In Grim 2022 Totals, IDF Counts 31 Killed in Terrorist Attacks, Uptick in Shootings And Firebombings
Israelis gather to pay their respects outside a bar which was the site of a fatal shooting attack in central Tel Aviv, Israel April 8, 2022. REUTERS/Corinna Kern
More people were killed in terrorist attacks in Israel and the West Bank in 2022 than during the three previous years combined, amid a wave of violence that also saw an uptick in shooting, stone throwing, and firebombing attacks, according to figures released by the Israeli military ahead of the new year.
The annual totals, collected on December 18, indicated that shooting attacks in the West Bank more than quadrupled in the past year, growing from 61 incidents in 2021 to 285 in 2022. An uptick was also recorded in stone throwing attacks in the West Bank territories, with more than 7,500 recorded in 2022, a surge of 37% from the previous year and double the amount recorded in 2019. Molotov cocktail attacks increased more modestly, from 1,022 in 2021 to 1,268 in 2022
The amount of stabbing attacks in the West Bank went down slightly, from 18 in 2021 to 14 in 2022, while the number of weapons seized grew by nearly a quarter, from 397 arms confiscated in 2021 to 493 in 2022.
More than 2,600 terrorism suspects were arrested in the West Bank in 2022, an almost 15% increase from the previous year. Many of these arrests were undertaken as part of Operation Breakwater, a counter-terrorism effort launched by the Israeli military in the West Bank in late March, following an escalation in deadly attacks by Palestinian and Arab-Israeli perpetrators.
In the past year, 31 people were killed in terrorist attacks across Israel and in the West Bank, 24 of whom were civilians, according to the military. More than 100 others were injured, according to figures shared by the Shin Bet internal security service and public data. The figure marks a severe uptick from fatality numbers in recent years, which totaled four in 2021, three in 2020, and five in 2019.
According to figures shared by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 146 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem between January and December 19, 2022. Most died during military raids and clashes in Jenin and Nablus, two Palestinian cities in the West Bank, the UN said. The Israeli military has stated that “the vast majority of those killed … were involved in terrorist activity that posed a direct threat to human life.”
In November, the IDF said that it thwarted an estimated 500 terrorist attacks since the beginning of the year. Six Israeli civilians — Shalom Sofer, Michael Ledigin, Tamir Avichai, Moti (Mordecai) Ashkenazi, Aryeh Shechopek, and Tadasa Tashume Ben Ma’ada — died that same month following attacks carried out by Palestinians in Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Lt. Col. Aviv Kochavi, the Israeli military’s outgoing chief of staff, said in September that the increase in terrorism stems, in part, from the failure of the Palestinian Authority to establish governance in certain areas of the West Bank, turning them into “fertile ground for the growth of terrorism.”