Heightened terror alert in Israel ahead of Jewish holidays

20,000 police officers to be deployed throughout Israel during holiday period as Ramallah rejects boosting security coordination.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Israel’s security and intelligence agencies are seriously concerned with the possibility of terror occurring during the upcoming Jewish holiday period, and presented Pirme Minister Yair Lapid with a warning about some 70 potential attacks, Ynet reported.

A record 20,000 police officers will be deployed throughout the country – the highest ever number for the holiday period – in light of the terror threat.

The Jewish holiday period is “a symbolic time, during which terrorist organizations are naturally looking to carry out attacks [to show off],” an anonymous senior police official told Ynet.

Earlier this year, two axe-wielding terrorists carried out a deadly attack on the country’s Independence Day. Three unarmed Israeli men, who were celebrating the holiday by barbecuing in a local park, were killed.

Notably, a senior security official revealed to Ynet that the IDF and Shin Bet will be stepping up preemptive arrests of terror suspects, also known as administrative detention.

Typically, Israel tries to wind down anti-terror raids and arrests ahead of the holiday period, but this year, officials deemed the risk of terror too great for the usual pause in detainments.

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Recent days have seen an uptick in terror attacks, particularly in Palestinian Authority-controlled areas in Judea and Samaria.

On Wednesday morning, IDF soldier Bar Falach was killed during a firefight in Samaria with two terrorists.

The so-called Seam Zone, near the security barrier, where Falach was shot was the site of a previous shooting attack less than 24 hours earlier.

As Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas continues plunging in popularity among the Palestinian public, terror groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad are strengthening their footholds in Judea and Samaria.

Although the PA has a longstanding policy of security cooperation with Israel and PA police have arrested members of terror groups, the entity now appears to have adopted a hands-off approach towards terror in the area.

The PA recently rejected an Israeli overture to increase security coordination, according to Kan News.

“We cannot operate effectively after every night you enter Palestinian cities, arrest and kill residents. Your actions weaken us,” senior PA officials reportedly told the Shin Bet.