200 terror attacks foiled so far in 2017, Israel's Shin Bet chief says
MAHMUD HAMS (AFP/File)
Israel's Shin Bet security service foiled about 200 terror attacks since the beginning of 2017 and broke up about 70 terrorist cells in July and August alone, its director said on Sunday. The planned attacks included suicide bombings, shootings, and kidnappings, Nadav Argaman told a Cabinet meeting.
There was a three-fold increase in the number of planned attacks in July compared to the previous month, he said, pointing to an attack at Jerusalem's Temple Mount compound on July 14 as a contributing factor.
Argaman also warned that militant Palestinian group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, "continues to invest many resources in preparation for the next [military] campaign, even at the expense of civilians' welfare" and that it "is prepared for a conflict with Israel."
He further said that the period since the summer of 2014, which saw a military conflict between Hamas and Israel in the Gaza Strip, has been the most peaceful in some three decades. Hamas "is having difficulty showing diplomatic accomplishments or providing effective solutions to the problems of civilians in the [Gaza] Strip."
Israeli security services intercepted attacks planned by Hamas and arrested some 1,035 alleged Hamas operatives in 2016, according to officials. The Shin Bet uncovered 114 terror cells in 2016, as opposed to 70 in 2015, the agency said.
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