Shin Bet director: West Bank quiet deceptive, Hamas trying to launch attacks
In briefing to Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Nadav Argaman says Israeli security forces thwarted 480 terror attacks coming out of the West Bank over the past year, as well as foiled cyber attacks—both terrorism and espionage.
Shin Bet Director Nadav Argaman warned Tuesday morning that the relative quiet in the West Bank is "deceptive," as "Hamas is trying very hard to carry out terror attacks in and from Judea and Samaria."
During his briefing to members of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Argaman went on to explain that "Over the past year, we were able to thwart 480 terror attacks, including 219 Hamas cells and 590 lone attackers. This is a very large number that is indicative of the terrorism bubbling under the surface."
"In addition, we were able in the last year to thwart cyber attacks—both terrorism and espionage—against the State of Israel," he added.
"In general, these successes... are the result of very strenuous activity by the entire Israeli security system—Shin Bet, IDF, Israel Police—which allows this reality and allows Israeli citizens to live their daily lives," the Shin Bet director noted.
In Gaza, he said, "we're between a possible campaign, or ahead of a campaign on the one hand, while on the other hand there's an attempt to stabilize the humanitarian situation in the strip."
Argaman's briefing follows several rounds of fighting in Gaza over the past few months. During the last flare-up, the IDF attacked over 80 terror targets in the strip in retaliation for over 30 rockets fired from Gaza at Israeli towns on the border and the city of Sderot.
After the de-escalation of the situation, Lebanese newspaper Al Akhbar published an initial draft of the ceasefire deal between Hamas and Israel. The draft is yet to be finalized, since both sides are still holding negotiations.
During the latest Security Cabinet meeting on Sunday, the ministers decided to allow mediation efforts by Egypt and UN envoy to the Middle East Nikolay Mladenov run their course.
Almost all ministers were in favor of continuing the talks, with only Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman believing Israel must deliver a hard blow to Hamas to restore calm on the border. All security services were also in favor of continuing the talks with Hamas.