For the first time since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, no Israelis were killed in terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria during 2012. The information was published Thursday in a special report by the Shabak.
Ten people were killed in terror attacks in the rest of Israel, the report said – a marked reduction from the 22 who were killed in attacks in 2011. The overall 2012 figure, too, was the lowest number of Israelis killed in terror attacks since 1993, when the “Oslo War” began. Four of those killed last year were security personnel, and the rest were civilians. The number of people killed in attacks has been on the decline since 2008, and since 2005, fewer than 100 were killed each year in attacks. The highest number killed was in 2002, when 452 Israelis lost their lives in terror attacks.
Seven of those killed last year were victims of attacks by Gaza Arab terrorists, while two were killed in an incident on the Sinai border, by Arab Bedouin who tried to enter Israel.
The low numbers killed in terror attacks – and the fact that no one was killed in attacks in Judea and Samaria – masked the fact that 2012 saw a significant rise in the number of terror attacks in Israel. In Judea and Samaria, 578 attacks – including shootings, firebombings, rock throwings, carjackings, etc. - were reported, compared to 320 in 2011. In Jerusalem, there were 282 attacks reported, compared to 191 the year before.
Among the reasons for the low number of attacks in 2012 was the fact that security forces were able to stop many other attacks before they took place. The report said that over 100 “significant” attacks were squelched before Arab terrorists could carry them out. At least one third of those were to be kidnappings of Israeli soldiers or civilians, and half were planned shooting attacks. Security forces also nabbed four suicide bombers, and five “at large” terrorists who infiltrated Israel from Sinai, and had not yet decided on which type of attack to carry out.
During 2012, the Shabak arrested some 2,300 terrorists suspects, the report said, adding that indictments were issued in 2,170 of the cases.
One area where security was significantly worse was in the number of terrorist rockets fired at Israel; 2012 saw a huge increase in that figure from the year before. In 2011, a total of 419 rockets were fired at Israel by terrorists, compared to 2,327 in 2012. Out of the total, 1,731 were fired during November – the period that Operation Pillar of Defense took place. It was the highest number of rockets to hit Israel since 2005, when the country was hit by 2,327 rockets fired by Gaza Arab and Hizbullah terrorists, the report added.