According to Shin Bet’s annual report on “victims of terrorism,” the number of attacks on Israelis drastically dropped in 2009. For the first year this decade, not one suicide attack was carried out. Furthermore, only 566 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel, compared to 1,752 in 2008.
However, the quiet may not last long. Shin Bet also notes that Hamas is currently strengthening and preparing for another round of fighting with Israel. Indeed, since Operation Cast Lead, the terrorist group has rebuilt and improved its tunnel system used for smuggling weapons and explosive materials.
As Aaron Mannes and V.S. Subrahmanian note in Palestinian Rocket Report, Hamas’ cease-fire since Operation Cast Lead is not “an abandonment of its long-term strategy of war against Israel.” Rather, for the time being, Hamas is focusing more on “its short-term strategy to consolidate power among the Palestinians” by supplanting Fatah as the representative of the Palestinian people.