Fewest deaths this year since intifada began

By Sagi Or This year has seen the fewest terror attacks and the fewest fatalities, on both the Israeli and Palestinian sides, since the second intifada began five years ago, on September 29, 2000. Factors contributing to the decrease in violence include the continued construction of the West Bank separation fence, the implementation of the disengagement plan and the calm that most of the Palestinian organizations have declared, a Haaretz investigation has found. Since September 29, 2004, 425 Palestinians have been killed in the intifada, an average of 35 a month. In that time, 56 Israelis and foreigners have been killed, an average of five fatalities a month. In the fourth year of the intifada, by contrast, an average of 11 people a month were killed on the Israeli side. The second, and most violent, year of the intifada saw an average of 36 deaths a month on the Israeli side and 88 on the Palestinian side. Since the beginning of the intifada, 1,033 Israelis and foreigners have been killed by Palestinians, Israeli Arabs and others. According to a Haaretz count and B’Tselem statistics, 3,333 Palestinians and foreigners have been killed by Israeli security forces in that time. There have been six suicide bombings in the past year, killing 14 Israelis. Since September 2004, Palestinians have also fired about 1,450 mortar shells and Qassam rockets from the Gaza Strip. The statistics were collected by Haaretz, based on information from the Israel Defense Forces, Shin Bet security service, Foreign Ministry and the B’Tselem human rights group. October 2004, during which the IDF conducted Operation Days of Penitence in the Gaza Strip, was a month with one of the highest number of Palestinian fatalities since the IDF conducted Operation Defensive Shield, in 2002. Some 324 Palestinians were killed in the Gaza Strip this past year, three times more than the 95 individuals killed in the West Bank, which reflects the intensity of the fighting in the Strip before the IDF pullout. Since the intifada began, 144 suicide bombings having been carried out in Israel, according to the defense establishment. Some 515 IDF soldiers, Israeli civilians, foreigners and Palestinians have been killed in these attacks, and another 3,300 have been hurt. In the past year, only six such attacks have been carried out, four of which were within the Green Line. Therefore, only 25% of the Israelis killed this past year died in suicide bombings. According to IDF figures, the number of terror attacks and violent incidents in general – including the firing of mortar shells, rockets, anti-tank missiles and grenades, and stabbing – this year was the lowest since fighting commenced five years ago. As of mid-September, before the current escalation in Gaza, the total number of violent incidents this year stood at 2,800. More than 705 of the incidents were in Gaza, a figure similar to the previous two years. The number of attacks within the Green Line nearly stayed the same this year – 197 attacks (as of September 10), compared to 215 the previous year. BPI-info