Israel notes 'significant' drop in Palestinian attacks

2016-04-10 16:01
A Palestinian stabbed three Israelis in the central city of Raanana, seriously wounding one of them, before being arrested by Israeli security forces. (Ariel Schalit, AP)

A Palestinian stabbed three Israelis in the central city of Raanana, seriously wounding one of them, before being arrested by Israeli security forces. (Ariel Schalit, AP)

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Jerusalem - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu noted on Sunday a "significant decline" in Palestinian attacks on Israelis, after six months of near-daily violence that has cost more than 200 lives.

Speaking at the start of his weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said ministers would be presented with data from the Shin Bet domestic security agency that show a "significant decline in the scope of terrorist attacks."

Netanyahu attributed the trend to Israeli moves to lower the "success rate" of attacks, alongside "very strong actions against the incitement of the Palestinian public".

Shin Bet published in recent days its statistics on Palestinian attacks for March, counting 123 against Israeli civilians and security forces in Israel, east Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Most of the attacks in the tally were firebombings, but the data also covered stabbings, car-ramming attacks, gunfire, improvised bombs and grenades as well as projectile fire from the Gaza Strip.

February saw 155 attacks, compared with 169 in January, and in December the Shin Bet counted 246 attacks, twice the number for March.

The number of fatalities in the attacks has dropped accordingly, with one non-assailant being killed in March, American tourist Taylor Force.

Violence since October has left 200 Palestinians and 28 Israelis dead.

Most of the Palestinians killed were carrying out knife, gun or car-ramming attacks.

The last Palestinian killed in the violence was Abdul Fatah al-Sharif, shot in the head on March 24 while wounded and posing no apparent threat after stabbing and wounding another soldier.

The case is still being investigated, with the soldier facing possible manslaughter charges.

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