woensdag 2 januari 2008

In 2007 minder Palestijnse terreuraanvallen maar meer granaten

Het zal wel wishful thinking zijn te hopen dat NRC Handelsblad, naast haar bericht van Betselem over het aantal Palestijnen dat Israël heeft gedood ook een samenvatting van onderstaand verslag van de Shin Bet opneemt.

Hoewel men het heeft over 29 verijdelde aanslagen, waarvan 6 zelfmoordaanslagen, zegt men verderop dat alleen al in de Westbank meer dan 100 potentiële zelfmoordterroristen werden opgepakt.
De kop van het Ynet artikel klopt niet met de inhoud van het Haaretz artikel, dat meldt dat er minder raketten maar wel veel meer granaten zijn afgevuurd vanuit de Gazastrook dan in 2006.
Het aantal Israëlische slachtoffers van Palestijnse terreur is voor het tweede achtereenvolgende jaar bijna gehalveerd, van 50 naar 24 naar 13.

Ratna & Wouter

2007: Shin Bet sees drop in terror attacks but more use of rockets

Security forces say that while terror groups were only successful in carrying out one suicide bombing in 2007, they were able to fire over 1,200 Qassam rockets at Israeli targets. Gaza became the focal point of Palestinian terror this year, but organizations there are working tirelessly to aid their counterparts in the West Bank.

Efrat Weiss YNET Published: 01.01.08, 01:36

The annual Shin Bet security report released on Tuesday shows a continued decline in the volume of suicide bombings inside Israel during 2007 but warns of a sharp increase in rocket attacks over the course of the year.

The decrease in suicide bombings was primarily attributed to improved cooperation between the IDF and Israeli police forces.

The Shin Bet successfully thwarted 29 terror attacks in 2007; six of these were attempted suicide bombings inside Israel.

The study reported several significant changes in the region, with Hamas' takeover of the Gaza Strip reigning as the most influential of these.

There has also been a notable increase in incidents of smaller-scale attacks against Israelis, with more Molotov cocktails and rocks being thrown at cars traveling throughout the country.

Gaza: Hamas growing stronger

Terror organizations fired more than 1,200 rockets towards Israel this year, killing two civilians and wounding 300 more, though the majority of these were shock victims. Only 800 of the total number of rockets fired made it across the border into Israel.

Meanwhile a total of 220 Palestinians suspected of involvement in terrorism were arrested by security forces in Gaza this year. The army also uncovered 12 tunnels in Gaza - four of these leading towards Israeli territory.

The Shin Bet's analysis of the current situation indicates that Hamas has vastly improved its ability to function as a structured military outfit.
This is attributed to the training undergone by its members in Iran.
Trainees are smuggled out of the Strip into Egypt and from there sent to various instructional facilities. They then return to Gaza with enhanced capabilities and expanded knowledge, which they pass on down through Hamas' ranks.

Organizations such as the Islamic Jihad, al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) were also noted as being responsible for numerous terror attacks.

There has also been a rise in attempts to smuggle terrorists into Israel in comparison to 2006. The report points to an Islamic Jihad attempt to smuggle two Palestinian women into Israel to carry out suicide bombings. The women were arrested at the Erez border crossing before they could exit Gaza and confessed they had planned to carry out simultaneous attacks in Tel-Aviv and Netanya.

Israel's defense establishment maintains that terror groups are working vigorously to arm themselves following the disengagement. Hamas, in particular, has managed to smuggle some 80 tons worth of explosives across the Gaza-Egyptian border.

West Bank: 60% decline in suicide bombing attempts

Though there were no suicide attacks emanating from the West Bank in 2007, three terrorists were able to successfully infiltrate into Israel, though they were apprehended before they could carry out their intended attacks.

However, says the Shin Bet, this is not to say that terror groups are not still trying to target Israelis.

Some 4000 terror operatives were arrested in the West Bank between January and October 2007. Of these 117 were potential suicide bombers. But the triple-digit figure is somewhat encouraging as it shows a 60% decline in the number of potential bombers.


Last update - 04:53 01/01/2008

Shin Bet data shows dramatic drop in 2007 terror fatalities
By Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondent

Thirteen Israelis were killed by Palestinians in 2007, the lowest number in years, according to data released yesterday by the Shin Bet security service.

The fatality figures for 2006 and 2005 were 24 and 50, respectively.

Moreover, there was only one successful suicide bombing last year, down from six in 2006 and 60 during the intifada's worst year, 2002. That bombing, in Eilat last January, killed three people.

According to the Shin Bet, the sharp decline in terror stemmed not from a drop in the terrorists' motivation, but from Israel's success in foiling attacks. This success is based on three elements: the separation fence, superb intelligence, and the Israel Defense Forces' almost complete freedom of action in the West Bank.

The data show "as close as possible to a victory over terror," a senior defense official told Haaretz. "The IDF and Shin Bet succeeded in thwarting suicide terror, reducing it to a tolerable level."

In contrast to the sharp decline in suicide bombings, however, rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza continued apace. In total, Palestinians fired 1,263 rockets and 1,511 mortar shells at southern Israel last year, compared with 1,722 rockets and 55 mortars in 2006. Rocket attacks accounted for two of last year's fatalities, both in Sderot.

The Shin Bet estimates that 80 tons of explosives have been smuggled into Gaza since Hamas ousted Fatah in the strip last June, and that Hezbollah funnels $10 million a year to Palestinian terror groups.

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