May there be well-being within your ramparts, peace in your citadels. Psalms 122:7 (The Israel Bible™)
Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman briefed the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Security Committee on Tuesday, painting a grim picture of the struggle to keep Israel secure.
“In the West Bank, the reality is very complex. We can discern a relative calm, but this quiet is deceptive,” Argaman said to the committee. “Underneath the surface, the area is bubbling, and Hamas is trying with all its might to carry out attacks.”
Argaman went into detail, giving statistics that supported his claims.
“In the past year, we have thwarted 480 attacks, including 219 Hamas squads and prevented 590 lone terrorists. This is a very large scope that can only indicate the extent of terrorism taking place under the service,” Argaman said.
His brief was made even more grim as he explained that Israeli security forces were still searching for the Palestinian terrorist that murdered Kim Levengrond Yehezkel, 28, and Ziv Hajbi, 33, in the Barkan Industrial Park in Samaria last month. Earlier this week, a Palestinian terrorist was shot and killed by IDF troops while trying to stab Israelis near Hebron.
Argaman also briefed the Knesset committee on the ongoing violence along the border with Gaza. This included the incendiary kite and balloon attacks that have caused millions of shekels of damage to thousands of acres in southern Israel. Last month, a barrage of ten rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel, leading to an IDF response targeting Hamas military targets.
“We’re between a possible campaign, or ahead of a campaign on the one hand, while on the other hand there’s an attempt to stabilize the humanitarian situation in the Strip,” Argaman said.
The media reported this week details of a Hamas-Israel ceasefire agreement being negotiated by Egypt.
Argaman told the committee that Hamas is busy activating terrorist cells in Judea and Samaria. The orders for attacks against Israelis come in from Turkey and Lebanon.
Argaman also described non-violent threats to Israel.
“In addition, we were able in the last year to thwart cyber attacks — both terrorism and espionage — against the State of Israel,” he said. “In general, these successes… are the result of very strenuous activity by the entire Israeli security system — Shin Bet, IDF, Israel Police — which allows this reality and allows Israeli citizens to live their daily lives.”