The security services are working to “break this wave” of terrorism, and Israel is entering a period of “alert routine,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Sunday after an assessment with the head of the Shin Bet security service.
Over the weekend, the Shin Bet, the Police Special Anti-Terror Unit and the Israel Defense Forces thwarted an imminent terror attack, Bennett said. “[T]he terrorists have all kinds of ideas; therefore, we are on highest alert, both the [Shin Bet] and the Israel Police, in order to identify any fragment of an idea or planning for an attack and to thwart it in time.”
He made these remarks as he, Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar and the head of the IDF Central Command, Yehuda Fuchs, toured the separation barrier in the northern West Bank.
“The IDF is showing maximum presence at hundreds of points where there are breaches, and our goal is to break this wave,” Bennett said. He added that Israel is “entering a period of ‘alert routine’ in which we want the citizens of Israel to go back to routine and the security forces will be on maximum alert. This is not an effort of a single operation but of hundreds of continuous operations.”
Bar told Bennett the Shin Bet is working within Israel, in the West Bank, online and in the Gaza Strip. He praised the service members who thwarted the attack near Jenin Saturday. Three Palestinian militants were killed and four service members were injured, one of them seriously, in an exchange of fire.
Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center said Sunday that the critically wounded man’s condition had improved and was now stable. He is awake, communicating with his family and has begun breathing on his own, though he is still attached to a ventilator, it added. It also said the staff was “optimistic about his condition” and hoped to move him from intensive care within a few days.
According to the Shin Bet, the three Palestinians were part of a terror cell that carried out a shooting near Tul Karm recently and had planned to carry out additional attacks. Bar said Sunday that the forces had thwarted a “significant attack.”
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In a conversation with King Abdullah Sunday, Bennett wished Jordan’s leader and people a happy Ramadan and thanked him for condemning the recent terror attacks.
The office of the king said Abdullah had stressed the importance of restoring calm and preventing an escalation in Jerusalem and the West Bank. He also urged Bennett to refrain from any steps that might lead to more violence and asked him to ensure that Muslim worshipers could reach Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque with no interference on Israel’s part, especially during Ramadan, when the number of people seeking to pray there is especially high.