Israel fears renewed Palestinian terror attacks ahead of Passover holiday

A senior officer at the IDF’s Central Command, which includes Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, said that the current decline in terrorist attacks is no more than an “unstable lull.”

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News

Israeli security forces are bolstering their presence at potential flashpoints ahead of the holiday season, as Israel fears that Palestinian terrorists will renew their wave of attacks after a few weeks of relative quiet.

“We’re preparing for a significant escalation during the holidays, and we’re increasing the amount of troops on the ground to about two more battalions, in addition to the four existing reinforcement battalions,” a senior officer in the IDF’s Judea and Samaria Division said on Tuesday, Israel Radio reported.

“The holiday period will be the real test for the current situation, with Israelis going out on trips during their time off. We’re identifying more and more alerts of possible threats ahead of the holidays,” he added.

The upcoming holiday season includes Passover and Israel’s national holidays, including its Independence Day. It also coincides with the Muslim month of Ramadan.

The senior IDF officer attributed the relative quiet to extensive military operations, among other things by mapping the six main areas in which most attacks took place and allocating 40 percent of the forces to these areas.

He noted that since October, Israeli security forces have thwarted 10 attempted kidnappings. In addition, IDF troops demolished or sealed off 13 homes of terrorists.

A senior officer at the IDF’s Central Command, which includes Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, said that the current decline in terrorist attacks is no more than an “unstable lull.” He said that while there is no concrete intelligence on specific attacks, the IDF is ready for the possibility of an escalation in violence as Israel approaches this sensitive period.

Palestinians warn Against jewish Visits to Temple Mount

The IDF’s heightened level of alertness comes as the Palestinians issued threats against Israelis visiting the Temple Mount in Jerusalem during the Passover holiday.

Many Israelis do so traditionally, as part of the holiday commandments. The Temple Mount is Judaism’s holiest site, where the First and Second Holy Temples stood.

Adnan Rit, head of the Fatah’s Tanzim organization in Jerusalem, a military wing of Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas’ party, warned that calls by Jews to visit the Temple Mount over the Passover holiday may lead to unrest, describing visits to the Temple Mount, where the Al Aqsa Mosque is built, as a “red line.”

The chief Palestinian Mufti Sheikh Muhamed Chasin said the calls for Jews to visit the Mount create tension, saying that the “invasion by religious and extremist Jews” of the Muslim holy site should be stopped.

Palestinian terrorists have committed a long series of almost daily terror attacks throughout Israel over the course of the past half year, claiming the lives of 33 victims and wounding hundreds. The terror wave was sparked by Palestinian rioting on the Temple Mount over rumors that Israel somehow intended to overrun it.

Al-Aqsa Mosque was built in the 8th Century by Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, replacing a small prayer house built in the 7th Century by Rashidun Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab. The existence of the Jewish Temples on the Temple Mount is clearly proven by archaeological finds and documentary evidence from the Roman period, as well as historical Islamic texts.