Israel finding more tunnels in the West Bank now


Iran is capitalizing on the presence of senior Axis of Resistance officials in Tehran for Ebrahim Raisi’s funeral to coordinate and cohere their approaches to the Israel–Hamas war. Iranian leaders held two meetings with senior Axis of Resistance officials in Tehran on May 23.[1] The first meeting included senior IRGC officers and representatives from several Palestinian militias, Lebanese Hezbollah, and the Houthis.[2] The participants discussed the “continuation of the jihad and struggle until the complete victory of the Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip.” Photos published by Iranian state media indicate that the following individuals were in that meeting:
  • IRGC Commander Major General Hossein Salami
  • IRGC Quds Force Commander Brigadier General Esmail Ghaani
  • Hamas Political Bureau Chairman Ismail Haniyeh
  • Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) Deputy Secretary General Mohammad al Hindi
  • Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) Deputy Secretary General Jamil Mezher
  • Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Naim Qassem
  • Houthi spokesperson Mohammad Abdul Salam
The second meeting involved the following individuals based on photos published by Iranian state media:
  • Acting Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister Ali Bagheri Kani
  • Hamas Political Bureau Chairman Ismail Haniyeh
  • Hamas founder Mousa Abu Marzouk
  • Hamas Deputy Leader in the West Bank Zaher Jabarin
  • PIJ Deputy Secretary General Mohammad al Hindi
  • PIJ Leader in Lebanon Ihsan Ataya
  • PFLP Deputy Secretary General Jamil Mezher
The publication of this information is especially noteworthy given that Iranian state media does not typically report on such meetings in such detail. Iran likely published the information to signal the close alignment and cooperation between Tehran and its regional partners and proxies.

The IDF found tunnels used by Palestinian militias during a two-day operation into Jenin City in the West Bank.[3] The IDF announced that hundreds of Israeli personnel participated in the operation to destroy militia infrastructure, including tunnels, and kill Palestinian fighters. The IDF engaged fighters from Hamas and the al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades during the operation.[4]

The IDF targeted tunnels in Jenin City as part of an Israeli effort to destroy militia capabilities and infrastructure, especially tunnels, in the West Bank before Palestinian militias can use them to attack Israel. IDF Chief of Staff Major General Herzi Halevi framed the operation into Jenin City in such terms on May 22.[5] The IDF seeks to prevent Palestinian militias from building tunnels around the Israel-West Bank border that would support offensive cross-border attacks like what Hamas did in October 2023. The IDF has targeted other tunnels around the Israel-West Bank border in recent months to this end. The IDF discovered and destroyed a tunnel that was dozens of meters long in the Jenin refugee camp in July 2023, for instance.[6] Israeli media separately reported in March 2024 that the IDF has found tunnel shafts in the Nour Shams refugee camp in Tulkarm, which like Jenin is close to the border with Israel.[7]

Palestinian militias building offensive tunnels in the West Bank could be at least partly based on how Iranian leaders are planning to destroy Israel in the long term. Senior Iranian military officers are arguing that their Axis of Resistance should launch surprise ground attacks into Israel from Lebanon, the Gaza Strip, and the West Bank.[8] Their thinking proceeds from the theory that protracted ground campaigns into Israel would disrupt the Israeli political and social order and compel Jewish citizens to flee Israel. Major General Gholam Ali Rashid, who is a senior Iranian military decisionmaker responsible for joint operations, asserted on May 4 that a force of 10,000 fighters from Lebanon, 10,000 fighters from the Gaza Strip, and 2,000-3,000 from the West Bank would be enough to destabilize Israel in this manner.[9] The tunnels that the IDF is targeting could facilitate attacks along the lines that Iranian leaders have described by helping Palestinian fighters move into Israel and stage follow-on ground attacks.

Israel's allies need to prepare to take out the current Iranian regime to defend against Iran's war plans in Israel and in the Middle East.   Iran's ambitions did not stop with destroying Israel.  It also plans to destroy the US and its allies too.  We should not pretend that the current Iran regime is a normal government.  Their ambitions are as bold as the Nazi Germans.  Iran is ruled by zealous religious bigots who want to impose their radical Islamic agenda on the world.  We should be planning now on how to free the Iranian people from this tyranny.


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