Tag Archives: Rockets

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (August 26 – September 2, 2014)

Abu Mazen making a speech declaring the ceasefire (Wafa News Agency, August 26, 2014).

Abu Mazen making a speech declaring the ceasefire (Wafa News Agency, August 26, 2014).

Ismail Haniya visiting the Shati refugee camp after the declaration of the ceasefire (Filastin Al-'Aan, August 29, 2014).

Ismail Haniya visiting the Shati refugee camp after the declaration of the ceasefire (Filastin Al-'Aan, August 29, 2014).

The remains of a rocket that fell in a kindergarten in Ashdod just hours before the ceasefire (Israel Police, August 26, 2014)

The remains of a rocket that fell in a kindergarten in Ashdod just hours before the ceasefire (Israel Police, August 26, 2014)

Victory rally organized by Hamas in Nablus (Facebook page of the Islamic Bloc at Al-Najah University, August 29, 2014)

Victory rally organized by Hamas in Nablus (Facebook page of the Islamic Bloc at Al-Najah University, August 29, 2014)

Hamas operatives holding models of weapons used during Operation Protective Edge.

Hamas operatives holding models of weapons used during Operation Protective Edge.

Residents leaving the UNRWA shelters (Wafa News Agency, August 27, 2014)

Residents leaving the UNRWA shelters (Wafa News Agency, August 27, 2014)

Burning an Israeli flag at a rally in Gaza (Gaza Alan, August 26 and 27, 2014).

Burning an Israeli flag at a rally in Gaza (Gaza Alan, August 26 and 27, 2014).

Hamas officials Fawzi Barhoum and Sami Abu Zuhri hoisted on the shoulders of civilians during victory celebrations in Gaza.

Hamas officials Fawzi Barhoum and Sami Abu Zuhri hoisted on the shoulders of civilians during victory celebrations in Gaza.

Abu Hamza, the new spokesman of the PIJ’s military wing (Al-Quds Battalions website, August 30, 2014)

Abu Hamza, the new spokesman of the PIJ’s military wing (Al-Quds Battalions website, August 30, 2014)

  • On August 26, 2014, after fifty days of fighting, an indefinite ceasefire came into effect. Since then, calm has been maintained in the Gaza Strip. The ceasefire includes the immediate opening of the border crossings and expansion of the fishing zone. Within a month, the parties will begin to discuss the key issues, which include the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip and the establishment of an airport and seaport. 
  • Victory rallies were held in the Gaza Strip and throughout Judea and Samaria. In their speeches, senior Hamas leaders reiterated the message that during the fighting they managed to defeat Israel, change the “rules of the game” and paralyze life in Israel. The speakers also stressed that this was not the final act of the “resistance” but rather another important stage in promoting the goal of liberating Jerusalem and Palestine. The speakers also emphasized that they would not agree to the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip.
  • At the same time, efforts to rebuild the Gaza Strip began. An international conference on the subject is to take place in Cairo in October. 
Declaration of a ceasefire
  • On August 26, 2014, at 19:00, after fifty days of fighting, an indefinite ceasefire came into effect. With the agreement of the parties, the ceasefire includes the immediate opening of the border crossings and expansion of the fishing zone. In this context, Israel undertook to immediately open the crossings and allow the entry of humanitarian supplies and equipment for rebuilding the Gaza Strip under Israeli supervision. Israel also agreed to expand the fishing zone beyond three miles. Within a month, the parties will begin to discuss the key issues, which include the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip and the establishment of an airport and seaport (ynet, August 26, 2014). On August 30, 2014, the Israeli Home Front Command announced a return to routine and the closing of public shelters (IDF Spokesman, August 30, 2014).
  • Until the announcement of the ceasefire, massive rocket and mortar fire into Israeli territory continued, with an emphasis on the communities close to the Gaza Strip. Just before the announcement of the ceasefire, the firing increased. On August 26, 2014, just hours before the ceasefire came into effect,two Israelis from Kibbutz Nirim were killed by shrapnel from mortar shells. The two men were repairing high voltage power lines damaged as a result of the firing. The Israel Air Force continued to attack dozens of terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip.
Summary of operation until the ceasefire
  • In total, 3,852 rocket hits were identified in Israeli territory during Operation Protective Edge. In addition, hundreds of mortar shells were also fired, especially at the communities close to the Gaza Strip. Nine Iron Dome systems throughout Israel intercepted around 735 rockets.
  •  The Israel Air Force carried out more than 5,200 strikes against terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip. The targets that were attacked include (IDF Spokesman, August 29, 2014):
  • 1,814launchers and other targets related to the firing of rockets and mortars
  • Hundreds of buildings that served as military outposts
  • 1,914 command and control centers and infrastructures
  • 237government institutions that supported terrorist activity 
  • 191weapon manufacturing and storage sites
  •  The military activity of the IDF ground forces concentrated mainly on the Hamas tunnel system. This included locating, mapping and destroying 32 tunnels. Thirteen of them were destroyed completely, 13 tunnels were neutralized, and the operation of six tunnels was disrupted. All the tunnels throughout the Gaza Strip were characterized by a large number of tunnel shafts and forks, some of which were booby-trapped. The tunnels were destroyed in order to thwart terrorist attacks that Hamas planned to carry out through them (IDF Spokesman, August 28, 2014).
  • In total, 66 IDF soldiers and six civilians were killed during Operation Protective Edge.
Comments and statements made by various figures
Israel
  • According to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel did not agree to accept any of the conditions imposed by Hamas, and the ceasefire was achieved without any conditions. The only thing that Israel has agreed to is humanitarian rehabilitation in the Gaza Strip, with the supervisory measures and capabilities being in Israel’s hands. He said that this was in order to prevent weapons or materials that could be used to manufacture weapons from being brought into the Gaza Strip (Prime Minister's Office website, August 27, 2014).
The Palestinian Authority
  • The Palestinian media has stressed the role of Palestinian Authority Chairman Abu Mazen in achieving the ceasefire and his efforts to rebuild the Gaza Strip. In an interview, Abu Mazen accused Hamas of responsibility for Operation Protective Edge and stressed that it is forbidden for any organization to decide to go to war on its own. He said that the decision on peace or war should be made only by a united government. Abu Mazen also hinted at the existence of a “shadow government” in the Gaza Strip that is opposed to the reconciliation and the unity of the Palestinian people. In reference to Israel’s “crimes” during the war, he claimed that this is a “holocaust that must never be repeated” and declared that he would turn to international institutions for the purpose of condemning Israel. Abu Mazen also declared that he would like to further progress towards a political solution based on the 1967 borders (official Palestinian channel, August 28, 2014). 
Palestinian organizations in the Gaza Strip
  • All the Palestinian organizations in the Gaza Strip, led by Hamas, expressed great satisfaction when the ceasefire entered into effect. Simultaneously, the establishment of a narrative of victory began in the Gaza Strip. In their speeches, senior Hamas leaders reiterated the message that during the fighting they managed to defeat Israel, change the “rules of the game” and paralyze life in Israel. The speakers also stressed that this was not the final act of the “resistance” but rather another important stage in promoting the goal of liberating Jerusalem and Palestine. The speakers also emphasized that they would not agree to the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip.
Hamas
  • With the announcement of the ceasefire, Hamas leaders emerged from the hiding places where they stayed during the operation, and began to participate in victory rallies and demonstrations. Hamas spokesmen made sure to emphasize that the victory was achieved thanks to the cohesiveness of all the military wings on the ground and their functioning as a single wing.
  •  The day after the declaration of the ceasefire, Ismail Haniya, deputy head of the Hamas political bureau, emphasized in his first public appearance that they had taught Israel a lesson and that following the operation, Israel changed its military plans, which are now based on defense rather than attack. He said this is an unprecedented war in Israel’s history and that the victory in this campaign is twice as great as the victory in the previous campaign (Operation Pillar of Defense). He praised the steadfastness of the residents of the Gaza Strip, calling them “heroes,” emphasized the deaths of senior figures in the military wing, calling them symbols of the victory, and congratulated all the military wings, especially the Hamas military wing (Al-Aqsa TV, August 27, 2014).
  • Following are additional statements:
  • Abu Obeida, spokesman for Hamas’s military wing, gave a speech in Shejaiya stressing the victory of the “resistance” against Israel. Abu Obeida praised the abilities and successes of the military wing in striking deep inside Israel, causing tens of thousands of residents of the south to leave their homes and putting six million residents into shelters. He accused Israel of formulating a “false” target bank, including kindergartens, civilian shelters, hospitals and schools, while the military wing focused on attacking only military targets (Al-Aqsa TV, August 27, 2014).
  • Moussa Abu Marzouq, a member of Hamas’s political bureau, said that the “resistance” won the battle. According to him, Israel’s prime minister has not gained anything from the conditions imposed by Israel in the agreement, especially with regard to limiting the development of weapons and Hamas’s military capabilities. Israel also failed to destroy the tunnels or achieve surrender (maannews.net, August 28, 2014). Moussa Abu Marzouq also said that the current ceasefire between Israel and Hamas is indefinite and that the date for resuming negotiations in Egypt will be set in the days ahead. He charged the national consensus government with full responsibility for the situation in the Gaza Strip and its rehabilitation (Al-Aqsa TV, August 31, 2014).
  • Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that Hamas’s priority now is rebuilding the Gaza Strip, rehabilitating the “resistance” capabilities and reaping political benefit from its military success. He said that the agreement meets many requirements and there are several requirements that will be discussed in the near future. He added that Hamas holds many “bargaining chips” constituting pressure on Israel so that it will assent to all the demands and commit to everything that has been agreed on (Safa News Agency, August 27, 2014).
  • Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar said that he is convinced that the Israeli government would commit to the issues raised in the ceasefire agreement.  Al-Zahar added that Israel's commitment to the agreement is not due to the fact that it is committed to treaties, contracts and agreements, but rather because it wants quiet and cannot afford to return to aggression (Al-Quds Al-Arabi, August 29, 2014).
The PIJ
  • PIJ Secretary General Ramadan Abdallah Shalah spoke with Abu Mazen by telephone and thanked him for his efforts to reach a ceasefire agreement (Wafa News Agency, August 27, 2014). Khaled al-Batsh, senior PIJ official and the organization’s representative in the delegation to the Cairo talks, said that the Palestinian government is now awaiting an official invitation to renew the talks. According to him, Egypt asked the Palestinian side to provide a detailed report of any breach of the agreement, in order to discuss any untoward incident (Filastin al-Yawm, August 31, 2014).
Egypt
  • According to presidential spokesman Ihab Badawi, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi received a phone call from Abu Mazen thanking Egypt for its efforts and the vigorous and successful negotiations that it conducted in order to reach a ceasefire. During the conversation, the Egyptian president stressed that the Palestinian issue is a key issue for Egypt and that Egypt will continue to support the rights of the Palestinians on their attempt to establish an independent state (al-Masri al-Youm, August 27, 2014).  Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said that in the days ahead, Egypt will begin to hold talks with the Israeli side and the Palestinian side in order to draft a document on which to base the indirect negotiations. He expressed hope that both sides would make an effort to conduct effective negotiation and that mutual understanding would be reached (Russia Al-Youm, August 31, 2014).
Iran
  • Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif spoke to PIJ Secretary General Ramadan Abdallah Shalah and Khaled Mashaal, head of Hamas’s political bureau, congratulating them on the victory in the campaign and expressing his hope that this victory is just the start of bigger victories. The secretary of the Iranian Supreme Council, who spoke with the two men, said that Iran has always stood beside the “resistance” (Khabar; ISNA, August 28, 2014).
  • Ali Akbar Velayati, foreign policy advisor to the Iranian Supreme Leader, praised the Palestinian people for its steadfastness during some fifty days of fighting “until it managed to get the terms it requested for a ceasefire.” He added that it is Iran that supplied the Palestinians with most of the weapons that they used during the fighting and Iran is the one that helped them manufacture such weapons. He said that Iran was the only country that helped the Gaza Strip because all other countries were afraid to help due to pressure from Western countries (Al-Alam, August 31, 2014).
Rockets fired at Israel
  • Until the announcement of the ceasefire, massive rocket and mortar fire into Israeli territory continued, with an emphasis on the communities close to the Gaza Strip. Just before the ceasefire entered into effect, the firing increased. At 17:00, barrages of rockets were launched at the Israeli cities of Ashdod, Ashkelon, Ofakim, Kiryat Malachi and Beersheba. In addition, the firing of mortar shells at communities close to the Gaza Strip continued. On August 26, 2014, just hours before the ceasefire was declared, two Israelis from Kibbutz Nirim were killed by shrapnel from mortar shells.
Israel fatalities
  • On August 26, 2014, two Israelis from Kibbutz Nirim were killed by mortar fire. They were wounded by shrapnel while repairing a high voltage line damaged as a result of the firing. In addition, five people were injured, one of them critically. The fatalities:
  • Zeev Etzion, 55, married with five children. Served as the security coordinator of Kibbutz Nirim for many years.
  • Shahar Melamed, 43, married with three children. Served as deputy security coordinator.
  • IDF soldier Sergeant Nentanel Maman, who was wounded on August 22 by shrapnel from a rocket while he was in his car in Gan Yavne, died on August 29, 2014. Sergeant Nentanel Maman, 21, from Gan Yavne, served as a technician in the Ordnance Corps. Another soldier, Sergeant Shahar Shalev, died of his wounds on August 31, 2014. Sergeant Shahar Shalev, 20, from Alonei Habashan, was seriously wounded in Khan Yunis on July 23, 2014.
Claiming responsibility for the firing
  • The military wing of Hamas and military wing of the PIJ claimed responsibility for most of the rocket and mortar attacks.Other organizations such as the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) also claimed responsibility for the firing. During the final days of the operation, terrorist organizations attempted to maintain continuity of fire, especially mortar fire at communities close to the Gaza Strip.

Rocket hits in Israeli territory between the two ceasefires

IDF Comments
  • In accordance with Israel’s decision to respond to any attempt at firing at Israel, Israel Air Force aircraft carried out a large number of attacks against terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip. Until the ceasefire was declared, the Israel Air Force continued to attack dozens of terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip.
Use of public buildings as a cover for military/terrorist activity
  • During the operation, Israeli security forces arrested around 150 operatives from Hamas and other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip. They were brought in for questioning, which served mainly for obtaining information and conveying it to the combat forces on the ground. During the interrogations, the issue of Hamas making use of the civilian population and public buildings for its military/terrorist operations arose time and time again. In this regard, the use of mosques and hospitals as hiding places and as gathering and meeting points was salient. It also emerged that tunnels and launching pits were dug and weapons stores were located near them and near educational institutions (Israel Security Agency, August 2014). Following are a number of examples:
  • Use of mosques:
  • Abd al-Rahman Ba’aloosha of Khan Yunis said that two mosques in the city (Al-Safa and Al-Abra) were used by Hamas operatives as a gathering point. At Al-Abra Mosque, the gathering point is an underground bunker.
  • Muhammad Ramadan of Khan Yunis said that in February 2014, he received training as an anti-tank weapons operator. The training took place in a hall located under the Al-Shafi’i Mosque in Khan Yunis. He said that the mosque serves as a training center of Hamas’s military wing. He also said that the Al-Islah Mosque and the Al-Banna Mosque in Khan Yunis were used during the fighting as gathering points for military activity, including activity in offensive tunnels.
  • Muhammad al-Qudra of Khan Yunis said that mosques are used as hiding places for weapons such as RPGs, heavy PKC machine guns and Kalashnikov assault rifles.
  • Hatem Abu Rida of Khuza’ah said that the Al-Taqwa Mosque serves as an observation point from which instructions are conveyed to cells of PIJ operatives who plant IEDs.
  •  Location of tunnels adjacent to kindergartens: Muhammad Abu Daraz of Abasan al-Kabirasaid that the starting point of the tunnel where he worked was adjacent to a clinic. He also said that he was arrested near an area where a kindergarten is located, which is adjacent to a clinic. He said they were instructed that if they carry out an abduction, they should bring the abducted individual to the kindergarten.
  • Hospitals as hiding places:
  • Muhammad al-Qudra of Khan Yunis said that Hamas leaders are hiding in hospitals. He said that the armed guards of the leaders usually wear police uniforms and man the hospital admission desks. These bodyguards block off areas in the hospital and deny patients access to them.
  • Nafez Shalouf of Rafah said that Al-Najar Hospital is used as a hiding place by Hamas and PIJ operatives. He said some civilians who were in need of medical attention were made to leave the hospital. 
Violent events in Judea and Samaria
  • Violence continued in Judea and Samaria as part of the so-called popular resistance. Stones were thrown at Israeli security forces and civilians, and Molotov cocktails were thrown in major traffic arteries in Judea and Samaria. In addition, demonstrations were held in big cities and “traditional” friction points (Bil’in, Ni’lin, Nabi Saleh, Qaddoum, Beit Ummar etc), most of them in solidarity with the Gaza Strip.
  • Following are a number of incidents:
  •  August 31, 2014 - Stones were thrown at Israeli vehicles near the Halhoul junction (north of Hebron). A young man of around 20 was lightly wounded. Several vehicles were damaged (Tazpit News Agency, August 31, 2014).
  • August 31, 2014 - Stones were thrown at an Israeli vehicle near Deir Abu Meshal (northwest of Ramallah). An Israeli woman was lightly wounded; her granddaughters, who were with her in the vehicle, were not wounded. The vehicle was damaged (Tazpit News Agency, August 31, 2014).
  • September 1, 2014 - Stones were thrown at a bus in Jerusalem. A three-year-old toddler sustained minor shrapnel wounds and was taken to the hospital (Israel Police, September 1, 2014).
  • September 1, 2014 - A Molotov cocktail was thrown at an Israeli vehicle near the Tapuach junction. An Israeli civilian was lightly wounded (Israel Police, September 1, 2014).

Left: Vehicle damaged near Deir Abu Meshal (Tazpit News Agency, August 31, 2014. Photo: Ehud Amiton). Right: Vehicle damaged in the Halhoul junction (Tazpit News Agency, August 31, 2014).
Left: Vehicle damaged nearDeir Abu Meshal (Tazpit News Agency, August 31, 2014. Photo: Ehud Amiton). Right: Vehicle damaged in the Halhoul junction (Tazpit News Agency, August 31, 2014).

Summary of terror attacks in July 2014
  • According to the Israel Security Agency, during July 2014 (the time of Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip), there was a significant increase in the number of terrorist attacks carried out in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. In total, 507 terrorist attacks[3] were carried out in July 2014, compared with 100 in June 2014. Most of the terrorist attacks, 424, consisted of Molotov cocktails, 77 of them in Jerusalem (compared with 71 attacks of this type in June). There were 35 IED attacks, five of them in Jerusalem, and13 small arms fire attacks (one in Jerusalem). Concurrently, there was a sharp increase in the number of riots and clashes with Israeli security forces (ISA website).
Rallies marking the end of the fighting
  • Many Palestinians took part in rallies held by Hamas and the PIJ in Judea and Samaria on the occasion of the announcement of the ceasefire. The Palestinian Authority security services supervised the events, confiscated Hamas flags and arrested a number of operatives (Safa News Agency, Alresalah.net, August 30, 2014).
  • In a recorded speech heard at a rally in Hebron, which was attended by Hamas supporters, senior Hamas operative Mahmoud al-Zahar called to pass the combat experience of the “resistance” to Judea and Samaria, andalso demanded a boycott of Israeli goods (Al-Arabi Al-Jadid, August 29, 2014). In Nablus, a rally entitled “Gaza Victory – the Glory of the Nation” was held, which was attended by many Hamas supporters. Khalil al-Haya, member of the political bureau of Hamas, and the father of Yahya Ayash (a senior Hamas operative killed by the IDF) spoke at the rally (Safa News Agency, August 29, 2014).
  • On August 30, a victory rally was held in front of the Al-Bireh city hall, organized by Hamas and entitled “Oath of Allegiance to Victory”. The rally was attended by Hamas operatives who displayed models of rockets and other weapons. The rally also included an installation simulating the taking over of an Israeli post and the abduction of soldiers (Facebook page of the Islamic Bloc at Birzeit University, August 30, 2014; PALDF, August 30, 2014).

Left: Installation simulating an attempted abduction of IDF soldiers at an Israeli post (Facebook page of the Islamic Bloc at Birzeit University, August 30, 2014). Right: Hamas operatives holding models of weapons used during Operation Protective Edge.
Left: Installation simulating an attempted abduction of IDF soldiers at an Israeli post (Facebook page of the Islamic Bloc at Birzeit University, August 30, 2014). Right: Hamas operatives holding models of weapons used during Operation Protective Edge.

The situation at the crossings
The Rafah Crossing
  • With the announcement of the ceasefire, the Rafah crossing was opened for traffic, mainly to enable injured Palestinians to travel to Egypt for treatment and in order for aid convoys to enter the Gaza Strip. However, it is still operating on a limited basis (Filastin al-Yawm, August 30, 2014).
  • In reference to the Rafah crossing, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said that the Rafah crossing has a unique nature and is subject to Egyptian sovereignty. According to him, Egypt treats the crossing the same way it treats its international airport and therefore Egypt operates the crossing in a manner that will meet its security needs (Russia Al-Youm, August 31, 2014).
  • Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Badr Abdel Aty said that Egypt would not allow any foreign individual to be present on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing, emphasizing that the crossings agreement signed in 2005, designed to regulate the movement of crossings between the Gaza Strip, stipulated that a European delegation would be present on the Palestinian side of the crossing. He made it clear that Egypt is not a party to the crossings business and that the parties to the agreement are the Palestinian Authority, Israel and the European Union, while the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing is subject to absolute Egyptian sovereignty (Masrawy, August 27, 2014).
The situation in the Gaza Strip
  • After the ceasefire was declared, Gaza Strip residents began returning to their homes. According to Yousef Moussa, director of the UNRWA in Rafah, only those left homeless remain in UNRWA centers and an alternative solution will be found for them through funding their rent or finding an alternative residence (Al-Ayyam, August 30, 2014). UNRWA has requested the allocation of USD 295.4 million to support the residents of the Gaza Strip who left their homes (UNRWA website, August 26, 2014).
  • Ma’moun Abu Shahla, Minister of Labor in the national consensus government, said that efforts are being made to provide mobile homes for families whose homes were destroyed during Operation Protective Edge. He said that a budget of USD 190 million has been allocated for the purchase of mobile homes. The sum was donated by the Palestinian Authority and others. In addition, they are now working with the Egyptian authorities to arrange for the delivery of 3,000 mobile homes that Turkey promised to supply (Al-Ayyam, September 1, 2014).
  • Hamas announced that it has completed the distribution of USD 3 million in aid to residents whose homes were destroyed during the fighting. According to Moussa al-Samak, a Hamas senior official in the central Gaza Strip, assistance has been distributed to 1,700 families whose homes were destroyed, and each family received initial assistance in the sum of USD 2,000 (Safa News Agency, August 31, 2014)
  • Mufid al-Hasayneh, Minister of Public Works and Housing in the national consensus government, said that on August 31, his office would begin to assess the damage caused during the operation. He said a committee has been formed, consisting of representatives of UN agencies, whose job is to collect damage assessment data (Safa News Agency, August 28, 2014).
Meeting of the Gaza Strip Aid Conference
  • Egyptian foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said that now, after the ceasefire agreement, preparations have begun for the Conference of Donors for Rehabilitation of the Gaza Strip, which will be held in early October 2014 in Cairo (Al-Masri Al-Youm, August 27, 2014). Mohammed Ashtiya, a member of Fatah's Central Committee, said that the conference will be attended by representatives from 46 donor countries in addition to representatives of UN agencies. The conference will be headed by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, and will probably be attended by Abu Mazen as well (Al-Jazeera, August 31, 2014).
Activity aimed at providing aid to the Gaza Strip
  • The national consensus government called on all countries to provide urgent economic and humanitarian assistance to the residents of the Gaza Strip (Wafa News Agency, August 26, 2014). PLO Executive Committee member Saeb Erekat said on August 27, 2014, that by order of Abu Mazen, the PA began talks with the American government and Secretary of State John Kerry, demanding the start of a humanitarian aid campaign in the Gaza Strip (Al-Jazeera, August 27, 2014).
  • Meanwhile Mahmoud al-Aloul, a member of Fatah's Central Committee, criticized Hamas for, so he claimed, taking over the food and aid to the Gaza Strip and putting it in its private warehouses (Voice of Palestine Radio, August 31, 2014).
  • Various countries began to send aid shipments to Gaza:
  • Turkey- an aid shipment from Turkey arrived in the Gaza Strip on August 28, 2014, via the Rafah crossing. The shipment included 92 tons of sugar (Anatolia, August 28, 2014). According to the Turkish health minister, 33 additional casualties were evacuated to Turkey from the Gaza Strip for treatment in a hospital in Turkey. He also said that a team of 80 people from Turkey are waiting for permission to enter the Gaza Strip to provide medical assistance (Hürriyet, August 29, 2014).
  • Saudi Arabia - aSaudi convoy sent by King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia passed through the Rafah crossing. The convoy consisted of 19 trucks containing 150 tons of medicines and medical equipment (Al-Youm Al-Sabaa, August 27, 2014). Saudi Arabia also sent a shipment of 67 tons of medical aid through the Palestinian Red Crescent (Red Mountain website, September 1, 2014).·A convoy from the Sultanate of Oman, containing 45 tons of medicines and medical supplies, arrived through the Rafah crossing (Al-Youm Al-Sabaa, August 27, 2014).
  • ·A UN convoy containing 16 trucks of food reached the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing (Al-Youm Al-Sabaa, August 27, 2014).
  • Sudan- a Sudanese medical delegation has arrived in the Gaza Strip. The delegation includes physicians and representatives of the Sudanese Red Crescent. The delegation will help treat the wounded in hospitals (SUNA News Agency, August 28, 2014).
  • The Kuwaiti Red Crescent donated two ambulances to the Palestinian Health Ministry. The ambulances were transferred to the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing (Kuwait Times, August 31, 2014).
  • The Maldives sent a donation to the Kuwaiti Red Crescent valued at USD 1.9 million for the Gaza Strip (Relief Web, 27 August 2014).
Rallies marking the end of the fighting
  • Immediately upon publication of the news of the ceasefire, thousands of Gazans took to the streets distributing sweets, setting off fireworks and waving Hamas flags. Thousands of Palestinians took part in rallies held by Hamas and the PIJ in the Gaza Strip. During the rallies, Hamas attempted to refute the reports of the death of Muhammad Deif, head of the military wing, as a result of an Israeli air strike. These attempts included a procession for renewing the oath of allegiance to Mohammad Deif, commander of the military wing, in front of his home in Khan Yunis (Al-Resalah.net website, August 27, 2014).

Left: Members of the Hamas military wing during victory celebrations in Gaza. Right: A child in uniform holding a model of an M75 rocket (Gaza Alan, August 26 and 27, 2014)
Left: Members of the Hamas military wing during victory celebrations in Gaza. Right: A child in uniform holding a model of an M75 rocket (Gaza Alan, August 26 and 27, 2014)

  • On August 28, 2014, the PIJ held a victory parade in Gaza attended by many of the organization's officials and operatives. During the parade, Hamas official Khaled al-Batsh stressed their success in recording a victory, surprising Israel and causing Israeli losses. Another PIJ official, Mohammad al-Hindi, noted that since the ceasefire was declared, the organization has begun to prepare for the next round. He accused Israel of committing a “New Hiroshima” against the residents of the Gaza Strip (Filastin Al-Yawm, August 29, 2014). During the events, the PIJ’s military wing revealed its new spokesman, known as Abu Hamza, who spoke for the first time at the rally in the Gaza Strip. Hamza is replacing the previous spokesman, Abu Ahmed, who was killed in one of the IDF attacks in the Gaza Strip during Operation Protective Edge (Ma'an News Agency, August 29, 2014).
Statements made by Khaled Mashaal
  • In a speech given at a press conference convened in Doha to mark the end of Operation Protective Edge, Khaled Mashaal, head of Hamas’s political bureau, praised the steadfastness of the Palestinian people, stressing that the equation of the balance of terror with Israel has been realized. The main points of his speech follow (Al-Jazeera, August 28, 2014):
  • He praised the “jihad fighters,” their commanders, the leadership of Hamas and other organizations on their performance during the fighting, including their training, their deployment, “their tricks and their surprises”. At the same time, he praised the resilience of the residents of the Gaza Strip, assuring them that the national consensus government would take care of their rehabilitation. 
  • He claimed that Israel committed “a holocaust that surpassed Hitler’s”. Nevertheless, he said, the Israeli army's image of being “invincible” has been impaired, since the “resistance” demonstrated superiority in the battle with “willpower and the war of minds” against Israel, as well as with the initiative that it took. And thus equation of the balance of terror has been realized. He noted that there were five million people in Israel who were forced to hide in shelters and that in Israel as well, residents have become displaced persons.
  • He praised the Palestinian national unity, which is reflected both at the front and during the talks in Cairo, despite the Israeli attempt to harm it and the intra-Palestinian reconciliation.
  • The “resistance” and its weapons are sacred; they are the image of the Palestinian people, its source of inspiration and its way to liberation. There will be no policy without the “resistance” and without the weapons of the resistance.
The Palestinian Authority’s activity to resume the negotiations
  • Palestinian sources reported that Abu Mazen has formulated a three-stage plan, which will be implemented in the near future in order to achieve an independent Palestinian state. According to the sources, the stages of the program include (Al-Sharq al-Awsat, August 30, 2014):
  • Appealing to the United States which, within a four-month period, will determine the borders of the Palestinian state and get Israel to recognize them.
  • If both parties accept it, time-limited negotiations will commence immediately, in which Israel will have to present a map of its borders.
  • If this fails, the Palestinians will begin the process of joining all the international organizations, including the International Court of Justice (ICC), and will begin to file lawsuits against the Israeli leadership.
  • At a Fatah meeting in Ramallah, Abu Mazen said that if negotiation process between the Israeli government and the Palestinian national consensus government is not renewed, the Palestinian leadership intends to join 522 international entities and organizations and to sign the Treaty of Rome (which is the source of authority for the operation of the International Criminal Court in the Hague) (Ma'an News Agency, August 31, 2014).
Reactions to Israel’s decision to recognize the territories as state land
  • On September 1, 2014, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Major General (ret.) Yoav (Poly) Mordechai, announced Israel's intention to recognize the land of the settlement of Gvaot in Gush Etzion as state land. The tract, with an area of about 3,800 dunams, is now officially defined as a neighborhood of Alon Shvut and is located in the western part of Gush Etzion (Ynet, September 1, 2014). According to the Coordinator of Government Activities, the announcement is a continuation of the instructions of the political leadership and was made possible after a thorough examination process conducted by a team from the Civil Administration to clarify who owns the land (Israel Today, September 1, 2014).
  • The announcement set off a wave of Palestinian condemnations and was denounced by Egypt and the West. Following are some Palestinian statements:
  • Palestinian Authority spokesman Nabil Abu Rodeina condemned the decision, claiming that it was an illegal act that would lead to further deterioration of the situation in the Territories (Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, September 1, 2014).
  • The Foreign Ministry of the national consensus government issued a statement stressing that the settlement enterprise is illegitimate and a violation of international law. According to the statement, the annexation of land is aggression that is no less dangerous than the Israeli aggression in the Gaza Strip. According to the statement, this is ongoing assault and a war crime (Palestinian Foreign Ministry website, September 1, 2014).
  • Hamas issued a statement condemning the announcement, which constitutes “a serious Zionist crime and a gross violation of all international laws.” In its statement, Hamas called on Palestinians to oppose this in every way possible and on human rights organizations to intervene (Hamas Info, September 1, 2014).
Turning to the International Court in The Hague
  • The issue of filing suit against Israel at the International Court of Justice continues to preoccupy the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian terrorist organizations. In this context, at its weekly meeting the national consensus government noted that the Palestinian organizations have agreed to sign the Treaty of Rome to join the International Criminal Court in The Hague, in order to institute proceedings against Israel for violations, war crimes and crimes against humanity, carried out against the Palestinian people (Wafa News Agency, August 26, 2014).
  • In response to criticism leveled at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, that it is not investigating the Palestinian issue because of political pressure, court prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said that the International Court of Justice will be able to open an investigation into the Palestinian issue only when it receives an official request from the PA leadership. She said that only countries can join the ICC, and therefore the PA’s request from 2009, before it was recognized as an observer state by the UN, is not valid. However, she said that when the ICC is granted jurisdiction on a given issue, they investigate those who committed mass crimes diligently and impartially and they will do so if they are granted the jurisdiction to deal with the Palestinian issue (The Guardian, August 29, 2014).
Attempts to prosecute Israelis with foreign citizenship
  • Riyadh al-Maliki, foreign minister of the national consensus government, sent a letter to the UN Secretary General and to the representatives of member states demanding that the UN mount an investigation into the involvement of foreign volunteers in committing war crimes during Operation Protective Edge and prosecute them. He said it has become apparent that foreigner nationals volunteered to join the IDF, participated in military activity and committed “war crimes,” and that this should be investigated by all parties concerned. He also said that these people should be informed that they have committed war crimes, violated international law and that there is criminal liability that may be imposed on those who are party to such actions (Wafa News Agency, August 27, 2014).
Boycotting Israeli products
  • Throughout Judea and Samaria, the campaign to promote Palestinian products and boycott Israeli goods is continuing. Bassam Walweel, President of the Palestinian Federation of Industries Union in Judea and Samaria, reported that there has been an increase in sales of locally produced dairy products and meat. He said that as part of the campaign to promote local products, companies that produce food products are planning to offer consumers reduced prices on most of their products (Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, September 1, 2014).
  • A women’s rally was held in Hebron, in which the women waved Palestinian flags and posters with slogans calling for a boycott of Israeli products. After the rally, the women toured around the city and visited stores and businesses to encourage their owners to cooperate with the campaign (Al-Quds, August 31, 2014). On August 25, an exhibition opened at Birzeit University, entitled The Boycott of the Resistance, calling for a boycott of Israeli products (Facebook page of the Islamic Bloc at Birzeit University, August 25, 2014).

Displays at the exhibition (Facebook page of the Islamic Bloc at Birzeit University, August 25, 2014)
Displays at the exhibition (Facebook page of the Islamic Bloc at Birzeit University, August 25, 2014)

Perpetuating the myth of victory
  • On August 29, 2014, the website of the PIJ’s military wing posted a list of the “achievements” of the military wing during Operation Protective Edge. The achievements included: firing around 3,249 rockets of various types at the Israeli cities of Netanya, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Dimona, killing 30 IDF soldiers in 13 different incidents and wounding 90 soldiers. The website also reported that during the operation, 121 of the organization’s officers and soldiers were killed (Al-Quds Battalions website, August 29, 2014). The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s military wing, said that it would publish its lists at a later date (Filastin Al-'Aan, August 30, 2014).

[1]As at September 2, 2014. These statistics do not include mortar shells, nor do they include rockets that were fired but landed in the territory of the Gaza Strip.
[2]These figures do not include mortar shells.
[3] These terrorist attacks do not include several dozen stone-throwing incidents in Gaza, Samaria and Jerusalem.

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (August 19 – 25, 2014)

Four year-old Daniel Tregerman, killed by shrapnel from a mortar shell that hit his house in the village of Nahal Oz (Photo courtesy of the family).

Four year-old Daniel Tregerman, killed by shrapnel from a mortar shell that hit his house in the village of Nahal Oz (Photo courtesy of the family).

: Mahmoud Abbas meets the Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamed the second (Wafa.ps, August 23 and 24, 2014)

: Mahmoud Abbas meets the Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamed the second (Wafa.ps, August 23 and 24, 2014)

Mahmoud Abbas in Cairo with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

Mahmoud Abbas in Cairo with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

The death notice issued by the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades. Left to right: Muhammad Ibrahim Shamallah, Ra'ed Subhi al-Attar, Muhammad Hamdan Barhoum (PALDF, August 21, 2014).

The death notice issued by the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades. Left to right: Muhammad Ibrahim Shamallah, Ra'ed Subhi al-Attar, Muhammad Hamdan Barhoum (PALDF, August 21, 2014).

Muhammad al-Ghoul's burned-out car and dollar bills on the ground next to it (Palestine-info.info, August 24, 2014)

Muhammad al-Ghoul's burned-out car and dollar bills on the ground next to it (Palestine-info.info, August 24, 2014)

A school compound (red) in the Zeitoun neighborhood in Gaza City from where rockets were fired at Israel (IDF Spokesman, August 24, 2014).

A school compound (red) in the Zeitoun neighborhood in Gaza City from where rockets were fired at Israel (IDF Spokesman, August 24, 2014).

Violent confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli security forces in the northern area of Bethlehem (Wafa.ps, August 22, 2014).

Violent confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli security forces in the northern area of Bethlehem (Wafa.ps, August 22, 2014).

Demonstration in Nablus (Ghaza al-A'an, August 23, 2014)

Demonstration in Nablus (Ghaza al-A'an, August 23, 2014)

Demonstration in Hebron.

Demonstration in Hebron.

Donations of medicines and medical equipment organized by the PA ministry of health in Ramallah for the Gazans (Wafa.ps, August 20, 2014)

Donations of medicines and medical equipment organized by the PA ministry of health in Ramallah for the Gazans (Wafa.ps, August 20, 2014)

  • On August 19, 2014, the Israeli-Hamas ceasefire collapsed following the firing of three rockets into Israel. Since then the fighting has continued, with both sides intensifying their attacks. Hamas has fired massive rocket and mortar shell barrages at Israel, especially targeting the communities near the Gaza Strip. In ITIC assessment, the attacks are Hamas' response to the damage done to its ability to fire long-range rockets, because it is relatively easy to attack targets close to the border, and to promote its political objectives (negotiating from a position of strength).
  • The IDF has intensified its response and attacked more than 300 terrorist targets since the ceasefire collapsed. Especially prominent were the targeting killings of figures in Hamas' upper echelons. A house was attacked where Muhammad Deif, head of Hamas' military-terrorist wing, was known to be present (his fate is still unknown). In addition, four senior Hamas terrorist operatives were attacked and killed, heads of Hamas' military-terrorist infrastructure in the southern Gaza Strip, who also engaged in financial matters and smuggling.
  • Meanwhile, efforts continue to arrange an end to the fighting and the renewal of negotiations. Cairo is the focal point for the negotiations, but there is activity in the UN for a Security Council Resolution. So far, Hamas' position has been intransigent and refuses to agree to the Egyptian initiative.
Massive Rocket and Mortar Shell Fire Attack Israel
  • On the afternoon of August 19, 2014, three rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip targeting Beersheba and Netivot. In response to the rocket fire Israeli Air Force (IAF) aircraft attacked terrorist targets. That signaled the collapse of the ceasefire and the renewal of massive rocket fire into Israeli territory, which has not ceased since. Israel recalled its delegation to the negotiations in Cairo.
  • The Israeli leadership made it clear that as long as the rocket and mortar shell attacks continued Israel would not negotiate. The IDF renewed and intensified its aerial attacks, including attacks targeting senior Hamas operatives (See below). On the afternoon of August 23, 2014, the IDF began distributing flyers and sending recorded and SMS messages warning the Gazan population. The Gazans were informed that the IDF would employ all its force against any civilian or military facility from which anti-Israeli terrorist activity was carried out. They were also warned that the IDF would attack and damage any structure from which military activity was carried out. Since the collapse of the ceasefire IAF aircraft have attacked more than 300 terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip (IDF Spokesman, August 24, 2014).
  • At the same time, Hamas and the other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip continue attacking Israel with massive rocket and mortar shell fire, especially targeting the communities around the Gaza Strip. Since the ceasefire collapsed 740 rocket hits have been identified in Israeli territory. Scores of mortar shells have been fired as well.
  • Rocket and mortar shell fire have focused on communities in the western Negev, especially those close to the border. A four year-old boy was killed by a mortar shell attack in his home in the community of Nahal Oz, which borders on the Gaza Strip. Several local residents have been wounded and considerable property damage has been reported.
  • In the meantime, Egyptian and UN efforts continue to bring about an end to the fighting. On August 23, 2014, the Egyptian ministry of foreign affairs issued a formal announcement to Israel and the Palestinians asking them to agree to an unlimited ceasefire and to return to the negotiations in Cairo. Mahmoud Abbas met with the Emir of Qatar, the president of Egypt and the head of Egyptian intelligence. After the meeting with the Egyptians he claimed the organizations, including Hamas, were willing to return to the talks in Cairo (Alwatanvoice.com, August 24, 2014). Hamas claimed if would cooperate with any initiative that would guarantee the Palestinians' demands (Samanews.com, August 23, 2014). In reality, so far Hamas has not agreed to the Egyptian initiative.
Targeted Killings of Senior Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades Operatives
  • On August 20, 2014, the IDF attacked a house in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood of Gaza City where Muhammad Deif, head of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military-terrorist wing, was known to be present. His wife, son and daughter were killed in the attack. So far, his fate is unknown.
  • On August 21, 2014, the IDF attacked in Rafah, killing three senior members of Hamas' military-terrorist wing. They were (Shabak.gov.il date, 2014):
  • Muhammad Ibrahim Saleh Abu Shamallah: Born in 1974, veteran terrorist operative, one of the senior Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades operatives. Commander of the southern sector of the Gaza Strip. During Operation Protective Edge he was involved in the planning and execution of the terrorist attack in which 13 operatives infiltrated into Israel territory through a tunnel in the Sufa region (southern Gaza Strip). In the past he was involved in the planning and execution of dozens of terrorist attacks, including those in which an IDF officer was killed in Rafah in 1994, an attack carried out through a tunnel in 2004 in which IDF soldiers were killed, and in the massive attack at the Kerem Shalom crossing in 2008 in which 13 IDF soldiers were wounded. Abu Shamallah was also involved in planning the attack near Kerem Shalom in 2006 in which two IDF soldiers were killed and Gilad Shalit was abducted.
  • Ra'ed Subhi Ahmed al-Attar: Born 1974, veteran Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades operative and senor commander, responsible for the Rafah region. One of the architects of Hamas' project for attack tunnels in the southern Gaza Strip. Helped the other brigades in the Gaza Strip construct tunnels. In recent years was responsible for the southern region and headed the campaign against Israel. One of the founders of the nakhba forces, elite Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades units. Responsible for directing military-terrorist action in the Rafah region, including planning and executing terrorist attacks, digging attack tunnels and directing terrorist activities from the Sinai Peninsula. He participated in terrorist attacks involving infiltration into Israel, rocket and mortar shell attacks, and IED attacks, which caused many Israeli fatalities. He was also involved in smuggling weapons and constructing Hamas' strength in the Rafah region.
  • Muhammad Hamdan Barhoum: Born in 1969, lived in Rafah. Senior operative in the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades' Rafah battalion. Dealt with smuggling weapons and finances. Spent a number of years in Syria and Libya raising funds.

Left: The official Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades announcement of the deaths of the three operatives (Qassam.ps, August 21, 2014). Right: The building in Tel al-Sultan in Rafah where the three operatives were killed (Ghaza al-A'an, August 21, 2014).
Left: The official Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades announcement of the deaths of the three operatives (Qassam.ps, August 21, 2014). Right: The building in Tel al-Sultan in Rafah where the three operatives were killed (Ghaza al-A'an, August 21, 2014).

  • In response to the killing of the three operatives, Hamas spokesmen claimed that Israel would pay "a heavy price" and that the coming days would be "black days" for Israel. Reading from a prepared speech, Ismail Haniya, deputy head of Hamas' political bureau, claimed Hamas had become stronger since the death of the operatives, and other senior operatives would take their place. He accused Israel of responsibility for the failure of the negotiations in Cairo and called on Egypt to accuse Israel of killing civilians and of war crimes (Al-Aqsa TV, August 21, 2014).
  • On the afternoon of August 24, 2014, Muhammad al-Ghoul was killed in an IDF attack in the northern Gaza Strip. Al-Ghoul was responsible for the transfer of funds to Hamas (IDF Spokesman, August 24, 2014).
Various Responses and Statements
Israel

nPrime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and told him that Hamas had again violated a ceasefire this week and said that it was responsible for the escalation. He pointed out that this was the eleventh time that Hamas had violated a ceasefire and noted that it was Hamas which had violated all of the ceasefires while Israel had honored them (Israeli Prime Minister's website, August 23, 2014).

nAt the opening of the weekly Cabinet meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu called on the residents of Gaza to immediately evacuate any building from which Hamas was carrying out terrorist activity. Israel, he said, was determined to complete the mission and was patient, and Operation Protective Edge would continue until its goals were achieved. Israel, he said, was prepared that the campaign might continue even after the start of the school year (September 1) (Israeli Prime Minister's website, August 24, 2014).

The Palestinian Authority

nInterviewed by the Egyptian media, Mahmoud Abbas said that the most important issue was "to stop the bloodshed." He called for another round of talks carried out in an atmosphere of quiet while humanitarian aid entered the Gaza Strip. He said there had to be a permanent lull so that issues of administration and directing the Gaza Strip and a political solution could be dealt with that would lead to a permanent solution. He also claimed it was important to form a united Palestinian delegation for the talks in Cairo, based on the existence of the national consensus government (Sada al-Balad, August 23, 2014).

The Palestinian Terrorist Organizations
Hamas
  • Sources in Hamas accused Israel of deliberately disrupting the negotiations. The rhetoric of Hamas spokesmen was particularly strident, while the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) appeared more willing to reach a ceasefire:
  • Musa Abu Marzouq, a member of Hamas' political bureau, claimed that Israel had perpetrated a fraud on the international community when it announced three rockets had been fired from the Gaza Strip during the negotiations and later attacked the Al-Dalou family's house, thinking Muhammad Deif was present. He also said that during the negotiations Israel had tried to avoid the issue of lifting the siege of the Gaza Strip (Aawsat.net, August 21, 2014).
  • Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum claimed that it might be possible to return to indirect Egyptian-mediated negotiations. He said Hamas accepted any activity, whether by Mahmoud Abbas or the Egyptians or the international community, which would make suggestions and promote the demands of the Palestinian people. He claimed that so far Hamas had heard of statements from the media but had not received anything official. He claimed that when Hamas received an official document, it would be examined (Al-Quds TV, August 24, 2014).
  • Hamas spokesman Musheir al-Masri claimed Hamas was waiting for Israel to respond to a document presented by the Palestinian delegation before the ceasefire was violated. He said Hamas related to the Egyptian initiative or any initiative, according to how it coordinated with the demands of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian "resistance." He claimed they were waiting for the Israeli response and that Hamas was examining the Egyptian proposal for an unlimited ceasefire (Aa.com.tr, August 24, 2014).
  • Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri claimed that Hamas was waiting for Israel's response to the Palestinian document. He claimed Israel's situation was problematic because it could not provide for the security of its citizens (Al-Mayadeen TV, Lebanon, August 24, 2014).
  • Interviewed by the Iranian Khabar TV, Khaled Mashaal, head of Hamas' political bureau, accused Israel of violating the ceasefire. He claimed that Israel had not provided a fitting response to the Palestinians' demands. He accused Israel of attacking mosques, hospitals and schools (including UNRWA schools), and claimed the attacks were "war crimes." He claimed the length of this war was different from prior wars. As to the negotiations, he claimed that all the demands presented were not conditions but rights of the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip. He claimed the demands to lift the siege, open the crossings and the construction of an airport and seaport were not new. However, he stressed that their top priority was "resistance" [i.e., continuation of the fighting] and not negotiations (Iranian Khabar TV, August 24, 2014).
The PIJ
  • Interviewed by Al-Mayadeen TV, Lebanon, senior PIJ figure Khaled al-Batash claimed that he expected a ceasefire would be declared in the next few hours, after Egypt announced that the sides agreed. He claimed the ceasefire agreement was based on the understandings of Operation Pillar of Defense and on the current Egyptian initiative, and included the opening of the crossings, the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip, the delivery of aid and building materials to the Gaza Strip, and a free fishing zone (Paltoday.ps, August 25, 2014). Ziyad al-Nakhaleh, deputy PIJ secretary general, confirmed the remarks made by Khaled al-Batash, adding that great effort had been invested and all the sides had reached an agreement on the wording of the Palestinians demands (Al-Mayadeen TV, Lebanon, August 25, 2014).
Egypt

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri spoke with the UN Secretary General, stating that Egypt was continuing its efforts to return the sides to a process of indirect negotiations. Negotiations, he said, would make it possible to reach a ceasefire, lift the Israeli siege of the Gaza Strip and hold an international conference for rebuilding it (Facebook page of the Egyptian ministry of foreign affairs, August 22, 2014).

"A high ranking Egyptian source" said that Egypt was getting ready to receive the Israeli and Palestinian delegations to renew the indirect negotiations for a ceasefire. According to the source, Mahmoud Abbas, Khaled Mashaal and the Emir of Qatar were determined that Egypt continue as broker for the negotiations (Maannews.net, August 23, 2014).

The International Arena/Community
  • The UN Security Council expressed deep concern over the renewal of the fighting and called on both sides to renew the negotiations for a long-term ceasefire. At the same time, the Security Council is trying to rush the formulating of a resolution for ending the fighting in the Gaza Strip. According to media reports, there are currently three different proposals: European, Jordanian and American:
  • France, Germany and Britain, which currently presides over the Security Council, formulated a draft for an initiative which will be put before the Security Council. The initiative supports Egypt as negotiator. The British ambassador to the Security Council, who serves as its president, said he hoped the Security Council would unite and agree on a joint draft for the issue of Operation Protective Edge which could be voted on and accepted (AFP.com, August 21, 2014).
  • Jordan leads the effort to formulate a proposed resolution for the Security Council. It has not yet presented its proposal and is trying to enlist support for it among the Council members (Khabrani, August 22, 2014).
  • The United States has also formulated a proposal for a resolution.
Rocket Hits in Israeli Territory – Weekly Summary
  • After the ceasefire was violated massive rocket and mortar shell fire began attacking Israel. Since the ceasefire ended 740 rockets have been identified in Israeli territory, and scores of mortar shells have been fired. The level of daily rocket fire returned to level at the beginning of Operation Protective Edge. Most of the rockets and mortar shells are fired at the communities close to the Gaza Strip. That may indicate that Hamas' and the other terrorist organizations' supplies of long- and medium-range rockets are dwindling. It may also indicate the terrorist organizations' intention to make political-propaganda use of the massive attack on the communities near the border. A four year-old boy was killed by shrapnel from a mortar shell that penetrated his house. Several people were injured, one of them critically. Extensive property damage was reported.
  • The main events were the following:
  • On the afternoon of August 22, 2014, Daniel Tregerman, a four year-old boy was killed in the community of Nahal Oz. He was playing in his house and did not have time to reach the reinforced room. He was fatally wounded by shrapnel from a mortar shell which penetrated the house, and died a short time later.
  • On the afternoon of August 22, 2014, a synagogue in Ashdod took a direct hit. Three civilians incurred minor shrapnel injuries. A man was seriously wounded in Beersheba when a rocket hit a parking lot, seriously damaging several cars.
  • On the evening of August 22, 2014, a 22 year-old soldier on leave was critically wounded by a direct rocket hit in the Gan Yavne region. He and his brother were in a car at the time. His 20 year-old brother incurred minor injuries.
  • On August 23, 2014, a mortar shell hit the dining room of the community of Nahal Oz, causing extensive damage.
  • On the afternoon of August 24, 2014, three civilians at the Erez crossing were injured, two of them seriously, by mortar shell shrapnel. All three were taxi drivers who had come to pick up Palestinians from the Erez crossing and take them for medical treatment in Israel. They were evacuated by IDF soldiers under heavy mortar shell fire and taken to a hospital. The Erez crossing was closed following the attack. Hamas' military-terrorist wing claimed responsibility for the mortar shell fire. Hamas claimed in a statement they had attacked a bus transporting Israeli soldiers and officers, and to that end fired 23 mortar shells which, claimed Hamas, caused casualties among the soldiers (Qassam.ps, August 24, 2014).
Claims of Responsibility
  • Hamas' military-terrorist wing claimed responsibility for most of the rocket and mortar shell fire. Hamas terrorist operatives fire rockets and mortar shells and try to keep the attacks continuous, especially the attacks on the western Negev. The Jerusalem Brigades, the PIJ's military-terrorist wing, and the military-terrorist wing of the Popular Resistance Committees, also claimed responsibility for rocket and mortar shell fire into Israel.

A formal Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades announcement claiming responsibility for the rocket fire which violated the ceasefire. It claims the attacks were resumed because of the attack on the Al-Dalou family house in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood (Qassam.ps, August 19, 2014). In reality the announcement is a lie, because the rockets were fired before the Al-Dalou house was attacked.
A formal Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades announcement claiming responsibility for the rocket fire which violated the ceasefire. It claims the attacks were resumed because of the attack on the Al-Dalou family house in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood (Qassam.ps, August 19, 2014). In reality the announcement is a lie, because the rockets were fired before the Al-Dalou house was attacked.

  • According to "a senior Israeli officer," Hamas has fired more than 2000 short-range rockets and scores of medium-range rockets (i.e., as far as the greater Tel Aviv region). According to the officer, less than 30% of the rockets in Hamas' arsenal before the fighting began remained. He added that Hamas' capabilities for rocket manufacture were low because many facilities for production had been attacked by the IAF (Haaretz.co.il, August 23, 2014).
Rocket Fire from Civilian Locations
  • During the past few days rockets and mortar shells have been fired into Israeli territory from civilian population centers in the Gaza Strip. The locations include school compounds in the northern Gaza Strip, from where there had been more than 30 rocket launchings. Other locations include an infirmary and graveyards, which are popular with the terrorist organizations (IDF Spokesman, August 23, 2014).
  • According to the IDF Spokesman, since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge more than 600 rockets have been launched from within civilian population centers. More than 260 rockets have been launched from educational institutions, more than 130 from graveyards, more than 160 from religious institutions and more than 50 from hospitals (IDF Spokesman, August 23, 2014).

Rocket launched from within a medical facility (YouTube, August 23, 2014)
Rocket launched from within a medical facility (YouTube, August 23, 2014)
Click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmh1dhRGzzM&feature=youtube_gdata_player for the video.

IDF Response
  • In accordance with the Israeli decision to respond to every attempt to attack Israel with rocket fire, IAF aircraft attacked many terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip. Since the ceasefire was violated, IAF aircraft have attacked more than 300 terrorist targets (IDF Spokesman):
  • On August 19, 2014, in response to the violation of the ceasefire, IAF aircraft attacked terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip.
  • On August 20 2014, the IAF attacked approximately 80 terrorist targets, including weapons caches, hidden rocket launchers, and terrorist operatives who fired rockets into Israel.
  • On the evening of August 21, 2014, IAF aircraft attacked a PIJ terrorist operative after he left a building in the southern Gaza Strip from which rockets had been fired at Ashqelon the preceding day.
  • On August 22, 2014, the IDF attacked more than 50 terrorist targets including rocket launching sites, weapons caches and hidden rocket launchers. Five terrorist operatives were also attacked.
  • On August 23, 2014, IAF aircraft attacked several dozen terrorist focal points, among them hidden rocket launchers, military compounds and apartments serving as command and control centers for terrorist operatives. In addition, three areas of terrorist activity located in religious institutions were attacked, among them a mosque in the southern Gaza Strip and a mosque used as a meeting place for terrorist operatives in the northern Gaza Strip.
  • On August 24, 2014, the IDF attacked approximately 100 terrorist targets, including mortar shell launchers used to attack the western Negev, hidden rocket launchers, locations for the manufacture and storing of weapons, two mosques used as meeting places for terrorist operatives and for storing weapons.
Rocket Fire from other Sectors
Lebanon
  • On the evening of August 23, 2014, two rockets were fired from south Lebanon. One fell near a community in the western Galilee. An eight year-old girl and a 35 year-old man incurred minor injuries. Twenty-one other civilians, among them seven children, were treated for shock. A building was damaged. So far it is unknown who was behind the rocket attack.
  • The IDF sent Lebanon a strong communiqué through UNIFIL, stating that Israel regarded the Lebanese government as responsible for everything that occurred in its territory. The UNIFIL force said that the rocket had been launched from the region of Alma al-Shaab in the western sector of south Lebanon. Lebanese army forces imposed a closure on the area from where the rocket was fired. The commander of the UNIFIL forces condemned the rocket fire which was, he said, a violation of UN Security Council resolution 1701 (Nna-leb.gov.lb, August 24, 2014).
Syria
  • At 0130 hours on August 24, 2014, five Grad 122mm rocket hits were identified near a community in the Golan Heights. The rockets fell in open areas and there were no casualties. A high-tension wire was hit, causing a power outage in several communities in the Golan Heights. So far it is not clear who was behind the rocket fire. The IDF Spokesman said the five rockets were fired from Syrian territory and that the IDF regards the Syrian regime as responsible for what happens in its territory (IDF Spokesman, August 24, 2014).
Violence on the Ground
  • This past week violent incidents continued in Judea and Samaria, part of the so-called "popular resistance." Stones were thrown at Israeli civilians and Israeli security forces and Molotov cocktails were thrown at vehicles on main roads. The Friday riots held at the traditional friction points (Bil'in, Ni'lin, Nebi Saleh, Qadoum, Beit Umar, etc.).
  • On the night of August 23, 2014, stones were thrown at a vehicle driving in the Gush Etzion region near Beit Umar. The vehicle overturned and the driver was seriously injured. His wife and one year-old daughter incurred minor injuries (Haaretz.co.il, August 24, 2014).
Gaza Strip Solidarity Demonstrations
  • Hamas continues calling of the residents of Judea and Samaria to support the Gaza Strip. Throughout Judea and Samaria demonstrations and rallies have been held to show solidarity with the Gaza Strip. Most of the events were organized by Hamas activists. The demonstrators waved Hamas-affiliated flags and held signs. The PA security forces were present at a number of demonstrations and in some cases violence developed between them and the demonstrators. Events were held in Ramallah, Hebron, Bethlehem, Tulkarm, Jenin and other locations. Some of the demonstrations turned into confrontations with Israeli security forces.
The Crossings
The Erez Crossing
  • Following the mortar shell fire at the Erez crossing and the wounding of the three taxi drivers who had come to help wounded Palestinians, the head of the Crossings Administration in the Ministry Of Defense and the Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories decided to close the Erez crossing, with the exception of activities to save lives (IDF Spokesman, August 24, 2014).
The Rafah Crossing
  • Maher Abu Subha, director of the Gaza Strip crossings, said the Rafah crossing was operating as usual and that 400-500 Palestinians passed through every day. He said the information that the crossing was closed was false (Radio Sawt al-Aqsa, August 22, 2014).
  • Regarding a permanent arrangement for the Rafah crossing, during his visit to Egypt Mahmoud Abbas said that the agreements of 2005 should be implemented, according to which the Palestinian presidential guard and European representatives should be present at the crossings. He claimed Egypt was not involved in the matter because the agreement was between the Palestinians, Israel, the United States and Europe. He claimed that with the re-implementation of the agreement, members of the presidential guard would be sent to Egypt for training to regain their capabilities, and thus be capable of controlling the crossings and the border. Mahmoud Abbas also claimed that Egypt was "100%" agreeable to the arrangement (Sada al-Balad, August 23, 2014).
The Situation in the Gaza Strip
  • Following the collapse of the ceasefire, the flow of Gazans to UNRWA shelters and the homes of relatives in the central Gaza Strip continues. UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness said that on August 23, 2014, an unprecedented number of Gazans needed shelter. He said the agency was providing for more than 314,000 Gazans in 84 UNRWA schools and seven government shelters (UNRWA Twitter account, August 23, 2014).
Instructions from the Hamas Ministry of the Interior to the Gazans
  • On the afternoon of August 23, 2014, using flyers and recorded and SMS messages, the IDF began warning the population throughout the Gaza Strip to vacate their houses. The IDF, according to the warning, would take action against any military or civilian facility from which terrorist activity against Israel had been carried out and any house from which terrorist activity had been carried out would be attacked.

Left: Gazans leave their houses (Paltimes.net, August 21, 2014). Right: The flyer distributed by the IDF (IDF Spokesman, August 23, 2014)
Left: Gazans leave their houses (Paltimes.net, August 21, 2014). Right: The flyer distributed by the IDF (IDF Spokesman, August 23, 2014)

  • In response to the warning, the Hamas ministry of the interior called on Gazans not to pay attention to the text messages sent to the phones or to the flyers that had been distributed. According to the ministry, the flyers and SMS messages were part of IDF psychological warfare against the population and the objective was to incite the population against Hamas. The ministry also advised the Gazans not to pass the flyers on to other people (Facebook page of the ministry of the interior, August 23, 2014).
  • The Hamas ministry of the interior also issued an announcement warning against private publication of the pictures of Gazan fatalities. According to the announcement, publicizing the pictures, especially pictures of armed operatives, endangered the families of the dead person and his house as well, and gave Israel a reason to attack (Facebook page of the ministry of the interior, August 22, 2014).
Survey Conducted in the Gaza Strip
  • The Palestinian Center for Public Opinion issued the findings of a survey it conducted among 1,000 Gazans over the age of 18 during the ceasefire. According to the results, 87.6% support a long-term ceasefire, although 93,2% oppose the disarmament of the "resistance" [i.e., terrorist organizations] (Maannews.net, August 23, 2014).
Providing the Gaza Strip with Assistance
  • Various countries have begun sending assistance to the Gaza Strip. On August 23, 2014, aid from the Red Crescent in the UAE arrived, including 80 tons of clothing, blankets, canned food and other equipment, entering the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing (Almasryalyoum.com, August 23, 2014). The Turkish agency for disaster and emergency management announced it had transported humanitarian aid for the Gaza Strip "through an air corridor" [Israel], which included 10,000 packages of food, medical supplies and fuel worth more than $3 million. In addition, wounded Palestinians were flown to hospitals in Turkey (Hurriyet.com.tr, August 21, 2014).
Executions of Suspected Collaborators
  • After Israel eliminated several senior Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades operatives in targeted killings, Hamas' security forces initiateda series of executions of Gazans suspected of collaborating with Israel. The Palestinian media reported that more than 20 Gazans, including two women, had been executed. Hamas claimed the executions were carried out after "legal proceedings" had been completed and after the sentences had been authorized. The executions were held in public and witnessed by hundreds of Gazans (Qudspress.com, August 22, 2014).

Left: Public executions. Right: The accusations against one of the men executed (Ghaza al-A'an and PALDAF, August 22, 2014)
Left: Public executions. Right: The accusations against one of the men executed (Ghaza al-A'an and PALDAF, August 22, 2014)

Mahmoud Abbas' New Initiative
  • The media, quoting Mahmoud Abbas' aides, have reported thatonce the operation in the Gaza Strip ends, Mahmoud Abbas intends to launch a new political initiative which he calls "a surprise." According to the initiative, Israel will be required to withdraw from Judea and Samaria not by means of negotiations, but through an international apparatus that will compel it and determine the schedule for its implementation. If the initiative is not accepted, the PA will appeal to the Security Council to impose a solution based on decisions made by international institutions. If the initiative is rejected or if the United States vetoes it, the PA will join the Rome Convention and sue Israel in the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague (AP.org, August 24, 2014).
Suing Israel in the ICC
  • The issue of bringing Israel to trial in the ICC in The Hague continues to engage the PA and the Palestinian terrorist organizations. At a press conference Mahmoud Abbas held in Egypt, in response to a question about joining the Rome Convention, he said the issue had been referred to the other Palestinian organizations for their agreement, because joining the Convention would have "consequences" for the organizations (Palestinian TV, August 23, 2014).
  • Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum claimed that Hamas had demanded that Mahmoud Abbas join the Rome Convention and the ICC in The Hague. He claimed all the [Palestinian terrorist] organizations had given their agreement in writing and were now waiting for Mahmoud Abbas to officially sign the Convention without delay or excuses (Al-Aqsa TV, August 24, 2014). However, Khaled al-Batash, a member of the PIJ's political leadership, claimed that the organization had reservation about appealing to the ICC lest it be exploited by "the forces of imperialism" to take legal action against the "resistance" (Alhayat.com, August 24, 2014).
Hamas Attacks the Israeli Public with Psychological Warfare
  • Hamas is waging a campaign to frighten the Israeli public. It has used the social networks to post notices aimed at the Israeli population:
  • On August 21, 2014, the Facebook page of Palinfo posted a picture of a bus on Dizengoff Street and the caption "SOON" [i.e., soon Hamas will blow up a bus in Tel Aviv].
  • On August 24, 2014, the Ghaza al-A'an Facebook page posted pictures warning of a cyber attack on Israeli on September 1. According to the posting, an "electronic storm" is planned (Facebook page of Ghaza al-A'an, August 24, 2014).

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (August 12 – 19, 2014)

The Palestinian delegation to the negotiations in Cairo (Quds.net, August 19, 2014).

The Palestinian delegation to the negotiations in Cairo (Quds.net, August 19, 2014).

Hamas' view of the ceasefire: a ticking bomb whose fuse is periodically extended (PALDF, Hamas forum, August 19, 2014).

Hamas' view of the ceasefire: a ticking bomb whose fuse is periodically extended (PALDF, Hamas forum, August 19, 2014).

The ceasefire agreement written with an M75 rocket targeting Tel Aviv one minute before the ceasefire went into effect (Facebook page of the Palestine Information Network, August 11, 2014).

The ceasefire agreement written with an M75 rocket targeting Tel Aviv one minute before the ceasefire went into effect (Facebook page of the Palestine Information Network, August 11, 2014).

Clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces at the roadblock near Beit Furik, east of Nablus (Wafa.ps, August 15, 2014).

Clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces at the roadblock near Beit Furik, east of Nablus (Wafa.ps, August 15, 2014).

Riots near the Tomb of Rachel, Bethlehem.

Riots near the Tomb of Rachel, Bethlehem.

Demonstrations in support of the Gaza Strip.

Demonstrations in support of the Gaza Strip.

Demonstrations in support of the Gaza Strip.

Demonstrations in support of the Gaza Strip.

Evacuating wounded Palestinians through the Erez crossing for medical treatment in Turkey (Cogat.idf.il, August 14, 2014).

Evacuating wounded Palestinians through the Erez crossing for medical treatment in Turkey (Cogat.idf.il, August 14, 2014).

Hazem Abu Murad, commander of Hamas' demolitions unit, near unexploded shells which had been neutralized (Facebook page of Ghaza al-A'an, August 13, 2014).

Hazem Abu Murad, commander of Hamas' demolitions unit, near unexploded shells which had been neutralized (Facebook page of Ghaza al-A'an, August 13, 2014).

The Facebook page of the Islamic bloc in Al-Najah University posted a picture of Palestinians preparing Molotov cocktails with the caption

The Facebook page of the Islamic bloc in Al-Najah University posted a picture of Palestinians preparing Molotov cocktails with the caption "The resistance unites.

  • Indirect, Egyptian-sponsored negotiations for a long-term ceasefire agreement continue in Cairo. The talks have been accompanied by temporary ceasefires, the latest of which was for 24 hours, from midnight August 18 to midnight August 19, 2014. On the afternoon of August 19 Hamas unilaterally violated the ceasefire and fired three rockets targeting Beersheba and Netivot, and the ceasefire collapsed. The IDF responded with air attacks on terrorist targets. The Israeli media reported that the Israeli delegation to Cairo was recalled.
  • In the past few months the Israeli security forces detained several scores of Hamas operatives in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. They had been involved in establishing a military-terrorist network which planned to carry out terrorist attacks in Israel and act against the Palestinian Authority (PA). The network operatives were handled by a senior Hamas figure currently residing in Turkey and by a kind of command group in Jordan. The operatives were found with large quantities of weapons in their possession.
Overview
  • On August 11, 2014, an agreement for an additional 72-hour ceasefire was reached. The Israeli, Hamas and PA delegations arrived in Cairo to discuss a long-term agreement brokered by Egypt and based on the Egyptian initiative. On August 13, 2014, it was announced that the ceasefire would be extended by five days, during which the negotiations would continue. On August 18, 2014, when the five-day extension ended, Egypt issued a formal statement to the effect that both sides had agreed to an additional 24 hours to complete the negotiations. On the afternoon of August 19, 2014, the ceasefire was unilaterally violated when three rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip targeting Beersheba and Netivot.
  • According to reports in the Arab media, the agreement discussed in Cairo was aimed at including issues which theoretically could be agreed on: the cessation of military activity, facilitating entrance into the Gaza Strip, extending the fishing zone and rebuilding the Gaza Strip. However, it was also reported that the disputed issues, which under the current circumstances could clearly not be negotiated, have been postponed: the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip, the construction of an airport and a seaport, the opening of the Rafah crossing, the release of detainees and the return of bodies. However, in view of the rocket fire on August 19, it is doubtful that an agreement will be reached in the immediate future and it is unclear what the nature of the agreement will be.
  • The following statements were made by Israel and the Palestinians:
Israel
  • At the beginning of the weekly Cabinet meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu said, "We are in the midst of a combined military and diplomatic campaign. From the first day, the Israeli delegation to Cairo has worked under clear instructions: Insist on the security needs of the State of Israel. Only if there is a clear response to our security needs will we agree to reach understandings..." (Website of the Israeli prime minister, August 17, 2014).[1]
  • IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Benny Gantz said that the operation might not yet have ended. He said the IDF would continue defending the State of Israel and work in every way, using every method, at all times. He said Hamas, which set the chain of events in motion in Judea and Samaria by abducting three Israeli youths and by opening fire at Israel's south, now realized the enormity of its mistake (IDF Spokesman, August 13, 2014).
The PA

nAt a meeting of the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas claimed that the most important thing now was stopping the fighting. After that the other problems and demands could be discussed, he said. He expressed his esteem for Egypt for the role it was playing in the negotiations, and claimed that the PA adhered to the Egyptian initiative (Palestinian TV, August 16, 2014).

Hamas
  • While negotiations are being held in Cairo, Hamas has been waging a multi-themed propaganda campaign:
  • Establishing the "myth of victory:" Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri gave a speech at a rally in support of Hamas held in Rafah, where he said it was the first time Israeli airports [sic] had been "under siege." He also claimed that hundreds of Israeli soldiers had been killed, wounded, or taken prisoner. He added that the residents of Israel's south could not yet return to the homes because "Hamas still does not allow them." He claimed that in view of Hamas' "great victory" in battle it would continue working to liberate the Palestinian lands and not only the opening of the crossings (Al-Aqsa, August 17, 2014). A senior source in Hamas claimed that throughout, the military wing had preserved its firepower and kept launching rockets in identical number and of identical kind until the last minute. The source also claimed that communications were continuously maintained between Hamas' military, security and political wings (Al-ayyam.com, August 9, 2014).
  • Attempts to minimize Israel's military achievements: Hamas claims that it had few losses among its military personnel, as opposed to the many civilians killed by Israel. A senior operative in the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military-terrorist wing, who chose to remain anonymous, claimed that one of the "surprises in the fighting" was the relatively small number of losses suffered by the military wing. He claimed that during the entire operation no more than 20 operatives were killed. (In ITIC assessment during the operation Hamas lost hundreds of its military-terrorist operatives, whose identities it is trying to keep secret.) He also claimed that all the senior members of the military wing remained alive, and that the IDF had not tried to kill even one of them (Al-ayyam.com, August 9, 2014).
  • After the fighting Hamas preserved its military capabilities: To prove the point, Hamas has taken correspondents to visit the combat zones where its military-terrorist operatives demonstrated their capabilities regarding the tunnels and in developing and producing weapons (Aa.com.tr, August 18, 2014). According to a Hamas report it continues manufacturing long-range rockets.
  • Threatening Israel if it does not meet Hamas' demands: Hamas accused Israel of the lack of progress in the negotiations and warned that the current ceasefire would be the last. Senior Hamas figure Ismail Radwan claimed that if Israel refused to meet the Palestinians' demands, the "resistance" [i.e., the terrorist organizations] had the "right" to use any means to achieve its goals. He claimed the "resistance" would decide how the next war would be waged to achieve the Palestinian people's goals. The "resistance," he said, could continue the battle against Israel, enforce its will on it and was not afraid of Israel (Alaraby.co.uk, August 17, 2014).
Rocket Hits in Israeli Territory – Weekly Summary
  • Generally speaking, the ceasefires were honored by the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip (with the exception of the latest ceasefire). However, as the appointed end of the ceasefire approached and until it was extended, sporadic rocket fire attacked Israel:
  • On August 14, 2014, rocket hits were identified in open areas in the western Negev. There were no casualties and no damage was reported.
  • At 2200 hours on August 13, 2014, two hours before the ceasefire was scheduled to end, a rocket hit was identified in an open area in the western Negev. There were no casualties and no damage was reported.
  • On the evening of August 13, 2014, the Iron Dome aerial defense system intercepted a rocket in the skies over Netivot. Three additional rockets fell in open areas in the western Negev.

Daily Distribution of Rocket Hits in Israeli Territory

IDF Response
  • In accordance with an Israeli decision to respond to every rocket attack targeting Israel, Israeli Air Force (IAF) aircraft attacked a number of terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip:
  • On the night of August 13, 2014, the IAF attacked terrorist targets in Khan Yunis in the northern Gaza Strip and areas in the central Gaza Strip.
  • Before dawn on August 14, 2014, the IAF attacked terrorist targets, including rocket-launching locations (IDF Spokesman, August 14, 2014). The Palestinian media reported that areas were attacked in the region of Beit Lahia and east of Gaza City.
  • Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoumclaimed that the attacks carried out by Israel after the ceasefire had been announced were grave, unjustified violations and asked Egypt to keep Israel from attacking (Maannews.net, Alresala.net, August 14, 2014). 
Hamas Military-Terrorist Network Exposed[4]
  • In recent months the Israeli security forces detained several scores of Hamas operatives in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem who were suspected of involvement in establishing a terrorist network that planned to carry out terrorist attacks in Israel. According to the Israel Security Agency (ISA) the network engaged mostly in recruiting operatives and acquiring weapons, and may have been planning to act against the PA. Large quantities of weapons, ammunition and money were found in the activists' possession. The network was headed by Riyad Nasser, from Deir Qaddis (Ramallah district), who had formerly been imprisoned in Israel.
  • Riyad Nasser was recruited by Salah Arouri, who was expelled from Israel and currently lives in Turkey.[5] Before his expulsion Arouri charged Riyad Nasser with constructing a broad Hamas network in Judea and Samaria to undermine and subvert stability on the ground and even to incite a third intifada. He set up a number of local squads which he handled directly. He established squads in Nablus, Bethlehem, the Yatir region, Jerusalem and Tulkarm. Experts in engineering and chemistry were also recruited to the network. According to the ISA, one of the network's objectives was to overthrow the PA, but apparently the plan is still in its first stages.
  • In addition, a kind of command group was established in Jordan for the network, headed by Awda Zaharan, who lives there. He is suspected of being the liaison between operatives in Judea and Samaria and activists abroad. The network operatives were given large sums of money to purchase weapons and prepare safe houses for storing weapons and/or setting up laboratories to manufacture weapons.

Left: One of the hiding places where weapons were stored. Right: Some of the weapons found in the possession of the operatives (Shabak.gov.il August 18, 2014).
Left: One of the hiding places where weapons were stored. Right: Some of the weapons found in the possession of the operatives (Shabak.gov.il August 18, 2014).

  • Interrogation of the suspects revealed that Khaled Mashaal, head of the Hamas' political bureau, was aware of the establishment of the network, which he considered as an activity of "building force." In the wake of the exposure, Israeli security alerted the Palestinian security forces and officials in Jordan, from which some of the network members operated.
  • Others recruited for the network included:
  • Dr. Majdi Mafarja, 32, operative in Hamas' security services and a computer expert, recruited to Hamas in Malaysia, specializes in encryption and cyber
  • warfare.[6] He was detained by the ISA in May 2014. He said he was a Hamas envoy and one of the liaisons operating between Jordan, Turkey, Judea and Samaria.
  • Salah Barakat, Israeli citizen, 35, from Beit Safsafa. Detained in July 2014 on suspicion of involvement in the network. Suspected of being a network envoy in Jordan.
  • Mahmoud Kafaya, 24, from Bituniya, suspected of being a weapons provider in Judea and Samaria. After his detention he surrendered large quantities of weapons.
  • Mahmoud Abu Daud, 26, from the Hebron region. Suspected of recruiting terrorist squads that planned an abduction and killing in the Hebron region. At the beginning of 2014 he was put in administrative detention and went on a hunger strike. Apparently his detention caused a disruption of the network's plans for terrorist attacks.

 

  • The Palestinian media reported that Mahmoud Abbas instructed Palestinian security to monitor the news in the Israeli media and to find additional information. Mahmoud Abbas said the implications for the political situation were grave, especially in light of the fact that Israel had published the names of the detainees, their confessions and pictures of the weapons seized (Wafa.ps, August 18, 2014).
Houses of the Abductors and Murderers of the Three Israeli Youths Razed
  • On the night of August 17, 2014, Israeli security forces razed the houses of two of the terrorist operatives who abducted and murdered the three Israeli youths in Gush Etzion on July 12, 2014, and sealed the house of a third. The activity followed a court order after appeals had been lodged and rejected. Two houses in which the terrorists lived were razed. In addition, the basement was sealed in which a third terrorist lived (who sent the terrorists on the abduction mission and was detained southeast of Ramallah in July). During the razing and sealing, which lasted for six hours, the Israeli forces did not meet with significant resistance, although there were a number of local demonstrations (Police.gov.il, August 18, 2014).
  • In response to the destruction of the houses Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri praised the terrorists' families, saying that the policy of destroying houses would not break Hamas and that Israel would bear the consequences of its "crimes" in Judea and Samaria (Facebook page of Sami Abu Zuhri, August 18, 2014).
Events on the Ground
  • This past week violent incidents continued in Judea and Samaria, part of the so-called "popular resistance." Stones were thrown at Israeli civilians and Israeli security forces and Molotov cocktails were thrown at vehicles on main roads. The Friday riots held at the traditional friction points (Bil'in, Ni'lin, Nebi Saleh, Qadoum, Beit Umar, etc.).
  • The following event also occurred:
  • On August 11, 2014, during an Israeli security force counterterrorist activity in Qabalan (south of Nablus), a Palestinian suspected of terrorist activities barricaded himself in his house. The Israeli security forces used a variety of methods to get him out. The Palestinian opened fire at the soldiers, who returned fire, killing him (Police.gov.il, August 11, 2014).
  • On August 13, 2014, the Israeli security forces detained 57 Palestinians suspected of public disturbances in east Jerusalem neighborhoods (Police.gov.il, August 13, 2014).
Solidarity Demonstrations in the Gaza Strip
  • Hamas continues calling for support from the residents in Judea and Samaria for the Gaza Strip. On Friday, August 15, 2014, a number of marches were held, during which Hamas-affiliated flags were carried. Marches were held in Nablus, Hebron, Ramallah, Jenin and elsewhere. In Nablus an Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades flag was carried. During the demonstrations demonstrators clashed with the Israeli security forces.

Solidarity Demonstrations in the Gaza Strip
Left: Invitation issued by Hamas to a march in Hebron called "We are all the resistance" (Facebook page of Ghaza al-A'an, August 13, 2014). Right: Notice posed on the Facebook page of the Islamic bloc of Al-Najah University in Nablus, inviting residents of the Nablus district to a march on August 15 after the Friday prayer. The march was also called "We are all the resistance" (Facebook page of the Islamic bloc of Al-Najah University, August 14, 2014).

The Crossings
  • Between July 8 and August 18, 2014, 4,191 trucks bearing supplies entered the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom crossing. During the same period 4.44 million liters of diesel fuel for the power station were delivered, 1.39 million liters for UNRWA, as well as 7,14 million liters of fuel, 3.51 liters of gasoline and 3,624 tons of cooking gas. During Operation Protective Edge the Kerem Shalom crossing was open almost every day despite rockets and mortar shells, which restricted movement through the crossing. However, the ceasefires made it possible to deliver larger quantities of supplies to the Strip (Cogat.idf.il, August 18, 2014).
  • Between July 8 and August 18, 2014, 227 ambulances passed through the Erez crossing and several thousand people entered Israel. Some were foreign nationals (1,928) and some were Palestinians who left to receive medical treatment (1,676). Several dozen wounded Palestinians left through the Erez crossing en route to medical treatment in Turkey (Cogat.idf.il, August 18, 2014).
The Rafah Crossing
  • The Rafah crossing remains closed most the time, with the exception of short, non-scheduled openings. Opening the Rafah crossing continues to be an important issue for the Palestinian delegation in Cairo. Egypt insists that any arrangement regarding the Rafah crossing must be made in collaboration with the PA. According to Rami Hamdallah, prime minister of the national consensus government, the Rafah crossing will be opened through coordination between the PA and the Egyptian authorities. He stated that the Egyptians wanted Palestinian-Egyptian supervision of the crossing, and that they demanded that Palestinian presidential guard forces man the crossing and supervise it in security coordination with the Egyptian side (Aawsat.net, August 14, 2014).
  • Regarding the suggestion that a third party supervise the Rafah crossing, an Egyptian source said that the delegation the EU suggested be sent to help supervise the Rafah crossing would be able to operate only on the Palestinian side. The Egyptian side, said the source, was under exclusively Egyptian control (Almasryalyoum.com, August 16, 2014).
The Gazan Population
  • According to UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness, there has been an increase in the number of Gazans housed in UNRWA shelters in the northern Gaza Strip. He said there were 237,659 Gazans in 81 UNRWA shelters. The agency also provides services to thousands of non-UNRWA schools throughout the Gaza Strip (Twitter account of Chris Gunness, August 18, 2014).
Rebuilding the Gaza Strip
  • Muhammad Mustafa, deputy prime minister and minister of the economy in the national consensus government, said that during September two conferences would be held by donors for rebuilding the Gaza Strip. One will be an international conference for donor states held in Cairo at the beginning of September. The other will be held towards the end of the month, on the margins of the UN General Assembly. It will discuss obtaining budgetary support for the PA (Al-ayyam.com, August 17, 2014).
  • The Norwegian ministry of foreign affairs announced that the Norwegian and Egyptian governments had decided, with the support of the chairman of the PA, to hold a conference to discuss rebuilding the Gaza Strip. The conference will be held in Cairo and invitations will be sent after negotiations currently being held lead to an agreement (Website of the Norwegian ministry of foreign affairs, August 18, 2014).
Aid for the Gaza Strip
  • In view of the ceasefire, various countries have begun sending aid to the Gaza Strip
  • On August 14, 2014, the UAE Red Crescent announced it had sent two planes with aid for the Gazans. They landed in Jordan and the equipment was transferred to UNRWA by the Jordanian Charity Association (WAM.ae, August 15, 2014).
  • The coordinator for the Turkish aid organization TIKA said that humanitarian aid including 12 trucks of canned food and other supplies would reach the Gaza Strip on August 19. It is the organization's second shipment to the Gaza Strip (Aa.com.tr, August 19, 2014).
  • The Turkish Red Crescent said it would send aid in the coming days. According to the Egyptian ministry of foreign affairs and the Turkish Red Crescent, it is the only organization permitted by the Egyptian authorities to deliver aid to the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing (Aa.com.tr, August 15, 2014).
  • The government of Venezuela said it would donate 12 tons of humanitarian equipment, including medicines, canned food, clothing, shoes, hygiene products, hospital beds, wheelchairs and mattresses. The equipment is supposed to be delivered through the Rafah crossing. In addition, wounded Gazans and orphaned children will also be sent from the Gaza Strip to Venezuela.

Left: Medical equipment from Qatar for one of the hospitals in the Gaza Strip. Right: Donations from Britain reach an UNRWA school (Ghaza al-A'an, August 13, 2014).
Left: Medical equipment from Qatar for one of the hospitals in the Gaza Strip. Right: Donations from Britain reach an UNRWA school (Ghaza al-A'an, August 13, 2014).

Fatalities Caused by Unexploded Shells
  • The Palestinian media reported that on August 13, 2014, six Palestinians died in two explosions in Beit Lahia. Four were Palestinians from the ministry of the interior's demolitions unit and two were correspondents (one Italian and one Palestinian). According to Palestinian reports, the six were killed when unexploded Israeli missiles and mortar shells left on the ground exploded as the demolitions experts tried to neutralize them (Paltoday.ps, August 13, 2014).
Promoting Legal Procedures against Israel
  • Speaking in Sudanese capital of Khartoum, Osama Hamdan, in charge of Hamas' external relations, praised those attempting to try Israel in the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. He said Hamas would provide them with proof and evidence of "Israel's violations and crimes." He called for the strengthening of the weapon of boycotting Israeli goods and for diplomatic ties with Israel to be cut (Alaraby.co.uk, August 16, 2014). Note: After Operation Cast Lead as well, Hamas provided "proof" (biased and unreliable) for international agencies acting against Israel.
  • The political committee of the Palestinian National Council, chaired by Salim Zaanoun, met in Amman. A statement was issued calling for the international committee of the UN's Human Rights Council to investigate the alleged "crimes" committed by Israel and to try the "guilty" individuals in an international court. The statement stressed the need for the PA to sign the Rome Convention to enable it to sue Israel in the ICC (Wafa.ps, August 14, 2014).
  • Rami Hamdallah, prime minister of the national consensus government, said that careful preparations were being made before the appeal to the ICC to ensure the Palestinians would not lose the suit (Aawsat.net, August 14, 2014).
Boycotts of Israeli Products
  • The Palestinian campaign in Judea and Samaria to boycott Israeli products continues. Mahmoud al-Habash, the PA's high Sharia judge, forbid the buying and selling of Israel products, especially if there were locally-made or imported alternatives (PNN TV, August 17, 2014).

Boycotts of Israeli Products
Notices calling for the boycott of Israeli products. Left: A tank composed of Israeli products (Palestine-info.info, August 17, 2014). Right: An M-16 rifle made of Israeli products. According to the text, 16% of every sale goes to the IDF (Ghaza al-A'an, August 15, 2014).

[1] http://www.pmo.gov.il/English/MediaCenter/Spokesman/Pages/spokestart170814.aspx
[2] As of August 19, 2014. The graph indicates rocket hits in Israeli territory and does not include mortar shell fire into the western Negev or rocket launches that fell inside the Gaza Strip.
[3] The statistics do not include mortar shell fire.
[4] According to the IDF Spokesman and Haaretz, August 19, 2014.
[5] Salah Arouri was born in the village of Aroura in the Ramallah region. He was one of the founders of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades in Judea and Samaria, a member of Hamas' political bureau and holder of the prisoners' portfolio. He was released from an Israeli jail in 2010 after serving a term of 18 years, and expelled from Israel. He was a member of the Hamas team that negotiated the Shalit deal. He currently lives in Turkey.
[6] It was not the first time Malaysia was mentioned in connection with Hamas terrorist activity. On the night of July 20, during Operation Protective Edge, an IDF force detained a Hamas operative in the region of Qarara (Khan Yunis), who commanded a Hamas squad in the Khan Yunis battalion. During interrogation he recounted that he had been trained to use a hang glider to infiltrate Israel for a terrorist attack. He said after he was recruited he was sent to Malaysia for training along with about ten other operatives from various battalions. He said he had spent about a week in Malaysia (Shabak.gov.il July 31, 2014).

Reports from foreign correspondents in the Gaza Strip vis-à-vis the limitations Hamas placed on media coverage of the military aspects of the fighting

A correspondent from the Finnish TV channel HS-TV reports on rocket fire from close proximity to the Al-Shifa'a Hospital
A correspondent from the Finnish TV channel HS-TV reports on rocket fire from close proximity to the Al-Shifa'a Hospital
 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nu-e5qWXx-k)

Overview

1.      Hamas' media policy forged during Operation Protective Edge restricts local and foreign correspondents covering the fighting in their reports on military-combat activity or military-related information (especially regarding rocket fire and the use of civilians as human shields). During the operation foreign and local correspondents followed Hamas' policy guidelines, for the most part, and mainly reported on the suffering of the local population and other civilian aspects of the fighting.

2.      However there were occasional instances of foreign correspondents who did not follow Hamas guidelines, especially towards the end of July when media personnel began leaving the Gaza Strip. During the last two weeks reports have crept into the media about rockets fired into Israeli territory from populated areas, particularly from around sensitive institutions (the Al-Shifa'a Hospital, a hotel where many of the foreign correspondents stayed, a UN facility, a church).

Hamas' Media Policy

3.      During the first days of Operation Protective Edge Hamas forged a policy for media reports to be implemented by local and foreign correspondents covering the fighting. Its objectives were to prevent reports that would prove Israel's claims of Hamas use of Gazan civilians as human shields, and to reinforce the propaganda theme that Israel deliberately attacked civilians and committed "war crimes." As a result, during the first days of the fighting the information bureau of the Hamas-controlled ministry of the interior in Gaza issued instructions under the heading "Be aware of the following." The instructions dealt with how the social networks in the Gaza Strip were to relate to Israeli activity (YouTube, July 10, 2014).

4.      Instruction number five read, "Do not publicize [information about] and do not share pictures or video clips showing rocket launching sites or the movement of resistance [operatives] in Gaza." Those responsible for news pages on Facebook were told "don't use close-ups of heavily armed masked operatives, otherwise your Facebook page will be closed for incitement to violence." Hamas issued similar instructions to correspondents in other ways. For example, the Palestinian Journalist Bloc, a media group in the Gaza Strip affiliated with Hamas, instructed the media and correspondents in the Gaza Strip not to photograph or publicize information about rockets fired by military-terrorist operatives belonging to the various organizations so as not to play into the hands of Israeli public diplomacy (Hamas' Al-Aqsa TV, July 8, 2014).

Instruction number five from the Hamas-controlled ministry of the interior in the Gaza Strip, "Do not publicize [information about] and do not share pictures or video clips showing rocket launching sites of the movement of resistance [operatives] in Gaza"
Instruction number five from the Hamas-controlled ministry of the interior in the Gaza Strip, "Do not publicize [information about] and do not share pictures or video clips showing rocket launching sites of the movement of resistance [operatives] in Gaza"

How Hamas Policy Is Implemented

5.      During Operation Protective Edge local journalists were careful to follow Hamas' policy guidelines, among other reasons out of the concern for their own safety.[1] That was made evident by the great emphasis reports and news stories placed on the suffering of the local population, which used Hamas propaganda without criticism. Conspicuous by their absence were reports of the fighting in which terrorist operatives participated, their losses and the use they made of civilians as human shields.

6.      In retrospect it can be said that the local and foreign media reports generally followed Hamas policy. They emphasized civilian suffering, the many civilian casualties and the increasing humanitarian distress, while severely criticizing Israel's conduct. On the other hand, reports of the military aspects of the fighting and the sensitive issue of the use of the civilian population as human shields received relatively scant coverage.

7.      In ITIC assessment, there are several reasons for the bias in the foreign media reports from the Gaza Strip during the fighting: pressures Hamas exerts on correspondents; Hamas terrorist operatives strictly avoid exposing themselves to the media, for both security reasons and Hamas' media policy; the danger to the lives of correspondents who report from combat zones, and the personal tendency of many of them to report the human interest angle, which emphasizes the suffering of the population. Examples can be found in conversations between Israeli journalists and foreign correspondents who covered the fighting in the Gaza Strip.[2]

8.      Regardless of the journalists' reasons, Hamas' media policy was clearly successful, as far as Hamas is concerned. A foreign correspondent, who preferred to remain anonymous, told Yedioth Aharonoth's Daniel Batini (August 7, 2014) that "First, Hamas said its spokesmen could only be interviewed in the courtyard of the Al-Shifa'a Hospital in Gaza City. That meant there were long lines of correspondents waiting for interviews, and as a result they watched the bleeding wounded arriving at the hospital for treatment. That [system] created exactly the impression Hamas wanted, of an immediate emergency situation and a human and humanitarian catastrophe. Second, Hamas never allowed foreign correspondents access to military sites attacked by Israel, whether they were bases, rocket launching sites or other targets. The organization's dead and wounded operatives were not photographed and therefore, from a media point of view, they do not exist. All that serves Hamas' objective of representing all the casualties as civilians. Third, it was obvious that Hamas was firing rockets from civilian areas, but Hamas operatives forbid camera teams from filming them, because they did not want to reveal the tactic or the locations of the launch sites" (ITIC translation from Hebrew and emphasis throughout).

[1]A correspondent for the Palestinian magazine Al-Sabah, published in the Gaza Strip, reported that Hamas harassed any correspondent who dared to publicly criticize it. According to its sources, operatives from Hamas' security forces broke the arms and legs of a journalist and threw him into the street (Al-Sabah, August 4, 2014). A French-Palestinian journalist named Raja Abu Daqa, whose reporting went beyond the limitations of the Hamas guidelines, said that he was summoned by Hamas' security forces to the Al-Shifa'a Hospital. There he was interrogated, and then told that "for his own good" he should leave the Gaza Strip (Libération, July 23, 2014).
[2]Daniel Batini, Yedioth Aharonoth, August 7, 2014; and Anshel Feffer, Haaretz, August 8, 2014; Hebrew.

Operation Protective Edge – Update No. 22 (As of 1200 hours, August 10, 2014)

A home in Sderot takes a direct hit (Spokesman for Firefighting and Rescue Authority, Southern District, August 10, 2014).

A home in Sderot takes a direct hit (Spokesman for Firefighting and Rescue Authority, Southern District, August 10, 2014).

A mortar shell, fired by the Palestinians, explodes at the Kerem Shalom crossing (from a video released by the crossings authority of the Israeli ministry of defense, August 10, 2014).

A mortar shell, fired by the Palestinians, explodes at the Kerem Shalom crossing (from a video released by the crossings authority of the Israeli ministry of defense, August 10, 2014).

A march in Ramallah in support of the Gaza Strip organized by Hamas. Hamas-affiliated flags were carried and models of Hamas-made rockets were exhibited (Paltimes.net, August 9, 2014).

A march in Ramallah in support of the Gaza Strip organized by Hamas. Hamas-affiliated flags were carried and models of Hamas-made rockets were exhibited (Paltimes.net, August 9, 2014).

A march in Ramallah in support of the Gaza Strip organized by Hamas. Hamas-affiliated flags were carried and models of Hamas-made rockets were exhibited (Paltimes.net, August 9, 2014).

A march in Ramallah in support of the Gaza Strip organized by Hamas. Hamas-affiliated flags were carried and models of Hamas-made rockets were exhibited (Paltimes.net, August 9, 2014).

A march in Hebron in support of the Gaza Strip organized by Hamas (Facebook page of the Islamic Bloc of Beir Zeit University, August 8, 2014)

A march in Hebron in support of the Gaza Strip organized by Hamas (Facebook page of the Islamic Bloc of Beir Zeit University, August 8, 2014)

A march in Hebron in support of the Gaza Strip organized by Hamas (Facebook page of the Islamic Bloc of Beir Zeit University, August 8, 2014)

A march in Hebron in support of the Gaza Strip organized by Hamas (Facebook page of the Islamic Bloc of Beir Zeit University, August 8, 2014)

The Palestinian delegation in Cairo (Paltimes.net, August 10, 2014)

The Palestinian delegation in Cairo (Paltimes.net, August 10, 2014)

Overview of the Situation

1.   After theofficial end of the 72-hour ceasefire the Palestinian terrorist organizations resumed firing rockets and mortar shells into Israeli territory. Most of the rocket fire targeted the western Negev, but rockets also hit Beersheba and Ashqelon (45 rocket hits on August 8, 30 on August 9, rockets targeted the western Negev and Ashqelon on August 10).

2.   The Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and several small terrorist organizations claimed responsibility for the rocket and mortar shell fire. In ITIC assessment the attacks were carried out with the permission and/or encouragement of Hamas, part of its policy to exert pressure on Israel through controlled shelling. At the same time, Hamas spokesmen told the media that Hamas was prepared to renew its military campaign if Israel did not meet its demands. Israel, according to the Israeli media, made it clear to Egypt that it would not return its delegation to the negotiations until the rocket fire ceased. (Note: At midnight on August 12, 2014, another 72-hour ceasefire went into effect, as Israel and the Palestinians complied with the Egyptian request.)

IDF Activity
Overview

3.   At 0800 hours on August 8, 2014, the 72-hour ceasefire ended. At 0400 hours, four hours before the ceasefire's official end, two mortar shells were fired into Israeli territory and exploded in open areas in the western Negev. At 0800 hours massive rocket and mortar shell fire into Israeli territory was renewed. Most of the attacks targeted the communities near the Gaza Strip border, but rockets also fell in Beersheba, Ashqelon and Sderot.

4.   In response to the renewed rocket attacks, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) attacked terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip. Some of the residents of the communities bordering the Gaza Strip who had decided to return home when the ceasefire was declared changed their minds and did not return. Israel made it clear to Egypt that it would not send its delegation back to the negotiations until the rocket fire ceased.

5.   At the beginning of the government meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu said "Israel will not negotiate under fire and Israel will continue to take all action in order to change the current reality and bring quiet to all of its citizens" (Israeli prime minister's website, August 10, 2014).[1]

IDF Response to the Rocket Fire

6.   In response to the rocket and mortar shell fire attacking Israel IAF aircraft attacked more than 100 terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip. A number of targets were attacked from the sea (IDF Spokesman):

1)     On August 9, 2014, more than 60 terrorist targets were attacked, including terrorist operatives who were engaged in firing rockets into Israel.

2)     On August 8, 2014, IAF aircraft attacked approximately 50 terrorist targets, including terrorist operatives, concealed rocket launchers, command and control facilities and military compounds.

Left: Attack on a terrorist target in the Gaza Strip (IDF Spokesman, August 10, 2014)
Left: Attack on a terrorist target in the Gaza Strip (IDF Spokesman, August 10, 2014) Click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D683rBiPvFk for the video. Right: Attack on the Yasser Arafat heliport in the Ansar compound in Gaza City  (Wafa.ps, August 9, 2014).

Attack on a rocket launcher near a mosque (IDF Spokesman, August 10, 2014)
Left: Attack on a rocket launcher near a mosque (IDF Spokesman, August 10, 2014) Click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdA34YKNWj0 for the video. Right: Attack on the Al-Qassam mosque (Wafa.ps, August 9, 2014).

Rocket Fire into Israeli Territory

7.   At 0800 hours on the morning of August 8, 2014, a few minutes before the ceasefire ended, the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip resumed firing rockets into Israeli territory. Most of the rockets attacked the communities in the western Negev, especially those close to the Gaza Strip, but rockets also hit Beersheba, Ashqelon and Sderot. Since the end of the ceasefire 75 rocket hits have been identified in Israeli territory, most of them in the western Negev. A similar number of mortar shells have been fired at the communities close to the Gaza Strip. Two Israelis were injured by mortar shell fire and property damage was reported.

8.   Since the beginning of the operation 2,814 rocket hits have been identified in Israeli territory, 1,629 since the beginning of the ground operation. Since the ceasefire ended, 75 rocket hits have been identified.

Daily Distribution of Rocket Hits in Israeli Territory during Operation Protective Edge[2]

Daily Distribution of Rocket Hits in Israeli Territory during Operation Protective Edge

Claims of Responsibility

9.   The PIJ, the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) and a number of small terrorist organizations all claimed responsibility for the rockets fired after the end of the ceasefire. While Hamas did not claim responsibility for rocket fire, it did nothing to prevent it. Hamas spokesman Musheir al-Masri claimed Hamas was not responsible for rocket fire attacking Israel. He did claim, however, that the Palestinian organizations were united during the lull as they were during the fighting (Al-Mayadeen TV, Lebanon, August 9, 2014).

10.          On the evening of August 7, 2014, the Palestinian media reported the deaths of four operatives from Hamas' military-terrorist wing, the result of an IED that exploded in eastern Jabaliya. According to the report, the four were killed while working with an IED in preparation for renewing the fighting in the Gaza Strip if the negotiations in Cairo failed (Paltimes.net, Alresala.net website, August 7, 2014).

The Gazan Population
Gazan Civilians

11.          According to UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness,238,097 Gazans are still housed in 90 UNRWA shelters. He said that 16,543 Gazans had already left the shelters (Twitter account of Chris Gunness, August 9, 2014). There are also 30,000 Gazans housed in government schools. UNRWA proved them with food, water and equipment (UNRWA Twitter account, August 9, 2014).

Aid Convoys to the Gaza Strip

12.  In light of the situation in the Gaza Strip, aid convoys are being sent from all over the globe, as well as funds for the population and for rebuilding the Gaza Strip:

1)  Britain – The British secretary for international development announced that because of the pressing need for food and medical equipment in the Gaza Strip, Britain had decided to reinstitute its emergency management plan to support the Gazans.

2)  Turkey – The Turkish Red Crescent said in a statement that it had sent 3,000 packages of food to the Gaza Strip, thousands of beds and water for the families housed in UN installations (Aa.com.tr, August 9, 2014).

3)  The UAE – A delegation of the UAE's Red Crescent arrived in the Gaza Strip with seven truckloads of food, medical equipment and clothing. The UAE also set up a field hospital in the Gaza Strip to treat the wounded (Maannews.net, August 9, 2014).

4)  The Palestinian Authority (PA) – A campaign was launched in the cities in the PA to aid the Gaza Strip. Donations of equipment, food and money were accepted (Wafa.ps, August 9, 2014).

The Crossings – Update
The Kerem Shalom Crossing

13.          It was reported that after two rockets fell near the Kerem Shalom crossing on the morning of August 10, 2014, all activity stopped and the crossing was closed (Maannews.net, August 10, 2014). It was later reopened, but another rocket fell near the crossing in the early afternoon and it was closed again.

The Rafah Crossing

14.          In light of the renewed fighting in the Gaza Strip, the Egyptian authorities raised the alert level along the Egyptian-Gazan border, including the area around the Rafah crossing, where they positioned Egyptian army armored vehicles (Shorouknews.com, August 8, 2014). However, the Rafah crossing was open for the exit of wounded Gazans seeking medical treatment in Egyptian hospitals and for the entrance of medical equipment into the Gaza Strip (Youm7.com, August 8, 2014).

Judea and Samaria
Demonstrations and Other Events in Support of the Gaza Strip

15.          Over the weekend, especially after the Friday prayer, many demonstrations and marches were held in Judea and Samaria in support of the Gaza Strip. Hamas organized most of the demonstrations. Green Hamas-affiliated flags and signs in support of the "resistance" [i.e., terrorist organizations] were carried. Some of the demonstrations turned into riots and violent confrontations with the Israeli security forces, resulting in the deaths of two Palestinians, one in Hebron and one in Ramallah. Several dozen rioters were wounded.

16.          Sa'ad Abu al-Baha, a senior Hamas figure in Judea and Samaria, claimed that the objective of the events was to publicize the Palestinians' demands and to show that the Palestinian people were united. He claimed he wanted to tell the Palestinian delegation in Cairo that the Palestinian people were behind them and that they should not return without having the Palestinian's demands met (Al-Aqsa TV, August 8, 2014).

Negotiations for a Ceasefire

17.          In view of the renewal of the rocket fire, Israeli recalled its delegation from Egypt. Israel made it clear that its negotiators would not return to Cairo until the rocket fire ceased. The Egyptians tried to arrange a ceasefire to make it possible to renew the negotiations.

18.          Sources within Hamas and the other terrorist organizations blamed Israel for the lack of progress in the talks, claiming that was why the rocket fire had been renewed. Despite the continuing rocket fire and the recall of the Israeli delegation, the Palestinian delegation remained in Cairo. According to Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri, they were still waiting for the Israel's response (Alquds.com, August 9, 2014).

The Palestinian Authority

19.          Azzam al-Ahmad, a member of Fatah's Central Committee and head of the Palestinian negotiating team in Cairo, claimed that the Palestinian delegation would not leave Egypt until a final arrangement had been reached. He claimed the Palestinians were not afraid of an escalation but were prepared to continue the negotiations to arrive at an agreement that would lift all manifestations of the siege of the Gaza Strip. He criticized the Israeli delegation for not staying in Egypt for more than a few hours (Maannews.net, Sky News, August 8, 2014).

Hamas

20. Hamas spokesmen said the following:

1)  Musa Abu Marzouq, a member of Hamas' political bureau, claimed that Israel was not genuinely serious about the negotiations, and deliberately rejected and delayed its response to the Palestinians' demands. He claimed the Hamas delegation would not remain in Cairo for long if serious negotiations did not begin within the next 24 hours (Alqudsnews.net, August 9, 2014).

2)  Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri claimed that the Israeli delegation had not related to any one of the Palestinian demands. In addition, the suggestions they received did not contain so much as a reference to lifting the siege, although they did mention opening the Kerem Shalom and Erez crossings, which were open anyway. He accused Israel of delaying tactics and wasting time (Al-Aqsa, August 8, 2014).

3)  Hamas spokesman Musheir al-Masri claimed that Israel had not sufficiently met the Palestinians' demands and was trying to return to the status quo ante. He claimed that if the negotiations failed Hamas would have no choice but to wage another military campaign "more cruel than the last one." He claimed the Palestinian delegation would not negotiate with the Egyptian mediator if the Israeli delegation were not present in Cairo (Al-Mayadeen TV, Lebanon, August 9, 2014).

The PIJ

21.          Senior PIJ figure Khaled al-Batash claimed that Israel was trying to circumvent the legitimate demands of the Palestinian people. He also claimed they had told Egypt that they adhered to their demands and were not prepared to make any concession. He claimed their first demand was the cessation of the [so-called Israeli] aggression and the lifting of the siege. As to the matter of the Rafah crossing, he claimed it was between the Palestinians and Egypt, and that the negotiations with Israel had nothing to do with it (Al-Mayadeen TV, Lebanon, August 8, 2014).

The International Community

22.          International sources condemned the renewal of the rocket fire and called for negotiations to be resumed. A spokesman for the UN secretary general said that "The Secretary-General expresses his deep disappointment that the parties were unable to agree to an extension of the ceasefire in their talks in Cairo” (UN.org, August 8, 2014).

23.          The foreign ministers of Germany, France and Britain issued a joint statement in support of the Egyptian efforts and called on both sides to renew the ceasefire immediately (Website of the French foreign ministry, August 9, 2014).

Prisoner Exchange

24.          A source in the Palestinian delegation claimed that the Hamas representatives insisted that the issue of the exchange of prisoners or bodies be discussed outside the negotiations for a ceasefire. The source claimed the representatives refused to confirm or deny that they had the bodies (Aa.com.tr, August 9, 2014). Muhammad Nizal, a member of Hamas' political bureau, claimed that Hamas was prepared to negotiate about the soldier Hamas had, but not during the current round of negotiations, whose objective was to lift the siege of the Gaza Strip (Alresala.net, August 9, 2014).

The Propaganda and Legal Campaign
Promoting Legal Procedures against Israel

25.          Christophe Oberline, a French physician who visited the Gaza Strip and revealed information about the complaint the Palestinians will lodge with the ICC, said that in the wake of pressure exerted by Western sources Mahmoud Abbas had withdrawn the complaint. He said that the Palestinian foreign minister Riyadh al-Maliki had told the ICC's prosecutor that the complaint had been withdrawn (Safa.ps, August 8, 2014).

26.          Salim al-Saqa, minister of justice in the national consensus government, claimed that his ministry's suit against Israel in the ICC was still in force and had not been withdrawn. He accused international, regional and local agencies of sabotaging the suit and preventing the necessary steps to try Israel from being taken (Alresala.net, August 8, 2014).

Boycotting Israeli Products

27.          The social network campaign in Judea and Samaria to boycott Israeli-made products continues, incited by the war in the Gaza Strip. Calls are heard to buy Palestinian-made or imported products instead, because, it is claimed, the money paid for goods produced in Israel is exploited to buy weapons for the IDF. A letter was distributed in one of the villages in the Qalqiliya district calling for the boycott of Israeli goods and promising discounts to whoever did so (Ghaza al-A'an, August 9, 2014).

28.          Azmi al-Shyoukhi, head of the consumer protection association, claimed that the boycott was one of the weapons of the "resistance." He also threatened that any store owner who did not remove Israeli-made products from his shelves by September 15 would be subject to legal action (PNN TV, August 10, 2014; Facebook page of Ghaza al-A'an, August 7 and 8, 2014).

Left: Israeli products marked as forbidden to buy (Facebook page of Palinfo, August 9, 2014). Right: Letter calling for the boycott of Israeli products and giving discounts to whoever did
Left: Israeli products marked as forbidden to buy (Facebook page of Palinfo, August 9, 2014). Right: Letter calling for the boycott of Israeli products and giving discounts to whoever did (Ghaza al-A'an, August 9, 2014).

Posters calling for the boycott of Israel products. Left: "Buying it is up to you," every purchase of an Israeli product returns to the Gaza Strip by means of a missile (Facebook page of Ghaza al-A'an, August 7 and 8, 2014). Middle: "Don't support the war against Gaza" (Facebook page of the Palestine Information Network, August 10, 2014). Right: "You support the Israeli army of occupation by buying [Israeli-made] products" (Facebook page of the Islamic Bloc of Al-Najah University, August 8, 2014).
Posters calling for the boycott of Israel products. Left: "Buying it is up to you," every purchase of an Israeli product returns to the Gaza Strip by means of a missile (Facebook page of Ghaza al-A'an, August 7 and 8, 2014). Middle: "Don't support the war against Gaza" (Facebook page of the Palestine Information Network, August 10, 2014). Right: "You support the Israeli army of occupation by buying [Israeli-made] products" (Facebook page of the Islamic Bloc of Al-Najah University, August 8, 2014).

[1]http://www.pmo.gov.il/English/MediaCenter/Spokesman/Pages/spokestart100814.aspx
[2]The graph indicates rocket hits in Israeli territory and does to include the massive mortar shell fire into the western Negev or rocket launches that failed.

Operation Protective Edge – Update No. 21 (As of 1200 hours, August 6, 2014) *

The IDF deploys along the Gaza Strip border (IDF Spokesman, August 5, 2014)

The IDF deploys along the Gaza Strip border (IDF Spokesman, August 5, 2014)

The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades' statement regarding the negotiations (Qassam.ps, August 5, 2014)

The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades' statement regarding the negotiations (Qassam.ps, August 5, 2014)

The house in Beit Sahour, near Bethlehem, hit by a Hamas rocket (Alquds.com, August 4, 2014).

The house in Beit Sahour, near Bethlehem, hit by a Hamas rocket (Alquds.com, August 4, 2014).

The president of the International Red Cross visits the Gaza Strip (Icrc.org, August 5, 2014)

The president of the International Red Cross visits the Gaza Strip (Icrc.org, August 5, 2014)

Residents of Rafah and Shejaiya return to their houses (Wafa.ps, August 5, 2014).

Residents of Rafah and Shejaiya return to their houses (Wafa.ps, August 5, 2014).

Evacuating the wounded security guard to a hospital (Mdais.org, August 5, 2014).

Evacuating the wounded security guard to a hospital (Mdais.org, August 5, 2014).

Taking Israeli-made products off the shelves (PNN TV, August 5, 2014)

Taking Israeli-made products off the shelves (PNN TV, August 5, 2014)

Overview
Overview of the Situation

1.   The ceasefire that went into effect at 0800 hours on August 5 continues. The IDF completed the destruction of 32 tunnels extending under the border into Israeli territory, withdrew its forces from the Gaza Strip and redeployed them in a defensive line along the border. Negotiations to reach an arrangement are being held in Cairo, joined by representatives of Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and other terrorist organizations from the Gaza Strip. The Israeli media reported that a three-man Israeli delegation had also arrived in Egypt and met with Egyptian mediators.

IDF Activity
Ceasefire Declared

2.   At 0800 hours on August 5, 2014, a ceasefire was declared. The IDF withdrew its forces from the Gaza Strip and redeployed in a defensive line along the border. So far large numbers of forces are deployed ready for action according to operational necessity. Rocket fire attacking Israel from the Gaza Strip continued until a few minutes before the ceasefire went into effect (IDF Spokesman, August 5, 2014).

3.   Major General Sammy Turgeman, commander of the Southern Command, said that the IDF had located and destroyed all the tunnels leading into Israel. He said Hamas had been constructing the tunnels for years and had invested millions of dollars, and that they had been destroyed in two weeks. He added that the IDF had fought professionally, admirably and with determination against the challenges, with included combat in densely-populated areas, a vast underground tunnel network, anti-tank missiles, mortar shells, sniper fire, and booby-trapped buildings and streets. He said the operation had not ended and that the forces were still prepared to carry out any mission. He warned Hamas that it would make an enormous mistake if it violated the ceasefire. He called on the residents of southern Israel to return to their homes, saying they could feel secure and calm, and that the IDF had the capability and strength to provide them with security (IDF Spokesman, August 5, 2014).

4.   Ismail Haniya, deputy head of the Hamas' political bureau, issued a statement read by a presenter on TV claiming that what Israel had not achieved on the ground during the operation it would not under any circumstances achieve in the political arena. Hamas, he claimed, had dealt with the political maneuvers with a great deal of responsibility while maintaining contact with Qatar and Turkey, and later with Egypt. He also claimed that the Hamas delegation was operating within the overall Palestinian delegation to end the siege of the Gaza Strip (Al-Aqsa TV, August 5, 2014).

5.   The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military-terrorist wing, issued a statement claiming that although a ceasefire had been declared, its forces were still on alert and the campaign continued. It would not end, the statement continued, until Israel surrendered to the Palestinians' demands and restored their rights. The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades also stated that it regarded the current stage [i.e., the 72-hour ceasefire] as temporary and that Israel's conduct would determine the progress of the campaign and its consequences (Qassam.ps, August 5, 2014).

IDF Activity

6.   During the 29 days of fighting, the IDF forces dealt a significant blow to the terrorist infrastructures of Hamas, the PIJ and the other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip. Thirty-two known tunnels used for terrorist purposes were destroyed. Until the ceasefire went into effect, Israeli Air Force (IAF) aircraft continued attacking terrorist targets from the air. During the operation 4,762 terrorist targets were attacked from the air (IDF Spokesman, August 6, 2014).

IDF and Civilian Losses

7.   Sixty-four IDF soldiers and three civilians were killed in Operation Protective Edge. One civilian was killed in a terrorist attack in Jerusalem. About 450 soldiers and 80 civilians were wounded.

Rocket Fire into Israeli Territory

8.   On the morning of August 5, 2014, a few minutes before the ceasefire began, a barrage of rockets was fired into Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip. About 20 rockets were fired at the western Negev, Ashdod, Ashqelon, Kiryat Malachi, Gan Yavne, Maale Adumim, Rishon Letzion and Rehovot. Rocket fragments fell in the heart of Jerusalem. The Palestinian media reported that a rocket hit a building in Beit Sahour, near Bethlehem, causing extensive damage to the building and to the electrical grid (Maannews.net, August 5, 2014). Hamas' military-terrorist wing claimed responsibility for the rocket fire on August 5 during the few minutes before the ceasefire. According to the announcement, the barrage was fired in response to IDF activity in the Shati and Rafah refugee camps (Qassam.ps, August 5, 2014).

9.   During Operation Protective Edge 2,710 rockets hit Israeli territory, 1,525 during the ground operation. The Iron Dome aerial defense system intercepted more than 580 of them. In ITIC assessment Approximately 20% more can be added to the number of rockets fired to account for rocket launchings that failed (some of which landed inside the Gaza Strip and caused damage). Thus the total number of rockets fired to attack Israel was more than 3,000. More than half the rockets were short-range rockets that targeted the western Negev. In addition, massive mortar shell fire targeted the western Negev.

Daily Distribution of Rocket Hits in Israeli Territory during Operation Protective Edge[2]

Daily Distribution of Rocket Hits in Israeli Territory during Operation Protective Edge

The Gazan Population
Instructions from the Ministry of the Interior in the Gaza Strip

10.   On the night of August 5, 2014, the ministry of the interior in the Gaza Strip posted a notice on its Facebook page warning Palestinians not to divulge information about terrorist operatives ("resistance" casualties) who were killed during Operation Protective Edge. That was because, claimed the announcement, the "occupation" [i.e., Israel] was collecting all the information and reports [about casualties] and would use them as evidence to "justify its crimes against [Palestinian] civilians." The objectives of the instructions were, on the one hand, to preserve the image of "victory" Hamas is trying to establish, and on the other, to significantly inflate the number of civilian casualties to smear Israel and exert media, political and legal pressure on it.[3]

The notice posted by the ministry of the interior in the Gaza Strip (Facebook page of the ministry of the interior, August 5, 2014).
The notice posted by the ministry of the interior in the Gaza Strip (Facebook page of the ministry of the interior, August 5, 2014).

The Humanitarian Situation in the Gaza Strip

11.   The Palestinian media reported that with the withdrawal of the IDF and the beginning of the ceasefire, Gazans living near the Israeli border had begun returning to their houses. According to the reports, the Gazans were stunned by the extent of the destruction and rescue forces were still working to find bodies under the rubble. The civil defense apparatus asked all owners of heavy vehicles to help clear the rubble (Paltoday.ps, August 5, 2014).

12.   UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness reported that the number of Gazans sheltered in UNRWA installations had declined, and that 50,000 had left the shelters and returned to their houses. According to the report there are currently 216,082 civilians in 90 UNRWA installations. Gunness said that the level of destruction in the Gaza Strip was without precedent and that changes had to be made in the aid policy to make it possible to rebuild. He said that the import of building materials into the Gaza Strip had to be permitted (Twitter account of Chris Gunness, August 5, 2014).

13.   The president of the International Red Crossis currently visiting the Gaza Strip to assess damages. He said it would take days and weeks to provide a response to the humanitarian issues in the Gaza Strip, and that it would be necessary to hold talks with Israel regarding the delivery of as much aid as possible (CNN.com, August 5, 2014).

14.   Rami Hamdallah, prime minister of the Palestinian national consensus government, hosted Pierre Krähenbühl, UNRWA commissioner-general, in his office in Ramallah and updated him on the situation in the Gaza Strip. He said the Palestinian government was committed to providing all the necessary aid. Krähenbühl said that UNRWA was willing to collaborate with the Palestinian government, adding that it was time to discuss who would sit on the committee examining the situation in the Gaza Strip and the possibilities for rebuilding it (Alhayat-j.com, August 5, 2014).

15.   Ms. Pernille Ironside, head of UNICEF'S field office in the Gaza Strip, said that reconstruction would require hundreds of millions of dollars. She said that 142 schools, 89 of them run by the United Nations, had been damaged. She also asked for increased international support, saying that "The international community cannot accept the rebuilding of Gaza on the same terms as before" (Nytimes.com, August 5, 2014).[4]

The Crossings – Update
The Kerem Shalom Crossing

16.   Since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge 1,904 trucks have entered the Gaza Strip through the crossingcarrying food, medical equipment, diesel fuel for the power plant, gasoline for transportation and cooking gas. On August 4, 2014, 167 trucks entered the Gaza Strip carrying 3,361 tons of supplies including food, medicine, humanitarian equipment and agricultural supplies (Cogat.idf.il, August 5, 2014). In view of the ceasefire, the number of trucks can be expected to increase. During the operation drivers on both sides of the crossing encountered difficulties in reaching it to deliver and receive merchandise because of the fighting.

Judea and Samaria
Stabbing Attack near Maale Adumim

17.   At around noon on August 5, 2014, a security guard at the entrance to Maale Adumim (east of Jerusalem) was stabbed, apparently by a Palestinian, who fled in a vehicle. The Palestinian approached the roadblock holding a bag that aroused the suspicions of the security guards stationed there. When one of the guards asked to examine the bag, the Palestinian took out a knife, stabbed him and fled. The guard, 55 years old, was seriously wounded and evacuated to a hospital. Israeli security forces found a taxi similar to the description of the vehicle in which the stabber fled, and detained three suspects, one of whom answered the description of the attacker (Ynetnews.co.il, August 5, 2014).

Boycott of Israel-Made Products

18.   The Palestinian society for consumer protection initiated a campaign to remove Israeli-made products from the shelves of stores in Palestinian cities and to encourage the sales of Palestinian-made and imported merchandise. The society claimed that the money Palestinians paid for Israeli products eventually reached the IDF and purchased weapons used against the Palestinian people. The campaign has already begun in Bitunia, Hebron and Tulkarm (PNN TV, August 5, and Wafa.ps, August 6, 2014).

Information Revealed about the Perpetrators of the Abduction and Murder of the Three Israeli Youths in Gush Etzion

19.   The Israeli media reported that the Israel Security Agency (ISA) had detained Husam al-Qawasmeh, a Hamas terrorist operative involved in the abduction and murder of the three Israeli youths in Gush Etzion in June. According to the report he handled the abductors and helped them bury the bodies of the victims. During interrogation Husam al-Qawasmeh admitted that he had received money from Hamas operatives in the Gaza Strip to fund the attack (Israel Channel 10 TV, August 5, 2014).

20.   Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri issued a press release claiming that the news item reported by Israeli Channel 10 TV, that Husam al-Qawasmeh had received money from Hamas in the Gaza Strip, was false. He claimed Hamas did not know anyone named Husam al-Qawasmeh and that the news had been broadcast to "confuse the media" and draw attention away from what was being done in the Gaza Strip (Aa.com.tr, August 5, 2014).

Contacts for a Ceasefire

21.   A 72-hour ceasefire went into effect at 0800 hours on August 5, 2014. So far it was not been violated. The Israel media reported that a three-man Israeli delegation arrived in Cairo and had met with Egyptian mediators (Haaretz.co.il, August 6, 2014).

22.   On the night of August 5, 2014, an eight-man Palestinian delegation of representatives of Hamas, the PIJ and other terrorist organizations left the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing (Alquds.com, Al-Watan.com, August 5, 2014). Khalil al-Haya, a member of Hamas' political bureau, one of the representatives from the Gaza Strip, claimed they were going to negotiations that would end the siege once and for all. He also said that they were going to the negotiations "with their fingers on the trigger" (Al-Jazeera, August 5, 2014).

23.   Osama Hamdan, in charge of Hamas' international relations, claimed comprehensive negotiations would begin as soon as the Israeli delegation arrived. He said that the Palestinians were united in their demands, and claimed that all the demands had been put on the agenda, including the issue of air and sea ports. He admitted that the Palestinian organizations were facing a difficult political campaign with Israel, no less difficult than the military battle (Alaraby.co.uk, August 5, 2014).

24.   Ziyad al-Nakhaleh, PIJ deputy secretary general, claimed he expected good results would come from the talks in Cairo in view of the Egyptian position. He claimed the Palestinians had transmitted their demands to the Egyptians so they could transmit them to the Israelis. He claimed Israel had lost its deterrent capability during the operation because of the improvements in the capabilities of the "resistance" [i.e., terrorist organizations] (Maannews.net, August 6, 2014).

The Propaganda and Legal Campaign
Promoting Legal Procedures against Israel

25.   Riyadh al-Maliki, foreign minister in the national consensus government, arrived in Holland, where he met with Fatou Bensouda, the attorney general of the International Criminal Court (ICC). He said he had been sent by Mahmoud Abbas to examine and study the bureaucratic procedures the PA would have to follow to join the Rome Convention (Wafa.ps, August 5, 2014).

26.   After meeting the attorney general Riyadh al-Maliki held a press conference where he claimed the PA's situation allowed it to sign the Rome Convention, and that the decision to do so would be made soon. However, he also said he did not mean "tomorrow or the day after." He claimed the "slaughter" [allegedly] carried out by Israel during the operation had forced the PA to approach the ICC. He also claimed that the Palestinians were prepared to bear the results of an investigation into the actions of the Palestinian organizations in the Gaza Strip because "they cannot be compared to the actions taken by Israel" (Al-Jazeera, August 5, 2014).

27.   Muhammad Ashtiya, a member of Fatah's Central Committee, claimed that the PA had prepared a "sheet of accusations" against Israel, and that the Palestinian leadership was in the last stages of preparing to appeal to the ICC. He claimed all the Palestinian organizations would sign the accusations and that Hamas, which had not yet signed, was currently deliberating the issue (Aa.com.tr, August 5, 2014).

28.   Navi Pillay, the UN high commissioner for human rights in Geneva, condemned Israel's alleged attacks on schools, hospitals, places of worship and the infrastructure, including the Gaza Strip's only power plant. She said that in view of the great evidence of war crimes allegedly committed by Israel, and the large number of civilian casualties, an investigation had to be conducted to determine if international humanitarian law had been violated or even if war crimes had been committed (Ohchr.org, August 5, 2014).

29.   Ms. Pillay also condemned the rocket fire into Israel by "armed groups in the Gaza Strip" (without mentioning Hamas and other terrorist organizations by name). She said it was forbidden to situate weapons and carry out attacks from densely-populated civilian areas. She also said that any violation of the laws of war by one side did not release the other side from its obligation to protect civilians. She said the international community had joint responsibility not to exempt such acts from punishment, and the events that occurred during the operation had to be presented in court. She added that it was unlikely that justice would be served by only domestic proceedings (Ohchr.org, August 5, 2014).

"Images of Victory" (Cold Comfort...)

30.   On August 5, 2014, various Palestinian Facebook pages posted pictures of civilian, mostly children from east Khan Yunis, with IDF equipment soldiers apparently left behind (Facebook pages of the Palestine Network, August 5, and Paltoday.tv, August 6, 2014).

 

(From the Facebook pages of the Palestine Network, August 5, and Paltoday.tv, August 6, 2014)
(From the Facebook pages of the Palestine Network, August 5, and Paltoday.tv, August 6, 2014)

Foreign Correspondents in the Gaza Strip Report on Rocket Fire from Populated Areas

31.   During Operation Protective Edge several Gaza-based correspondents reported rocket fire from the densely-populated areas in which they stayed. The areas included the Al-Shifa'a Hospital and the hotel in which foreign media personnel were lodged. Two current examples follow:

1)  On August 5, 2014, Gallagher Fenwick, a correspondent for France 24 TV, reported on rocket fire. He said the rockets were launched about 50 meters (about 55 yards) from the hotel where he and most of the foreign media correspondents in the Gaza Strip were stationed and about 100 meters (about 110 yards) from a UN building, which was flying the UN flag at the time (See picture). He reported that Israel had repeated noted that the Palestinians were locating the rocket launchers in a densely-populated civilian area. The video included a clip of a previous rocket previous launched when he was standing nearby (France 24, August 5, 2014).

Left: The UN flag on a building close to the rocket launching site. Right: Gallagher Fenwick at the site of the rocket launch. Below: Children play near the rocket launcher.
Left: The UN flag on a building close to the rocket launching site. Right: Gallagher Fenwick at the site of the rocket launch. Below: Children play near the rocket launcher.
Click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMiG9JD2OxM for the video.

2)  After he left the Gaza Strip, a correspondent for the Indian TV channel NDTV released a video he had photographed from his hotel room on at 0630 hours on August 4, 2014. The video shows a group of military operatives in an abandoned plot of land near the hotel. The operatives can be seen moving under a blue tent erected to hide their actions [possibly because blue would be associated with the UN by anyone who saw it]. After positioning the rocket launcher under the sand, laying cables and preparing it for firing, they removed the tent, covered the location with branches, changed their clothing and left. The following day the correspondent documented rocket fire from the same location, and when he tried to reach the launching site he asked not to approach.

Left: The blue tent erected to hide the operatives. Right: The correspondent next to the window in his hotel room. Bottom: He tries to approach to launch site.
Left: The blue tent erected to hide the operatives. Right: The correspondent next to the window in his hotel room. Bottom: He tries to approach to launch site.
Click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_ihf2omMX4 for the video.

[*]In view of the ceasefire and the beginning of the talks in Cairo, the ITIC will no longer issue daily updates for Operation Protective Edge. Relevant updates will appear in the weekly News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict bulletin posted every Tuesday or in ad hoc bulletins according to developments.
[2]The graph indicates rocket hits in Israeli territory and does to include the massive mortar shell fire into the western Negev or rocket launches that failed.
[3]For further information see the August 6, 2014 bulletin "'War of the Casualties:' the Hamas-controlled ministry of the interior in the Gaza Strip issued a warning not to divulge information about terrorist operatives killed in Operation Protective Edge."
[4]http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/06/world/middleeast/un-reports-dire-impact-on-children-in-gaza-strip.html?_r=0