JERUSALEM, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Israel has thwarted some 200 attempts of attacks by Palestinians since the beginning of 2017, said sources from the weekly cabinet meeting.
Speaking at the weekly cabinet meeting, Shin Bet chief, Nadav Argaman, announced the figure, saying that the thwarted attacks include attempted suicide attacks, shooting attacks and kidnapping.
Argaman added that the Shin Bet identified a sharp rise in the attack attempts started from July, when Israel installed new metal detectors at the entrance to the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem, sparking a wave of protests and clashes between Palestinian worshipers and Israeli police.
The metal detectors were installed following an attack near the compound, in which three Palestinian-Arab citizens of Israel killed two policemen. The police forces then fired back and killed the three.
Over the past two months, Israeli security forces have identified more than 70 terror cells in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Argaman said.
He stressed that the relative calm in the West Bank and Gaza Strip is "fragile" and will be easily violated by "religious events," such as the upcoming high Jewish holidays, during which thousands of Jews would visit the Al-Aqsa compound, a hilltop site holy to both Muslims and Jews, and the Western Wall, a holy Jewish site at the foot of Al-Aqsa.
Argaman noted that Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist organization that controls the Gaza Strip, is strengthening its ties in Iran while establishing a foothold in Lebanon. Hamas is preparing to another round of war, he said.
In 2014, Israel opened a 51-day-long offensive in Gaza, killing 2,251 Palestinians, most of them civilians. At the same time, Gaza militants killed 72 Israelis, all but six were soldiers.