Nine weeks after 19 Israelis were murdered in a spate of Palestinian terror attacks on major cities, the IDF, the Shin Bet security service and the Border Guards police have cut short the deadly wave of violence that hit Tel Aviv, Hadera, Bnei Brak, Beersheba and Elad. For now, at least. In nightly raids of terrorist bastions and havens in the Palestinian towns and refugee camps of Judea and Samaria, embattled Israeli forces detained scores of suspects in the face of gunfire and flying explosives. At one point, the armed clashes became fierce enough for the IDF to consider using armed helicopters in the fray.
The forces also commandeered large caches of weapons and cash to sustain the level of attacks and bring in new cells.
The operation was led by OC Central Command Maj. Gen. Yehudah Fuchs, the commander of the Judea/Samaria division, Brig. Gen. Avi Balut and Shin Bet director Ronen Bar.
Neither the military nor any other participants in the operation have offered details of the tactics used to quell the terror outbreak. Substantial and precise force were obviously used, fed by pinpointed intelligence.
DEBKAfile’s military sources note that the IDF’s special Duvdevan unit and the large Kfir infantry outfit were supported this time by the latest influx of combat army recruits aged 18, who faced their first test of fire under real combat conditions.
When the operation set out, the Shin Bet had no clue as to who was orchestrating the new outbreak of terror. A new generation were clearly out in the field of terror and its modes differed from those of the familiar suicide bomber of yore. To bring the level of violence down to zero Israeli casualties by early June, the security service had clearly gained a handle on the perpetrators. They evidently hailed from a mix of various Palestinian organizations, including Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the armed sections of the Fatah.
To mark the success of the anti-terror drive, a sweetener was offered: the quota of Gazan Palestinians permitted to cross over to take up jobs in Israel is to be raised from 12,000 a day to 15,000, as PM Naftali Bennett informed the Knesset foreign affairs and security committee on Tuesday.