Samuel Sokol is a freelance journalist based in Jerusalem. He was previously a correspondent at the Jerusalem Post and has reported for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, the Israel Broadcasting Authority and the Times of Israel. He is the author of Putin’s Hybrid War and the Jews.
Sam Sokol

Since mid-November, one Israeli has been killed and ten wounded in a series of lone wolf attacks by Palestinians. In the recent car ramming, stabbing and shooting attacks took place in Jerusalem, Jaffa and the West Bank, only one of the assailants appeared to have a formal affiliation with a Palestinian militant group.

>> Amos Harel: What connects the Palestinians behind the latest wave of attacks against Israelis

However, within days of the onset of the current wave of violence, the Shin Bet security service announced that it had arrested over 50 Hamas operatives suspected of planning terror attacks in the West Bank. The Shin Bet added that it had found a variety of weapons, including materials for assembling four explosive belts, a possible indication that the Palestinian terror group could be planning the first major escalation since this spring’s fighting in Gaza.

The current wave of attacks is reminiscent of a more serious period of lone wolf violence, dubbed by some the “stabbing intifada,” that began in October 2015 and lasted for about six months. It comes in the wake of a similar string of incidents which took place this September, with a number of assailants killed or wounded by security forces following stabbing attacks near the Lions' Gate and Chain Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, as near the city’s Central Bus Station and in Jaffa.