The past year has seen an increase in planning and setting up cells for terror attacks in the West Bank, Binyamin Regional Brigade Commander Col. Yossi Pinto said Monday.

“There is no dramatic rise in the level of terrorism, but there is a rise in the quality of the infrastructure and the planning [of terror attacks],” he said during an annual sum up of security incidents.

Instability in other regions could influence the territories under the jurisdiction of IDF Central Command, he warned.

“In recent weeks we again found ourselves in a challenging period. What is happening in Syria and Egypt may be far, but it can also reach us very quickly. Our mission has been and remains to defend the communities of Binyamin and this country, a mission that has become more complex in recent months,” he stated.

Pinto added that his forces will “continue to be ready for every incident, small or large.”

The current period is a sensitive one, he said, due to regional events, peace talks and the High Holy Day season.

“This commits us to a high level of intelligence, and we are checking ourselves to ensure that our efforts are really bringing the required level of intelligence.

The level of terrorism was and remains challenging,” he said.

Potential attacks include kidnapping and shooting at IDF soldiers, he said. This fact requires the military to be professional and well-trained, he added.

Addressing a recent deadly clash with Palestinian rioters in Kalandiya, in which hundreds attacked security forces who were arresting a security suspect, Pinto said the incident could have ended with more casualties, and praised the “determination and decision making of the commanders” who oversaw the raid. Three Palestinians were shot dead during the assault on soldiers, which included the hurling of concrete slabs from rooftops on jeeps.

Last week, security forces led by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) announced that they had foiled a bomb plot by members of Hamas.

They said the attack had been timed for the High Holy Days, the intended target being the Mamilla mall in central Jerusalem. Two Palestinians from east Jerusalem who were employed as maintenance workers at the mall were arrested together with a Hamas member from Ramallah, they said.

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