The new General Security Services (Shabak) chief Nadav Argaman told a Knesset committee on Tuesday that more than 40 women were involved in the current wave of terror, and that in almost every case the background to the individual woman taking up arms in a suicidal attack was internal family conflict over disapproval of the woman’s sexual conduct. In some cases, he said, it was even known that family members delivered the women to the scene of the attack.
Argaman argued that the women were sent to their certain death as an act of redemption for their misconduct, and also as a means for their families to earn a monthly stipend from the Palestinian Authority.
Argaman appeared before the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in his first presentation. He showed the committee charts proving that the peaks in the wave of terror have been related to tension surrounding the Temple Mount compound. He warned that a heated situation on the Temple Mount could bring about a new explosion of terror.
The new chief of clandestine operations also remarked that Hamas, which is in the midst of a strategic duress, is not interested in going to war at the moment. He noted that there is a tight cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in intensively perusing Hamas in Judea and Samaria.
Like many other in the security apparatus leadership, Argaman stressed the value of issuing work permits in Israel to Judea and Samaria Arabs, suggesting that these working people are a source of calm in the Arab society there, who also prevent terror attacks. Today there are about 120 thousand Judea and Samaria Arab residents who work in Israel, legally and otherwise, supporting about one third of the population at home.
Argaman said that since the start of the new wave, security forces and Shabak have foiled about 240 significant attacks, and in the first five months of 2016 alone 11 suicide bombing attacks were thwarted, as well as 10 kidnapping attempts, and more than 60 shooting attempts, most of them by Hamas members.
According to Argaman, since the official date of the current escalation, October 1, 2015, there have been more than 300 significant attacks and attempted attacks (not including the countless daily incidents of stone and Molotov cocktail throwing). Out of those there were some 180 stabbing attacks, more than 90 shootings, and some 30 ramming attacks using a car. He noted that most of these attacks were carried out by lone individuals, while the number of attacks carried out by terror organizations has been relatively low.
Argaman told the committee that the decline in the number of attacks in recent months, compared with October 2015, can be explained by the high number of prevented attacks, improvements in the Israeli alert capacity regarding lone attackers, and the focusing of deterrence on the attackers and their close environment.