by Gideon Allon and Israel Hayom Staff
As well as 480 major attacks, Shin Bet also thwarted 590 lone-wolf attacks and arrested 219 Hamas cells, while combating cyberattacks and espionage plots, agency director says
Shin Bet security agency Director Nadav Argaman
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin
The Shin Bet security agency has thwarted 480 Palestinian terrorist attacks so far in 2018, agency Director Nadav Argaman told the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Tuesday.
The Shin Bet's efforts were a major factor in the defense establishment's ability to maintain the fragile calm between Israel and the Palestinians, especially in Judea and Samaria, Argaman said.
"The situation in the Palestinian arena has been very unstable this year. In the Gaza Strip, we are somewhere between a potential [military] campaign and efforts to stabilize the humanitarian situation," he told the committee.
"In Judea and Samaria the situation is very complex as well. Things on the ground are relatively calm, but this calm is deceptive. The situation is actually highly combustible."
Argaman continued, "Hamas is constantly trying to launch terrorist attacks in and from Judea and Samaria.
"We were able to prevent 480 major terrorist attacks, stop 590 lone-wolf terrorists and arrest 219 Hamas cells. This indicates that there is a large, clandestine terrorist infrastructure there."
Hamas leaders in Gaza and Turkey are sparing no effort to mastermind terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria, and similar efforts are being made from Lebanon by the Hezbollah terrorist group, Argaman said.
He said the Shin Bet uses a variety of methods to track down lone terrorists, including monitoring Palestinians' social media accounts and general online activity, using confidential informants, and implementing a complex profiling algorithm.
The agency "has also been able to foil multiple cyberattacks and espionage plots against Israel. The current reality is the result of intensive efforts by all branches of the defense establishment – the IDF, Shin Bet and the Israel Police – that enable Israelis to live their daily lives peacefully," he said.
Shin Bet data indicates that in 2017, the agency thwarted over 400 terrorist attacks, including 13 suicide attacks and eight abductions, as well as 1,100 potential lone-wolf attacks.
In 2016, the Shin Bet prevented 344 major terrorist attacks.
Gideon Allon and Israel Hayom Staff
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