IDF 2017 Numbers Show Fewer Terror Attacks, More Terror Arrests

IDF soldiers raid a weapons workshop in Chevron. (IDF Spokesperson, File)

Twenty Israelis were killed in terror attacks in 2017, three more than in  2016 – but, b’chasdei Shamayim, the number of terror incidents was far lower last year than in any year since 2014. In 2017, there were 99 terror incidents, the IDF said in its year-end roundup of its activities, compared to 269 in 2016. In 2017, 169 people were injured in terror attacks, compared to 263 in 2016 and 360 in 2015, when 30 Israelis were killed in terror attacks.

The number of rockets fired at Israel by Gaza Arab terrorists was up in 2017 compared to 2016. A total of 35 rockets were fired at Israel, compared to 15 in 2016. Most of those rockets were fired in November and December, after the declaration by President Donald Trump that the U.S. recognized Yerushalayim as Israel’s capital. The number of rockets fired since the end of Operation Protective Edge in 2014 was less than 100, the IDF statistics said.

Of the rockets fired in 2017, most fell in open areas, without causing injury or damage. Ten rockets aimed at populated areas were intercepted and exploded by the Iron Dome system before they could reach their target. With that, IDF officials estimate that the number of rockets fired by Gaza Arab terrorists was closer to 70, with about half of them falling in Gaza or the Mediterranean. In response to attacks on Israel, the IDF hit 59 terror targets in Gaza. Among the targets hit were rocket launchers, shooting positions, training camps and terror tunnels.

IDF forces were also more active in demolishing the terror infrastructure in Yehudah and Shomron. The army arrested 3,617 terror suspects in 2017, compared to 3,143 in 2016. Over NIS 10 million in terror payments – money given to Arab families by the Palestinian Authority or Hamas for the committing of a terror attack by a family member – was confiscated, and 42 workshops for the production of weapons were shut down.

In the north, there were no rocket incidents reported, other than several “stray” shells from the Syrian civil war that landed in the northern Golan. The IDF’s sum-up of activity in the north concentrated on the number of Syrian refugees assisted by Israel. A total of 2,769 Syrians received humanitarian aid from Israel, while 927 Syrians were treated in Israeli hospitals. The IDF also distributed thousands of tons of food, medical supplies, gas, baby products and more.