Picture posted on the social networks after the lethal stabbing attack in Otniel, in which Dafna Meir was murdered. The single word in the center reads, "Otniel." The inscription at the top reads, "Death of a woman settler in a stabbing attack and the retreat of the stabber from the settlement of Otniel, 17/1/2016" (Facebook page of QudsN, January 18, 2016).
Murad Badr Abdallah Idi's as he appears on his Facebook page (December 25, 2015).
The Hamas death notice for Wissam Marwan Ahmed al-Qasrawi (Facebook page of PALDF, January 17, 2016).
The death notice issued by Hamas for Heitham Mahmoud Abd al-Jalil Yassin (Facebook page of Hamas in Nablus, January 14, 2016).
- This past week the Palestinian terrorist campaign continued. There was a decline in the number of attacks but those that were carried out were particularly serious and showed a high degree of daring. Especially prominent this past week were two stabbing attacks in the Hebron-Bethlehem region in which terrorist operatives entered villages (Tekoa and Otniel) and attacked local residents. In Otniel a woman was murdered in front of her own home. Her death brought the number of Israeli civilians killed since the beginning of the current terrorist campaign to 29.
- In the northern Gaza Strip Israel Air Force aircraft struck a terrorist squad in the process of planting IEDs to attack IDF soldiers. According to the Palestinian media, a terrorist operative of Fatah's Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade was killed. It was the first targeted killing carried out by Israeli security forces since Operation Protective Edge. Hamas accused Israel of responsibility for the attack and warned Israel was "playing with fire."
Terrorist Attacks and Attempted Attacks
- January 18, 2016 –attempted stabbing attack: A Palestinian went to the Huwwara Junction (near Nablus) and took out a knife. An IDF soldier cocked his weapon and the Palestinian surrendered. There were no casualties; the Palestinian was taken for questioning.
- January 18, 2016 – entrance into a village and stabbing attack: A Palestinian terrorist entered a clothing outlet in the village of Tekoa (south of Jerusalem). He stabbed a pregnant woman, seriously wounding her. The terrorist was shot by a local resident and taken to a hospital. The Palestinian media reported he was Othman Muhammad Sha'lan, 19, from the village of Hindaza, southeast of Bethlehem (Radio Al-Rabia', Hebron, January 18, 2016).
Left: The scene of the stabbing attack in Tekoa. Right: The knife used in the stabbing attack (Facebook page of QudsN, January 18, 2016).
- January 17, 2016 – entrance into a village and stabbing attack:
- A Palestinian terrorist entered the village of Otniel in south Mount Hebron and stabbed a woman to death in front of her own home. He then fled towards the Palestinian village of Khirbat Karme. The murdered woman was Dafna Meir, 39, married and mother of six.
- Two days later the killer was apprehended by the Israeli security forces in his village and taken for questioning. He was Murad Badr Abdallah Idi's, 16, from Bayt Amra, near the town of Yatta in south Mount Hebron (Facebook page of Yatta Now, January 19, 2016).
- January 17, 2016 – attempted stabbing attack: A Palestinian terrorist tried to stab an IDF soldier, one of a group of soldiers securing a traffic circle near Huwwara in the Nablus region. The terrorist was shot and killed. The Palestinian media reported he was Wissam Marwan Ahmed al-Qasrawi, 21, unmarried, from the village of Missilya, south of Jenin (Dunia al-Watan, January 18, 2016). Hamas issued a death notice for him (Facebook page of PALDF, January 17, 2016).
- January 16, 2016 – shooting attack: A Palestinian fired a light weapon at the Cave of the Patriarchs from the Abu Sneina neighborhood in Hebron. There were no casualties.
- January 14, 2016 – attempted stabbing attack: A Palestinian terrorist tried to stab soldiers securing the Bayt Einun Junction (near Kiryat Arba). The soldiers identified the Palestinian as a terrorist and shot and killed him before he harmed them. The Palestinian media reported he was Mu'id Awni Jabarin, 20, from Sa'ir, north of Hebron (Facebook page of QudsN, January 14, 2016). He left a letter for his mother asking for her forgiveness and saying he had hoped to kill two Israeli soldiers and become a shaheed (Majal, January 14, 2016). Hamas issued a death notice for him (Facebook page of PALDF, January 15, 2016). The Palestinian Authority (PA) held a formal military funeral for him (Wafa News Agency, January 15, 2016).
Left: The letter Mu'id Awni Jabarin left for his mother (Facebook page of PALDF, January 14, 2016). Right: The death notice issued by Hamas for Mu'id Awni Jabarin (Facebook page of PALDF, January 15, 2016).
- January 14, 2016 – stabbing attack:
- An IDF force engaged in operational activities in the region of Mt. Ebal, near Nablus, was attacked by Palestinian terrorists who threw glass and other objects at them. One of the Palestinians attacked and stabbed an officer. The officer was not seriously wounded. The soldiers shot the terrorist, mortally wounding him. He was given medical treatment at the scene of the attack but later died.
- The Palestinian media reported the terrorist was Heitham Mahmoud Abd al-Jalil Yassin, 36, from Asira al-Shimaliya, north of Nablus (Paltoday, January 14, 2016). Hamas issued a death notice for him (Facebook page of Hamas in Nablus, January 14, 2016).
- January 12, 2016 – attempted stabbing attack:
- A Palestinian terrorist tried to stab IDF soldiers patrolling at the Bayt Einun Junction (near Hebron). He drove to the site, got out of his car and walked towards the soldiers at the junction. He tried to stab one of them; they shot and killed him.
- The terrorist was Ahmed Muhammad Qasem al-Kawazbah, 23, from the village of Sa'ir. He was related to three other terrorists from the al-Kawazbah clan, killed when trying to stab Israeli soldiers at the Gush Etzion Junction on January 6, 2016.
- Hamas issued a death notice for him, calling him its "shaheed son and jihad fighter" (Filastin al-'Aan and the Islamic Movement in Nablus, January 12, 2016; Facebook page of Our Home Sa'ir, January 12-13, 2016).
Riots, Clashes and Popular Terrorism
- In addition to personal attacks, the demonstrations, protest marches, riots, and the throwing of stones, Molotov cocktails and pipe bombs continue in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.
- On January 13, 2016, a Palestinian was killed in a riot near Beit Jala. He was Srour Ahmed Ibrahim Abu Srour, 21, from the Aida refugee camp south of Bethlehem. He belonged to Fatah's Al-Shabiba movement. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and Fatah issued death notices for him. After his funeral riots broke out in Bethlehem between Palestinians and Israeli security forces (Filastin al-Yawm, Facebook pages of News of the Aida Refugee Camp – 24 Hours, and the State of the Aida Refugee Camp, January 12, 2016, and Shasha News, January 13, 2016).
- On Friday, January 15, 2016, the main sites of Palestinian riots were Bituniya (near Ramallah), the Halhul Bridge (north of Hebron), Sa'ir (near Nablus), Silwad, Qaddoum and Ni'lin.
- Some of the more prominent incidents were the following:
- January 18, 2016 – A Palestinian involved in throwing stones at the light railway in the Shuafat region was apprehended by the Israel Police Force. He took out a knife and threatened the police. He was taken for questioning (Facebook page of Red Alert, January 18, 2016).
- January 17, 2016 –A Palestinian woman armed with a knife went to the western gate of Kiryat Arba. She was detained; there were no casualties (Facebook page of Red Alert, January 17, 2016).
- January 17, 2016 – Palestinians threw Molotov cocktails at vehicles on the Gush Etzion-Jerusalem road. Palestinians threw a Molotov cocktail at a bus north of Al-Aroub in Gush Etzion. There were no casualties and no damage was reported (Facebook page of Red Alert, January 17, 2016).
- January 15, 2016 – Palestinians threw stones at IDF forces during a riot in Bethlehem. A Palestinian was shot and seriously wounded (Facebook page of Red Alert, January 15, 2016).
- January 15, 2016 – Palestinians threw stones at IDF soldiers and burned tires near the Bituniya roadblock (Ramallah region). A soldier was hit by a stone and evacuated for medical treatment (Facebook page of Red Alert, January 15, 2016).
- January 15, 2016 – Palestinians threw three Molotov cocktails at two buses south of Karmei Tzur on the Gush Etzion – Hebron road. There were no casualties (Facebook page of Red Alert, January 15, 2016).
- January 14, 2016 – Palestinians threw stones at a bus on the Hizme – Anatot road (in Benyamin). The bus was empty. The driver was injured and evacuated for medical treatment. The bus was damaged.
- January 13, 2016 – Palestinians threw a Molotov cocktail at an IDF post on the Gush Etzion – Hebron road near Al-Aroub. There were no casualties.
Terrorist Squad Attacked near Border Security Fence
- On January 13, 2016, Israel Air Force (IAF) aircraft struck a terrorist squad planting IEDs In the northern Gaza Strip. According to Israeli security sources, the squad planned to detonate the IEDs to attack Israeli security forces engaged in operational activities near the border security fence (IDF Spokesman, January 13, 2016). The Palestinian media reported that an operative of one of the organizations was killed and several others wounded. The terrorist killed was Musa Asa'd Salman Abu Za'iter, 23, (Twitter account of the spokesman of the ministry of health in the Gaza Strip, January 13, 2016). It was the first targeting killing carried out by the Israeli security forces since Operation Protective Edge.
- A spokesman for the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade in the Gaza Strip, Fatah's military-terrorist wing, announced that the commander of the organization's rocket unit had been killed by IDF forces while "monitoring IDF military vehicles that had entered the territory of Beit Lahia (Dunia al-Watan, January 13, 2016). A senior Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade operative praised Abu Za'iter, calling him "the lion of the rocket unit," claiming he had played an important role in the "resistance" against Israel during Operation Protective Edge. He said Abu Za'iter had belonged to the Nabil Masoud Unit, which had collaborated with Hamas 'military wing in carrying out the attack in [the port of] Ashdod in 2004 (Quds Press, January 15, 2016).
Left: The death notice issued by Fatah for Abu Za'iter Right: Abu Za'iter Facebook page affiliated with Fatah in the Gaza Strip January 14, 2016).
- In the Gaza Strip there were harsh reactions to the event:
- Salah al-Bardawil, a senior Hamas figure, warned that Israel was "playing with fire." He claimed it was another in the "series of crimes" Israel carried out against the Palestinians and that the event would be added to the bill of what Israel owed the Palestinians (Alresala.net, January 13, 2016).
- Sami Abu Zuhri, Hamas spokesman, said Israel was responsible for the death of the operative and warned it against "continuing its aggression" against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip (Safa News Agency and the Hamas website, January 13, 2015). Musheir al-Masri, a senior Hamas figure, claimed the IDF's attack was a gross violation of the lull agreement (Al-Watania, January 13, 2016).
- A spokesman for the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade claimed Israel's attempts to drag the Gaza Strip into a new war would fail, but the death of Abu Za'iter would not be passed over in silence and in response his organization would attack deep inside Israel (Dunia al-Watan, January 13, 2016).
- Sources in the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) claimed Abu Za'iter had belonged to their organization. Khader Habib, a senior PIJ figure, claimed the attack would destabilize the situation on the ground, which was shaky in any case (Kofiapress, January 13, 2016).
Rocket and Mortar Shell Fire Attacking Israel
- This past week no rocket or mortar shell hits were identified in Israeli territory.
Riots and Terrorist Attacks near the Border Security Fence
- Gazans continue rioting near the border security fence to show solidarity with the Palestinians in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. On January 15, 2016, dozens of Gazans approached the fence in the central Gaza Strip. They burned tires and threw stones at Israeli security forces. One Gazan approached the fence and tried to cross into Israeli territory. The soldiers shot at him.
- According to reports, two Gazans were killed in riots near the border security fence in the central Gaza Strip, east of Al-Bureij. The Palestinian media reported the death of Muhammad Adel Abu Zaid, 18, a Hamas operative (Paltoday, January 15, 2016). A spokesman for the ministry of health in the Gaza Strip reported the death of Muhammad Majdi Qitta, 26, from Khan Yunis, killed by IDF fire in the Al-Bureij refugee camp (Twitter account of Ashraf al-Qidra, January 15, 2016).
Reconstructing the Gaza Strip
- On January 16, 2016, a ceremony was held in the southern Gaza Strip on land formerly belonging to Gush Katif, in which Gazans were given the keys to 1,060 apartments. It was part of the first stage of a project for building a new neighborhood, fully funded by former Qatar ruler Hamed bin Khalifa. Building began in 2012.
"Work Accidents" in the Tunnels in the Gaza Strip
- An operative in Hamas' tunnel system was killed while working in a tunnel in the area north of Rafah. The Palestinian media reported the death of Bassam Ayub al-Akhras, 22, who was electrocuted in one of the "tunnels of the resistance" (Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades website, January 15, 2016).
- Rescue teams extracted three Palestinians trapped in one of the smuggling tunnels south of Rafah after part of it collapsed during renovations (Dunia al-Watan, January 17, 2016).
- Osama Hamdan, responsible for Hamas' foreign relations, claimed Iran had never asked Hamas to sever diplomatic relations [with Saudi Arabia] or take a hostile position. He claimed Hamas had relations with all the regional countries relevant to promoting the interests of the movement and the Palestinian cause. He also claimed Hamas had ongoing relations with Iran and Hamas delegations often visited Tehran. However, he avoided confirming that Khaled Mashaal had been invited to visit Tehran (Ma'an News Agency, January 17, 2016).
Osama Hamdan'sremarks were made in response to reports from Palestinian sources that Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister, had asked Hamas to support Iran against Saudi Arabia. In return, according to the reports, Iran would recognize Hamas as the official representative of the Palestinians. Hamas sources denied the report but confirmed the meeting and Iran's request for support (Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, January 9, 2016)
The Al-Saberin Movement in the Gaza Strip
- An interview with Hashem Salem, head of the Al-Saberin Movement, shed light on the nature of the organization. According to Salem, the organization receives funds from Iran but they are earmarked primarily for da'wah activities. He refused to comment on whether the organization also received military support from Iran, but did say that its operatives did not receive salaries. As for relations with Hamas, he claimed security and military relations were good and positive, and that Al-Saberin, like the other organizations, was committed to the lull agreement with Israel. As to its relations with the PIJ (most of Al-Saberin's operatives came from from the PIJ) he claimed they were good, but that they had "technical disagreements."
- Regarding other activities of Al-Saberin, he claimed it operated in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. It had, he said, a military wing whose objective was to fight Israel and which had actively participated in the recent events (Ma'an News Agency, January 14, 2016). On January 17, 2016, the Al-Saberin Movement issued a statement congratulating Iran on the nuclear agreement and the lifting of sanctions (Website of the Al-Saberin Movement, January 17, 2016).
|The Al-Saberin Movement("The Al-Saberin Movement for the Victory of Palestine") is a terrorist network established in 2014 by operatives who left the PIJ. It is affiliated with Hezbollah and Iran, which apparently finances its operations in the Gaza Strip. On December 16, 2015, it claimed responsibility for attacking an IDF patrol with an IED near the border security fence in the southern Gaza Strip; there were no casualties. It was the first time since Operation Protective Edge in which a large-scale attack against IDF forces along the Gaza Strip border was avoided. Al-Saberin operatives claimed the attack was part of the "Jerusalem intifada" and a response to Israeli threats against the Gaza Strip (Website of the Al-Saberin Movement, January 18, 2016).|
- The Hamas-affiliated Islamic Bloc faction in Al-Najah University in Nablus organized a book fair at the university. It was exploited to encourage terrorist attacks against Israel. Examples are the following (Facebook page of Hamas' Islamic Bloc in Al-Najah University in Nablus, January 17, 2016)
Left: A sign reading "This is Bilal," "Bilal carried out a stabbing attack." "Bilal is a hero, be like Bilal." Bilal is Bilal Ghanem, one of the Palestinian terrorists who carried out a terrorist attack on a bus in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood of Jerusalem. Right: A display glorifying the two terrorists who carried out the attack on a Number 78 bus in Armon Hanatziv in Jerusalem, with their pictures.
Left: A sign at the book fair. The Arabic reads, "The intifada breaks heads." Right: A placard with the pictures of two operatives of the Hamas terrorist squad who killed the Henkin couple.
As of January 19, 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.