Raising fears about looming terrorist attacks, data compiled by the defense establishment indicate that dozens of the Palestinian prisoners who were released a year ago as part of the deal that freed IDF soldier Gilad Shalit have resumed terrorist activity.
The deal's first round saw the release of 477 security prisoners, 209 of whom were deported to the Gaza Strip. According to the data, which was released by Yedioth Ahronoth on Wednesday, many of the Gaza deportees have joined Hamas' leadership, while others are actively developing weapons and firing rockets on Israel. Furthermore, some are recruiting new terror cells in the West Bank, including one Hebron cell that planted a bomb in Jerusalem and planned to kidnap an IDF soldier.
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Prior to the Shalit deal, some officials postulated that major terror attacks will resume once the terrorists are released. So far, the glum prediction largely did not materialize, due to the constant efforts by the defense establishment, mainly the Shin Bet.
The prisoners who were deported to the West Bank have not abstained from hostile activity, either; over the past year Israel has arrested 40 Palestinians in the territories on suspicion of rioting, throwing Molotov cocktails, transferring funds for terrorist acts and other violations. Twenty-four of them – including two women – are still under arrest. One has been tried and incarcerated.
A senior defense official said that "Their will to execute acts of terror is getting stronger, but the coordination with the Palestinian authorities is effective and Israel knows how to sophistically track the released terrorists."
"Several terror attacks have been successfully prevented thanks to the hard fieldwork," he said.
However, the official noted that the Palestinian security services have experienced setbacks recently as a result of the financial crisis.
The Palestinian security employees did not receive last month's salaries, and two months ago many of them were caught or suspected of smuggling, transfering funds and taking part in illegal trade.
"These are the people in charge of making sure the released terrorists do not return to terror activity," the official said. "When they break the law, they cannot be trusted to halt terror attacks, so Israel must take over the job."
Smadar Peri contributed to this report
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