TEL AVIV – Gaza-based terror group Hamas will “no doubt” try to carry out terror attacks over the upcoming Passover holiday, the head of Israel’s Shin Bet security agency warned on Monday.
“We are just before the Passover holiday, and there is no doubt that terrorist infrastructures, mostly the established ones, and specifically Hamas, will try to agitate the area and carry out attacks,” Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman said.
“Our goal, of course, is to ensure quiet holidays for every citizen of the State of Israel,” he added.
Speaking at the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Argaman said Israel is in a period of “deceptive calm.”
He added that his agency has developed new tactics to combat “lone wolf attacks,” which have been the hallmark of the latest wave of terror that broke out in October 2015.
According to Argaman, the Shin Bet arrested some 400 would-be lone wolf attackers last year.
Last week, the Shin Bet announced the discovery of a terrorist cell affiliated with the al-Aqsa brigades, the militant branch of the Fatah organization, which planned to carry out attacks just outside of Jerusalem. Days earlier, the security agency revealed that in February it had blown the lid off a Hamas-affiliated cell comprised of students from a university in the West Bank.
The holidays are always a time for heightened security alerts. Jews tend to make pilgrimages to the Temple Mount around the holidays, which often triggers Palestinian claims of Jews “storming” holy Muslim sites.