For the first time since 1973, an entire year passed without an Israeli casualty from a terror attack in the West Bank, according to a report published on Thursday by the Shin Bet. Despite the increasing prevalence of terror in the West Bank in 2012, no Israelis were killed terror attacks.
The report, part of the Shin Bet's general report on 2012, attempts to analyze the levels on which Israel's security establishment handles terror activity. According to the Shin Bet, the upward trend of terror in the West Bank stems largely from an increase in what it has called "popular terror," and primarily the use of firebombs.
Throughout 2012, there were 578 registered terror attacks in the West Bank as opposed to 320 incidents registered in 2011.
There was a 42% increase in the number of registered terror attacks that included shooting, use of explosive devices, or grenades.
According to the Shin Bet's figures, for the first time since 1973, no Israeli civilians were killed by terror attacks in the West Bank, although ten Israelis were killed during security-related incidents in other parts of the Country. In 2012, six Israelis were killed by rocket attacks, two by shootings, (one of which took place in Ramle, in March), and two others from terrorist attacks near the Israel-Egypt border.
Analysis of the rocket attacks shows that 2012 saw the highest number of rockets shot from the Gaza Strip at targets in Israel, as 2,327 rockets and 230 mortar shells were fired. These numbers were affected by the intensification of rocket fire that led up to Operation Pillar of Defense, and the increased rocket fire during the operation.
After the operation and the ceasefire agreements that followed, no rockets were fired at Israel.
Also, 8 rockets were fired at Israel from the Sinai Peninsula, the majority of which targeted Eilat.
In 2012, 11 attempts to fire anti-aircraft weaponry at IDF planes were recorded, in contrast to only one such attempt in 2011.
The consensus among security officials in Israel is that following Operation Pillar of Defense, organizations in Gaza will continue to arm themselves once again, primarily with rockets. Shin Bet officials stated that terror organizations in the Gaza Strip are continuing to arm themselves with more advanced weaponry, that smuggling of anti-tank, anti-air weapons and long-range missile into Gaza through the Sinai Peninsula continues.
According to the Shin Bet report, terror attacks perpetrated by right-wing Israeli activists against Palestinians decreased by 40%, from 30 in 2011, to 18 in 2012. The report also states that "price tag" activists are most active in the Binyamin region.
The report also shows in increase in the involvement of minors in attacks and other activities against Palestinians, including the attack in which a firebomb was thrown at a Palestinian taxi near Bat Ayin, in which 6 Palestinians were injured. In addition, 43 indictments were issued against right-wing activists, and 29 were barred from further entry into the West Bank.