World Cup 311.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
There is no question that soccer fans throughout the region are riveted to the
World Cup. But who would have thought it could stop terrorism? Since the world
soccer championships began in South Africa on June 11, the IDF Central Command
has noted a significant drop in Palestinian violence, particularly stone
throwing, in the West Bank.
“We would prefer to have the World Cup every
year,” one senior IDF officer joked on Monday. “It is without a doubt having a
positive effect on the territories.”
Last week, for example, 20 stoning
attacks were recorded throughout the West Bank. The week before there
24. In comparison, during the week in February that Prime Minister
Netanyahu announced that the Cave of Patriarchs in Hebron would be
listed as a
national heritage site, there were more than 100 stoning attacks.
weekly average is about 30 or 40,” the officer said. “We are currently
at around 10 to 20 less.”
The same cannot be said of the Gaza
On Monday, the Israel Air Force attacked a Palestinian moments
after he fired an antitank missile at soldiers operating along the
fence. Earlier in the day, an IDF armored vehicle was slightly damaged
mortar shell, fired from Gaza, hit nearby.
“The IDF will not tolerate any
attempt to attack Israel or its soldiers,” the army said in a statement.
will operate with the utmost determination and strength against anyone
terrorism against the State of Israel.”