Terror deaths lowest since '99, but rockets attacks up

While the total number of Israeli terror deaths fell to the lowest level since 1999, there has been a sharp rise in Israelis wounded by Palestinian Kassam rockets and mortar fire, according to data released Tuesday by Hatzalah - Judea and Samaria, a quick response first aid organization. Israeli deaths of Palestinian terrorism fell to 13, the lowest number since 1999. However, in parallel, there was a sharp rise in the number of Israelis wounded by projectiles, such as Kassam rockets and mortar shells fired by Palestinian terrorists out of the Gaza Strip against neighboring Jewish settlements, from 227 in 2006 to 464 in 2007. Of those who were injured by Kassams and mortar fire, 137 suffered body wounds while the rest suffered from shock. According to the data released by Hatzalah, the total number of Kassam rockets and two-stage projectiles that fell in Israel reached 871, and a total of 718 mortar shells landed on Israeli soil. A significant number of both Kassams and mortar shells misfired and landed inside the Gaza Strip. On Monday the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) estimated that 1,200 Kassam rockets were fired at Israel, while about 800 landed inside Israel and approximately 400 landed within the Gaza Strip. "There were fewer casualties, just one suicide [attack] and a shift of terrorist activities from Judea and Samaria to Gaza," said Ephraim Goldman, Hatzalah's spokesman. The suicide bombing took place in Eilat on January 30, 2007. Three people were killed. "In Gaza, where the IDF has no access, we are seeing a rise in terrorist activity compared to other areas, such as Judea and Samaria. We should be cautiously optimistic about the data because the improvement in our security situation seems to be less as a result of Palestinian terrorist groups' desire to carry out attacks and more as a result of our security forces' diligent work," said Goldman. Hatzalah's data was released just one day after the government decided to discontinue the Magen Unit, a state-funded cadre of security personnel who guarded public transportation. The move, which was aimed at saving tens of millions of shekels, was based on the estimate that there was no longer danger of suicide bombings on buses.