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Last Updated: Monday, 2 January 2006, 11:55 GMT
Israel death toll lowest in years
Hamas militant
Israel wants to stop militants' weapons reaching the West Bank
Forty-five Israelis were killed in Palestinian militant attacks in 2005, the Israeli internal security agency Shin Bet has reported.

This is 60% fewer than the number killed in 2004, and the lowest since the start of the intifada in 2000.

The main reason for the decline, Shin Bet said, was the informal truce observed by some Palestinian groups.

However, Israel says Palestinian groups have smuggled a number of anti-aircraft missiles into Gaza.

These were smuggled in the aftermath of Israel's withdrawal from Gaza, Public Security Minister Gideon Ezra said.

For a few days in September the border with Egypt was open and not under the control of Israel or the Palestinian Authority.

45 Israelis killed, 37 of them civilians
406 injured
Militant groups launched approximately 2,990 attacks, including 377 Qassam rockets
160 Palestinian militants tried to carry out suicide attacks
5 suicide attacks carried out

Mr Ezra also said that more than 3,000 anti-tank missiles have entered Gaza.

Israel withdrew its settlers and army from Gaza, which it had occupied since 1967, in the summer of 2005.

Mr Ezra said that Israel must ensure that Palestinian militants do not transfer the weapons to the West Bank, where they would be closer to Israeli cities.

Israel's Shin Bet security agency believes that the Palestinians also brought thousands of rifles and several tons of explosive material into Gaza, Israel Radio said.

Mr Ezra stressed, however, that Israel's prime security concern was preventing suicide bombings inside Israel.

Truce ends

Of the 45 Israelis killed in 2005, 37 were civilians. A further 406 Israelis were injured in attacks, down from 589 in 2004.

Militant Palestinian groups launched approximately 2,990 anti-Israeli attacks in 2005, including 377 attacks using Qassam rockets, Shin Bet said.

Shin Bet says Israeli security forces arrested 160 Palestinian militants trying to carry out suicide attacks.

In all, five suicide attackers got through Israeli security measures in 2005.

Palestinian militant groups formally ended their truce on Sunday.

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