Israeli Defense Minister: Both Israel, Palestinians Responsible for Decline in Terror

Negotiations on limiting Israeli military activity in West Bank cities aren’t about completely ending IDF operations there, Moshe Ya'alon says.

Israeli soldiers during an operation in the West Bank city of Nablus.
AFP

The decline in terror attacks in recent months was a result of both Israeli activity and Palestinian activity on the matter, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said at a briefing to military reporters on Tuesday.

Ya'alon noted that the Palestinian security forces' enforcement against lone-wolf attackers has increased. "Families of youngsters who thought they were planning an attack – they called the [security] forces. There were quite a few incidents in which families turned in youngsters who were before an attack, and also after it."

According to Ya'alon, a decline in Jewish terror is also noticeable. "Some of the attacks were a response to Duma – and that's come up in investigations," he said, referring to the deadly arson attack in a Palestinian village last summer and the investigation of Jewish suspects. "This decline in the number of Jewish terror attacks also has influence on the other side," he added.

However, he warned, the area could flare up in the upcoming period ahead of Passover.

The defense minister also referred to the negotiations on Israeli military activity in Area A of the West Bank, which according to the Oslo Accords is supposed to be under full Palestinian control except in urgent cases.

Ya'alon said that negotiations aren’t about a complete end to Israeli activity in Palestinian cities, but an agreement that Israel would carry out operations in cases where the Palestinian security forces don’t act to foil terror activities.

"It's not a political matter, but a security one. If they do the job [in Area A] – go ahead. What they don’t do – we'll have to do, but there's no way that we'll completely refrain from entering Area A," Ya'alon said. "Entry would be contingent on their actions. If they act less – we'll [act] more. If they act more – we'll [act] less."