Attacks by Israeli settlers are nothing new, but with a Palestinian statehood vote at the UN looming, spy agency Shin Bet is increasingly concerned that the militant settlers are no longer going to be content chopping down olive trees and spray-painting “death to Arabs” on mosques, and are going to move into serious terrorist activity.
Indeed, Shin Bet warned many of the groups are already engaged in “terrorist activity” related to planning attacks, and that some settlers are organizing themselves into terrorist cells aimed at attacking either Palestinians, or the Israeli military, or both.
The settlers have been talking up “price tag” attacks against Palestinians as a way to embarrass the Israeli government into leaving unauthorized settlements alone. Increasingly, however, the threats are extending beyond the Palestinians.
That, of course, is where the Israeli government has decided it can no longer ignore the issue. With settlers moving beyond attacking Palestinian villages and threatening Israeli citizens who live beyond the occupied territories, the threat of expanding home-grown terrorism is all too real.
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