A Palestinian uses a slingshot to throw stones towards Israeli security forces during clashes in Beit El, near the West Bank city of Ramallah.
(photo credit: ABBAS MOMANI / AFP)
Diplomatic steps have "weight" in restraining the ongoing wave of Palestinian terrorism, a senior official from the IDF's Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) said on Wednesday.
Speaking at a conference on the rehabilitation of the Gaza Strip at the Netanya Academic College, Brig.-Gen. Guy Goldstein, deputy Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, said that Israel "is at the height of a conflict whose end is not on the foreseeable horizon."
Goldstein, whose COGAT unit is responsible for implementing the government's policy in Judea and Samaria and vis-à-vis the Gaza Strip, rejected the idea that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was following a policy of terror, arguing instead that he was "trying to calm tensions."
He said that the current wave of terror is "not the type of intifada that we know. It's a rebellion of individuals and on social networks and of terror that comes from pain and frustration."
In addition, Goldstein said that Israel is seeing the strongest yet instances of friction between Palestinians and settlers.
Goldstein also discussed the COGAT's efforts to send materials into Gaza to help rebuild the Strip in the aftermath of Operation Protective Edge, saying that Hamas was taking advantage of these efforts to rebuild its terror infrastructure.
"Hamas's goal is to get stronger and build underground [tunneling] capabilities and high trajectory missiles." He said that Israel was trying to locate the site of these Hamas activities, but admitted that its efforts have not been wholly successful.