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Thursday, May 5, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Israel now sees Hamas-Fatah accord as 'tactical, not strategic'

JERUSALEM — Israel has reported a decline in insurgency attacks.


The Israel Security Agency said insurgency strikes dropped sharply in April. ISA, entrusted with domestic intelligence, said the biggest drop was in the Jerusalem area as well as the West Bank.

Officials said ISA did not expect an escalation of insurgency attacks in wake of a reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas. They said the accord for a unity government and elections did not appear ripe for implementation amid deep suspicions between the Palestinian movements.

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"This [agreement] is a tactical, not strategic move," outgoing ISA chief Yuval Diskin said.

"Despite the decrease, two Israelis were killed in the Judea and Samaria area during April — one was killed in Jenin on April 4, another was killed near Joseph's Tomb in Nablus on April 24, and six Israelis were injured in this incident," ISA said on May 4.

The monthly report cited 16 attacks in Jerusalem and 19 in the West Bank in April. During March, 42 attacks were reported in Jerusalem and 36 in the West Bank.

"Most attacks executed in April — 32 out of 35 — were in the form of firebombs," the agency said.

ISA said attacks from the Gaza Strip continued to increase. The agency cited 66 strikes from the Gaza Strip, compared to 50 in March, almost all of them missile, mortar and rocket launches.

One attack was that of the firing of a Hamas Kornet anti-tank guided missile. The AT-14 missile struck a largely empty school bus inside Israel and a 16-year-old boy was killed on April 7.

"Throughout April 2011, 87 rockets and 57 mortar shells were launched towards Israel [from the Gaza Strip] in 63 attacks compared to 38 rockets and 87 mortar shells in March 2011 in 47 attacks," ISA said.

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