Hamas holds a demonstration in solidarity with terrorist Nasha't Milhem
Hamas picture glorifying Nasha't Milhem, who "fought against Israel in the name of Palestine"
The death notice issued by the Shalaldeh clan (Facebook page of Sa'ir Our Home, January 6, 2016).
Palestinians riot near the border security fence in the Gaza Strip, west of the village of Nahal Oz (Facebook page of Quds, January 8, 2016).
Palestinians riot near the border security fence in the Gaza Strip, west of the village of Nahal Oz (Facebook page of Quds, January 8, 2016).
Ismail Haniya speaks at a Hamas rally in Khan Yunis (Facebook page of PALDF, January 8, 2016).
Rami Hamdallah, prime minister of the Palestinian national consensus government, gives a speech in Ramallah on the occasion of Palestinian "Shaheed Day"
The Death of Nasha't Milhem, Who Carried Out a Mass Shooting Attack in Tel Aviv
- On January 8, 2016, a week after the shooting attack in Tel Aviv, Nasha't Milhem, the terrorist who carried it out was finally found in his hometown, the village of A'rara in central Israel. He was shot and killed by Israeli security forces after he opened fire from a building in the village. Investigation revealed that he had returned to the village a short time after the attack. In the village he moved from place to place twice, and was apparently helped by members of his family and possibly other people. According to the Israeli security forces, without help he would not have been able to hide for a week. On January 10, 2016, his father and brother were released from custody. They had been detained on suspicion of having helped him and on charges of causing death and conspiring to commit a crime.
- The Palestinian terrorist organizations condemned the killing of Nasha't Milhem. The military-terrorist wing of the Popular Resistance Committees held a mock funeral for him (PalInfo, January 11, 2016). Memorial rallies were also held, and a mourning tent was erected in Gaza (Safa Press Agency and PalInfo, January 9, 2016). Mourning tents were also erected in the Jelazoun refugee camp (north of Ramallah) and in Al-Ram (northeast of Jerusalem) (Ma'an News Agency, January 9, 2016).
Left: The mock funeral held for Nasha't Milhem by the Popular Resistance Committees (PalInfo, January 11, 2016). Right: The death notice issued by Hamas for the "hero" Nasha't Muhammad Ali Milhem (Facebook page of the Islamic Bloc at Al-Najar University in Nablus, January 8, 2016).
- The terrorist organizations praised him:
- Husam Badran, a Hamas spokesman, claimed Nasha't Milhem was a role model for the Palestinian people, a victim who had defended himself and embarrassed Israel for more than a week (Hamas website, January 8, 2016).
- The Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) issued a statement praising Nasha't Milhem and claiming it was the right of the Palestinian people to resist the occupation and terrorism (Al-Kofia Press, January 8, 2016).
- The PA ministry of health decided not to put Nasha't Milhem's name on its list of "Jerusalem intifada" martyrs (i.e., of the current terrorist campaign). The decision was criticized, mainly by Hamas. Musa Abu Marzouq, a member of Hamas' political bureau, and Ahmed Bahar, chairman of the Legislative Council, criticized the decision (Safa Press Agency and the Facebook page of Musa Abu Marzouq, January 9, 2016). In the wake of the media storm caused by the decision, the ministry of health said in a statement that it did not deny that his name should be put on the list, adding that he was one of the most important shaheeds, and his name was engraved in his own blood. According to the ministry, it had not added his name to the list because its authority extended only to the territories of the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, but that did not mean he was not a shaheed (Paltoday, January 9, 2016).
- January 12, 2016 – attempted stabbing attack: A Palestinian terrorist tried to stab Israeli security forces at the Bayt Einun Junction near Hebron. He was shot and killed. He was Adnan Iyad Hamed al-Haliqa from the village of Al-Shuyukh, northeast of Hebron.
- January 11, 2016 – attempted stabbing attack: A Palestinian terrorist tried to stab an IDF soldier at the Hermesh Junction near Jenin. He was shot and critically wounded by an IDF force and taken to an Israeli hospital for medical treatment. The Palestinian media reported he was Zaid Maher Muhammad Ashqar, 18, from the village of Sida, north of Tulkarm (Facebook page of QudsN, January 11, 2016).
- January 9, 2016 – attempted stabbing attacks:
- Two Palestinian terrorists tried to stab IDF soldiers at a roadblock in the Jordan Valley. They got out of their car carrying knives and tried to stab the soldiers. They were shot and killed. According to the Palestinian version, they were killed during an IDF attempt to prevent a vehicular attack (Al-Ayyam, January 10, 2016).
- The terrorists were Ali Muhammad Aqab Abu Maryam, 23, from the village of Jedida near Jenin, and Sayyid Abu Al-Wafa, 40, from the village of Zawiya near Salfit. The connection between them is unclear. Ali Abu Maryam was studying economics at Al-Quds Open University and worked in agriculture during vacations to help support his family. He posted a picture of Palestinians throwing stones on his Facebook page. On January 8, 2016, he wrote, "The Jews say adults die and young people forget. We say adults die and young people avenge them." His funeral was attended by many Fatah supporters.
- Sayyid Jawda Abu al-Wafa was married and had at least one child (Dunia al-Watan, date, 2016), January 9, 2016; the Facebook pages of Quds, Ali Abu Maryam and Wafa News Agency, January 10, 2016).
Left: Sayyid Abu al-Wafa (Facebook page of Quds, January 10, 2016). Center: Facebook page of Ali Abu Maryam, October 7, 2015. Right: Ali Abu Maryam.
- January 6, 2016 – attempted stabbing attacks: Three Palestinian terrorists tried to stab soldiers securing the Gush Etzion Junction. There were no casualties. The soldiers shot and killed the terrorists. They all belonged to the same family and came from the village of Sa'ir, north of Hebron. The Palestinian media reported they were Ahmed Salam Abd al-Majid al-Kawazba, 19; Alaa Abd Muhammad al-Kawazba, 17; and Muhannad Ziyad al-Kawazba, 18. Ziyad al-Kawazba, father of Muhannad al-Kawazba, is an officer in the Palestinian police force (Facebook page of the Kinan Network, January 8, 2016). Both Hamas and Fatah issued death notices (Facebook page of Sa'ir Our Home, January 9, 2016; Facebook page of Hamas in Nablus, January 6, 2016).
Left: A military funeral held by the PA. The bodies of the three terrorists are carried by operatives of the Palestinian national security forces and the Palestinian police force. Right: The death notice issued by Fatah in Sa'ir (Facebook page of Sa'ir Our Home, January 9, 2016).
- January 6, 2016 – attempted stabbing attack: A Palestinian terrorist tried to stab an IDF soldier at the Bayt Einun Junction, north of Hebron. The terrorist was shot and killed. The Palestinian media reported he was Khalil Muhammad Mahmoud Shalaldeh, 16, from Sa'ir. He was the brother of Mahmoud Muhammad Mahmoud Shalaldeh, 18, who died on November 13, 2015, after having been wounded by the IDF in a riot in Sa'ir (Facebook page of Sa'ir Our Home, January 6, 2016). The PA also held a military funeral for him.
Riots, Clashes and Popular Terrorism
- In the meantime, demonstrations, protest marches, riots, and the throwing of stones, Molotov cocktails and pipe bombs continue in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. In some instances PA security forces suppressed protest events.
- Some of the more prominent incidents were the following:
- January 11, 2016 – Palestinians fired shots at IDF forces engaged in operational activities in Nablus. There were no casualties (Facebook page of Red Alert, January 11, 2016).
- January 7, 2016 – Palestinians threw at least ten Molotov cocktails at vehicles on the road leading from Ofarim to Nili (Benyamin region). There were no casualties (Facebook page of Red Alert, January 7, 2016).
- January 7, 2016 – A local 16 year-old Palestinian went to the Shuafat refugee camp crossing with the intention of entering Jerusalem. He aroused the suspicions of the Border Policemen at the crossing and a search revealed a knife in the small of his back under his clothes. During an initial interrogation he admitted that his intention had been to attack members of the Israeli security forces (Facebook page of Red Alert, January 7, 2016).
- January 7, 2016 – A Palestinian threw a knife at IDF soldiers near Beit Hadassah in Hebron. He was detained (Facebook page of Red Alert, January 7, 2016).
- January 6, 2016 – Masked Palestinians threw a Molotov cocktail at a vehicle at the Yakir Junction in Samaria. The driver fired shots into the air and the Palestinians fled. There were no casualties (Facebook page of Red Alert, January 6, 2016).
House of Palestinian Stabber Razed
- On the night of January 9, 2016, the Israeli security forces razed the family house of Palestinian terrorist Muhannad Shafiq Muhammad Halabi in the village of Surda near Ramallah. On October 3, 2015, Muhannad Halabi carried out a terrorist attack near the Lions' Gate in Jerusalem, killing Rabbi Nehemiah Lavie and Aharon Bennett. Muhannad Halabi, 19, a student, was shot and killed by Israeli security forces during the attack, and became a role model.
- After the house had been destroyed a Palestinian campaign was announced to raise money to rebuild it. On January 10, 2016, a campaign was begun in the PA to raise donations to rebuild the Halabis' house. Two days later it was announced that the campaign had allegedly raised 200,000 shekels (about $50,000) (Facebook page of Quds).
Hamas Network Planning Terrorist Attacks Exposed
- In recent months the Israeli security forces exposed a number of Hamas networks in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem that were planning to carry out shooting attacks, abduct Israelis and assassinate the prime minister. The exposure of the networks (and of the Hamas infrastructure in Abu Dis) is an example of Hamas' intentions to intensify the current terrorist campaign and carry out more complex terrorist attacks alongside the stabbing and vehicular attacks.
Hamas Network Planned Abduction and Murder
- In December 2015 the Israeli security forces exposed a network of Hamas operatives from Hebron and Jerusalem. They planned to carry out an abduction and murder (similar to the abduction and murder of the three Jewish youths in Gush Etzion in June 2014). They planned to use the body (or bodies) as a bargaining chip. Interrogation of the network operatives indicated their plans had reached an advanced stage, including preparing a hiding place. There were six operatives in the network: three Arabs from east Jerusalem and three Palestinians from Hebron. The network washeaded by Maher Qawasmeh, 36, from Hebron, who served a prison term two years ago for involvement in planning a Hamas terrorist attack.
- The network operatives met in Hebron over the past year and planned various types of attacks. Maher Qawasmeh trained the operatives from east Jerusalem in preparing IEDs. They agreed they would abduct and murder an Israeli. Some of the operatives manufactured explosives for a mass-casualty attack. They purchased chemicals and fertilizer but did not succeed in bringing their plans to fruition.
- To carry out an abduction the operatives examined caves in the Hebron region. They also dug pits in a number of fields where they planned to hide the body (or bodies). The abduction was supposed to be carried out using two vehicles, one driven by M'sar Rajabi, 22, from the Old City in Jerusalem, who spoke fluent Hebrew. They planned to abduct and murder an Israeli, bury the body and conduct negotiations for the release of Palestinian terrorists held in Israeli jails.
Hamas Squad Planned to Carry Out a Shooting Attack
- In November 2015 the Israeli security forces exposed a squad of Hamas operatives in Hebron who planned to carry out a shooting attack on a road near Hebron. The squad was headed by Muhammad Ali Qawasmeh, 38, brother of Muhammad Husam Ali Qawasmeh, who headed the Hamas squad that abducted and murdered the three Jewish youths in Gush Etzion in June 2014. Other Hamas operatives were Louai Faisal Hashalmon, 32, who had been imprisoned in Israel; Amar Sahmed Awiwi, 29; and Husam Fakhri Hashalmon, 24. In preparation they drove along the road to find the best location for a shooting attack. They also acquired weapons. Qawasmeh enlisted collaborators, who were supposed to steal a car for the attack and help the squad operatives escape afterwards (Israel Security Agency, January 10, 2016).
Indictment Handed Down for Palestinians Planning Terrorist Attacks in Israel
- An indictment was recently handed down for two young Palestinians from east Jerusalem affiliated with the Hamas infrastructure in Abu Dis. They planned to detonate a bomb in an auditorium where Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was supposed to deliver a speech. They also helped another Hamas operative acquire chemicals to make the bomb, and planned to carry out suicide bombing attacks in Israel.
- The two were Hazem Sanduka, 22, who worked for a security company, and Fadi Abu Kayan, 19. They were recruited at Abu Dis University by the head of the Hamas infrastructure. When he recruited Sanduka he proposed a stabbing attack, but Sanduka wanted something more impressive and proposed to abduct Jews. They finally agreed he would buy chemicals in Israel and bring them to Judea and Samaria, and infiltrate a suicide bomber, explosive belt or IED into Israel.
- They met in the university's mosque. Azzam tried to recruit Abu Kayan,who was known as an ISIS operative. He approached him in the mosque and proposed Abu Kayan learn how to drive, paid for by Hamas, so he could transport weapons for the organization. Abu Kayan refused. When he was offered a suicide bombing attack, he said he would be prepared to carry one out at any time, on the condition he could claim responsibility as an ISIS operative and not as a Hamas operative.
- According to the indictment the two helped Ahmed Azzam, one of the infrastructure commanders, orchestrate a suicide bombing attack. In preparation for the attack Ahmed Azzam rented an apartment in Abu Dis, bought various tools and began acquiring chemicals. Hazem Sanduka, who asnoted worked for a security company, suggested planting the bomb under the stage at an auditorium in south Jerusalem where Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was supposed to speak. The planned the attack but did not decide when to carry it out.
- Azzam's were directed by a Hamas terrorist operative in the Gaza Strip called "Abu Omar." They communicated through the Internet using coded messages and burner phones (Ynet, January 10, 2016).
Israel Security Agency Monthly Terrorist Attack Report
- According to the Israel Security Agency (ISA), during December 2015 there was a decline in the number of terrorist attacks compared with November 2015. A total of 239 terrorist attacks were carried out in Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem and inside the Israel (as opposed to 322 in November 2015). The number of casualties in those attacks also declined.
- Location – During December 2015, 194 terrorist attacks were carried out in Judea and Samaria (265 in November). There were 43 in Jerusalem (52 in November) and two inside Israel (five in November).
- Modus operandi – Most of the attacks (181) involved Molotov cocktails (36 in Jerusalem) There were 12 stabbing attacks (four in Jerusalem), 13 shooting attacks involving light arms, 27 IEDs and six vehicular attacks (one in Jerusalem)
- Casualties – In December there was a decline in the number ofcasualties. Three civilians were killed and 44 wounded (ten killed and 58 wounded in November). Those killed were victims of stabbing attacks, two in the Old City of Jerusalem and one in Hebron. Three were 21 people wounded in vehicular attacks, 16 in stabbing attacks, five in shooting attacks and two in personal attacks.
According to the ISA report, there was a decline in December in the number of attacks carried out in the current terrorist campaign. There was also a decline in the number of people injured. However, the terrorist campaign continues with ups and downs in scope and severity.
Rocket and Mortar Shell Fire Attacking Israel
- This past week no rocket or mortar shell hits were identified in Israeli territory.
- This past week there were a number of rockets launched from the Gaza Strip towards the sea, apparently test firings (Facebook page of Red Alert, January 12, 2016). A senior operative in Hamas' military-terrorist wing, who did not identify himself, said the "resistance" in the Gaza Strip was investing efforts in upgrading its rocket array in several areas: increasing range, improving precision, warheads and destructive capabilities, improving the ability to evade the Iron Dome aerial defense system, and improving the ability to launch large barrages. He claimed they had succeeded in overcoming the Iron Dome but added the "resistance" had alternative plans should Israel's system prove effective (Al-Majid, January 6, 2016).
Riots and Terrorist Attacks near the Border Security Fence
- This past week Gazans continued rioting near the border security fence to show solidarity with the Palestinian terrorist campaign in Judea and Samaria. However, there has been a significant decline in the number of rioters. On January 8, 2016, a riot developed between young Palestinians and an IDF force near the border security fence west of the village of Nahal Oz (Facebook page of Quds, January 8, 2016).
Cement Delivered to the Gaza Strip from Turkey
- The chairman of the board of directors of a company in the Gaza Strip announced that during the week of January 13, the first truck carrying 3,300 tons of cement would arrive in the Gaza Strip by sea from Turkey. He said an average of two ships a day would arrive, bringing at least 7,000 tons of cement each time (Paltoday, January 7, 2016). Cement is an important commodity and highly prized by the terrorist organizations for the reconstruction of their military-terrorist infrastructure, especially the tunnel systems.
- Ra'ed Fatuh, chairman of the central committee for coordinating merchandise in the Gaza Strip, denied the media reports. He claimed Turkey had been sending cement for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip every day for the past three months (Paltoday, January 10, 2016).
Statements from Senior Hamas Figures
- Ismail Haniya, deputy head of Hamas' political bureau, gave a speech at a rally in Khan Yunis marking the anniversary of the death of Yahya Ayash and in support of the "Jerusalem intifada." He said Hamas would never accept a Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip, but only a state "from the [Mediterranean] sea to the [Jordan] river." As to the events in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, he claimed Hamas would not allow the intifada to be halted. He boasted Hamas would surprise the entire world with its future struggles against Israel, as it had during Operation Protective Edge (PalInfo, January 7, 2016).
Graduation Ceremony for Officers of the National Security Force
On January 11. 2016, a ceremony was held in the western part of Gaza City for the tenth graduating class of national security force operatives. The course slogan was "Knights of Jerusalem." The ceremony was attended by senior national security figures and representatives of the Palestinian organizations. The graduates simulated "military" exercises, including hijackinga bus, attacking an Israeli military base and abducting IDF soldiers through a tunnel (not activities usually undertaken by the internal security forces in the Gaza Strip) (Palestinian ministry of the interior and (Facebook page of PalInfo, January 11, 2016).
Graduation exercises. Left: Simulating a raid on an Israeli military base called "Leadership site" and abducting a soldier through a tunnel. Right: Hijacking a bus (Facebook page of PalInfo and the Palestinian ministry of the interior, January 11, 2016).
Iran's Relations with the Terrorist Organizations in the Gaza Strip
- Palestinian sources reported that Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran's foreign minister, had met with Khaled al-Qadoumi, Hamas' representative in Tehran. The sources also reported Zarif had requested that Hamas support Iran against Saudi Arabia. In return he offered to recognize Hamas as the official representative of the Palestinians. Hamas sources denied the report but confirmed the meeting had taken place and that Iran had requested supportfrom Hamas (Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, January 9, 2016). Salah al-Bardawil, a senior Hamas figure, denied the report. He claimed Hamas had not received any offer to support Iran as an ally, adding that a number of attempts were being made to incite the Arab nation against the "resistance movements," foremost of which was Hamas (Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, January 9, 2016).
- A senior Palestinian source revealed that relations between the PIJ and Iran had begun to deteriorate. That occurred after the PIJ denied Iran's request to publicly support it in its war in Yemen. Iran had therefore recently significantly reduced its financial support of the organization. The source claimed that as a result the PIJ could not pay its operatives' salaries or provide funds for its institutions (Al-Khalij Online, January 10, 2016).
The Palestinian Prime Minister Praises the Palestinian Shaheeds
- Rami Hamdallah, prime minister of the Palestinian national consensus government, gave a speech at an event officially marking Palestinian "Shaheed Day." He praised the Palestinian shaheeds in both Mahmoud Abbas' name and his own, praised the path they had chosen and expressed admiration for their sacrifice. He also said part of respecting their sacrifice would be to enlist world public opinion for bring Israel to trial for its "crimes" (Facebook page of Rami Hamdallah, January 6, 2016).
The response PA ministry of health was inexact, as its list of shaheeds includes Khalil Salem al-Uqabi, an Israeli Bedouin and resident of the Bedouin settlement of Uqab, who carried out a shooting attack in Beersheba on October 18, 2015. The Palestinian ministry of health claimed his name was on the list because he originally came from the Hebron region.
For further information about the Hamas network in Abu Dis, see the January 6, 2016 bulletin, "The exposure of a terrorist infrastructure in Abu Dis and Bethlehem directed by Hamas in the Gaza Strip shows Hamas' effort to escalate the current terrorist campaign at the expense of its popular character."
Update on the report of the exposure of the Hamas network in Abu Dis handled from the Gaza Strip (News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, December 23-29, 2015).
 As of January 12, 2016. The statistics do not include mortar shell fire or rockets which misfired and fell inside the Gaza Strip.
The statistics do not include mortar shell fire or rockets which misfired and fell inside the Gaza Strip.