JERUSALEM, Israel – Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman told reporters Tuesday the Israeli Defense Forces prevent 20-30 attacks a week throughout Judea and Samaria (the West Bank). Lieberman was on a visit to Hebron to assess security arrangements prior to Thursday's annual Purim parade.
The annual holiday parade, which starts from Hebron's Tel Remeida neighborhood, the small Jewish enclave of 1,000 residents, to the Cave of the Patriarchs, requires well-planned security.
The IDF helps keep the tiny Jewish neighborhood, surrounded by an estimated 220,000 Arab residents of the Palestinian Authority-controlled city, safe.
In addition to guarding the Jewish residents, the IDF and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) have tracked down terrorists in Hebron who have carried out attacks elsewhere in Israel.
Lieberman praised the IDF Central Command for its success in preventing so many attacks. Israeli forces have ferreted out terrorists and confiscated their weapons, thus preventing potentially lethal attacks.
"In the Central Command, and especially in the area of Hebron's old city, a large-scale operation to thwart [terror attacks] has been undertaken in recent months — between 20 and 30 each week — in response to an increasing effort by terrorist forces," the Times of Israel quoted Lieberman as saying. "The vast majority of terror attacks we have succeeded in severing, thanks to high-quality intelligence, an intelligent troop deployment and advanced technologies."
IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot; Central Command head Maj. Gen. Roni Numa and his replacement, Maj. Gen. Nadav Padan; and IDF Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Gen. Yoav Mordechai accompanied the defense minister on the tour.
Lieberman thanked Numa, who steps down from the post next week, for "defeating, almost entirely, the wave of terror and knife attacks and has preserved stability in a complicated situation."