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SEPTEMBER 2020

Israel Defense Forces Activities in 2019

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Israel Defense Forces Activities in 2019

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Throughout 2019, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) struck 54 targets in Syria and 900 targets in Gaza, according to official data.

Unmanned aerial vehicles spent over 40,000 operational hours during missions in 2019.

In addition to the targets destroyed in Syria, the IDF noted six cross-border attack tunnels dug by Hezbollah from southern Lebanon into northern Israel.

The military also noted that 38 kilometers of the barrier between Syria and Israel has been built along the northern border.

2019 saw the biggest escalation in the fight between Israel and the groups in the Gaza Strip, since the end of Operation Protective Edge in 2014. In total, 1,295 rockets fired in 2019, with the majority (93%) having been fired during the 12 violent rounds of confrontation between Israel and the Gaza Strip groups.

Out of these rocket launches, 729 of them were fired toward open territory while another 478 were fired toward residential areas, with 85% of them intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.

In comparison, in total approximately 1,000 rockets were fired from Gaza towards Israel.

In response to the rocket fire from Gaza, the Israel Air Force carried out over 1,800 sorties and struck 900 targets in the Strip over the past year, the large majority of them belonging to Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. In comparison, 865 targets were struck in 2018.

According to the IDF, only 22 out of a total of 47.5 kilometers of the underground barrier with the Gaza Strip has been completed. It was initially expected to be completed by the end of 2019.

In the West Bank there were less attacks on Israeli troops and civilians, with a total of 51 in 2019, compared to 76 in 2018.

According to the data, there were 19 shooting attacks in 2019 compared to 33 during the previous year.

There has also been a decrease in stabbing attacks with 12 in 2019 compared to 17 in 2018.

The military noted that there was also a decrease in stone and IED throwing toward Israeli cars over the past year, with 1,469 instances of stone throwing in 2019, compared to 1,881 in 2018.

There were 290 IEDs thrown at cars in 2019 compared to 990 the previous year.

The military also noted that 603 guns and 521 knives were confiscated from Palestinians in the West Bank, compared to 406 guns and 273 knives confiscated the previous year.

In conclusion, the IDF said that 2019 had its challenges, but it was determined to continue on its path.

“The challenges facing the IDF may have increased in 2019, but so did its resolve to defend the State of Israel and its people. 2019 saw the IDF helping people from all over the world, through the IDF’s humanitarian aid missions, and building stronger relationships with foreign militaries through exercises and collaborations. As the IDF begins the new decade, it is determined to continue to grow stronger, increase its readiness and above all—remain commited to the defense of the State of Israel,” the 2019 overview concluded.

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