Israel’s security forces are on highest alert ahead of the Jewish holidays, which coincide this year with the Muslim month of Ramadan – a favorite time for terrorist attacks among Islamists.
Security forces are acting on information regarding eight concrete threats of attacks by terrorists, as well as dozens of general terror threats in the Jerusalem region and along the Green Line.
A general closure was announced on Palestinian Authority-controlled areas in Judea, Samaria and Gaza beginning Wednesday at midnight. A long list of exceptions to the closure, however, includes doctors, lawyers, journalists, teachers, Islamic and Christian clergy and members of the UN and other non-governmental organizations. More than 1,500 PA Arabs will also be allowed into Israel’s pre-1967 borders on account of the olive harvest.
Israel Prevented Suicide Bombing in Be'er Sheva
Israeli intelligence information prevented a suicide bombing in Be'er Sheva last week, officials revealed early Wednesday afternoon. The attempted terrorist attack had been kept under wraps during an investigation.
Soldiers caught the terrorist, a Hamas member from Rafiah, who tried to infiltrate into Israel via the Egyptian border, with the intention of striking Be'er Sheva.
Arabs Keep Up Attacks with Six Kassam Rockets
Arab terrorists kept up their rocket barrage on the western Negev Wednesday morning, firing six Kassam rockets at the Sderot area. No property damage or injuries were reported, except for one fire that broke out in the field of a kibbutz.
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said Tuesday that Israel would respond thorough "non-military" means.
No Gaza Operation For Now
Press reports have cited tensions with Syria for the government’s decision not to respond to the Kassam rocket attack that wounded scores of soldiers Tuesday.
Reports surfacing Wednesday, however, indicate that Fatah Chief Mahmoud Abbas has been lobbying hard against an IDF operation in Gaza. Abbas and Fatah officials are reportedly worried that if the IDF destroys Hamas, Fatah will be branded as collaborators.
IDF Arrests Terrorists
IDF soldiers arrested 18 wanted terrorists in Judea and Samaria Wednesday morning. Several guns and boxes of ammunition were found in Hevron and confiscated.
A PA Arab teenager, found to be in possession of a large knife, was arrested near the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hevron.
An Israeli-Arab car thief who slammed through three police vehicles and two roadblocks was shot following a high-speed chase through Kfar Saba. Police thought the man was a terrorist trying to detonate a car bomb in a populated area. The 28-year-old Taibeh resident is being treated in Petach Tikvah’s Beilinson Hospital.
Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu contributed to this report