Shin Bet Director Nadav Argaman said on Monday that the current calm in violence is "deceiving," warning Hamas and other organized terror cells will try to carry out attacks over the Passover holiday.
"We're coming on Passover. There is no doubt that terror cells, particularly the organized one with an emphasis on Hamas, will try to provoke violence and carry out terror attacks," Argaman told the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
"Hamas and Islamic Jihad's terror cells are trying every day to carry out attacks within the State of Israel, and we are working day and night in an effort to thwart them," Argaman explained, noting that 16 Israeli citizens and one foreign national were murdered in terror attacks over the past year.
"Our objective is, of course, to allow for quiet holidays for the State of Israel," he added.
The Shin Bet chief went on to explain that "We're experiencing very significant geo-strategic changes in our area that would accompany us for many years to come. Over the last year, we've experienced a wave of terror attacks that began in October 2015 and continued into the first quarter of 2016, lone wolf terrorism with which we learned how to deal. The Shin Bet, the security services, the IDF developed operational and technological solutions to allow us to deal with the wave of terror attacks and stop them."
Meanwhile, committee chairman and former Shin Bet director Avi Dichter expressed concern that political disputes within the Israeli government "might prevent us from seeing our interests clearly: in the Middle East as a whole, but also our interests in Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem."
(Translated and edited by Yaara Shalom)