Part of Hamas’ strategy on October 7 was to provoke violence to spread elsewhere. Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar explained his plan that following the murderous attack, unrest would spread to the West Bank (as well as in the north and in mixed cities within sovereign Israel).
Even before October 7, the West Bank was close to explosion. Between January and October 2023, over 30 Israelis were killed in terror attacks in the West Bank, making it the deadliest year since the Second Intifada. Over the summer, Palestinian organisations made at least three (failed) attempts to launch rockets at Israeli communities and population centres from the West Bank. Since October 7, violence has continued in the West Bank but without (yet) spiraling out of control.
This BICOM research paper identifies these dangerous trends in the West Bank, and maps Israel’s challenges in this arena in the post-October 7 context.