September 29, 2000 marked the beginning of the current violent struggle between Israel and the Palestinians. At first, the struggle had the characteristics of a popular uprising: mass marches, stone throwing and civil disorder. However, this character was quickly forgotten, and it was the terrorist organizations which set the tone - the Palestinian Authority began to disintegrate and its control over events became less firm, to the point where its role was reversed and it began to promote terrorist activity against Israel.
Interrogation of senior members of Fatah - Marwan Barghouti, Nasser Awis, Nasser Abu Hamid and Ahmed Barghouti -by the Israel Security Agency (ISA) revealed that Yasser Arafat approved funding for Tanzim terrorists, in the knowledge that the money would be used for attacks against Israeli citizens. It also emerged that the PA weapon stores were being used for distribution of munitions to terrorists.
The first two years of the conflict claimed many victims: in 2001 207 Israelis were killed, and in 2002 the number of fatalities rose to 452. This year also saw the largest number of people injured since the start of the conflict - 2,309 casualties.
On the eve of Passover, April 2002, an attack was carried out at the Park Hotel in Netanya resulting in 28 fatalities and another 65 people wounded. In the wake of this attack, carried out at the initiative of the Hamas organization in Samaria, Israel embarked on "Operation Defensive Shield," focusing on the terrorist infrastructures in Samaria. Thanks to this campaign and the operations that followed, the infrastructures of terrorism were damaged, especially in Samaria. At the same time there was a sharp decrease in the number of suicide attacks carried out by the terrorist organizations: in 2002 there were 60 suicide attacks, while in 2003 this number decreased by more than 50% to 26 suicide attacks. There was also a considerable decrease in the number of fatalities: from 452 killed in 2002 to 214 killed in 2003. In 2004 this number decreased further and up to September 97 people had been killed.
Another decisive factor in the decrease in the number of casualties and fatalities is the completion of the first section of the security fence, from Salem to Elkana, in August 2003. In the 34 months between the beginning of the conflict and construction of the security fence, the terrorist organizations in Samaria have carried out 73 mass murder attacks (suicide attacks or car bombs) within Israel, in which 293 Israelis were killed. In the year since August 2003 the terrorist organizations have only succeeded in carrying out 6 mass murder attacks, killing 30 Israeli citizens. This represents a decrease of 84% in the number of people killed compared with the period between September 2001 and July 2002.
This publication contains data on a number of subjects, providing an overall look at the conflict which the State of Israel has faced for the past four years.
(To view entire report, click on attachment.)