Israeli army: 'Unprecedented calm in Gaza' since May's conflict


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View of the enhanced security barrier along the Israel-Gaza border, December 8, 2021.
Flash90View of the enhanced security barrier along the Israel-Gaza border, December 8, 2021.

End-of-year assessment paints optimistic picture of Jewish state's security situation

The Israeli army called the seven months since the end of May's Gaza conflict a period of "unprecedented calm" in a year-end assessment that paints an optimistic picture of the Jewish state's security situation, Ynet News reports.

Compared to the months following previous rounds of fighting with the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave, data from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) shows less activity since the May 21 ceasefire that ended Operation Guardian of the Walls.

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For example, 196 rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza over a half year period following Operation Cast Lead in 2009 and 76 rockets were launched in the six months after Operation Pillar of Cloud in 2012. 

In contrast, a total of five rockets were launched from Gaza since last May.

The IDF also noted that progress was made over the past two years in negotiating a deal to return the Israeli civilians being held hostage by Hamas as well as the bodies of soldiers currently in the hands of the terrorist group. 

However, issues remain in finalizing an agreement, specifically the number of terrorists Hamas wants released from Israeli prisons, the IDF report states.

The assessment praised the Abraham Accords more than a year into the historic normalization of relations between Israel and four Arab Muslim countries — the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan.

"Strengthening ties included operational, defensive and intelligence collaborations with countries in the region," the Ynet News article states, noting that the Iranian nuclear program is the main unifier between Israel and the Arab states.

The IDF assessment also indicates an increase in terrorist activity in the West Bank during 2021, but also a decrease in deaths from attacks, with two this year. In 2020 there were three deaths from attacks in the West Bank, five in 2019 and 14 in 2018.

In the past year, the IDF arrested 2,899 Palestinians for questioning and confiscated about $3.5 million that they say was intended for terrorism.

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