Eldad Avir, father of two, was murdered by terrorists on Wednesday
Photo: Yoav Galai
Scene of Migdalim terror attack
Photo: Yoav Galai

West Bank terror escalates

Significant increase in shooting, stabbing, and explosives attacks in West Bank causes IDF to brace for further escalation; 'attempted attacks will be aimed mainly at settlers and security forces,' IDF source says

A shooting attack near Nebi Elias, a shooting attack in Migdalim in the northern West Bank, a stabbing attack in Gush Etzion Junction, a stabbing attack in Maale Adumim, a myriad of attempts to smuggle explosive belts and knives, shootings, and the throwing of explosive device – in under two weeks terror groups in the territories have managed to significantly increase the number of terrorist attacks, and escalate their activities.


The security forces are aware of 72 warnings of terror attacks in Jerusalem, 12 of them pinpoint alerts. According to the IDF, the situation won't change in the short-term future.


The army is expecting a new wave of attempted terror attacks, especially attacks similar in character as those seen in recent days – and will therefore increase patrols in access roads in Samaria, in the northern West Bank.


"In recent weeks we have seen a rise in terror attacks in Judea and Samaria," and IDF source told Ynet.


"We believe attempts at attacks will increase and we will see a new wave of attempted attacks," the source added.


IDF soldiers assess the scene of a shooting attack Wednesday (Photo: AP)


Among other forms of attacks, the IDF is braced for a number of shooting attacks, detonation of explosives, knife attacks, and Molotov cocktails. Checkpoints are also not expecting quiet – recently, a large number of explosives were intercepted at the checkpoints at the last minute, after Palestinians attempted to smuggle them into Israel.


Since the start of 2006, checkpoints in the West Bank and around Jerusalem saw no less than 25 Palestinians caught in possession of a knife.


In light of the escalation, the IDF has increased its level of alert in West Bank roads, especially in Samaria. In addition to increased patrols, the IDF will set up surprise checkpoints along the roads.


"The attempted attacks will be aimed mainly at settlers and security forces," the IDF source said. "We will continue to combat all terror groups and terrorist infrastructure attempting to carry out attacks," he added.


The source emphasized that the 10 day-old military operation in Nablus is set to continue.


Five rockets in one evening


Residents of the western Negev and communities south of Ashkelon are continuing to suffer from continuous Qassam rocket attacks. No less than five rockets were fired at Gaza towards Israel. One rocket fell in the Mediterranean Sea, and the remainder fell in the vicinity of Kibbutz Karmiya and Kibbutz Zikim, south of Ashkelon. A number of other rockets fell in the territory of the Palestinian Authority.


In recent days, most of the rockets have fallen in an area south of Ashkelon, and the area remains on high alert. Security officials said they believed the rocket fire would continue in the coming hours and into the night.


Lachish District Commander Effie Mor said that the rockets were being fired due to IDF operations south of the area. "As a district we are prepared for all rockets being fired at all times. As a model, we have the Sderot station, a model which works very well, and on which we base our activities in every instance of rocket fire."


פרסום ראשון: 03.02.06, 00:11
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