(JNS.org) The U.S. State Department on Wednesday praised Israel for being committed to fighting terrorism, while also slamming Iran for its continued “state sponsorship of terrorism,” in its latest “Country Reports on Terrorism in 2013.”
The report, issued every year as mandated by Congress, said that terrorist threats continued to “evolve rapidly” in 2013, specifically mentioning the growth of al-Qaeda and its affiliates as posing a “threat to the United States, our allies, and our interests.”
The report lauded Israel as being a “committed counterterrorism partner” and also said Israel continues to face serious terrorist threats from “Hamas, the Popular Resistance Committees, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), particularly from Gaza but also from the West Bank; and from Hizballah in Lebanon.”
In particular, the report said that Israel faced a total of 1,271 terrorist attacks originating from the West Bank last year. It also described the continued rocket threats from Gaza and Lebanon.
On Iran, the report said the Islamic Republic’s “state sponsorship of terrorism worldwide remained undiminished” in 2013. It cited Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, its intelligence and security ministry, and its ally Hezbollah as the principle sources of terrorism.
Overall, the State Department said that the Near East “experienced significant levels of terrorist activity in 2013, with instability and weak governance in North Africa, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen continuing to have ramifications for the broader region.”