A senior Central Command officer said on Wednesday that the recent events are “a limited uprising,” which could go on for months and could escalate and turn into a widespread insurrection.
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In discussions about the situation, senior defense officials say the current round of violence leads to attacks not only in the West Bank but inside Israel, the officer said.
The officer said the ongoing wave of terror attacks could continue in the near future. "I believe it will be long I don't see it subsiding in the next few months and I can't say whether it will turn into a wider escalation," he said.
The IDF is taking steps to reduce the number of terror attacks in the West Bank, the officer said. Among other things, the army will check every Palestinian car traveling on the same roads as Israeli cars, alter traffic regulations in the Gush Etzion area and fortify parts of the gas station on Route 443.
The officer said the army has closed roads and taken harsh measures in the 12 areas most prone to terror attacks. The army also plans to seize Palestinians houses in Hebron from which shots are believed to have been fired on Wednesday toward cars in the area of the Cave of the Patriarchs.
The army has also increased the number of arrests in the West Bank, mostly of Hamas operatives, and the number of detentions without trial.
Ya'alon: Israel to extend West Bank fence
Also on Wednesday, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon told a Knesset panel that that an additional fence will be built to prevent Palestinians from the southern West Bank, including terrorists, from infiltrating into Israel.
The construction of the fence will take about a year.
Responding to a parliamentary question from MK Miki Zohar (Likud), Ya’alon told the Knesset that “the barrier in the Tarqumiya checkpoint area has been mostly breached. We intend to put up a much more massive barrier there, similar to the barrier on the Western border with Egypt.”
The defense establishment believes that the terrorist who carried out the stabbing in Kiryat Gat at the beginning of the week took advantage of the holes in the fence to enter Israel, Ya’alon said.
“I definitely see that area as a weak spot, both from the security and criminal point of view,” Ya’alon said. “The agricultural thefts are mainly in that area It will take some time to build, but we can complete the fence in a year or a year-and-a-half and improve the situation."
In the past decade, not a single attack had been carried out by a Palestinian carrying a work permit, Ya’alon said. Those who carry out attacks in Israel were for the most part resident in Israel illegally. “None of those whom we have vetted and authorized to work has carried out an attack,” he maintained.
Following last week’s attack in Tel Aviv by a Palestinian who received a special needs permit, the state has stopped issuing such permits, the defense minister said.
“There are criteria for granting a work permit and a very thorough examination by the Shin Bet and police,” he added.