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Security officials eye extensive anti-terror operation in Samaria

Proponents say increased Palestinian incitement to commit attacks could cost more lives than an IDF offensive.

Israeli soldiers at the scene of a shooting attack near Shavei Shomron in Samaria, Oct. 11, 2022. Photo by Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90.
Israeli soldiers at the scene of a shooting attack near Shavei Shomron in Samaria, Oct. 11, 2022. Photo by Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90.

The continued terrorist attacks in Samaria have prompted Israel’s security leadership to consider changing strategy in the area, including possibly mounting a large-scale military operation, Israel Hayom has learned.

Officials have not yet come to a decision on the matter. The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) is said to believe there is a need for a policy change, while Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi are yet to come to a decision. Supporters of the move say increased incitement to commit terrorist attacks could lead to a heavier toll than a full-scale operation.

Samaria in particular has seen an uptick in terrorist attacks as the Palestinian Authority loses control there.

Israel was on the verge of launching a large-scale counterterrorism operation in Samaria in early 2022 due to the escalation in Arab violence, and the military was ordered to prepare, but the plans were disrupted when the new government, headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, took office.

With the end of Ramadan, which is thought to bring with it an uptick in violence, especially in Jerusalem, the agenda is back on the table.

Besides a major offensive, the security officials are also considering boosting preemptive efforts by arresting individuals involved in terrorist activities, increasing operations in Judea and Samaria one area at a time, and strengthening the P.A.’s ability to conduct its own law enforcement operations.

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