Schalit deal sparks increase in terror, says IDF officer
Israel Hayom Staff 12 July 2012
There has been a sharp increase in the number of attempted terror attacks
since the release of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for captive Israeli
soldier Gilad Schalit last October, according to the outgoing commander of
the Binyamin division, Col. Saar Tzur.
"Prison is like university for the terrorists – anyone who goes in comes out
upgraded," Tzur said in an interview with Army Radio. He said that following
the Schalit deal, there was a noticeable increase in the number of attempted
terror attacks both in the Judea and Samaria region, which falls under his
command, and inside Israel proper.
"It doesn't matter whether they were released to Gaza, the West Bank or
abroad – we see a return to terrorism,” Tzur said. “Another problem is a
considerable increase in the flow of funding [to terrorist groups]."
Tzur, who as of next month will be commanding the 401 armored brigade, also
said the Israel Defense Forces had to increase its activities in recent
months due to the ongoing attempts between Hamas and Fatah to reach a
reconciliation agreement, which has meant that the Palestinian Authority has
cut down its operations against possible terrorist groups.
"Civilians don't notice it, but we're working a lot harder – lots more
pinpoint operations aimed at capturing cells while they are still at the
planning, rather than operational, stage," he said.
Tzur has commanded the Binyamin division for the last four years. He told
Army Radio that in the first year, he spent most of his time dealing with
young right-wing activists involved in price-tag attacks, as well as
physical and verbal violence against him and his troops. He says there has
been a marked improvement in the last six months, and describes the
relations with the settlers as "good."
However, he says the recent arson attacks against mosques in Palestinians
towns are a painful reminder of just how delicate the situation is and that
the settler heads need to show real leadership.