Suicide attacks and kidnappings foiled; Shin Bet chief's first situation report
Discussing why more and more women are carrying out terror attacks, the rocky political situation in the Gaza Strip, and multi-lateral cooperation to stop deadly attacks were all featured in Shin Bet Chief Nadav Argaman's report to the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee last week.
Argaman claims that these women are being sent to their deaths to atone for something they've done and to bring honor back to the family, along with money from the Palestinian Authority.
The head of the Shin Bet made these statements at his first situation report to the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee last week. According to the information he presented, the crests of the wave of terror were connected to tensions on the Temple Mount. He warned that if things heat up on the Temple Mount, a new wave of terror might break. Argaman also added that Hamas is having a strategic crisis, and is unwilling to have a war at this time. He noted that there is wide ranging security cooperation with the Palestinians, and the PA is working intensively against Hamas in the West Bank.
Moreover, the Shin Bet director highlighted the importance of giving Israeli work permits to Palestinians in the West Bank, and said that these permits help calm the situation and prevent attacks. There are 120,000 Palestinians who work in Israel either legally or illegally, and these workers provide for one third of the Palestinians in the West Bank.
Another point Argaman reported; the Shin Bet and Israeli security services prevented 240 major terror attacks Between January and May 2016 including stopping 11 suicide bombers, 10 kidnapping attempts, and more than 60 attacks similar to the attack at Sarona Market. Most of the attacks were planned by Hamas.
Since the most recent wave of terror began in October 2015, there have been over 300 attacks (not including Molotov cocktail attacks) of which 180 were stabbing attacks, more than 90 were shooting attacks, and about 30 were car ramming attacks. The majority of these attacks were carried out by lone wolves.
Argaman went on to say that the reason for the decrease in the number of attacks over the past month is due to – amongst other things – the high number of attacks which were preemptively prevented, and a higher level of deterrence against lone wolf attackers.
Nevertheless, despite the decrease in the number of attacks, the number of threats coming out of the West Bank is larger than before the escalation, a trend which points to the fact that the situation in the West Bank is highly combustible..
According to the report, Argaman also said that there is a feeling in the West Bank that Mahmoud Abbas's time as a leader is coming to an end, and that there is a currently a transitional period taking place towards a new leadership.
In regards to Gaza, Argaman says that the quiet being felt in that area is misleading
He also said that due to the economic and civil situation in Gaza, there is growing dissatisfaction with the Hamas leadership. However, despite the public criticism, the Shin Bet doesn't believe that there will be a public uprising against Hamas due to fear of the organization, due to the people's financial dependence on the organization, and due to the fact that the only other group with the manpower and resources to effectively rule the Strip is ISIS, a group which the residents of Gaza don't.