran-financed Islamic Jihad terrorist organization in Gaza to recruit West Bank operatives, especially in and around the cities of Hebron and Jenin.
Palestinian Authority officials have been prevented from operating in Gaza since the 2007 coup in which Hamas seized control of the territory, but according to intelligence collected by the PA, Iranian Revolutionary Guard officials have pressured Islamic Jihad to set up a terrorist infrastructure in the West Bank.
The official states that Iran, encouraged by Hamas’ success in restoring its infrastructure in the West Bank, charged Hezbollah with recruiting militants formerly associated with Fatah’s military wing, and has more recently turned to Islamic Jihad in hopes that the terror group would rebuild its own West Bank infrastructure, which was left in ruins at the end of the second intifada.
Last week, the Israeli media reported that members of an Islamic Jihad cell were arrested after they planned to carry out an attack on a wedding in the south of Israel and kidnap soldiers.
Among the detainees were an Islamic Jihad operative who was arrested upon attempting to enter Israel as an international businessman, two Palestinians who resided in Israel illegally, and an Arab Israeli man.
The Palestinian official said that the Islamic Jihad operative’s cover was blown when he insisted on entering Israel despite having lost contact with his collaborators, who had been arrested.
“It’s unclear why he didn’t suspect that the reason they disappeared was that they had been arrested,” he said. “For two weeks they were in detention, and he all the same insisted on reaching the Erez Crossing, between Gaza and Israel.”
He said that Iran’s attempts to rekindle Islamic Jihad’s terrorist activity are likely to continue.
He also said that an Islamic Jihad activist who was recently arrested near Jenin said that he had been recruited by Gaza operatives and told interrogators that some of the group’s funds originated in Iran.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.