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West Bank sees rise in terror attacks

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A Shin Bet report released Monday reveals that the last two months of 2012 have seen a significant rise in terrorist attacks in the West Bank and Jerusalem. In December, 111 attacks were reported, while 166 were reported in November, during which Operation Pillar of Defense took place.

By comparison, 70 attacks occurred in October, 67 in September and only 28 in August. The incidents in December included 98 Molotov cocktail attacks (29 of which in Jerusalem), six bombings, three grenade attacks, two light arms shootings and a stabbing.

The December monthly report mentioned that three security service men were wounded in the attacks; two were run over in the Shomron and one in Jerusalem.

The Shin Bet\’s information does not mention the dozens of rioting incidents that took place around the West Bank last month. In these events 20 Israelis were lightly wounded.

December and the first week of January have seen no rocket fire from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory. Nevertheless, two Gazan mortars landed in Palestinian territory.

Officers with the IDF\’s Judea and Samaria Division said there are as yet no signs of an imminent third intifada and that coordination with the Palestinian security services is maintained at all times, with Palestinian officers present in many of the urban riots.

According to security sources, the number of terrorists arrested by the Shin Bet and the IDF in the West Bank has increased over the past few weeks. The arrests were meant to prevent the establishment of a terrorist infrastructure and to stop prominent agitators from instigating riots.

Last month, due to urgent intelligence, security forces made several arrests in broad daylight inside Palestinian communities, including Jenin and nearby Tamoun. These arrests were followed by violent clashes with the Israeli forces, which responded with crowd control measures to contain the riot.

The military makes the distinction between the Palestinian population and terrorists, and despite the unrest, no unilateral actions such as the installation of road blocks, common during the second intifada, were taken. Nevertheless, sources in the Judea and Samaria Division said that the Palestinian Authority has been turning a blind eye to Hamas\’ unusual regrouping efforts in West Bank cities.

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