Analysis: Does the Jerusalem bus explosion endanger the recent decline in terror?

The security establishment believes that the terror wave is ebbing despite Monday's blast, but such an attack could still potentially reignite the street.

By NOAM AMIR/MAARIV HASHAVUA
April 19, 2016 11:51
2 minute read.
Scene of exploded bus in Jerusalem, April 18, 2016

Scene of exploded bus in Jerusalem, April 18, 2016. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

 
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Despite a bus explosion that injured 21 people in Jerusalem on Monday, the defense establishment believes that the current terror wave plaguing Israel is approaching its end. A downturn in attacks has been noted on the ground, in part due to the Palestinian security forces' efforts to thwart terror.

The estimate is that an organized terrorist infrastructure does not stand behind the blast, but rather it is believed to be the work of a lone wolf attacker that constructed the explosive device from materials that can be purchased at a hardware store. The main reason for the great amount of damage that the bomb caused is that it exploded next to the massive gas tanks of two buses.

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The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) did not just by chance refer to the coming period as one of the most sensitive since the terror wave began. The month of Nissan, the month of holidays, is very volatile, mainly because of the intersecting of religious ceremonies. In Judaism, it is common to visit holy sites during this period. It is not a coincidence that orders were issued by the prime minister, the Shin Bet and the police commissioner not to ascend to the Temple Mount during this period. Making comments about the subject is also off limits. Despite Monday's bus explosion, the defense establishment is hopeful that the coming weeks wills pass peacefully.

Jordan's decision not to install cameras at the Temple Mount is not positive for Israel, which had hoped the project would be initiated immediately after Passover. For Israel, it would have been an opportunity to show on camera the reality on the Temple Mount and Israel's efforts to maintain the status quo. The project was supposed to provide a live broadcast of the place to the whole world, under Jordan's supervision, so that anybody, anywhere, could see that the reports of Israeli violations on the Temple Mount were for the most part lies and incitement.

A security source told The Jerusalem Post's sister publication Maariv that the terror wave can only be judged over an extended period, and not on the basis of a specific incident.

According to the source, "In order to say that the terror wave is over, we must see two phases. One is a decline, hopefully two to four weeks of quiet, and then we can talk about a calming down, and an additional period of two to four weeks of quiet. Without this, the terror wave is still at its height. A terror attack like the one we saw Monday evening can certainly bring the motivation back to the street after it had seriously declined over the last month."

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