Mass casualty attack by Palestinian Authority official foiled

The Palestinian officer emptied a full clip of bullets into the air after being stopped at the gate of Vered Yericho.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

An alert guard prevented a potential mass casualty event Sunday in his village when he stopped a customs officer employed by the Palestinian Authority (PA) from entering, Kan 11 News reported.

The Arab officer had come to Vered Yericho, a tiny moshav near Jericho in the Jordan Valley, in a PA police car that he had stolen. Armed and wearing a bulletproof vest, he approached the entry gate and was confronted by the security officer who was stationed there.

When the guard refused to let him pass, the officer retreated somewhat and then shot an entire clip of bullets into the air, said the report. According to Israel Hayom, he first tried to fire at the Jewish guard, who managed to take cover in time.

He then shot another two bursts into the air.

The man was arrested by PA security and admitted that he had planned to carry out an attack in the moshav.

The authorities are now investigating if he has any ties to organized terror groups such as Palestinian Islamic Jihad, said the report.

Reacting to the news, a PA security official told the network that they “understood the severity of the incident and renounce it.”

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“This does not represent the [Palestinian security] establishment,” the official added.

The last time a PA officer was involved in a terror attack was May 2020, when a commander attempted to shoot at an Israeli car traveling through the Palestinian town of Huwara, near Jenin, in Samaria.  Jenin and the environs have been the target of intense IDF arrest raids following the recent wave of deadly shooting attacks in Israel.

A week ago, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told reporters that due to “aggressive” security efforts, “so far, the IDF, the Shin Bet, and the Israel Police have foiled more than 15 serious attacks that were planned by terrorist elements in the West Bank and the rest of Israel.”

More than 400 people with ties to “extreme jihadist organizations” have been identified, he added, and over 200 suspected terrorists have been arrested.

IDF prevents average of 2 terror attacks daily

Channel 13 reported Monday that according to a senior Israeli official, the nightly raids are stopping an average of two imminent terror attacks every day

The IDF has named the anti-terror effort in Judea and Samaria “Operation Breakwater.”

A Palestinian source in Ramallah told Israel Hayom that the raids were arousing a backlash among the general population, which feels that the PA isn’t protecting them sufficiently. There has been a rising number of calls on social media for the PA to stop its security coordination with Israel, which is labeled “collaboration” with the enemy.

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Going one step further, some have begun calling for members of the various Palestinian security agencies to join those who are actively resisting Israel. It is possible that the customs officer may have heeded the call.