The number of violent attacks in Israel and the Palestinian territories tripled last month, from 84 in November to 249 in December, according to statistics released by the Shin Bet.
Of the 249 attacks, 219 were in the form of Molotov cocktail throwing, which the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) considers terrorism. The most serious of the attacks were two stabbings, one of which occurred outside the Jerusalem Central Bus Station when a Palestinian man stabbed a security guard in the chest, wounding him critically. In the second, a 19-year-old Palestinian man from Hebron stabbed a Border Police officer twice in the shoulder during a protest in Ramallah, wounding him moderately.
The rest of the incidents were rocket and mortar fire coming from the Gaza Strip, shootings and improvised explosive attacks.
The Shin Bet report, released this week, did not cite US President Donald Trump’s December 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as the reason for the surge in attacks, but many Palestinians engaged in “Days of Rage” throughout December to protest the move at the behest of their leaders. The terrorist who stabbed the security guard in Jerusalem told interrogators Trump’s announcement motivated him to carry out the attack, and the Ramallah stabbing occurred during the second “Day of Rage.”
In Judea and Samaria, there were 178 attacks in December compared with 53 in November, according to the report. In Jerusalem, there were 56 compared with 29, and in Sinai and the Gaza Strip, there were 15 attacks compared with one.
Israel proper, within the Green Line, is the only area that saw a decrease in attacks. There were no attacks in December, compared with one in November.
On December 6, Citing a 1995 US law compelling the president to move the embassy to Jerusalem absent national security risks, Trump said the time had come to recognize what everyone already knows to be true.
"Jerusalem is the capital the Jewish people established in ancient times," he said. "Today Jerusalem is the seat of Israel's government."