Israel’s security chief: ‘Calm deceiving, hundreds of attacks thwarted’

The director of Israel’s Shin Bet told a Knesset committee that his security agency thwarted 480 attacks in the past year.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

“The situation in the Palestinian sector is very unstable this past year,” Nadav Argaman, director of Israel’s Shin Bet security agency, said in a meeting of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Tuesday.

Argaman said his agency thwarted 480 “meaningful” terror attacks last year in Judea and Samaria. He described the situation in those areas as complex, “because on the surface there’s calm, but underneath it’s bubbling and frothing.”

Of the 480 attacks the Shin Bet succeeded in preventing, the types included shooting attacks (280), car ramming and knifing (101),  explosives (76), kidnappings (7), and suicide attacks (6).

Hamas is trying with all its might to carry out attacks in Judea and Samaria, he said, adding that in addition to the 480 attacks, the Shin Bet foiled 590 lone wolf attacks and broke up 219 Hamas cells.

“This is a large number, which points to terror under the surface. As a result of our efforts, a large number of the attacks didn’t succeed,” Argaman said.

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Lone world attacks have become a growing threat not just in Israel but around the world. In 2010, then-CIA Director Leon Panetta said such attacks could become “the main threat” to the U.S. To counter such attacks, Argaman said his agency uses a combination of social media, informants and an algorithm which identifies family ties.

In December 2017, Argaman told the committee that the Shin Bet stopped 1,100 such lone-wolf attacks.