1 Jan 2010

Sharp drop in Palestinian attacks on Israel

10:00 pm on 1 January 2010

The Israeli intelligence agency Shin Bet says there was a sharp drop in attacks on Israelis last year.

Fifteen Israelis were killed compared with 36 in 2008 - the lowest since 2000, when the Palestinian intifada began. There were no suicide bombings at all, the BBC reports.

Most of the Israeli deaths in 2009 came during the Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip that ended in January. Nine Israelis, including three civilians, were killed by Palestinian fire in Gaza; four others, all Israeli soldiers, were killed by their own side.

The Israeli army says it killed 1166 Palestinians in that offensive, the aim of which was to stop Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel. The Palestinian health ministry's count is about 1500.

Shin Bet says 566 rockets were fired from Gaza during 2009, including 160 since the end of the Israeli campaign. This compared with more than 2000 in 2008.