WASHINGTON (JTA) — The annual U.S. State Department report on terrorism highlighted Israel’s successful responses to threats.
The Country Reports on Terrorism, released Thursday, discusses the state of terrorism around the world in 2009. It is delivered to Congress by April 30 each year.
The report points out that four Israelis were killed in three attacks, down from 27 deaths in 13 attacks the previous year, and said Israeli officials believe that the Gaza military operation known as Cast Lead helped lower the number of attacks originating from the strip. The report said, however, that Israeli officials believe the quiet is not permanent and that Hamas has been using the time to rearm.
On the topic of the West Bank, the report made no comment about the effectiveness of Israel’s security fence. It did report, however, that Israel has eased movement restrictions in the West Bank.
According to the report, Israel has identified a new trend in terrorism that it calls the lone terrorist: With Israel largely stopping rocket attacks and suicide bombings, the report stated, attacks are now being carried out by one person, often with no criminal history, for either personal or political reasons.
Iran and Syria, among other countries, remained on the list of states that sponsor terrorism because they financially, materially and logistically support terrorist groups and provide havens for them.