14 Mar 2016
According to the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC), during the past month there has been a wave of terrorist attacks which began on the Temple Mount and in east Jerusalem. The attacks later spread to Judea and Samaria and even crossed the Green Line into Israel under the battle cry of “Al-Aqsa mosque is in danger.”
The current wave of terrorist attacks is part of the PA’s strategy of “popular resistance” (i.e., popular terrorism) adopted by the PA and Fatah at the Sixth Fatah conference in August 2009. Statements by Fatah, Hamas and PIJ spokespersons have described the attacks as “heroic actions” and “the natural response to Israel’s crimes”.
During the past week terrorist attacks, which had been concentrated in greater Jerusalem, spread to other locations in Israel, including Kiryat Gat in the south, Tel Aviv, Afula in the north, and Gan Shmuel (near Hadera) and Raanana (in the center of the country). The attacks have been carried out by young lone terrorists, most of them from east Jerusalem, and some from Judea and Samaria. There were also two Israeli Arabs (from Nazareth and Um el-Fahm), Palestinians staying in Israel illegally, two women and two children. They were motivated for the most part by the lie spread by the Palestinian media that Israel allegedly threatened Al-Aqsa mosque, as well as by the frustration, desperation and anger of the younger generation. Generally speaking, the terrorists have not been operatives of any established terrorist organization, and the current wave of terrorism has not been directed by any organization, but rather is directly inspired by the intensive incitement accompanying it.
According to the Israel Security Agency, October 2015 saw the beginning of a wave of terrorism that has led to 620 attacks (483 in the form of firebombs) in one month, compared to 223 in September. Eleven people (one foreign national and 10 Israelis) were killed in terrorist attacks in October, and 80 were injured, 37 of them moderately or more severely (one foreign national, 18 Israeli civilians, and 18 members of the security forces).
In November 2015, 10 people (one Palestinian and 9 Israelis) were killed in terrorist attacks. Among the non-fatal casualties, 22 were wounded in stabbings (including 5 in Jerusalem and 10 within Israel), 24 in vehicle attacks, and 12 in shootings.
In December 2015, 3 civilians were killed. All three of the fatalities were caused by stabbings. In January 2016, 5 Israelis were killed in terrorist attacks. In the major shooting attack on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv two civilians were killed as well as a taxi driver who picked up the attacker near the scene. Two Israeli civilians were killed in stabbing attacks.