There was a 150% increase in terrorist activity overseen by Hizbullah in Judea and Samaria in the first half of 2006 and its presence is felt in terrorist activity in Gaza as well. On the eve of the Second Lebanon War, there were 80 terrorist cells operating in Judea and Samaria under Hizbullah guidance, most from the Tanzim (Fatah) or Islamic Jihad.
During 2006, 279 potential suicide bombers were arrested in Judea and Samaria, compared to 154 in 2005 – an 80% increase. This significant rise in the number of potential suicide bombers arrested demonstrates an increased motivation to carry out suicide attacks, especially in Samaria.
The past year has seen an increase in the handling, operation and guidance of terrorist cells in Judea and Samaria by elements from Gaza, with emphasis on Hamas. Command centers in Gaza provided cells with the know-how of how to upgrade their weapons-making capabilities, including rockets.
In light of the opening of the Gaza-Egypt border crossing for free movement and Hamas’ ascendance to power, Hamas activity in Gaza has increased, and there are currently 30 terrorist cells there operated by Hizbullah.
Over 1,000 Islamic Jihad activists in Judea and Samaria were arrested. However, Islamic Jihad cells in the region demonstrated quick recovery capabilities and still pose a serious threat, especially in northern Samaria.
Over the past year, the number of rocket attacks against Israel from Gaza increased by several hundred percent.
Hamas’ victory in the PA elections provided Iran with a foothold to expand its political and operational influence in the Palestinian arena.