Terror attacks in West Bank, Jerusalem on the rise

Shin Bet statistics show marked increase in unrest in Palestinian territories and the capital in November and December

Ilan Ben Zion is an AFP reporter and a former news editor at The Times of Israel.

Palestinians throwing rocks at Israeli troops in the West Bank town of Tamoun, January 1. (photo credit: AP/Mohammed Ballas)
Palestinians throwing rocks at Israeli troops in the West Bank town of Tamoun, January 1. (photo credit: AP/Mohammed Ballas)

December 2012 witnessed a 400% spike in the number of terrorist attacks in the West Bank and Jerusalem compared to August, according to statistics published by the Shin Bet security service on Monday.

The Shin Bet tallied 111 attacks in the West Bank and Jerusalem in December, of which 98 involved the throwing of Molotov cocktails, six involved explosive devices, and three involved grenades. There were two instances of small arms fire, a stabbing, and a hit-and-run. Three Israelis were injured in the attacks, two in a stabbing on December 3 and one in a hit-and-run on December 23.

One notable contrasting statistic was the drop in terrorist attacks on Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip. Only one mortar was reported fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel for the entire month of December.

During November, the month the IDF waged Operation Pillar of Defense against terrorist groups in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, the security service recorded 637 attacks from the Gaza Strip, including 598 rocket attacks, 32 mortar attacks, one explosives-packed tunnel, one of small arms fire, one improvised explosive device, three anti-tank missiles, and one anti-aircraft missile.

November also logged 166 terrorist attacks in the West Bank and Jerusalem.

September and October, by comparison, had only 67 and 70 attacks in the West Bank and Jerusalem. August — the quietest month of the year according to the security service — had only 28 terror attacks.

The statistics were released after Col. Yaniv Alaluf of the Etzion region brigade‘s assertion last week that third Palestinian intifada is already under way.

“It doesn’t take thousands of AK-47 assault rifles to create problems,” he said.

“[Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas’s [diplomatic] process is over and has been replaced by the Hamas approach” of violent struggle against Israel, Alaluf said.

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