IDF: Increase in Schalit prisoners' terror activity

Top IDF official voices notes dramatic increase in attempts by Palestinian terror groups to smuggle money into West Bank.

Freed Palestinian prisoner greets child_311 (photo credit: Reuters)
Freed Palestinian prisoner greets child_311
(photo credit: Reuters)
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 year.
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.
The source said there was a connection between smuggling money and the release of 55 Palestinian terrorists to the territory under the Schalit deal.
“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 Samaria Division.
The officer also voiced concern about a drop in arrests made by Palestinian Authority security forces in the last year.
PA 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, he said.
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.