July saw a significant decrease in the number of terrorist attacks, according to figures released by the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) on Thursday.
The figures showed that 64 terrorist attacks took place in July, as opposed to 165 in June 2012. The decrease was most prominent in attacks originating in Gaza: 28 attacks from Gaza were recorded in July, as opposed to 99 in June.
A decrease in the number of attacks (compared to June) was also registered in Jerusalem and the Judea and Samaria area. 30 attacks took place in the Judea and Samaria area in July, as opposed to 48 in June; six attacks were executed in Jerusalem, as opposed to 18 during the previous month.
One of the terrorist attacks in the past month was the July 18 attack against an Israeli tourist bus at Burgas airport in Bulgaria. Five Israelis (and the Bulgarian driver) were killed, and over thirty Israelis were wounded in this terrorist attack.
The Shin Bet found that most of the attacks carried out in Jerusalem and the Judea and Samaria area (34 out of 36) were in the form of firebombs.
Out of the 28 attacks in Gaza, 13 were rocket launchings, six were mortar shell launchings, and six were small arms shooting. Two attacks using explosive devices were recorded in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.
Throughout the month July 2012, the Shin Bet noted, 18 rockets and nine mortar shells were launched towards Israel in 19 attacks. This is compared to 197 rockets and 21 mortar shells in 94 attacks during the month of June.
The June attacks were part of an escalation in the attacks from Gaza which takes place every few months. After firing more than 100 rockets at Israel within several days, Hamas terrorists announced they had agreed to an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire.
However, the Gaza-based terrorist groups always take advantage of the ‘ceasefires’ to periodically send a reminder to Israelis that they have the ability to fire rockets.
Between 2001 and January 2009, over 8,600 rockets were launched, leading to 28 deaths and several hundred injuries, as well as widespread psychological trauma and disruption of daily life.
Since Israel's Operation Cast Lead in late 2008 and early 2009, an estimated 1,964 rocket and mortar attacks have been launched on Israeli communities from Gaza, with four fatalities and scores of injuries recorded.