West Bank Terror Attacks On The Rise – Any ‘Relative Calm Is Profoundly Fragile, If Not Complete Illusion’

Sunday’s deadly attack underlines relentless rise in West Bank terror attempts After the terrible terror attack Sunday morning near the West Bank settlement of Ariel, in which IDF soldier Gal Keidan was killed and two other Israelis were seriously wounded, there is no positive news on the horizon. The motivation of the terror groups, lone terrorists, or independent cells to perpetrate attacks in the West Bank is increasing. One of the main reasons for that is Hamas’s desire to set the territory ablaze. (As of this writing, it should be stressed, it is not at all certain that the latest terror attack was perpetrated by Hamas.) The terror group’s current policy is in some ways ironically reminiscent of Israel’s in past years, which was essentially to create a complete separation between Gaza and the West Bank. While Hamas is doing everything possible to prod the residents of the West Bank to perpetrate terror attacks, in the Gaza Strip, it is determined to maintain calm, even if it means falling out of favor in local opinion or the wider Arab world, and even if it means reaching economic or civil understandings with the “Zionist enemy.” As Hamas fears a large-scale military conflict in the Gaza Strip, the terror group finds it easier to issue general orders in the West Bank to carry out terror attacks, mainly because it is aware that the current Israeli government, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, will place the blame on Ramallah, not Gaza. The first and most volatile of them is the Israeli court’s decision to enforce the closing of the Golden Gate entrance to the Temple Mount, the place that has already succeeded in stirring up unrest in East Jerusalem. The Gate of Mercy, or Golden Gate, known in Arabic as Bab al-Rahma, was sealed by Israeli authorities in 2003 because the group managing the area had ties to Hamas, and it has been kept closed to stop illegal construction work there by the Islamic Waqf, the custodian of the site on behalf of Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. Israeli officials believe the work led to the destruction of antiquities from periods of Jewish presence in the area.
The second element contributing to the general ferment is the internal Gaza demonstrations against Hamas, which are pushing that organization to create more and more distractions, such as terror attacks in the West Bank. The third element is the money that the Palestinian Authority is refusing to accept from Israel, tax money that belongs to it, so as not to enable Netanyahu’s government to deduct from these funds the salaries paid to families of prisoners and terrorists who were killed. All this suggests that calm will not be restored over the next several months. Israeli officials believe that a continued refusal by the PA to accept its tax money for four months will harm its functioning and also affect the security coordination.A look at the curve of terror attacks or thwarted terrorist activity in recent years shows a persistent increase in motivation alongside an improvement in the ability to stop them (in part thanks to the security coordination with the PA). This means that the relative calm in the West Bank is profoundly fragile, if not a complete illusion.For example, Israeli officials say that slightly more than 200 terror attacks were prevented in 2015, about 350 in 2016, roughly 400 in 2017, and almost 600 in 2018. So far in 2019, there have been almost 100 thwarted terror attacks — and these are only of the kind defined as severe: shootings, explosives, vehicle-rammings, and the like. In other words, terrorists are attempting to perpetrate more terror attacks each year, and their motivation remains high. On Sunday, they succeeded.http://prophecyupdate.blogspot.com/

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