By: Lilach Shoval; israelhayom.com
Military’s annual operational activity report says IAF combat squadrons conducted 2,000 sorties in 2018 • Gaza terrorists fired 1,000 rockets at Israel’s south • There were 33 shooting and 17 stabbing attacks in West Bank; 3,173 suspected terrorists arrested.
The Israeli military on Sunday issued its annual operational activity report, tallying up strikes and missions alongside security incidents.
According to the report, the IDF mounted a combined 865 air and ground strikes in the Gaza Strip in 2018, destroyed 15 terror tunnels breaching Israeli territory from Gaza and five tunnels snaking under the Israel-Lebanon border, and dealt with 87 high-profile terrorist attacks across Judea and Samaria.
Seven soldiers and nine civilians were killed in terrorist incidents over the passing year.
The data further showed that overall, the Israeli Air Force’s combat squadrons conducted some 2,000 sorties, of which 600 involved IAF helicopters. The various transport squadrons engaged in some 2,300 flights. Overall, manned aircraft logged 32,166 flight hours, with Alaska being the farthest destination.
The military did not release any official numbers on its strikes in Syria in 2018, but it is believed to have launched hundreds of sorties there since 2017.
According to IDF data, Gaza-based terrorist groups fired some 1,000 rockets and mortar shells at Israel’s south, 460 of them in a span of 36 hours during November’s flare-up on the border, which was the worst since 2014.
The Iron Dome defense system intercepted 250 projectiles, and an unspecified, low number of rockets hit urban areas.
Security forces operating across the West Bank arrested 3,173 suspected terrorists in 2018. The sector further saw 2,057 stoning incidents, 893 firebomb incidents, 33 shooting attacks and 17 stabbing attacks.
For the sake of comparison, in 2017 there were 5,082 stoning incidents, 34 shooting attacks, and five stabbing attacks.
The IDF conducted four divisional maneuvers in 2018, as well as 14 drills involving brigades in the various sectors and 46 military exercises involving regular and reserves forces.