Israel’s vigilant forces have been successful in foiling dozens of Palestinian attacks, while Palestinian terror groups remain ever intent on killing Israelis.
Israeli security forces thwarted 16 suicide bombings and 16 kidnappings in 2016, making it the first year in three decades that no Israelis were killed by terrorists from the Gaza Strip, the head of Israel’s Security Agency told lawmakers on Monday.
Shin Bet Chief Nadav Argaman told the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that this outcome was due to Israeli vigilance, not a lack of desire on the part of Hamas and other Gaza-based Palestinian terrorist group. He noted that Hamas was transferring its efforts to the Judea and Samaria region, specifically in planning mass-casualty attacks.
Hamas has “significantly increased its efforts to advance terror attacks in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] and Israel,” Argaman said. “Hamas has found itself in strategic distress and is interested in undermining the security situation in the West Bank through bombings.”
Israeli security forces have stepped up their efforts to battle Hamas in Judea and Samaria, arresting 1,035 suspects and breaking up 114 cells in 2016, 62 percent more than the 70 they busted a year earlier.
Overall, the Shin Bet prevented 184 shooting attacks, 16 kidnapping attempts, and 16 suicide bombings in 2016, as well as some 84 other attacks, including stabbings and car-rammings, according to Argaman.
These totals do not include attacks thwarted by Israeli police or military forces.
Despite these successes, 16 Israeli citizens and one American were killed and 149 civilians were injured by Palestinian terrorists in 2016. This marks only a slight decrease in casualties from the previous year, when 20 people were killed and another 188 were wounded in Palestinian terrorist attacks.
Argaman also warned that Hamas was looking to perpetrate terrorist attacks during the Passover holiday next month, in an effort to instigate clashes between Israelis and Palestinians.
By: The Tower
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