In 2012, Israel suffered terror attacks on all fronts. Some made headline news around the world. Most of the others you’ve probably never heard about. Here’s our rundown of the major terror attacks in 2012.
Major Terror Attacks of 2012
From February to March, the IDF thwarted a number of attacks on the Israel-Egypt border.
February 21: A joint IDF-Israel Police operation uncovered a powerful explosive device planted near Egypt. Two days later, IDF soldiers on a routine patrol identified suspicious activity on the border, where they discovered another large explosive device.
February 28: Suspected terrorists infiltrated Israel from Egypt. The suspects failed to heed IDF warnings to stop and fired on IDF soldiers. The IDF fired back, injuring one suspect, while the rest fled back across the border. A similar incident occurred on March 15.
March 9: The IAF targeted two members of the Popular Resistance Committee, a terrorist group in the Gaza Strip. The terrorists had been planning a combined terror attack that was to have taken place via Sinai.
June 18: Terrorists crossed the border from Egypt, killed an Israeli civilian and wounded two more. After infiltrating Israel, the terrorists detonated a roadside bomb, shot anti-tank rockets at two Israeli vehicles, and then opened fire on them with Kalashnikov assault rifles.
Said Pashpasha (36), father of four, was killed. Pashpasha and his colleagues were workers on the Israel-Egypt border fence, designed to protect Israelis from future cross-border attacks.On August 5, Israel Air Force aircraft targeted a Global Jihad-affiliated terrorist squad in the southern Gaza Strip, members of which were responsible for the June attack.
Said Pashpasha, an Israeli citizen, resident of Haifa & father of four, was killed in the terror event. Our condolences to his family.
— Michael B. Oren (@AmbassadorOren) June 18, 2012
July 18: A suicide bomber exploded in a tour bus in Burgas, Bulgaria. He killed five Israelis and their Bulgarian bus driver, and wounded another 32 Israelis. “We got on the bus. There were a lot of people on it... suddenly someone got on there, and something exploded,” said passenger Gal Malka. “We heard a boom. And we actually saw body parts. We tried to escape. The door was closed. But there was a hole in the side, through which me and my friend escaped.”
American intelligence officials identified the bomber as a member of a local Hezbollah cell actively looking for Israeli targets.
November 15: During Operation “Pillar of Defense”, Gazan terrorists fired a rocket on Kiryat Malachi, killing three Israelis: Mira Scharf (25), Aharon Smadga (40) and Yizhak Amselam (22). Scharf was a mother of three and pregnant at the time. Two babies and a four-year-old boy were wounded in the strike. Hamas’ military wing claimed responsibility for the attack.
November 21: Muhammad Mafarji boarded the 142 bus in Tel Aviv, planted an explosive device connected to a mobile phone, and disembarked. His handlers remotely detonated the bomb, wounding 28 Israelis. When the news reached Gaza, celebration broke out on the streets. Sweet cakes were handed out in the Strip’s main hospital. “God willing, we will soon see black body bags,” said the Gazan television announcer.
In the immediate hours following the attack, the IDF, ISA and the Israel Police exposed and arrested the members of Hamas- and Islamic Jihad-affiliated terrorist cell responsible for the bombing. The cell had been planning additional attacks.
Terrorists carried out a number of major attacks against Israel in 2012. But they also targeted Israeli citizens in smaller attacks -- just about every day.
Shootings, Rock Hurling and Firebombs
In 2012 in Judea and Samaria, Israelis were shot at 15 times, got caught in 4,731 incidents of rock hurling, and were the targets of 642 firebombs.
Rock-hurling and firebomb-throwing may seem less serious than shooting incidents -- but they too have the potential to kill. In 2011, Asher Palmer and his infant son Yonatan were killed in a car crash due to rocks thrown at their vehicles.
These events are ongoing. Only two months ago, as he was driving down the highway, Daniel Maon saw three people “holding what looked like fire in their hands. Suddenly they threw a firebomb that missed the car," he said. “I told the driver to keep going, and then another firebomb was thrown at us which shattered the windshield and got into the car." Maon and the driver escaped before the vehicle was engulfed in flames.
Rockets from Gaza
In 2012, 1,435 rockets fired from Gaza hit Israel. The rocket attacks began in 2001, and continued almost unabated since. In November, the IDF launched Operation “Pillar of Defense” to bring a halt to rocket attacks on Israeli civilians. Since then, a relative calm has been upheld, but 3.5 million Israelis still live under the threat of rocket fire from Gaza.