IDF Ends Successful Year: Lowest Number of Security Related Deaths in Israel’s History

In the end of year briefing, IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi told reporters that, barring any unforeseen catastrophes, 2020 will see the lowest number of security-related deaths in Israel’s history. Kohavi named other security achievements.

IDF: Fewer Rockets, Terror Attacks, and Taking Control in Syria

“We are ending a year in which we successfully fulfilled the primary mission of the IDF: providing defense and security. We thwarted every attempt to infiltrate into Israel and we saw a drop in the number of casualties and in the number of rockets fired at Israel,” Kohavi said.

Two Israelis, one civilian and one soldier, have been killed in 2020. In August,  Rabbi Shai Ohayon was stabbed to death by a “Palestinian” man in a terror attack outside Tel Aviv. In May, Sgt. First Class Amit Ben-Ygal, who was killed when a Palestinian man threw a rock at his head while carrying out an arrest raid.

For comparison, in 2019, nine Israelis were killed and in 2018, 16 Israelis were killed. 

The IDF recorded 174 rockets and mortar shells fired at Israel so far this year, most fired in February. This compares to 1,296 in 2019 and 1,164 in 2018.

The IDF is set to complete an anti-tunnel underground barrier surrounding the Gaza Strip. 

In addition to these threats that hit close at home, the IDF has been working hard to prevent Iran from establishing a military presence in Syria.

“This year we struck about 500 targets in all arenas, and in addition we carried out many operations in the secret dimension,” noting that the main combat arena that has changed this year is the cyber dimension – “where we carried out many offensive operations.”

“Iranian entrenchment in Syria is in a clear trend of slowing down as a direct result of IDF activities, though we still have a way to go to reach our goals on this front,” Kohavi said.

“We are operating on six fronts intensively. There are fronts where we operate on a day-to-day basis and those where we operate on a weekly or monthly basis,” Kohavi said. “The Middle East is the most fragmented, divided and violent region in the world…Most of the countries surrounding Israel have areas that are ungoverned.”

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