(Netanya, Israel) — How secure are Israelis these days? The bad news is that tension is rising with Iran and Syria and a major war could be brewing. The good news is that overall violence against Israel is down dramatically since the war with Hamas last November.
“Since the end of Operation Pillar of Defense in November 2012, there has been a 98 percent drop in the volume of ballistic fire out of Gaza at Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday, indicating that deterrence had been achieved against Hamas and other Palestinian organizations in the Strip,” reports the Times of Israel.
“There is no doubt that significant deterrence has been achieved,” Netanyahu said, adding that there had only been 35 incidents of rocket fire since the operation ended. “We are not deluding ourselves. We know that Hamas and the other terror organizations are continuing to arm themselves in various ways. They are also trying to develop the underground track, i.e., tunnels, and we are called upon to find a response to all of these threats and, at the same time, keep up the strong deterrence that we have achieved and which we have been maintaining.”
“It has been one year since Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza engaged in an eight-day exchange of bombings and rocket attacks in which about 180 people were killed and 1,000 wounded,” reports Voice of America. “Since then, analysts say, Gaza has been calmer than at any time in the past decade, but neither side has lowered its guard.”
- A year later, the rubble has been cleared from the air strikes that Israelis called Operation Pillar of Defense; for eight days, Israeli planes and artillery pounded 1,500 targets in Gaza. More than 170 Palestinians were killed, many of them civilians, and more than 800 were wounded.
- During the same period, Hamas militants fired 1,500 rockets into Israel, reaching the outskirts of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv for the first time. Six Israelis were killed and 200 wounded.
- Israeli officials say the past year has been the calmest in more than a decade, and indeed the calmest since the Second Intifada Palestinian uprising, which ran from 2000 to 2005. The violence since then peaked with a three-week incursion by Israeli ground troops nearly five years ago, in which more than 1,000 people were killed.