Jerusalem – The Israel General Security Service [GSS] 2007 report indicates that the number of terror attacks and the number of Israeli casualties were the lowest since the eruption of the Palestinian rebellion in the year 2000.
The GSS defines every incident of gunfire and every rocket fired at Israel as a terror attack. With that being the case, Palestinians in 2007 committed 2,946 terror attacks in which 13 Israelis were killed.
Seven of the dead were civilians and six were soldiers.
A total of 1,263 Kassam rockets and 1,511 mortar shells were fired at Israel in the course of 2007.
While the Israeli security establishment has been hard put to stop the rocket fire at Israel, the effort made by the GSS, the IDF and the Israel Police against suicide bombers has born fruit. As opposed to 2006, in which six suicide bombing attacks were carried out, in 2007 exactly one suicide bomber successfully completed his task. Three Israelis were killed in that terror attack, which was carried out last January in Eilat.
The GSS report also indicates that the motivation within the terror organizations to carry out suicide bombing attacks has diminished.
A total of 29 suicide bombing attacks were thwarted at the last moment in 2007 as opposed to 37 planned suicide bombing attacks that were thwarted in 2006.
Until October 2007 close to 4,000 people suspected of terrorist activity were arrested in the West Bank, 117 of whom were potential suicide bombers. For comparison’s sake, in 2006 the GSS arrested 5,000 terror activists out of whom 279 were potential suicide bombers. In other words, at issue is a 60 percent drop in the number of potential suicide bombers who were arrested.
The GSS warned in its report that the tunnels that run beneath Philadelphi Road have served in the past year as an oxygen pipeline for the terror organizations in the Gaza Strip. In the past half year only, ever since Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip, at least 80 tons of explosives were imported.
The GSS believes that weaponry is not the only thing that passes through the tunnels but money as well. GSS officials suspect that tens of millions of dollars have been smuggled into the Gaza Strip, mainly from Iran.
Dozens upon dozens of Hamas activists left for Iran to receive military training in the course of the past year. They returned to the Gaza Strip via the tunnels in possession of knowledge that has helped Hamas function as an organized military force.
The GSS report stipulates that the Army of Islam, the organization that took part in Gilad Shalit’s kidnapping, is actually an operation branch of al-Qaida in the Gaza Strip. “In 2007 there was a rise in the volume of global terrorism activity in the Gaza Strip,” reads the report.
Al-Qaida is not the only foreign entity involved in the turn of events in the Gaza Strip. According to the report, Hezbollah passes on more than $10 million every year to promote terrorist activity against Israel. The GSS believes that 65 terror cells operated in 2007 under Hezbollah guidance, as opposed to 80 such cells in 2006.
Palestinian terror activists who were arrested by the GSS said under questioning that Hezbollah had encouraged them to commit as many terror attacks as possible, without caring about their quality.
©The Bulletin 2008