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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Israel: Insurgency strikes down since Gaza War

TEL AVIV — Israel has reported a significant drop in insurgency attacks in 2009.   

The government said strikes by Hamas and other insurgency groups declined in wake of the Israel war in the Gaza Strip in January 2009. In June, no Israelis were killed or injured in insurgency attacks in either the West Bank or from the Gaza Strip, Middle East Newsline reported.

"This was the first time in a long time that a month passed without an Israeli injured in a terror attack," a security source said.

The source said insurgency attacks dropped steadily after the Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip. He cited a near halt in Palestinian missile and rocket strikes from the Gaza Strip.

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In February, insurgency operations reached 120, a sharp drop from the previous month, when 580 attacks were reported. In April, 69 insurgency attacks were reported, and in May 51 operations took place. Up to 20 of these monthly strikes involved the firing of missiles from the Gaza Strip.

In June, 38 insurgency strikes were reported, none of them involving injuries. Twenty-two of the strikes were reported in the West Bank, with the rest in the Gaza Strip.

The source said insurgency operations in the West Bank were far less lethal than those from the Gaza Strip. The attacks in the West Bank have been largely comprised of firebombs, light arms fire and stone-throwing.

The Israel Army has assessed that Palestinian insurgency groups could rapidly intensify operations against Israel. At this point, the source said, neither Hamas nor Fatah was interested in escalation.

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