IDF: More terror victims in 2017, but number of attacks decreasing

A report released by the IDF notes an increase in Israeli terror fatalities last year, although the number of attacks perpetrated by Palestinian terrorists has decreased. 

By Margot Dudkevitch

The year 2017 saw more Israelis killed in terror attacks waged inside Israel, including Judea and Samaria, despite a decrease in the number of attacks perpetrated by Palestinian terrorists, details released by the IDF revealed.

Twenty people were killed and 169 wounded in attacks that originated in Judea and Samaria compared with 17 fatalities in 2016. Stabbing and shooting attacks as well as running over civilians and soldiers characterized the attacks perpetrated by terrorists over the past year. The army noted that the Carl Gustav-style submachine gun, manufactured in Palestinian areas inside Judea and Samaria, was the preferred weapon used by terrorists in shooting attacks.

Together with the Shin Bet security agency and Israel Police, the army stepped up its operations in Judea and Samaria, cracking down on weapons-manufacturing facilities and shutting down some 42 weapons factories, as well as seizing millions of shekels in cash used to fund the terrorist activities.

Turning to Israel’s southern border, some 35 rockets and mortar shells were fired at Israel in 2017 by terrorists inside the Gaza Strip. The army noted that the vast majority of rockets fired last year landed in open areas, with approximately 10 exploding in populated areas with some being intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system. The majority of rockets were fired in the last two months of 2017, coinciding with the army’s demolition of two cross-border terror tunnels and US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the official capital of Israel.

Despite the errant rocket fire stemming from internal fighting between the Syrian regime and rebel forces close to Israel’s northern border, Israeli residents living in the country’s northern communities enjoyed a year of relative calm, the army noted.