has been able to thwart the mobilization of over 10 terror cells
based in the Sinai Peninsula, Director of Military Intelligence Major-General Aviv Kochavi told the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Tuesday.
In a briefing to committee members, Kochavi said that the IDF currently has multiple would-be terror infrastructures under surveillance.
According to Jerusalem sources, the growing terror infrastructure in Sinai
was one of the subjects discussed during US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's
visit in Israel
and her Monday meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
The military has been able to thwart several attempted terror attacks
by Sinai-based terror groups.
Still, terrorists have used machine guns, rockets and explosives against Israelis on several occasions lately, one of which claimed the life
on an Israeli working on the new Israel-Egypt border fence.
Deployment in the sector was increased following the deadly terror attack by an Islamic Jihad
terror cell on a bus traveling on Highway 10, in the summer of 2011. Nine Israelis were killed.
Turning his attention to Syria,
Kochavi said that in all likelihood Syrian President Bashar Assad's
regime will not survive the uprising.
"It may take more time, I can't give you an exact number, but it will happen," he said.
The MI chief further warned that the security concerns evident in Sinai may soon echo in the Golan Heights, as a result of the Islamic Jihad's tighting grip on Syria.
Still, Kochavi said that chances of an imminent armed conflict between Israel and Syria are low.
Meanwhile, the IDF has reported a significant increase in the number of youths slated for service in MI, with the corps' recent officers training growing by an impressive 25%.
sources attributed the change to the recent strategic upheavals in the Middle East and the "birth" of new intelligence arenas, including Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Sinai.
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