TEL AVIV – The Shin Bet thwarted 480 Palestinian terror attacks over the last year, the security agency’s director told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Tuesday.
Nadav Argaman said the Shin Bet also prevented 590 “lone wolf” incidents — attacks carried out by an individual unaffiliated with a particular terror group.
The agency raided 219 Hamas cells in the West Bank, he added.
“The situation in the Palestinian arena has been very unstable this past year,” Argaman said. “In Gaza, on one hand we are on the verge of a conflict and on the other hand we are making efforts to stabilize the humanitarian situation.”
“In Judea and Samaria, the situation is very complex,” he continued. “At a superficial level, there is relative calm, but it is deceptive. The ground is very combustible.”
The Shin Bet also prevented a number of cyber attacks over the past year, Argaman said.
Argaman’s agency identifies potential lone wolves using a range of methods such as monitoring Palestinian social media accounts, informants, and an advanced intelligence algorithm that analyzes individuals based on their psychological profile, whether they have family members with known terror ties, and a variety of other factors.
This kind of intelligence has been hailed by some as a major contributing factor to ending the so-called “knife Intifada” of 2015-2017, the Jerusalem Post reported.
The Shin Bet chief is said to also serve as the main connection between Israel and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas because of the deep mistrust between Abbas and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the report said.
The PLO recently voted in favor of ending its security cooperation with the Shin Bet and the IDF, but Abbas has yet to approve the vote. The prevailing view is that Abbas will not sign off on the motion since Israel is also instrumental in keeping Hamas in the West Bank in check.