IDF Sees Rise in Terror 'Quality' in Judea and Samaria

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- While Israel Defense Forces keep a watchful eye along the borders with Syria and Lebanon in the north, Egypt and Hamas-controlled Gaza in the south, the IDF's Central Command is responsible for protecting Israeli citizens within the country -- particularly Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, which the world calls the West Bank.

On Tuesday, an IDF patrol uncovered a bomb near the Samarian community of Alfei Menashe. The device, buried alongside a fence, was intended to target soldiers patrolling the area, the IDF said.

Tuesday's discovery confirmed a briefing Monday by IDF Col. Yossi Pinto, commander of a Binyamin Regional Brigade, of more sophisticated "planning" of terror-related activity in Judea and Samaria.

In his briefing, Pinto said they're seeing a rise in the "quality" and "planning" of terror incidents over the past year, the Jerusalem Post reported on Tuesday.

"There is no dramatic rise in the level of terrorism, but there is a rise in the quality of the infrastructure and the planning [of terror attacks]," the colonel said.

While there may not be a direct connection to the events taking place in neighboring Syria, Lebanon and Egypt, it nonetheless has an effect on terror activities inside the country, he said.

"In recent weeks we again found ourselves in a challenging period," he said. "Our mission has been and remains to defend the communities of Binyamin and this country, a mission that has become more complex in recent months."

Pinto said increasing incidences of shootings and attempted kidnappings require a highly trained, well informed and professional response by the IDF.

The Central Command has jurisdiction over Judea and Samaria, protecting towns and villages from terror attacks and tracking down wanted men in Palestinian Authority-controlled cities and towns.
Over the weekend, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) revealed a plot a Hamas terror cell to bomb a popular Jerusalem mall during the Rosh Hashanah holiday.

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