No. of wounded in attacks from Gaza more than doubled in '08

36 killed in terror attacks last year.

bulldozer shooter 224.88 (photo credit: Channel 2)
bulldozer shooter 224.88
(photo credit: Channel 2)
Shootings, stabbings, rocket and missile fire, and a bulldozer attack by Palestinian and Arab terrorists killed 36 Israelis and tourists in Israel in 2008, compared to 12 in 2007 and 29 in 2006, according to a report by Hatzalah Judea and Samaria released over the weekend. The organization, which provides rapid response first aid in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza border area, also reported a sharp rise in the number of injuries by Kassam rockets, Grads and mortar fire compared to the past two years. These attacks on Jewish settlements within firing range of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, wounded 947 in 2008. A total of 464 were wounded in 2007 and 227 in 2006. A total of 1,683 Kassam rockets fell in Israel near Gaza and another 108 shot from Gaza fell back into Palestinian areas. In Israel, eight people were killed in 2008 by rocket attacks, 19 were killed in shootings, one person was stabbed to death, one was killed in a suicide bombing, one in a bulldozer attack, and an additional eight soldiers were killed in battle. Ephraim Goldman, spokesman for Hatzalah Judea and Samaria, said that the rise in the number of fatalities and injuries from rockets and missiles was the direct result of the escalation in terror that led to the present conflagration in Gaza. "In the past few weeks leading up to the operation in Gaza as the cease-fire ended, we witnessed a sharp rise in rocket and missile fire," said Goldman. "This is what changed the entire report and explains the rise in fatalities and injuries in 2008 compared to previous years." The data in the report is based on Hatzalah's logbook of reported incidents. It includes data on both civilians and soldiers. Hatzalah's data on rocket and mortar fire is based on the number of early warning detections registered and later confirmed by security and paramedical organizations. Goldman pointed to the rise in terrorist attacks perpetrated by Israeli Arabs. In addition to the two bulldozer attacks, an Israeli Arab also killed eight in a shooting attack at the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva in Jerusalem. He also noted a rise in "grassroots" terrorist attacks undertaken by Palestinians in Judea and Samaria. "There were many incidents in which Palestinians spontaneously threw rocks or threw Molotov cocktails. These incidents did not seem to be coordinated by a terrorist organization." Some 233 rock-throwing incidents were recorded by Hatzalah compared to 138 in 2007 and 180 in 2006. Most of the rock throwing incidents took place in Judea and Samaria and were directed at border policemen and soldiers.