The Israel Security Agency reported Thursday that terrorism had increased dramatically in the month of March. The frequency of attacks was up in Gaza as well as Judea and Samaria.
Gaza terrorists fired 35 rockets and six mortar shells at Israelis in March, compared to five rockets and five mortar shells in the month of February. In addition, there were 30 shooting attacks from Gaza in March, compared to nine in February.
Rocket attacks from Gaza have been relatively infrequent since the Cast Lead counterterror offensive in Gaza in late 2008 and early 2009. Hamas head Khaled Mashaal reportedly told Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov this week that his organization wants to maintain the current level of calm in the Gaza area, and blamed the recent attacks on rival terrorist groups.
More terror everywhere
There was more terrorism in the Jerusalem area, and in Judea and Samaria as well. There were 89 terrorist attacks reported in Judea and Samaria in March, compared to 40 the month before. Incidents included three bombings, five shooting attacks, 79 firebombings, 25 of them in Jerusalem, and two attacks using rocks or other large objects. "Ordinary" rock attacks in which Arabs hurl rocks at cars – and which occur daily – are apparently not included in the statistics.
Israel Security Agency agents suggested that terrorism was on the rise in Judea and Samaria due to tensions in Jerusalem – where PA officials and Muslim leaders have claimed that Israel seeks to control the Temple Mount – and due to the increase of terrorism in Gaza.
In total, 125 terrorist attacks were reported in March, compared to 53 in February.