Terror attacks in Israel continue 4-month decline


(JTA) — Continuing a downward trend that began in November, the number of terrorist attacks committed in Israel and the West Bank decreased in February by 9 percent over the previous month.

Last month, the Israel Security Agency, or Shin Bet, recorded a total of 154 terrorist attacks committed in Israel and the West Bank by Palestinians against Israelis, the agency wrote in its monthly report for February, which it published this week.

On Friday, an Israeli man was lightly wounded in a stabbing attack in the Old City of Jerusalem. Police arrested a 19-year-old man they believed carried out the attack. He was not harmed during his arrest, Army Radio reported.

Attacks in February resulted in the death of three victims and the wounding of 11 — a decrease from the slaying of five victims and the wounding of 28 in January.

The figure for February is the lowest monthly total recorded since July, when 103 attacks were observed.

Attacks began increasing in August, when 171 attacks were documented, and rose sharply in September and October, with 223 and 620 attacks recorded in those months respectively.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in October called the escalation “a terror wave,” whereas many in the Israeli and Palestinian media dubbed it “the third intifada.”

But the overall number of attacks decreased to 326 in November, 246 in December and 169 in January.

The Shin Bet recorded last month one attack that it classified as “Jewish terrorism” – the hurling of an axe at a Palestinian-owned vehicle near the West Bank settlement of Karnei Shomron. No one was injured in that attack.

Of the attacks recorded in February, 75 percent involved the hurling of firebombs compared to only five stabbing attacks.

Since July, more than 30 Israelis have died in terrorist attacks, as well as several Palestinians, including three members of the Dawabsheh family whose house was torched by Jewish extremists. Additionally, more than 150 Palestinians died during that period while perpetrating terrorist attacks or in riots.

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