The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) has thwarted another Hamas terror plot
originating from the West Bank, and, once again, saved dozens of civilians from
violent death and crippling injury.
Had the latest plot not been stopped,
a bomb would have torn though the crowded Jerusalem Mamilla Mall during the peak
holiday season. Traumatic scenes of blood-soaked mayhem would have returned to
Although Hamas as an entity is largely based in the Gaza
Strip, and the threat it poses to Israeli civilians is usually measured in terms
of its rocket capabilities, the fact remains that its West Bank branch has not
stopped trying to pull off an atrocity in Israel.
This tactic allows the
regime to craftily continue its jihad against Israel, as it clings to the
ceasefire in place since the end of Operation Pillar of Defense last
Several past investigations have documented how this tactic has
been put into practice.
For example, in March this year, a Palestinian
resident of Ramallah appeared before an Israeli military court and was charged
with attempting to set up a terror cell, after being recruited for the mission
by Hamas in Gaza.
The suspect, a 26-year-old attorney, allegedly worked
under the instruction of the regime’s military wing, the Izzadin al-Qassam
Brigades, and followed directives he received via Facebook and emails to set up
a terror cell that would fire rockets and kidnap and kill a soldier.
the past, some attacks that have been thwarted were linked by security forces to
the Gazan interior minister, Fathi Hammad (though he has predictably denied the
There have been at least three known arrests of Hamas terror
cells in the West Bank this year, prior to the latest investigation.
all form part of a broader effort by it to recover its West Bank infrastructure,
which was all but destroyed by Israel’s counter-terror operations a decade
These incidents raise an unavoidable question: Can a future attack,
one that isn’t thwarted, have direct repercussions on current relative calm
between Israel and Gaza? To what extent are these two arenas interlinked? So
far, these questions have not been put to the test, thanks to the lifesaving
efficiency of the Shin Bet.