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IDF chief said to warn terror wave could spread to Jewish, Israeli targets abroad

Kohavi reportedly tells Security Cabinet there is a fear terror in Israel could spur ‘copycat’ attacks around the world; Mossad, Shin Bet to step up protection efforts

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi seen after a meeting with Defense Minister Benny Gantz at the IDF Central Command headquarters in Jerusalem, on March 30, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi seen after a meeting with Defense Minister Benny Gantz at the IDF Central Command headquarters in Jerusalem, on March 30, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi has warned that the current wave of terror attacks in Israel could spread to Israeli and Jewish targets around the world, Channel 13 reported Thursday.

Kohavi issued the warning during a meeting Wednesday of the Security Cabinet convened to discuss the deadly attacks that have killed 11 Israelis in just over week.

“There is a real concern that the copycat effect could lead to efforts to hit Israeli and Jewish targets around the world,” Channel 13 quoted him as saying, without giving further details.

The report said the Mossad, Shin Bet and Military Intelligence would need to take additional measures to prevent such attacks.

The Mossad routinely works to prevent attacks against Israeli and Jewish institutions around the world, while the Shin Bet provides security to Israeli missions.

The warning came as Israel is bolstering its police and military efforts to contain the latest spike in violence.

People place candles on January 10, 2015, during a demonstration at the end of Shabbat called by the Jewish Student’s Union of France at the Porte de Vincennes in eastern Paris in homage to the four victims of the January 9, 2015 attack at a kosher supermarket in the French capital. (photo credit: Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP)

On Thursday, the government allocated NIS 181 million ($56.6 million) in additional funding for the police.

“Strong police equals a strong State of Israel. We are working with all tools and in all areas to restore security, and a sense of security to the citizens of Israel,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement.

The emergency funding joins the deployment of 1,000 soldiers to reinforce the police, which was ordered by Defense Minister Benny Gantz Wednesday.

“We are taking offensive and defensive actions,” Gantz said at a press conference following a security assessment with Kohavi and Central Command chief Maj. Gen. Yehuda Fuchs.

“I’ve ordered [the defense establishment] to aid Israeli police in the form of equipment, manpower, and additional personnel,” Gantz said.

“If necessary, we will recruit thousands of reservists who will flood the streets and operate wherever operational activity is required,” Gantz added. Israel rarely calls up reservists, except for training purposes.

People pay their respects during the funeral of Police officer Amir Khoury who was killed in a firefight during a terrorist shooting attack in Bnei Brak, at the cemetery in Nof Hagalil, March 31, 2022. (David Cohen/Flash90)

“Whatever it takes, we will break this wave of terror. We will bring back peace and stability in a forceful, smart, and responsible manner,” he said.

Security officials are scrambling to respond after a wave of terror attacks in the past week, including a shooting on Tuesday in Bnei Brak that killed five people. The Palestinian gunman was killed by police at the scene.

On Sunday, two Border Police officers were killed in a shooting attack in Hadera. The Arab Israeli gunmen were affiliated with the Islamic State jihadist group.

Five days earlier, four people were killed in a terror attack in the southern city of Beersheba. The terrorist — previously convicted of attempting to join IS — was shot dead by passersby. He was also an Israeli citizen.

At least 12 Palestinians have been killed in violent confrontations with Israeli troops in recent weeks. Some died in gun battles with Israeli soldiers in the West Bank, others during attempted attacks.

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