The Shin Bet security agency announced new figures yesterday, which detailed that 77 terror attacks have been prevented so far this year.
The current wave of violence, which has seen at least 31 Israelis killed since October, has subsided over the past several weeks. Nonetheless, the new Shin Bet statistics indicate that much of this lull may be due to intelligence and successful preventative security measures.
The Shin Bet is responsible for intelligence work within Israeli and Palestinian areas and is often at the forefront of anti-terror operations and efforts. It revealed that 77 terror attacks had been thwarted since the start of the year, including 5 suicide bombings and 10 other bombings, 7 kidnappings and 34 shooting attacks. In 2015, the Shin Bet foiled 239 attacks, compared to 217 in 2014 and 187 in 2013.
The report was released as Nadav Argaman officially took over as the head of Shin Bet. Argaman, who joined the organisation in 1983, previously served as the Shin Bet’s deputy head and is credited with leading the Shin Bet’s operations against Palestinian terror during the Second Intifada.
At an official handover ceremony Argaman took over from Yoram Cohen, who steps down following a five-year term. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commented: “The Middle East is awash with uncertainty. We must be prepared for any eventuality and strongly equipped for whatever is needed. I am convinced, Nadav, that you can successfully handle all of these challenges that you will push the Shin Bet forward.” In the name of all Israeli citizens, said Netanyahu: “we wish you continued success.”
Outgoing head Cohen said that during his tenure “many hundreds” of attacks on Israelis had been prevented. Argaman noted that Israel’s existence “is not a given even 68 years after independence. It is our obligation to ensure our existence and future here in the Land of Israel.”