The IDF is concerned with the growing involvement of Palestinians released in
the Gilad Schalit prisoner exchange in anti-Israel terror activity in the West
Bank, a senior IDF officer said Sunday.
The officer said that since the
beginning of the year, the IDF has noticed a dramatic increase in attempts by
Palestinian terror organizations, and particularly Hamas, to smuggle money into
the West Bank to finance their activity.
In January and February there
was a dramatic increase at West Bank crossings, particularly at the Allenby
Bridge which is between Jordan and Israel, with NIS 2.2 million being
confiscated in comparison to just NIS 500,000 confiscated in all of last
Some of the terrorists released under the Schalit deal are trying
to reestablish terrorist activity in the West Bank and particularly to kidnap
IDF soldiers or Israeli citizens, according to the senior officer.
source said there was a connection between smuggling money and the release of 55
Palestinian terrorists to the territory under the Schalit
“Establishing new terror infrastructures requires a lot of money,”
the officer added.
On Sunday, OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Avi Mizrahi
was replaced by Maj.- Gen. Nitzan Alon, former commander of the Judea and
The officer also voiced concern about a drop in arrests
made by Palestinian Authority security forces in the last year.
security forces arrested 2,200 terror suspects between 2009 and 2010 but
arrested less than 700 in 2011, according to the officer. The drop was the
result of the reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah even though the PA is not
allowing Hamas to insert its own people into the ranks of the security forces,
While there was a drop in the number of arrests, the officer
said that Israel was satisfied with the PA’s continued operations against known
terrorists cells in the West Bank.
Just last month the PA foiled a plot
by terrorists in Kalkilya to abduct an Israeli civilian.