Officials say recent ax attack, failed shooting and bulldozer attacks might indicate new popular rising.
By YAAKOV KATZ
The recent spate of terrorists attacks has security forces concerned that Israel may be facing a new popular uprising in the West Bank, defense officials said Sunday.
The officials cited the ax attack in the settlement of Bat Ayin on Thursday, in which a 13-year-old boy was killed, the failed shooting attack by a Beduin girl on Saturday against a Border Police station in the South, as well as the series of bulldozer attacks in Jerusalem in recent months.
All these attacks are believed to be the work of lone terrorists who did not work within a larger cell or network.
The officials also pointed to an increasing number of rocks and firebombs that have been thrown at Israeli cars in the West Bank since the beginning of the year.
"There is a major intelligence gap when we talk about lone attackers," explained one officer in the IDF Central Command on Sunday. "Intelligence is effective against cells and networks, but can rarely prevent what a lone attacker is plotting."
In contrast, the infiltration last month of a car loaded with explosives into a Haifa mall parking lot as well as the shooting attack that killed two policemen in the Jordan Valley are believed to have been the work of terrorist infrastructures.
Defense officials said that while some organized attacks succeeded, they were difficult to carry out.
"The IDF is everywhere in the West Bank and is provided with excellent intelligence by the Shin Bet [Israel Security Agency]," another official explained. "This doesn't leave the terrorist groups many opportunities to try to hit us."
Fearing that attacks will increase during Pessah, the IDF and Israel Police will raise their level of alert starting Wednesday and beef up forces across the country.
At the moment, the Shin Bet has recorded nine specific warnings on terrorist attacks in the planning stages in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, in addition to dozens of general warnings regarding a wide range of possible attacks.
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