IDF: Less terrorism during World Cup

Significant drop in Palestinian violence noted since tournament began.

World Cup 311 (photo credit: Associated Press)
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 had been 24. In comparison, during the week in February that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced that the Cave of Patriarchs in Hebron would be listed as a national heritage site, there were more than 100 stoning attacks.
“The weekly average is about 30 or 40,” the officer said. “We are currently looking at around 10 to 20 less.”
The same cannot be said of the Gaza Strip.
On Monday, the Israel Air Force attacked a Palestinian moments after he fired an antitank missile at soldiers operating along the security fence. Earlier in the day, an IDF armored vehicle was slightly damaged when a 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. “We will operate with the utmost determination and strength against anyone who uses terrorism against the State of Israel.”