Calm in West Bank 'deceiving': Israel's Shin Bet chief

By Abdelraouf Arnaout

JERUSALEM (AA) – The head of Israel’s internal security service Shin Bet has described the prevailing calm in the occupied West Bank as “deceiving”, according to Israeli daily Haaretz on Tuesday.

"The situation on the Palestinian front has been very unstable over the past year," Nadav Argaman told the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in the Knesset (Israel’s parliament).

He claimed that Palestinian group Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, was trying to carry out attacks “with directions from Lebanon”.

The Shin Bet chief claimed that Israeli authorities had thwarted 480 attacks and arrested 219 Hamas cells, going on to say that these numbers "attest to the extent of terrorism beneath the surface."

Tension has been high across the Palestinian territories since December when U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Middle East conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem — occupied by Israel since 1967 — might eventually serve as the capital of an independent Palestinian state.