The Shin Bet says 133 terror attacks were noted in September, compared with 68 attacks in August • West Bank a hotbed for terror activity • Intelligence indicates a steady rise in terror organizations’ motivation to abduct Israeli soldiers.
The number of terror attacks and attempted terror attacks rose dramatically in September from August, a report by the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) revealed Thursday. According to the Shin Bet’s data, 133 terror attacks took place in September, compared with 68 attacks in August.
The two most notable terror attacks were the murders of Israeli soldiers Staff Sgt. Gal (Gabriel) Kobi, 20, on Sept. 19, and Sgt. Tomer Hazan, 20, on Sept. 21.
The report noted that most terror attacks in the past month — 104 — took place in Judea and Samaria, compared with 68 terror attacks in the territories in August. Four terror attacks took place near the Gaza Strip border in September (compared with five in August), and 26 attacks took place in Jerusalem (25 in August).
The Shin Bet further noted that defense intelligence indicated that there was a rise in terror organizations’ motivation to abduct Israeli soldiers, especially across Judea and Samaria, to use them as bargaining chips in potential negotiations for the release of Palestinian prisoners.
“The effort to carry out abductions is a familiar one and it is directed by the terror organizations’ headquarters abroad, as well as by security prisoners incarcerated in Israel, who strive to use [such abductions] as a means to promote their release,” a statement posted on the Shin Bet’s website said. “Over the past few months, especially since November 2012’s Operation Pillar of Defense, a more focused effort has been made to that effect, especially by Hamas, the Islamic Jihad and Fatah.”
The Shin Bet said that since Operation Pillar of Defense Hamas has been promoting the abduction of Israeli soldiers “as part of its attempts to cement its position as the entity leading the ‘resistance’ and armed struggle against Israel.”
The Islamic Jihad, “whose operational leeway has been curtailed by Hamas in Gaza (as it attempts to maintain security in the Strip) is also in search of new operational theaters and is focusing on abduction as a means of promoting the release of its prisoners,” the Shin Bet said on its website.
“Fatah, which is wary of leaving ‘the Palestinian street’ to Hamas, is seeking to garner ‘bonus points’ that, as they see it, would counter Hamas’ achievements in the  Schalit deal and Operation Pillar of Defense,” the statement said.
The Shin Bet’s report said, “There has been growing motivation among Palestinian terror groups to execute abduction attacks for the purpose of a prisoner exchange. The past few months have also seen a rise in the threat of abduction, which has manifested in the growing number of terror cells intercepted by Israeli security forces before they could set their plans into motion.”
According to the report, Israeli security forces have thwarted 37 abduction plots since the beginning of 2013.