Terrorism in Judea and Samaria Becoming More Sophisticated

Commander of the Binyamin Regional Brigade Colonel Yossi Pinto said at an annual review of incidents in the sector that Israeli forces are not facing a rise in terror overall in Judea and Samaria but rather a rise in the sophistication of terrorist infrastructure and planning. These changes demand a high-level of intelligence gathering from security forces.

Commander of the Binyamin Brigade Col. Yossi Pinto participated in an event to mark the Jewish New Year and to review incidents from last year in his sector in the IDF’s Central Command. “During the year we dedicated long months to thwarting and preventing terror incidents, which ultimately led to relative quiet in the sector,” he noted.

The brigade commander said that the lack of stability throughout the Middle East is bound to have an impact on the IDF Central Command’s security work in Judea and Samaria.

“In recent weeks we have once again found ourselves in a challenging time. What is happening in Syria and Egypt may be far off but could reach us very quickly. Our mission was and will remain to defend the Israeli communities of the Binyamin region and the citizens of this country – a mission which has become more complex in recent months.”

Rioter Hurls Firebomb in El-Arrub

Palestinian rioters throw firebombs. Archive photo.

Col. Pinto added that the holiday period in Israel adds to the security challenges brought about by the instability in the region.

“It is a sensitive time,” he said. “It demands from us a high level of intelligence gathering, and we are testing ourselves to ensure that our efforts are truly achieving the necessary level of intelligence. The level of terrorism has been and remains challenging,” Col. Pinto said.

“There was no dramatic rise in the amount of terrorism but there is an increase in the level of terrorist infrastructure and planning.”

The danger of kidnapping attempts and terrorist activity targeting Israeli soldiers remains high. “The threat of shooting attacks directed at our forces is significant. Due to the size of the territory we often work in smaller groups, which requires us to be professional and well-trained,” Col. Pinto said.

In an incident in Jenin last month, IDF soldiers performing a routine arrest in Jenin were attacked and shot at by terrorists. The troops returned fire, killing one terrorist and injuring two others.

The brigade commander referred to a separate incident in Qalandia last week, in which the arrest of a terror suspect triggered a violent riot.

“The incident could have ended in a worse manner than it did, and the determination and decision-making of the commanders are worthy of note,” Col. Pinto emphasized. He explained that such violent outbreaks are common in the sector and pose a serious challenge to Israeli soldiers whose lives are often endangered while carrying out routine arrests of terrorist operatives and suspects.

Ongoing violence

Israeli security forces have been forced to contend with many violent incidents throughout Judea and Samaria in recent months. Firebombs thrown by Palestinian terrorists pose a serious threat and in the past have injured Israeli soldiers and damaged civilian vehicles.

Also in recent months, the IDF has seized large stockpiles of terrorist weaponry in the course of routine security activity.

Terrorist efforts to organize, prepare and execute attacks against Israelis are unceasing.

The IDF will continue to do everything in its power to fight terror, and protect the citizens of Israel.