Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon
Defense Minister Moshe YaalonFlash 90

Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said Tuesday that there is no sign of a large scale Arab terror offensive, or “third intifada,” but that the IDF is preparing itself for any escalation that may take place.

The elimination of the terrorist who was responsible for the bombing of a bus in Tel Aviv last year is an important and positive development, he said.

During a tour of the Hevron area, Yaalon said that two of the recent terror attacks - the murder of Sraya Ofer in the Jordan Valley and the shooting of 9-year-old Noam Glick at Psagot - began as criminal incidents.

"We have experienced a series of about six terror attacks in the last month,” he said, “some of which were clearly carried out with a nationalistic motive,” he said. “Others, even if they began as criminal events, of an attempt to rob, as far as I am concerned, we are regarding them as nationalistic, because of the unbearable ease of stabbing a girl or murdering a Jew when you are caught in the act of committing a robbery.”

"We see this as a grave matter, and it is possible that the atmosphere of incitement created by the Palestinian Authority [PA], the latest religious events or any other reason brought about this wave [of attacks],” he said.

"It could be that this wave, in and of itself, is contagious,” he added. “Of course, we are taking determined action against this terrorism. We have solved most of the terror attacks already, we have prevented others, and those we have not yet solved, we will of course solve, and place our hand on whoever commits terrorism.”

Yaalon said that the PA's incitement is “not a new thing” and that it tends to increase during religious holiday seasons.

“This is incitement that begins with the education of children, incitement in the media, inciting rhetoric by leaders, not denouncing terror attacks and creating public support for terror attacks.”