IDF Braces for Rocket Fire on Two Borders, Redeploys Infantry to Roiling West Bank (VIDEO)
by Dave Bender
As Israel’s security cabinet goes into an emergency session Tuesday afternoon after Monday’s dual lethal terror attacks, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon warned that Israel is “in the midst of an escalation” of Palestinian terrorism, Ynet News reported.
However, army and other security agencies warn that the hostilities may not only be coming from West Bank Palestinians and Israeli Arabs identifying with them.
“There is concern over Palestinian factions in Gaza firing isolated rockets into Israel, in identification with Palestinians in the West Bank and Jerusalem,” a senior defense official cautioned, “like last weekend’s salvo, fired by Palestinian Islamic Jihad members.”
The source noted that “if Hamas can carry out attacks in the West Bank, it will do so,” similar to two recent ramming attacks in Jerusalem which the Islamic group took responsibility for that killed four Israelis, including an infant.
Additionally, in the north, the army redeployed at least one Iron Dome battery in the greater Haifa area in recent days, over estimates that terrorist groups including Hezbollah, ISIS, and others, may fire rockets into Israel from Lebanon and Syria.
Tekoa resident Dalia Lemkos, 25, and IDF Sgt. Almog Shiloni, 20, were both killed on Monday by knife-wielding Palestinians, south of Jerusalem and in central Tel Aviv, respectively.
Security officials noted some 60 stonethrowing and firebombing attacks against Israeli motorists, both in Judea and Samaria, Jerusalem, and in northern Israel, as well as rioting by Palestinian mobs in Hebron and elsewhere in the last 72 hours.
IDF troops clashed with some 350 Palestinian rioters near Hebron, killing one rioter the army said aimed “an improvised weapon” at soldiers, and wounded another, Ynet News said.
Ya’alon, during a visit with the IDF’s Gush Etzion Division, said that “successful stabbings and ramming attacks usually prompt other copycat attacks. This is a stressful period and we should behave accordingly.”
According to Ya’alon, “Our working assumption is that anyone who has committing a terror attack crossing his mind, will likely do it, and therefore it seems we’ll see more events like this,” noting that the recent string of such attacks were, apparently, carried out independently.
However, Ya’alon pledged that “We cannot allow this escalation to develop, and therefore we increased forces in the West Bank and on the seam line [security barrier with Israel], to prevent the passage of illegals into Israel.”
Ya’alon said the Palestinian Authority (PA) was making an effort to prevent terrorist attacks.
PA security “are working on the ground to prevent an escalation and are meeting with us to coordinate,” Ya’alon said, but added that “On the other hand, the rhetoric of the top officials led to the escalation.”
The watchdog group, Palestinian Media Watch, said in a brief released Monday that the PA has adopted “Hamas’ religious belief presenting peace with Israel as a violation of Islam.”
“When PA leaders use the term ‘entire land of Palestine,’ they refer to both the PA areas and all of the area of the State of Israel,” PMW reported.
“This designation of all of Israel as “waqf” has far-reaching political ramifications as it prohibits and precludes any authentic PA peace treaty with Israel,” according to the group.
Following senior-level security assessments Monday night which included Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, some 500 crack troops of the Golani Brigade’s 51st Battalion are being redeployed from the Golan to the Judea and Samaria Division. Together with other experienced infantry units, some 1,000 troops in total are being redirected to the area.
Watch a video clip of Sgt. Shiloni’s funeral: