IDF to Beef Up Presence in Judea and Samaria

IDF to send a Nahal battalion to take part in routine security operations in Judea and Samaria, in the wake of latest terror wave.

Ben Ariel ,

Security forces are already at the scene (file)
Security forces are already at the scene (file)
Issam Rimawi/Flash 90

The IDF decided on Tuesday evening to beef up its presence in Judea and Samaria, in the wake of the recent wave of terror attacks, Walla! News reported.

A senior IDF official told the Hebrew-language news website that, in order to try to prevent further deterioration in the security situation in the region, the IDF would send a battalion from the Nahal Brigade to take part in routine security operations.

The officer further told Walla! that the IDF’s activities aimed to restore peace to Judea and Samaria are "not punitive, but are meant to prevent disruptions in areas that can be easy to attack".

He rejected claims that decisions to cancel “gestures” to Palestinians, such as limiting access to the Temple Mount and closing roads to traffic are meant at harming the non-Jewish population in Judea and Samaria.

"This is not punishment, and we certainly see Ramadan as being used as a provocative measure," added the officer.

The IDF continues to maintain that the rampant terror attacks in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria are not an organized campaign, or “intifada.”

“The IDF's main effort at the moment is to stop the sequence of events that are not related to each other, and it is possible that the only thing they have in common is the timing – the month of Ramadan,” an officer said on Tuesday.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon earlier on Tuesday laid the blame for the recent series of terrorist attacks squarely at the feet of the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Speaking during a tour of the Golan Heights, Ya’alon said the PA's continued incitement to violence and glorification of terrorism directly fueled the spate of attacks, which included the murders of Danny Gonen and Malachi Rosenfeld on Monday night.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, the head of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) Yoram Cohen warned the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Hamas is already prepared to launch another terror war against Israel.

Cohen and other Shin Bet officials gave a complete picture of the happenings in the terrorist enclave of Gaza, as well as the terrorist threat nationwide.

They noted that since 2012 there has been a 50% rise each year in the number of total terror attacks, from 683 in 2012 to 1,834 in 2014. The most major uptick in attacks occurred around Operation Protective Edge last summer.

In 2014 around 130 terror cells were exposed, most of them from Hamas, and in 2015 no less than 60 terror cells have already been nabbed.

ISA officials noted that centralized terror networks are having trouble conducting attacks as a result of intensive efforts by security services, and that as a result most of the attacks in Judea and Samaria last year were conducted by Arab terrorists apparently operating alone.