JERUSALEM, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- The number of terror attacks in Israel in 2003 dropped by 50 percent and fatalities dropped by 30 percent, Ha'aretz reported Thursday.
Defense department statistics show in 2003, 213 Israelis were killed in terror attacks, 50 of them members of the security forces, compared with 451 Israelis who were killed in 2002.
"One shouldn't get the mistaken impression that the Palestinians have abandoned their campaign of terror against Israel," said David Baker, a spokesman for the prime minister's office. "Fortunately, the Israeli security services have been able to prevent the overwhelming number of terrorist attempts."
Meanwhile, a 46-year-old Palestinian was shot to death early Thursday by Israel Defense Forces soldiers in the area of the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah, Palestinian sources said.
According to the sources, the man was killed during an exchange of fire between IDF troops and armed militants in the Tal Suleiman neighborhood near to the Egyptian border.