The Shin Bet general security agency prevented over 400 terror attacks over the course of 2016, the service’s chief revealed Tuesday during an award event for its most valued operations over the past two years.
During a ceremony to present the Prime Minister’s Prize for operational-intelligence in 2015-2016 held at the Shin Bet headquarters, director Nadav Argaman praised the service’s efforts in thwarting the attempted attacks.
“It is thanks to the quality intelligence, the advanced technology, and the excellent human capital that the Shin Bet this year thwarted more than 400 significant attacks,” Argaman said during the event.
“You saw everything that we saw, but you thought what no one else thought before,” he told his agents.
Prime Minister Benjmain Netanyahu was at the ceremony to hand out awards for the six most complex and advanced operations the Shin Bet carried out in the past two years in the fields of intelligence, technology and cyberspace.
Among the operations that won prizes, awarded every two years, were the development of sophisticated technologies for dealing with lone-wolf attacks, an operation to obtain groundbreaking intelligence information, and the thwarting of terror infrastructures planning major attacks, the Shin Bet said in a statement.
“The Shin Bet carries out hundreds of operations that are a protective wall against the terror [threatening] to harm the security of Israel and its citizens,” Netanyahu said according to a report from the Hebrew-language Ynet website.
“The men and women of the service who took part in these operations demonstrated creativity, boldness, sophistication and exceptional courage,” he said.
“The lives of many citizens were saved thanks to the amazing preventative actions the Shin Bet takes, by using advanced technology, groundbreaking cyber information, and in particular creativity and never-ending determination. In the name of the citizens of Israel — I salute and thank you for your actions as an unseen shield,” Netanyahu said.
Earlier Tuesday the Shin Bet said it had foiled a plan by Arab Israelis to attack soldiers in the southern Negev desert, apparently in retaliation for Israel’s decision earlier this year to outlaw the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement.
Two of the suspects — Muhammad Masri, 37, of Beersheba, and Abd Allah Abu Ayash, 26, from Kasifa — are accused of plotting to attack soldiers at three possible locations, Dimona, Arad, and the Nevatim air force base in the Negev Desert, the security service said in a statement.