Israel records 26 per cent drop in terrorist attacks

(JTA) – The number of terrorist attacks carried out in Israeli-controlled areas in March decreased by 26 per cent over February, making last month’s tally of 123 incidents the lowest recorded since July.

The only fatality among victims of March attacks inside Israel was Taylor Force, a Vanderbilt University student, who was killed in a stabbing attack on March 8 in Jaffa. That event also accounted for nine of the 26 victims wounded in terrorist attacks last month in Israel, according to data published earlier this week by the Israel Security Agency, or Shin Bet.

Several Palestinians died last month, most of them while carrying out attacks.

Attacks in February resulted in the death of three victims and the wounding of 11 – a decrease from the slaying of five victims in January, when 28 were wounded.

The figure for March is the lowest monthly total recorded since July, when 103 attacks were observed.

The tally includes neither the three Israeli victims of a March 19 suicide bombing in Istanbul nor the two Israelis wounded in the March 22 explosion at Brussels’ Zaventem Airport.

In Israel and the West Bank, attacks began increasing in August, when 171 of them were documented, and rose sharply in September and October, with 223 and 620 attacks recorded in those months respectively. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in October called the escalation “a terror wave,” whereas many in the Israeli and Palestinian media dubbed it “the third intifada,” or “the knife intifada.”

But the overall number of attacks decreased to 326 in November, 246 in December, 169 in January and 155 in February.

Of the incidents recorded in March, only six were stabbing attacks. Another 92 involved firebombs and nine featured explosive charges along Israel’s fence with the Gaza Strip.

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