Recent intelligence appraisals suggesting a possible escalation of violence in April seem to have a firm footing in reality following Wednesday’s terror attack against two soldiers in the West Bank. Last month the IDF arrested more than 200 people suspected of violent terror activity and the anger in the Palestinian Authority over Israel’s freezing of tax transfers to the West Bank government have served to add fuel to the fire.
Last month it was reported that the security establishment was preparing for a possible escalation at the beginning of April. The IDF’s preparations for a possible uptick in violence reached a climax with a surprise General Staff drill commanded by IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot.
One of the causes of the escalation is the Palestinians’ anger at Israel, who they claim declared publicly that they would unfreeze the tax transfers, but in reality did not transfer them the full amount. The economic situation in the Palestinian Authority is causing senior officials in the defense establishment to lose sleep. They have warned that the economic pressure may serve to inflame the territory. The fact that a terror attack such as the one carried out Wednesday took place while security forces were in a state of high alert for the Passover holiday shows how determined the Palestinian street is to upset the status quo.
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