TEL AVIV - The head of Israel's Shin Bet internal security service warned Monday against complacency despite the "relative calm" prevailing in Israel and the Palestinian territories, in rare public remarks.
Speaking to parliament's foreign affairs and defence committee, Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman told lawmakers not to be fooled by the "current relative calm".
The situation, he said in remarks carried by Israeli public radio, "is deceiving".
"It is misleading," Argaman said, because the Palestinian Islamist group "Hamas and global jihadists are constantly trying to carry out attacks on Israeli territory and in Judea-Samaria (Religious Jewish term for the illegally occupied West Bank)."
A wave of violence that broke out in October 2015 has claimed the lives of 256 Palestinians, 40 Israelis, two Americans, one Jordanian, an Eritrean and a Sudanese national, according to an AFP count.
Israel insists that most of the Palestinians killed were carrying out knife, gun or car-ramming attacks, but many were killed during protests, in clashes or in Israeli air raids on the blockaded Gaza Strip.
Argaman said the relative calm is the result of new "anti-terrorism" methods adopted by Shin Bet.
"We have learned to confront individual terrorism and made changes thanks to technological, operational and intelligence developments," he said.
Argaman said Shin Bet has "arrested more than 400 would-be assailants before they were able to act".