Shin Bet Chief: Relative Calm in West Bank Deceiving, Hamas Tried to Launch Hundreds of Attacks

Nadav Argaman says Israel thwarted 480 terror attacks and foiled cyberattacks over the past year

Israeli soldiers check a Palestinian after a stabbing attack at Huwara checkpoint near the West Bank city of Nablus, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018
Majdi Mohammed,AP

Israel's Shin Bet security service chief Nadav Argaman said on Tuesday that the relative calm in the West Bank is "deceiving," and that Hamas is still trying to carry out terror attacks with directions from Gaza, Turkey and Lebanon.

In the past year, Argaman told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, "we've thwarted 480 terror attacks, arrested 219 Hamas cells and 590 lone attackers."

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Shin Bet head Nadav Argaman at the Knesset, 2017
Olivier Fitoussi

Argaman also noted that the Shin Bet foiled cyberattacks on Israel. These numbers, he said, "attest to the extent of terrorism beneath the surface."

"The situation on the Palestinian front has been very unstable over the past year," the Shin Bet chief continued. On Gaza, he cited the danger of a flare-up on the one hand and attempts to stabilize the humanitarian situation on the other.

On Monday, the Israeli army said it thwarted a stabbing attack near the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba. According to the Israeli military, a Palestinian man attempted to stab Israeli civilians and an officer before being shot by a soldier at the scene.

The assailant was evacuated to receive medical treatment and no Israeli casualties were reported.