Iran aiding build-up of terror cells in Judea and Samaria, Islamic Jihad leader says

Senior Islamic Jihad terrorist says Iran working closely with the group to expand its operations in Judea and Samaria to end ‘state of calm.’

By World Israel News Staff

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization is working aggressively to expand its terrorist operations in Judea and Samaria, forming new terror cells across the area with help from Iran, a senior member of the organization said over the weekend.

In an interview with Al-Vefagh, an Arabic-language outlet in Iran, PIJ chief Ziad Nakhaleh said that Iran’s leadership is backing the terror group’s efforts to establish new terror cells in Judea and Samaria and to step up attacks on Israeli targets.

Nakhaleh led a PIJ delegation to Tehran last month, meeting with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

In the Al-Vefagh interview Saturday, Nakhaleh said Khamenei endorsed Islamic Jihad’s plan to move “from a state of calm to one of resistance.”

“The most important thing is that we strengthen the resistance,” he added.

“During our visit to Iran, during the meeting with His Eminence, the Leader, His Eminence reaffirmed [his desire] to advance arming the West Bank and resistance action in the West Bank.”

Nakhaleh added that PIJ has already established a number of “fighting battalions” in cities across Judea and Samaria, and is increasing its efforts to manufacture bombs and firearms.

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Israel, Nakhaleh continued, will eventually collapse, though the timing will be determined by “on our willingness and our ability to resist.”

The interview comes days after the IDF killed a three-member terrorist cell in Jenin in a drone strike.

Earlier that month, Islamic Jihad terrorists operating in Jenin ambushed Israeli military vehicles during an arrest operation, damaging several armored vehicles with explosives.

Seven Israeli soldiers were injured, while at least five terrorists were killed in the ensuing gun battle, with dozens more injured.