Islamic Jihad growing in Judea and Samaria, thanks to Iranian funding: Israeli foreign minister

“The Iranians want their Palestinian agents to extend their control from the Gaza Strip to” Judea and Samaria, Palestinian source says.

By World Israel News Staff

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group is strengthening its presence in Judea and Samaria and ramping up its efforts to recruit new operatives and launch deadly attacks against Jewish Israelis, thanks in large part due to generous funding from Iran.

According to a Jerusalem Post report, Iran views investing in the Islamic Jihad terror group as an effective strategy for weakening Israel, and the organization has now evolved into serving essentially as a proxy for the Islamic Republic.

“Islamic Jihad is using Iranian money to buy weapons and loyalty in” areas of Judea and Samaria which are formally controlled by the Palestinian Authority, a Palestinian security source told the Post. “The organization is paying high salaries to its members.”

“Iran is already here,” another Palestinian official in Ramallah told the Post. “The Iranians want their Palestinian agents to extend their control from the Gaza Strip to [Judea and Samaria].”

On Tuesday evening, in conversation with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said that “behind the latest security escalation in Judea and Samaria are the terrorist metastases of the Iranian Ayatollahs regime.

Read  WATCH: 'Iran can never recognize the plundering Zionist entity'

“Iran directs terrorism all over the Middle East, from Lebanon and Syria, through Iraq and Yemen, to Hamas and the Islamic Jihad. The international community must act decisively and unambiguously in order to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons,” he urged.

Considering that the PA and its president, octogenarian Mahmoud Abbas, are wildly unpopular, Islamic Jihad is positioning itself to quickly gain control in the power vacuum that will likely occur after the longtime PA leader’s death.

Due to rampant corruption within the PA, along with what many Palestinians view as a lack of progress in achieving a Palestinian state or improving economic and living conditions for their political constituents, the political body is widely losing legitimacy in the eyes of most Palestinians.

When Abbas, who is reportedly in poor health and has failed to name a successor, eventually dies, it’s unclear if the PA will be able to retain any semblance of control over its territory in Judea and Samaria.

In a recent statement, Islamic Jihad confirmed that it acknowledged the importance of “building alliances [with foreign powers] on the basis of resistance,” meaning that the terror group values partnering with countries that share their goal of destroying Israel.

Iran has long supported Palestinian terror groups. Senior members of Hamas were recently warmly welcomed in Tehran by the Iranian government’s most important officials.