Israel sees 1st significant rise this year in terrorist attacks


(JTA) — The number of terrorist attacks recorded in Israel increased last month by almost 30 percent over September — the sharpest rise recorded in any given month over the past year.

The Shin Bet recorded a total of 153 attacks in October, with nearly a third occurring in Jerusalem, compared to 109 attacks in September, according to the security agency’s monthly report, which it published on its website earlier this week.

The 29 percent increase in attacks — the largest since the near tripling of incidents recorded in October 2015 — owed partly to a near doubling of incidents in the Israeli capital to 48 last month from 26 in September. The October tally for Jerusalem has more than tripled since August, when 13 attacks were recorded there.

The attacks last month resulted in two fatalities and 23 injuries among victims, according to the Shin Bet. Both killings occurred on Oct. 9 during a drive-by shooting in the West Bank that also injured 10. Despite the rise, the tally for October is still lower than the average of 170 attacks per month over the past year.

The Shin Bet reports do not include dozens of incidents of rock throwing that occur every month, mainly in the West Bank.

According to the Palestinian Maan news agency, more than 275 individuals have died during the wave of unrest starting from Oct. 1, 2015, including over 235 Palestinians, many of whom were killed while perpetrating attacks. During that period, attacks also caused the death of five foreign nationals — two Americans, one Eritrean, one Sudanese, and one Jordanian.

In September, October and November, the Shin Bet recorded 223, 620 and 326 attacks, respectively, in what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a “wave of terror.” Many of the perpetrators said they acted in defense of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, which the Palestinian media reported were under attack by Israel, though the Jewish state and international observers denied such actions.

The volume of terrorist attacks has gradually decreased after reaching its peak in November 2015. The lowest figure recorded since the escalation was in August, with 93 incidents.

On Thursday, a protest march commemorating the 12th anniversary of the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat erupted into clashes with Israeli forces as the demonstrators headed to the Ofer detention center. Four Palestinians were injured and two were detained, according to Maan.

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