Fall in West Bank violence
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Terror activity in the West Bank has reached an all-time low due to the IDF and Shin Bet's efforts, and a major improvement in co-operation with the Palestinian Authority's security forces.
Last week, Brigadier General Yoav Mordechai completed a four-year term as head of the Civil Administration in the West Bank, the main body in charge of daily co-ordination with the PA. At his leaving parade, he said that "law and order have replaced anarchy in the Palestinian towns. The agenda of Palestinian society in Judea and Samaria is focused now on civil matters, on the economy, on culture and much less on incitement and the culture of martyrdom."
The last four years have seen a dramatic drop in both terror attacks within the West Bank and attacks within Israel launched by organisations based in the West Bank. The last suicide attack was a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv in April 2006.
"Most of the attacks over the past two years were not planned from the outside," says an IDF Colonel serving in the West Bank. "Organised cells are finding it almost impossible to act as we have arrested or killed almost all their experienced members."
Senior IDF officers also attribute the drop in violence to the security wall and changes within the PA's security forces (pictured left), mainly the addition of new battalions that were trained by the American army in Jordan.
The PA is mainly worried that Hamas will carry out another coup in the West Bank, as it did in Gaza, and therefore its forces are co-operating closely with the Israelis.