Fresh statistics show mixed pictures, with number of rockets launched from Gaza more than doubling from 15 since 2016 to 35 in 2017, but still a comparatively quiet year for southern residents; IDF thwarts more stabbing attacks, but fatalities increase compared to 2016.

A report compiled at the conclusion of 2017 points to the increased likelihood of a military confrontation between Israel and Hamas, while simultaneously indicating that the year was one of the safest for Israelis from a security perspective in the last decade.
According to statistics that were published by the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit on Sunday morning, over the course of last year, a total of 35 rockets were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip compared with 15 in 2016 and 21 in 2015.

The vast majority of the rockets that landed in Israel in 2017 fell in open space, but around ten struck in built-up areas or were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.

The majority of these rockets were launched over the last two months and were sandwiched between the IDF’s demolition of two terror tunnels and US President Donald Trump’s declaration that Washington was officially recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, an announcement that sparked outrage among Palestinians and the Arab world as a whole, giving rise to numerous days of rage.

The figures also take into account the overall number of rockets and mortars that were fired at Israel, the majority of which landed in Gaza and are considered failed launches.

But despite the increased barrage of failed or successful strikes from the Hamas-ruled enclave, the last year is still considered by the IDF to be a comparatively quiet year for the country’s southern residents.

Between the year in which Hamas took control of the strip a decade ago and 2014—during which Operation Protective Edge took place—every year has concluded with the number of rockets fired at Israel reaching at least three digits.

The fresh stats also record the IDF’s 59 strikes against positions in Gaza, among them Hamas observation posts and compounds used for producing weapons, training terrorisds and firing rockets. The strikes however, were all carried out in response to attacks rather than on the IDF's initiative.

The Palestinian arena has been highlighted by Israel’s intelligence branches as the most volatile area that leads to confrontations with IDF soldiers, despite Israeli security forces’ successes in reducing the intensification of the wave of terror two years ago, during which Palestinian knife, shooting and vehicular attacks occurred in Israel on an almost daily basis. Read more at Ynet News