Israel hosts international conference on countering radicalization and violent extremism

With its bitter experience and expertise, Israel has become a primary location for a conference on combating international terrorism.

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News

At a time when the world, and specifically Israel, are forced to contend with a wave of religiously-motivated terror attacks, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted the International Conference on Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism Leading to Terrorism.

Launched on Monday, the conference focused on the security challenge posed by terrorists acting alone or in small terror cells, which has become the modus operandi by Jihadists around the globe.

The hosting of the conference in Israel highlights the country’s important role internationally in the field of counter-terrorism. “Israel’s extensive experience in dealing with terrorism in general and individual terrorists in particular makes Israel a leader in this area,” the ministry said in a statement.

The conference was attended by delegates from 41 countries and 10 regional and international organizations, as well as representatives from civil society organizations.

During the conference, high-level officials and experts dealt with this critical issue in their different countries and examined the phenomena of terrorists acting alone or in small cells. Because of the cells’ small size and lack of communication, they are difficult to detect and therefore pose a real security challenge.

Each of the panel discussions focused on a specialized topic, such as detection, prevention and intervention or the internet as a platform for terror. Participants exchanged information, views, lessons learned and good practices based on their national experience.

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In recent years, especially in light of the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS) terror organization and its attacks in many states, countries have strengthened their law enforcement measures to prevent the departure and travel of suspected foreign terrorists. As a result, states might be confronted with a potentially growing number of individuals who might seek to commit acts of terrorism at home.

The conference is considered a major step towards building better understanding of individual terrorists, the origins and driving factors of terrorism and how international cooperation is key in order to counter it successfully.

Tzipi Hotovely

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely. (Flash90)

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely stated that “unfortunately, Israel is once again under attack by murderous terrorists motivated by incitement and hatred. Israel’s bitter experience gained in dealing with this type of terrorism has made us a world leader in the field of counter-terrorism, and a magnet for other countries to come and learn from our experience.”

“This seminar is another example of the MFA’s interaction with other countries and international bodies and its ability to explain and demonstrate advanced Israeli technology for dealing with terrorism,” she said. “We are excited by the number of participants who have come from all over the world to learn about this topic.”

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In the meantime, the Shin Bet (Israel’s Security Agency) released its monthly summary of the Palestinian terror attacks.

According to the report, September saw an increase in the number of attacks, in comparison with August: 223 terror attacks in September, as opposed to 171 in the preceding month.

The increase was evident in all regions in Israel, but most of all in Judea and Samaria, with 151 attacks, compared to 117 in August. Palestinians committed 68 attacks in Jerusalem, as opposed to 51 in August. Four attacks occurred in the Gaza Strip in September, compared to three in August.

Most attacks executed in September, 199 out of 219, were in the form of firebombs.