operation in Judea and Samaria
operation in Judea and SamariaIDF Spokesperson

The IDF is pessimistic that Operation Break the Wave, which began following a string of deadly terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians in March 2022, will end in the near future, Israel Hayom reported.

According to the report, although there have been significant achievements in the past year, chief among them the dismantling of the Lions Den terrorist infrastructure after the organization was responsible for many attacks in 2022, other actors in Judea and Samaria have arisen to encourage and carry out more terrorist attacks.

Despite the protests of the Palestinian Authority, the IDF continues its intensive counter-terrorism activity. In January, 35 Palestinian Arabs were killed in battle with the IDF, 95% of whom were terrorists. If this rate continues, 2023 will end with more deaths than last year, which saw the highest number of Arab fatalities since the second intifada.

While the IDF is currently not interested in expanding Operation Break the Wave, the military could be forced to do so if additional terrorist attacks are committed. No significant decrease in the desire of young Palestinian Arabs to attack and murder Jews has been observed as of yet.

In addition, the IDF is aware that there are elements that wish to carry out terrorist attacks inside Israeli cities. Unlike in the past, today all the information necessary to carry out attacks can be found online. Therefore, a lot of intelligence and advanced capabilities are needed to thwart these terrorists.

The Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist organizations have been adding fuel to the fire through online incitement and by paying Arabs to carry out shooting attacks. The amounts paid range from NIS 2,000 to NIS 10,000. To date, the IDF's activity has focused on Jenin and Shechem (Nablus), while other Arab cities in Judea and Samaria have remained relatively calm. Security forces have also worked to upgrade and repair the security fence, plugging gaps used by terrorists to enter Israel.

Judea and Samaria remain awash in illegal firearms despite the recent confiscation of about 1,000 guns. Almost every household in the Palestinian Authority has at least one firearm, making it easy for terrorists to acquire a gun to use on a killing spree, The IDF is also concerned about the involvement of some members of the Palestinian Authority's security apparatus in terrorist attacks.

A PA security official said that morale is low among its security forces due to the IDF's raids in Jenin and Shechem.

"When they established the [security cooperation] mechanisms, it was part of a big plan that would eventually lead to a state. The reason for the existence of the Palestinian Authority in the first place was to establish a Palestinian state. After all these years, there is an authority but no state, so what do we exist for - to get salaries and take care of Abu Mazen's interests and be agents of Israel? We have become subcontractors," said the official.

He added that the PA security services have lost the prestige they once possessed. "Once upon a time, everyone wanted to be a part of them and mobilize for them. It was considered something big for them and also for the Palestinian issue. Today it is different, the image of the mechanisms has eroded, and it is less attractive to serve in them."

"The Palestinian Authority is slowly collapsing," he warned.