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Shin Bet reveal terror attacks tripled in December after Trump Jerusalem move

Israel's Shin Bet domestic security agency abuses Palestinians under interrogation in a manner so systematic it points to official endorsement, two Israeli NGOs say in a report
Jack Guez (AFP/File)
In December there were 249 terror attacks, up from 84 in November and 71 in October

The number of terror attacks across Israel and the West Bank tripled following United States President Donald Trump’s Jerusalem recognition, the Shin Bet revealed in new statistics reported the Times of Israel on Thursday.

Since Trump’s widely-contested decision to declare the much-coveted holy city as the capital of Israel on December 6, it ignited a barrage of violent protests and demonstrations by Palestinians residing in the West Bank as well as on the Gaza border.

According to the Shin Bet report, throughout the month of December there were 249 terror attacks in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Israel which has almost tripled from the months before when in November there were 84 incidents recorded and in October 71 attacks.

ABBAS MOMANI (AFP)

Of the 249 attacks, 219 were firebombings whilst the rest of the incidents were either stabbings, shootings or improved explosive attacks which includes rocket barrages launched from the Gaza Strip.

Head of the Shin Bet Nadav Argman speaking to the Knesset last month said he predicted it would be, “a highly unstable period for the next six months at least.”

These comments were made against the backdrop of calls by Gaza-based Hamas leader Ismail Haniya’s calling for a new intifada (“uprising” in Arabic). He condemned Trump’s announcement as a “declaration of war” and urged Palestinians to “go out in anger” and defend the holy city.

The most violent attacks of this period included the stabbing of an Israeli security guard outside Jerusalem’s central bus station, prior to the incident the assailant had published on his Facebook page, “Our blood is cheap [compared to] the nation, Jerusalem, Al Aqsa.”

MOHAMMED ABED (AFP)

On Tuesday, father of six Rabbi Raziel Shevach was gunned down in a drive-by incident whilst travelling on Route 60 that crosses the West Bank from North to South, near the outpost of Havat Gilad. Although Hamas did not claim responsibility for the attack they said that it, “came as a result of Israel’s crimes against our people in the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

The Israel Defense Force figures for 2017 however reported a total of 99 terror incidents for 2017, staunchly different from Shin Bet figures. The incongruity appears to be related to the security agency accounting for more minor incidents like Molotov cocktails as well as attacks inside the Jerusalem area, which the army not to incorporate into its annual release, reported the Times of Israel.

Whilst the army statistics showed a drop in West Bank terror attacks, it pointed to an increase in rocket attacks from Gaza as well as a rise in arrests of Palestinian suspects. In 2017, 35 missiles were fired into Israel, with 19 fired in December alone. This compares to 15 rockets launched in 2016.

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