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The head of the Shin Bet, Ronen Barzai, said on Sunday that his security service had prevented more than 300 “significant” terrorist attacks this year as the Israeli military stepped up operations in Judea and Samaria under their leadership.
“Since the beginning of the year, we have prevented 312 major terrorist attacks, stabbings, shootings, suicide attacks, and made 2,110 arrests,” — Bar said at a conference at the Reichmann University in Herzliya.
At the same time, Bar referred to a sharp increase in the number of attacks on military personnel and civilians in Judea and Samaria — 130 this year, up from 98 in 2021 and 19 in 2020.
Bar said Israel must step up its activities to prevent further attacks and that the troops operating there are a “protective blanket” for the citizens of Israel.
But he added that such operations are costly for the Palestinians, as innocent people suffer, and the status of the Palestinian Authority among the local population is further reduced.
The PA's security services need to be strengthened to ease tensions, Bar said.
“The Palestinian public wants it too, but it takes two to tango,” — he said.
Bar also noted that the Islamic Republic is the “main problem” in the Middle East.
“Iran's influence is manifesting itself in the arena of terror wherever it is: in the countries surrounding Israel, in the Palestinian arena, in Israel and in cyberspace,” — he said.
“Iran is the source of most terrorist manifestations in the region, and it also plays a significant role in the instability we are seeing in the Palestinian arena,” — Bar added, referring to the escalating violence in Judea and Samaria and the recent round of fighting in Gaza.
“Iran — this is not just a nuclear problem, this is the main problem of the Middle East”, — he added, alluding to continued Iranian funding and ideological support for Palestinian terrorist groups.
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