Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror groups are reportedly offering cash incentives for shooting attacks on Israelis, on condition that a video of the assault is published on social media.
The two groups are offering about $200 for a shooting in an effort to encourage more attacks, in particular as Israel enters its three-week High Holiday period, which begins with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, next week, Channel 12 news reported on Tuesday.
Videos must be published on the TikTok video sharing application in order to qualify for a payout, according to the report.
The West Bank has seen a spate of shootings in recent months, mostly targeting Israel Defense Forces soldiers.
A heavily edited video circulated on Palestinian social media claimed to show the moment of the Tuesday attack by members of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade terror group. The footage could not be independently verified to have been from the incident.
שעה אחרי פיגוע הירי בקו התפר: חוליית המחבלים מפרסמת את תיעוד הירי. בזירה נמצאו 30 תרמילים pic.twitter.com/JHSBrMGc3r
— רועי שרון Roy Sharon (@roysharon11) September 13, 2022
Security officials are concerned that videos of shooting attacks will create so-called “internet heroes” encouraging others to follow their example, according to Channel 12.
Alongside arrest operations in the West Bank to thwart potential attacks, security forces are also aiming to stem the flow of cash that is used to finance or encourage attacks, according to the report.
The head of IDF Military Intelligence, Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva, warned Tuesday that terror groups were striving to encourage copycat attacks in the West Bank.
“The holiday period is always sensitive,” Haliva said at a conference at Herzliya’s Reichman University. “So I need to assume as a working assumption that there is a possibility of escalation.”
Haliva stressed it was only an assumption, not a certain prediction.
The shootings came as tensions have spiked in the region in recent weeks with Israeli forces ratcheting up arrest raids and other counterterror efforts, which Palestinians say have inflamed anger.
Israeli troops have repeatedly come under gunfire during nightly raids in the West Bank. The military launched the operation after a series of deadly attacks that killed 19 people between mid-March and the beginning of May.
More than 2,000 suspects have been detained since the beginning of the year, according to the Shin Bet security agency.
Emanuel Fabian contributed to this report.