Tag Archives: Terrorism

Palestinian Terrorism against Israel, 2016: Types, Trends and Data

דפוסי הפיגועים הנפוצים של הטרור הפלסטיני העממי בשנת 2016: מימין: סכין שנמצאה בילקוטה של הצעירה, שנתפסה בעת סיכול פיגוע דקירה בכרמי צור (צילום: דוברות גוש עציון, 9 בפברואר 2016). במרכז: פיגוע ירי שבוצע לעבר אוטובוס נוסעים ישראלי סמוך לתקוע (דף הפייסבוק QUDSN, 21 במאי 2016). משמאל: זירת פיגוע דריסה בצומת הכניסה לקריית ארבע (דף הפייסבוק PALDF, 24 ביוני 2016).
Common types of terrorist attacks carried out in 2016. Left: Scene of a vehicular attack at the entrance to Kiryat Arba (Facebook page of Paldaf, June 24, 2016).Center: Shooting attack near Tekoa targeting an Israeli bus (Facebook page of QudsN, May 21, 2016). Right: Knife found in the bag of a young Palestinian woman apprehended while attempting to carry out a stabbing attack in Karmei Tsur (north of Hebron) (Photo courtesy of Gush Etzion spokesman's unit, February 9, 2016).

Introduction: The Main Types of Terrorism Used by Palestinians in Judea, Samaria, the Gaza Strip and Israel

1.   Throughout 2016, Palestinian terrorists in Judea, Samaria and Israel continued carrying out various types of popular terrorism attacks(the so-called "popular resistance"). The wave of popular terrorism waned in April. After April, the average monthly distribution was greater than in previous years. On the other hand, along the Israeli-Gaza Strip border, the relative calm prevailing since the end of Operation Protective Edge (summer 2014),continued. That was manifested by the continuing decrease in the number of rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip in 2016. The number of rockets fired into Israel was the lowest since Israel's disengagement in 2005 and the takeover of the Strip by Hamas in 2007.


2.   The following are the main aspects of Palestinian terrorism during 2016 in Judea, Samaria, greater Jerusalem and inside Israel:

A.   Popular terrorism continued to a great degree, even after the attacks waned. The wave of popular terrorism, which peaked in October-December 2015 (with an average of about 45 significant attacks per month), consistently decreased until April 2016 (during which five significant terrorist attacks were carried out). However, between May and December 2016 popular terrorism attacks continued with between five and twelve significant attacks per month, more than the monthly average during the same months in previous years.

B.   The various types of attacks changed, as follows:

1)  Stabbing attacks continued as the main type of popular terrorism attack(61% of all the significant attacks carried out in 2016). Prominent over the past year were a stabbing spree on the seaside promenade between Tel Aviv and Jaffa, in which an American tourist was killed, and a stabbing attack in Kiryat Arba in which a 13 year-old girl was killed as she slept in her bed.

2)  There was a decrease in vehicular attacks as the wave of popular terrorism waned(about 8% of all the significant attacks in 2016). However, the truck attack carried out on the promenade in Armon Hanatziv in Jerusalem in January 2017 was a reminder of how deadly such attacks can be, especially when carried out with heavy vehicles.

3)  There was a rise in shooting attacks(23% of significant attacks in 2016). The trend continued during January 2017. Prominent were drive-by shootings carried out in three locations in Jerusalem (two people killed), and the shooting attacks in a pub in central Tel Aviv (two killed) and in the Sarona commercial-entertainment center in the heart of Tel Aviv (four killed).

4)  The number of people killed remained high despite the decline in the wave of popular terrorism. In 2016, 17 Israelis were killed, ten in shooting attacks and seven in stabbing attacks. Between the beginning of the wave of popular terrorism (October 2015) and the end of 2016, 47 Israelis were killed (30 during October-December 2015).

C.      There was a decline in the number of Palestinians who participated in riotsas the wave of popular terrorism waned. That was true even during riots and clashes occurring during Israeli holidays when violence tends to increase (such as Passover and Jewish High Holidays in 2016, when many Israeli visited Jerusalem.)

D.      Greater Jerusalem and the Hebron region continued as focal points for popular terrorism. Still prominent but somewhat less so were the regions ofGush Etzion and Ramallah. On the other hand, the regions of Nablus and northern Samaria, which played a central role in the second intifada, played a secondary role in the wave of popular terrorism and attacksin 2016. Most of the terrorists who carried out attacks came from towns and villages near the sites of the attacks.

E.      Most of the terrorists who carried out attacks had a fairly similar profile. Most of them were male(82%), young, without a history of involvement in terrorist attacks or membership in terrorist organizations. In most instances they carried out the attacks alone, having reached the decision by themselves, spontaneously, and without instructionsfrom a person or organization. Most of the attacks were carried out using cold weapons (cars, knives and other sharp objects), sometimes using light arms, usually improvised. They were motivated by nationalistic feelings combined with personal considerations(such as family problems, frustrations, the women by gender discrimination, the desire to escape from the problems of daily life by becoming shaheeds and going to paradise).

F.      The failure of the military-type terrorism directed by Hamas and the other terrorist organizations to channel popular terrorism into an armed third intifada. Since the beginning of the wave of popular terrorism the Israeli and Palestinian security forces have repeatedly exposed terrorist networks, primarily of Hamas, planning to carry out showcase attacks, some of them inside Israel(including suicide bombing attacks in crowded urban locations, shooting attacks, and abductions to acquire bargaining chips to exchange for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails).

G.     There were relatively few attacks and networks inspired or directed by non-Palestinian organizations (ISIS and Hezbollah). Palestinian terrorism in Judea, Samaria and Israel was for the most part carried out by Palestinians, and non-Palestinian organizations played a secondary role. A prominent ISIS-inspired attack was carried out in the Sarona commercial-entertainment center in Tel Aviv (four killed) by a terrorist influenced by ISIS ideology while in Jordan. In addition the Israeli security forces also exposed a number of Hezbollah cellshandled from Lebanon and the Gaza Strip planning to carry out shooting and suicide bombing attacks.

3.      Popular terrorism in Judea and Samaria received the support of Fatah and the Palestinian Authority (PA), evidenced by decisions reached at the 7th Fatah conference (November 29 – December 4, 2016). Mahmoud Abbas and the PA represent popular terrorism as a "peaceful popular resistance." Behind the phrase hides full support for popular terrorism and violence, which during 2016 trickled into Israel. Hamas, as opposed to the PA, has repeatedly called for an increase in the scope of popular terrorism in a effort to turn it into established military-type terrorism.

 

4.      There has been a continuing decrease in the scope of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory, continuing after Operation Protective Edge (August 2014, during which rocket attacks peaked). Fifteen rocket hits were identified in Israeli territory during 2016, 24 in 2015. The year 2016 was the quietest year since the Israeli disengagement from the Gaza Strip in 2005 and the Hamas takeover in 2007. Hamas and the other terrorist organizations have exploited the relative calm torebuild their military capabilities, including replenishing their rocket arsenals and constructing tunnels extending into Israeli territory.

5.      The decline in rocket fire was a function ofHamas' policy of restraint, which it enforced on the rogue terrorist organizations more strongly and thoroughly than after previous IDF operations(on the Salafi jihadist organizations which occasionally challenged Hamas). The policy was the result of strategic considerations, the most important of which was the strengthening of Israel's deterrence after Operation Protective Edge and Hamas' desire to gain time to rebuild its military capabilities without significant interference from Israel. Other Hamas considerations are its desire to rebuild the Gaza Strip's civilian infrastructure (a secondary priority, however), the deterioration of Hamas' relations with Egypt(relations Hamas keeps trying to improve), and the cooling off of its relations with countries like Iran (a former strategic ally)and Saudi Arabia.

6.      In ITIC assessment, most of the trends of Palestinian terrorism of 2016 will continue in the coming months. Popular terrorism (the so-called "popular resistance") will continue with ups and downs, with the support of Fatah and the PA. Hamas and the other terrorist organizations will continue their efforts to establish terrorist networks in Judea and Samaria to have them carry out showcase attacks, including attacks inside IsraelIn the Gaza StripHamas will continue to be influenced by the factors that restrain its policies with Israel. However, certain scenarios may change those policies, for example, as a result of showcase terrorist attacks in Judea, Samaria and Israel, and Israel's subsequent responses; international events viewed as harming Palestinian interests (such as relocating the American embassy to Jerusalem); Israeli responses to rocket fire regarded by Hamas as disproportionate, and Israel's harming what Hamas considers its assets (its attack tunnels, for example).

 

The Structure of the Study
Section 1: Popular terrorism in Judea and Samaria

A.   Overview

B.   Fatah and PA policies

C.  Types of terrorist attacks

1)         Distribution of the types of attacks

2)         Stabbing attacks

3)         Vehicular attacks

4)         Shooting attacks

5)         Attacks involving IEDs

6)         Combined attacks

D.  Attack arenas

1)         Judea, Samaria and greater Jerusalem

2)         In the heart of Israel

E.   Profile of the terrorists

F.   Involvement of the PA security services in terrorist attacks

Section 2: Organized military-type terrorism in Judea and Samaria

A.   Overview

B.   Exposure of terrorist networks and prevention of attempts to transfer funds to Judea and Samaria

Section 3: Terrorism inspired or directed by non-Palestinian organizations

A.   ISIS

B.   Hezbollah

Section 4: Terrorist attacks from the Gaza Strip

C.      Overview

D.      Rocket fire into Israeli territory in 2016

E.      Border clashes

F.      Riots near the border security fence and attempts to cross the fence into Israeli territory 

[1]The full version is being translated and will shortly be disseminated.

Vehicular attack at a bus stop near Kokhav Ya’akov (east of Ramallah): another illustration of revenge attacks carried out by friends and relatives of Palestinian terrorists killed in previous attacks.

 The site of the vehicular attack at a bus stop near the community of Kokhav Ya'akov, in the Benyamin region (QudsN, January 25, 2017).

The site of the vehicular attack at a bus stop near the community of Kokhav Ya'akov, in the Benyamin region (QudsN, January 25, 2017).

 The site of the vehicular attack at a bus stop near the community of Kokhav Ya'akov, in the Benyamin region (QudsN, January 25, 2017).

The site of the vehicular attack at a bus stop near the community of Kokhav Ya'akov, in the Benyamin region (QudsN, January 25, 2017).

The Eliahu Crossing near Alfei Menashe (Arabs24 website, September 21, 2016).

The Eliahu Crossing near Alfei Menashe (Arabs24 website, September 21, 2016).

Notice posted by Muhammad al-Rajabi for his close friend Izz al-Din al-Husseini Abu Shkhaydam, killed while carrying out a stabbing attack (Facebook page of Muhammad al-Rajabi, October 29, 2015).

Notice posted by Muhammad al-Rajabi for his close friend Izz al-Din al-Husseini Abu Shkhaydam, killed while carrying out a stabbing attack (Facebook page of Muhammad al-Rajabi, October 29, 2015).

1.   On January 25, 2017, a Palestinian terrorist carried out a vehicular attack at a bus stop near the community of Kokhav Ya'akov (in the Benyamin region, east of Ramallah). He drove to the site, swerved out of his lane and rammed into the bus stop, where civilians and Israeli soldiers were standing. He held a knife but did not exit the vehicle. There were no casualties. The terrorist was shot and killed by IDF forces (see Appendix B). He was Hussein Salem Abu Ghosh, a cousin of Hussein Muhammad Abu Ghosh, the Palestinian terrorist who infiltrated the community of Beit Horon and carried out a stabbing attack exactly one year earlier(January 25, 2016).

2.   Hussein Salem Abu Ghosh, 18, from the Qalandia refugee camp, was the oldest of seven children. He worked in a store that sold smartphone accessories. His father said his son had been very close to Hussein Muhammad Abu Ghosh, his cousin and friend from childhood, who had been killed the previous year and whose death had greatly influenced him(al-Quds, January 27, 2017). His aunt, Khadija Abu Ghosh, said Hussein repeatedly told his mother he was "tired of this world and wanted to go somewhere else..." (QudsN website, January 29, 2017). The deaths of the two cousins were widely covered on the social networks. There were many posts noting that the two had been killed while carrying out attacks on the same date exactly a year apart (see Appendix A).

Revenge for Friends and Relatives as a Motive for Terrorist Attacks

Left: Hussein Muhammad Abu Ghosh, masked, during a clash with Israeli security forces (Facebook page of the Qalandia refugee camp, January 26, 2016). Right: Hussein Muhammad Abu Ghosh, who was killed while carrying out a stabbing attack after having infiltrated the community of Beit Horon (Facebook page of Kalandia Camp Soldiers, January 26, 2016).
Left: Hussein Muhammad Abu Ghosh, masked, during a clash with Israeli security forces (Facebook page of the Qalandia refugee camp, January 26, 2016). Right: Hussein Muhammad Abu Ghosh, who was killed while carrying out a stabbing attack after having infiltrated the community of Beit Horon (Facebook page of Kalandia Camp Soldiers, January 26, 2016).

3.   Terrorist attacks carried out to avenge a friend or relative who was killed are familiar from the wave of Palestinian popular terrorism. In some instances attacks have been carried out at the same site chosen by terrorists who were killed, and sometimes even using the same method. For example, in a series of terrorist attacks carried out in September 2016 (eight attacks in ten days), prominent among the terrorists were friends and relatives of terrorists who had carried out attacks during the wave of popular terrorism which began in October 2015:[1]

A.   On September 21, 2016, a 12 year-old Palestinian girl carrying a bag went to the Eliahu Crossing near Alfei Menashe (southeast of Qalqilya). When she tried to walk through the car lane she was ordered to halt but did not obey. The guards shot and wounded her in the leg. During her initial interrogation she said she had "come to die." She was Baraa' al-Awissi, a relative of Risha al-Awissi, the Palestinian woman who carried out a stabbing attack at the same location. No weapon was found in her possession and she was released.

Left: Risha al-Awissi, related to Baraa' al-Awissi, who was killed while carrying out a stabbing attack at the Eliahu Crossing (Amin blog, November 10, 2016). Right: Baraa' al-Awissi, who went to the Eliahu Crossing with the intention of dying (YouTube, September 26, 2016).
Left: Risha al-Awissi, related to Baraa' al-Awissi, who was killed while carrying out a stabbing attack at the Eliahu Crossing (Amin blog, November 10, 2016). Right: Baraa' al-Awissi, who went to the Eliahu Crossing with the intention of dying (YouTube, September 26, 2016).

B.   On September 20, 2016, Issa Tarayrah, from the village of Bani Na'im (near Hebron), tried to stab soldiers at the roadblock at the entrance to the village. He was shot and killed. A relative named Muhammad Nasr Tarayrah, 19, also from Bani Na'im, stabbed to death a 13 year-old girl named Hallel Ariel while she sleptin her bed in her home in Kiryat Arba (June 30, 2016). He was shot and killed during the attack. An examination of his Facebook page indicates he was influenced by the death of Majd al-Khudour, from Bani Na'im, who carried out a vehicular attack at the entrance to Kiryat Arba on June 24, 2016. He was also influenced by the death of his cousin Yusuf Walid Tarayrah, who was killed on March 14, 2016, while carrying out a vehicular attack at the entrance to Kiryat Arba. Five days before the attack Muhammad Tarayrah wrote on his Facebook page, "Death is a right, and I demand my right."

C.  On the afternoon of September 16, 2016, a Palestinian terrorist armed with a knife went to an IDF post near Tel Romeida in Hebron and stabbed an IDF soldier in the face. The terrorist was shot and killed. He was Mohammed Kayid Talaji al-Rajabi, a high school student from Hebron. According to a friend he was greatly saddened by the death of Izz al-Din al-Husseini Abu Shkhaydam, a close friend from Hebron. Izz Abu Shkhaydam was killed when he and another Palestinian terrorist carried out a stabbing attack at the Gush Etzion Junction on October 27, 2015. Muhammad al-Rajabi posted two notices to this Facebook page. He was also in contact with the father of MalikTalal Muhammad al-Sharif, 25, from Hebron, who attempted a stabbing attack at the Gush Etzion Junction on November 5, 2015, and was killed (the two were apparently related, but exactly how is not clear).

D.  On September 16, 2016, a vehicle driven by a Palestinian with a woman passenger drove at high speed towards a bus stop at the Elias Junction at the entrance to Kiryat Arba. At the time three Israeli youths were waiting at the stop. An IDF force at the site shot at the car, killing the driver and wounding the passenger. Two of the Israelis were injured. The Palestinian media reported that the man and woman were Firas Musa al-Khudour and Raghad Abdallah al-Khudour, a relative from the village of Bani Na'im. Raghad's sister was Palestinian terrorist Majed Abdallah al-Khudour, 18, married and mother of one, who carried out a vehicular attack at the same location on June 24, 2016, and was killed by an IDF force. Relatives reported that the lives of Firas and Raghad al-Khudour changed after Majd al-Khudour's death and that Firas became more religious (Nablus TV channel, September 17, 2017).

Right: Facebook page of Raghad al-Khudour, who participated in the terrorist attack, posted on June 26, 2016, two days after her sister was killed. Raghad al-Khudour glorifies her, calling her "my sister the heroine" (Facebook page of Bani Na'im News, September 16, 2016) Left: The vehicle used in the attack at the entrance to Kiryat Arba (Facebook page of the Hamas movement in the Hebron district, September 16, 2016).
Right: Facebook page of Raghad al-Khudour, who participated in the terrorist attack, posted on June 26, 2016, two days after her sister was killed. Raghad al-Khudour glorifies her, calling her "my sister the heroine" (Facebook page of Bani Na'im News, September 16, 2016) Left: The vehicle used in the attack at the entrance to Kiryat Arba (Facebook page of the Hamas movement in the Hebron district, September 16, 2016).

[1]For further information, see the September 29, 2016 bulletin, "The phenomenon of kinship among Palestinians carrying out popular terrorist attacks."

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (November 11 – 18, 2014)

The scene of the terrorist mass-murder attack at the synagogue in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem

The scene of the terrorist mass-murder attack at the synagogue in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem

The scene of the terrorist attack at the synagogue in Har Nof in which five Israelis were killed and six wounded (Photo by Hillel Meir for Tazpit.org.il, November 18, 2014)

The scene of the terrorist attack at the synagogue in Har Nof in which five Israelis were killed and six wounded (Photo by Hillel Meir for Tazpit.org.il, November 18, 2014)

The two terrorists Ghassan and Uday Abu Jaml, who carried out the mass-murder attack at the synagogue (Facebook page of Qudsn, November 18, 2014)

The two terrorists Ghassan and Uday Abu Jaml, who carried out the mass-murder attack at the synagogue (Facebook page of Qudsn, November 18, 2014)

Jamal Abu Jaml (left) on his release from prison in Israel. There are PFLP flags hung in the background (Panet.co.il, January 4, 2014).

Jamal Abu Jaml (left) on his release from prison in Israel. There are PFLP flags hung in the background (Panet.co.il, January 4, 2014).

A sign with the pictures of the two terrorists. The Arabic reads,

A sign with the pictures of the two terrorists. The Arabic reads, "Ghassan and Uday Abu Jaml, you are the pride of our nation".

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip hand out candy and cookies to celebrate the terrorist attack in Jerusalem  (Facebook page of Qudsn, November 18, 2014).

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip hand out candy and cookies to celebrate the terrorist attack in Jerusalem (Facebook page of Qudsn, November 18, 2014).

Israeli security forces search the area of the attack (Photos by Hillel Meir for Tazpit.org.il, November 16, 2014)

Israeli security forces search the area of the attack (Photos by Hillel Meir for Tazpit.org.il, November 16, 2014)

Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades operatives in front of an M-75 rocket (Palestine-info.info, November 13, 2014).

Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades operatives in front of an M-75 rocket (Palestine-info.info, November 13, 2014).

The black box with

The black box with "The Black Box" written in Arabic and Hebrew displayed at the rally in Rafah.

Mahmoud Abbas and King Abdallah of Jordan (Wafa.ps, November 12 and 13, 2014)

Mahmoud Abbas and King Abdallah of Jordan (Wafa.ps, November 12 and 13, 2014)

John Kerry and Mahmoud Abbas.

John Kerry and Mahmoud Abbas.

  • The wave of Palestinian terrorist attacks in Jerusalem continues. This week terrorist events focused on the attack at the synagogue in the Har Nof neighborhood in Jerusalem, where four worshippers and a policeman were killed, and six were wounded. The attack was carried out by two Palestinians terrorists armed with a gun and meat cleavers. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility. During November 2014 eleven Israelis have been killed by terrorist attacks, more than in all the attacks of the past two years.
  • The use of firearms in the terrorist attack in the synagogue and the attempted assassination of Yehuda Glick may indicate a change in the nature of the attacks and turn them from "popular attacks" [i.e., popular terrorism] to attacks with guns, not necessarily carried out by lone terrorists. That may lead to an additional escalation on the ground, especially in Jerusalem.
  • Mahmoud Abbas, who met this past week with American Secretary of State John Kerry in Amman, Jordan, promised to help restore calm. In reality, violence and terrorist attacks  continue, as do incitement to violence and terrorism, including incitement from the Palestinian Authority.
Overview
  • This past week the wave of terrorist attacks and attempted terrorist attacks in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria continued. The most prominent attack was carried out at the synagogue in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem on November 18, 2014, where five people were killed and six wounded. This month, in addition to the riots in Jerusalem and throughout Judea and Samaria, the number of terrorist attacks has continued to rise. During the past month eleven people have been killed in terrorist attacks, more than all those killed during the past two years.
Terrorist Mass-Murder Attack at a Synagogue in Jerusalem
Initial Report
  • On November 18, 2014 at around 0700 hours, two Palestinian terrorist operatives entered the Kehilat Bnei Torah synagogue in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem, armed with a gun and meat cleavers. They began attacking the early-morning worshippers. A short time later two policemen arrived and exchanged fire with the terrorists. A few minutes later additional security forces arrived on the scene and killed the two terrorists.
  • Four people were killed in the attack and seven wounded, two of them critically. Two policemen were among the wounded; one of them later died. The victims among the worshippers were Rabbi Moshe Twersky, 59, head of the Torat Moshe yeshiva and father of six, who came to the synagogue to pray every morning; Arieh Kupinsky, 43; Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, 68, father of six; and Rabbi Kalman Levine, 50, father of nine and grandfather of five. The policeman was Zidan Seif, 30.
  • The terrorists were Ghassan Abu Jaml, 27, and Uday Abu Jaml, 22, cousins who lived in the Jabal Mukaber neighborhood of east Jerusalem. They were related to the former prisoner Jamal Abu Jaml, who was released in one of the prisoner release deals and recently detained again. Jamal Abu Jaml is a Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) operative from Jabal Mukaber. He was detained in 1994 and sentenced to 22 years in prison for the attempted stabbing of an IDF soldier in Jerusalem. Released on December 31, 2013, as part of the third phase of prisoner releases, he was detained again on November 6, 2014 (Wafa.ps, December 31, 2013; Pls48.net, November 7, 2014).

Left: Jamal Abu Jaml (left) on his release from prison in Israel. There are PFLP flags hung in the background (Panet.co.il, January 4, 2014). Right: The two terrorists Ghassan and Uday Abu Jaml, who carried out the mass-murder attack at the synagogue (Facebook page of Qudsn, November 18, 2014)
Left: Jamal Abu Jaml (left) on his release from prison in Israel. There are PFLP flags hung in the background (Panet.co.il, January 4, 2014). Right: The two terrorists Ghassan and Uday Abu Jaml, who carried out the mass-murder attack at the synagogue (Facebook page of Qudsn, November 18, 2014)

  • The Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, the PFLP's military-terrorist wing, issued a formal statement praising the attack in Jerusalem, stressing that the two terrorists belonged to its ranks (Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, November 18, 2014). Note: On November 11, 2014, the PFLP posted a notice on its website calling for confrontations with Israel to be escalated (PFLP website, November 11, 2014). After the attack, riots broke out in Jabal Mukaber when Israeli police forces entered the neighborhood. Dozens of Palestinians threw rocks and various objects at the police. Some of the rock-throwers were detained.

Left: Notice posted by the PFLP calling for escalation in attacks against Israel (PFLP website, November 11, 2014). Right: Formal PFLP notice claiming responsibility for the terrorist attack (Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, November 18, 2014)
Left: Notice posted by the PFLP calling for escalation in attacks against Israel (PFLP website, November 11, 2014). Right: Formal PFLP notice claiming responsibility for the terrorist attack (Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, November 18, 2014)

  • Until recently the terrorist attacks in Jerusalem were carried out as part of what the Palestinians call the "popular resistance" [i.e., popular terrorism]. Their main weapons have been rocks and stones, Molotov cocktails, knives and vehicles. The use of a gun in the most recent mass-killing attack and in the attempted assassination of Yehuda Glick may indicate a change in the nature of the so-called "popular resistance" to include firearms. If their use continues, it may escalate the violence and lead to a deterioration of the security situation in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.
Reactions
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu assigned responsibility for the attack to Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA). He said the attack was the result of incitement from Hamas and Mahmoud Abbas, ignored by the international community. Israel, he said, "will respond decisively to the horrific murder of Jews who came to pray and were killed by despicable murderers"[1] (Prime minister's website, November 18, 2014).
  • Mahmoud Abbas said in a statement that he strongly condemned the "event" [not "attack" or "terrorist attack"], adding that he was not prepared to accept a situation in which civilians were attacked at religious sites. At the same time he condemned Israel's so-called "aggression" against the Temple Mount and the holy sites, and the burning of mosques and churches. He called for complete calm and the end of such actions, making it possible for political action to be taken for the sake of peace in the Middle East (Wafa.ps, November 18, 2014).
  • Masked Palestinians armed with axes in the Gaza Strip held celebrations. They handed out candy and cookies to passersby in the streets and waved signs with picture of the two terrorists inscribed "Ghassan and Uday Abu Jaml, you are the pride of our nation" (Facebook page of Qudsn, November 18, 2014).
Stabbing Attack in Jerusalem
  • On November 16, 2014, a 32 year-old man ultra-Orthodox Jewish was stabbed in the back with a screwdriver while walking on HaNevi'im Street, a main street in Jerusalem. He was not seriously injured. According to the police the stabber was apparently a young Arab man who fled in the direction of the Nablus Gate and has not yet been located.
  • Sami Abu Zuhri, Hamas spokesman in the Gaza Strip, praised the stabbing attack, calling it "the natural response to the crimes of Israel in Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa mosque" (Paltimes.net, November 16, 2014).

A notice issued following the stabbing attack. The Arabic reads, "We will resist with everything we have" (PALDF, November 16, 2014)
A notice issued following the stabbing attack. The Arabic reads, "We will resist with everything we have" (PALDF, November 16, 2014)

Attempted Vehicular Attack
  • On the morning of November 13, 2014, several youths reported an attempted vehicular attack at a bus stop near Neveh Tsuf in Judea. They said a speeding Palestinian vehicle approached them. When the security guard standing nearby aimed his weapon at the driver the vehicle drove in the direction of Bir Zeit. Roadblocks were set up to stop the vehicle and the driver was detained (Tazpit.org.il, November 13, 2014).

The vehicle suspected of the attempted vehicular attack (Photo by Ehud Amitoun for Tazpit.org.il, date, 2014).
The vehicle suspected of the attempted vehicular attack (Photo by Ehud Amitoun for Tazpit.org.il, date, 2014).

Rocket and Mortal Shell Fire into Israel
  • This past week no rocket or mortar shell hits were identified in Israeli territory.

Rocket and Mortal Shell Fire into Israel

Additional Violence
  • In addition to terrorist attacks, the wave of violence and rioting in the neighborhoods of east Jerusalem continued, part of the so-called "popular resistance." On Friday, November 14, 2014, Palestinians throughout Judea and Samaria held marches in support of Al-Aqsa mosque. Some of the demonstrations turned into violent confrontations with Israeli security forces, and several Palestinian rioters were injured. The riots were focused in Hebron, Beit Ummar (north of Hebron), Ramallah (where a march was held to the Qalandia checkpoint), Bil'in, Bethlehem, Nablus and other locations (Alhayat-j.com, November 15, 2014). In addition, the tenth anniversary of the death of Yasser Arafat was marked throughout Judea and Samaria with a series of events.
  •  Other prominent events included the following:
  • On November 11, 2014, during the detention of suspected terrorists in Samaria, ammunition and bullet-proof vests were found in the home of one of the suspects (IDF Spokesman, November 11, 2014).
  • On November 14, 2014, rocks were thrown on a main road near the village of Dir Nizam. A violent incident between the Israeli security forces and Palestinian residents followed. An IDF soldier incurred minor injuries and was treated on the scene (Tazpit.org.il, November 14, 2014).
  • On November 15, 2014, a Palestinian trying to enter Israeli territory was detained at the Qalandia roadblock. His car was searched and two knives were found (IDF Spokesman, November 15, 2014).
  • On the evening of November 17, 2014, during a riot in Al-Ram which included throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails, an IDF officer incurred minor injuries and was evacuated to a hospital for treatment. It is unclear whether he was shot or wounded by a firecracker (Tazpit.org.il, November 17, 2014).
  • On November 17, 2014, the Israeli security forces detained three Palestinians who had thrown Molotov cocktails at an Israeli bus near Beit Ummar (southwest of Bethlehem) (IDF Spokesman, November 17, 2014).
Notices Inciting Violence and the Murder of Israelis
  • The increasing tensions in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria have led the social media, especially those affiliated with Hamas and other Islamist organizations, to inflame the situation further and incite to violence. For example, this past week they posted notices calling for the murder of Israelis. The notices appeared mainly on Facebook pages affiliated with Hamas (PALDF and PALINFO) and those of Islamist surfers in various universities in Judea and Samaria. For example:

Left: The hilt of the dagger is topped with Al-Aqsa mosque. The Arabic reads, "Al-Aqsa is the red line" (Palestine-info.info, November 11, 2014). Right: Al-Aqsa mosque, a masked Palestinian throwing a burning tire, Palestinians throwing rocks. The Arabic reads, "Resist and do not hesitate," and "Resist and victory is assured." At the bottom right is the logo of the campaign for Al-Aqsa (Facebook page of the Islamic Bloc in Bir Zeit University, November 11, 2014).
Left: The hilt of the dagger is topped with Al-Aqsa mosque. The Arabic reads, "Al-Aqsa is the red line" (Palestine-info.info, November 11, 2014). Right: Al-Aqsa mosque, a masked Palestinian throwing a burning tire, Palestinians throwing rocks. The Arabic reads, "Resist and do not hesitate," and "Resist and victory is assured." At the bottom right is the logo of the campaign for Al-Aqsa (Facebook page of the Islamic Bloc in Bir Zeit University, November 11, 2014).

Left: A car speeds from Al-Aqsa mosque, breaking through a roadblock. The Arab reads, "After today we will not stop at the roadblocks of the [PA] security coordination and the occupation..." (PALDF, November 11, 2014). Right: A knife in the shape of Israel. The Arabic reads, "Stabbing action in the West Bank and (Tel Aviv)..." (Palestine-info.info, November 11, 2014).
Left: A car speeds from Al-Aqsa mosque, breaking through a roadblock. The Arab reads, "After today we will not stop at the roadblocks of the [PA] security coordination and the occupation..." (PALDF, November 11, 2014). Right: A knife in the shape of Israel. The Arabic reads, "Stabbing action in the West Bank and (Tel Aviv)..." (Palestine-info.info, November 11, 2014).

The Rafah Crossing
  • The Rafah crossing has been closed since October 24, 2014 (the day of the terrorist attack that killed 33 Egyptian soldiers). The contacts held by the Palestinians to open it on a regular basis continue, so far without success. Jamal al-Shubaki, the PA representative in Egypt, said he had met with the Egyptians to discuss the issue. He said they had promised him the Rafah crossing would open after the security situation in the Sinai Peninsula had stabilized. He noted that the decision to open the crossing was in the hands of Egypt's army and not its politicians (Alresala.net, November 13, 2014).
Tension Continues regarding the Rebuilding of the Gaza Strip
  • Palestinian national consensus government Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and Minister of the Economy Muhammad Mustafa are currently visiting the Gulf States to advance the transfer of funds promised during the Cairo conference for rebuilding the Gaza Strip (Wafa.ps, November 16, 2014).
  • Khalil al-Haya, a senior Hamas figure in the Gaza Strip, criticized the national consensus government regarding the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip. He said it was deliberately delaying the transfer of the Gaza Strip crossings because it did not want to accept responsibility for them. He also said the national consensus government wanted to appropriate half of the promised funds for its own budget (Website of the Palestinian Legislative Council in the Gaza Strip, November 12, 2014).
Hamas Rally in Rafah for Those Killed in Operation Protective Edge
  • On November 13, 2014, Hamas held a mass rally in Rafah in memory of the residents of Rafah killed in Operation Protective Edge. It was attended by senior Hamas figures and senior members of its military-terrorist wing. There was a display of M-75 rockets, 107mm  rocket launchers and various other types of rockets and launchers. There was also a display of "a black box" (possibly a hint that Hamas was hiding secrets from Israel).
  • Senior Hamas figures said the following at the rally:
  • Abu Obeida, spokesman for the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military-terrorist wing, warned that the siege and sabotaging the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip would lead to an explosion that Israel would have to deal with.
  • Khalil al-Haya, a member of Hamas' political bureau, said that the issue of Jerusalem was at the top of the agenda. He said they would sacrifice everything for the sake of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa and warned of "a volcanic explosion to defend Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa" (Al-Aqsa TV and Safa.ps, November 13 and 14, 2014).
A Square in the Central Gaza Strip Named for Ahmed al-Jaabari
  • On November 14, 2014, Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades operatives dedicated a memorial in the Al-Maghazi refugee camp to Ahmed al-Jaabari, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades commander who died in a targeted killing on November 14, 2012. The memorial is topped with three J-80 long-range rockets of Hamas manufacture. There is also a map of Israel showing the locations the rockets can reach, according to the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades (Dimona, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Netanya) (Palestine-info.info, November 14, 2014).

The Ahmed al-Jaabari memorial (Palestine-info.info, November 14, 2014).
The Ahmed al-Jaabari memorial (Palestine-info.info, November 14, 2014).

Smuggling Weapons from Egypt to the Gaza Strip by Sea
  • Uday Abu Al-Layl, a smuggler of weapons from Egypt to the Gaza Strip, spoke in an interview about how weapons were smuggled to the Gaza Strip by sea. He said most of the smuggling was carried out between midnight and 0200 hours, when the Egyptian border guards changed shifts. The weapons are placed in barrels and hidden in the bottom of the boat. In case of danger, the smugglers throw the barrels overboard at a location they can return to. The cost of each smuggling voyage is between 30,000 and 40,000 Egyptian pounds (or about $4200 and $5600).
  • He said Egyptian fishermen played an active role in the smuggling. Among the weapons smuggled in are SAM 124 surface to air missiles, anti-tank RPGs, Kalashnikov assault rifles, anti-aircraft Goryunov machine guns and explosives. He said the weapons were smuggled to upper Egypt from Libya and from there to the Gaza Strip (Al-Watan.com, November 12, 2014).
Jordanian-American Efforts to Calm the Security Situation
  • As part of the American efforts to relieve the tension between Israel and the PA, on November 13, 2014, American Secretary of State John Kerry met with PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Amman. After the meeting the two met with the Jordanian foreign minister. On the previous day, November 12, 2014, Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu met with King Abdallah of Jordan to discuss recent regional developments.
  • According to the website of the American State Department, John Kerry met with Mahmoud Abbas to discuss the immediate need to change the existing situation and prevent provocations. According to Kerry, Mahmoud Abbas promised to do everything in his power to restore calm(State Department website, November 13, 2014). Note: The Palestinian terrorist attacks in Jerusalem, including the attack at the synagogue in Har Nof, as well as Palestinian incitement (also instigated by the PA) have continued since the aforementioned promise was announced.
Palestinian Public Opinion Survey on Vehicular Attacks
  • The Palestinian news agency Ma'an recently conducted an Internet survey about vehicular attacks, with the following results: 83.7% of the respondents were of the opinion that the vehicular attacks were the result of spontaneous popular anger directed against so-called "Israeli racism." On the other hand, 14% were of the opinion that they were a popular response to the silence of the organizations [i.e., Palestinian terrorist organizations] (Maannews.net, November 15, 2014). However, the results of the survey indicated extensive public support for such terrorist attacks.
Anti-Israeli Incitement on Fatah's Website
  • On November 11, 2014, Fatah's website posted a cartoon showing an ultra-Orthodox Jew painting Jerusalem black, with the caption "The Judaization of Jerusalem" (Fatah media, November 11, 2014). On November 16, 2014, it posted a cartoon with the caption "Where is the [Muslim] nation?" showing the ground under the Temple Mount being gnawed away by Jewish rats (Fatah media, November 16, 2014).

Anti-Israeli incitement on the Fatah website. Left: "Where is the [Muslim] nation?" Fatah media, November 16, 2014). Right: "The Judaization of Jerusalem" (Fatah media, November 11, 2014).
Anti-Israeli incitement on the Fatah website. Left: "Where is the [Muslim] nation?" Fatah media, November 16, 2014). Right: "The Judaization of Jerusalem" (Fatah media, November 11, 2014).

The PA and Hamas Accuse Israel of Murdering a Palestinian Bus Driver
  • On November 17, 2014, the body of a Palestinian bus driver was found hanging in one of the company's buses. According to evidence found at the scene, the driver, Yussuf al-Ramouni, a Palestinian from east Jerusalem, apparently committed suicide.
  • The PA and Hamas rushed to exploit his death for anti-Israeli incitement, accusing Israel of responsibility for his death. The Palestinian foreign minister called for an international committee to be appointed to oversee an autopsy performed in the presence of a Palestinian representative and family member of the deceased. Mahmoud Abbas condemned the event, calling it an "ugly crime" (Facebook page of the Palestinian foreign minister, November 17, 2014). Ismail Haniya, deputy chairman of Hamas' political bureau, called his death "Zionist piracy," the continuation of the Israeli policy to Judaize Jerusalem (Maannews.net, November 17, 2014).
The Establishment of Islamic State Provinces in Egypt and Other Arab Countries
  • On November 5, 2014, ISIS issued a cassette of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declaring the extension of the Islamic State to Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Algeria and Saudi Arabia. He said the names of local jihad organizations had been abolished and new Islamic State provinces had been established in the aforementioned countries, and provincial heads had been appointed to them.

The map published by the Islamic State showing the new provinces, which, according to the organization, had sworn allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi: Algeria, Libya, the Sinai Peninsula Yemen and Saudi Arabia. The big ISIS flag indicates the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Reblop.com, November 17, 2014).
The map published by the Islamic State showing the new provinces, which, according to the organization, had sworn allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi: Algeria, Libya, the Sinai Peninsula Yemen and Saudi Arabia. The big ISIS flag indicates the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Reblop.com, November 17, 2014).

  • The Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, an Egyptian terrorist organization which swore allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, did in fact change its name to "the Sinai province of the Islamic State," the accepted geographical division of regions in Iraq and Syria under Islamic State control (the "Islamic State," or "Islamic Caliphate" is divided into provinces). The significance of the declaration is that the Sinai Peninsula has formally become a province of the self-declared Caliphate. The Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis has already begun issuing statements claiming responsibility for terrorist attacks it carried out against Egyptian security forces under its new name. It also issued a video in which it claims responsibility for the attack on October 24, 2014, in which 33 Egyptian soldiers were killed.

The video claiming responsibility for the attack on the Egyptian security forces that killed 33 soldiers. Left: A spokesman wearing the ISIS logo. The Arabic reads "Sinai province – information office" (YouTube. Com). Right: An operative from the Sinai province (Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis) waves an ISIS flag from atop an Egyptian tank during the attack carried out on October 24, 2014.
The video claiming responsibility for the attack on the Egyptian security forces that killed 33 soldiers. Left: A spokesman wearing the ISIS logo. The Arabic reads "Sinai province – information office" (YouTube. Com). Right: An operative from the Sinai province (Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis) waves an ISIS flag from atop an Egyptian tank during the attack carried out on October 24, 2014.

[1] http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Netanyahu-Israel-will-respond-decisively-to-murder-of-Jews-in-synagogue-terror-attack-382110
[2] As of November 18, 2014. The statistics do not include mortar shell fire or rockets which misfired and fell inside the Gaza Strip.
[3] The statistics do not include mortar shell fire.

Terrorism and Violence in Judea and Samaria 2013: Data, Characteristics and Trends

Left: Palestinians throw Molotov cocktails at Israeli security forces on the Temple Mount (YouTube, March 8, 2013). Right: An Israeli civilian vehicle goes up in flames after being hit by a Molotov cocktail (Tazpit.org.il, November 8, 2013).
Left: Palestinians throw Molotov cocktails at Israeli security forces on the Temple Mount (YouTube, March 8, 2013). Right: An Israeli civilian vehicle goes up in flames after being hit by a Molotov cocktail (Tazpit.org.il, November 8, 2013).

1.   In view of the abduction of the three Israeli youths by Hamas and Operation Brothers' Keeper currently being conducted in Judea and Samaria, the ITIC reminds its readers of the study entitled "Violence and Terrorism in Judea and Samaria, 2013 – Data, Characteristics and Trends."[1]

2.   The study includes analyses of the following:

1)  The increase in the scope of terrorismin Judea and Samaria, with the involvement of Hamas and the terrorist operatives released in the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal in orchestrating terrorist attacks.

2)  The efforts made by the terrorist operatives to abduct Israelisin Judea and Samariafor use as bargaining chips to secure the release of prisoners held by Israel.

3)  The increase of so-called "popular resistance" actions(throwing stones, rocks and Molotov cocktails, carrying out stabbing and vehicular attacks) supported by Fatah and the Palestinian Authority (which oppose an armed military struggle, carry out preventive measures and maintain security coordination with Israel).

[1]http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/Data/articles/Art_20625/E_021_14b_109604661.pdf

At the end of October 2012, a round of escalation from the Gaza Strip again exposed the double identities of Hamas military-terrorist operative.

Ismail al-Teli, senior artillery operative in Hamas' military-terrorist wing, killed by the IDF on October 23, 2012, prepares a rocket fire for firing. According to a statement from the Hamas ministry of the interior, Ismail al-Teli was also a policeman in the Hamas police force (Hamas forum, October 28, 2012).
Ismail al-Teli, senior artillery operative in Hamas' military-terrorist wing, killed by the IDF on October 23, 2012, prepares a rocket fire for firing. According to a statement from the Hamas ministry of the interior, Ismail al-Teli was also a policeman in the Hamas police force (Hamas forum, October 28, 2012).

Overview

1. On October 23, 2012, in response to massive barrages of rocket and mortar shell fire, Israeli aircraft struck a number of terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip. Among them were terrorist squads in the region of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip preparing to fire rockets. Four Palestinian terrorist operatives were killed in the strikes, three of the from the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military-terrorist wing. Among those killed were Yousef Abu Jalhoum (aka Abu Musa'b) from Beit Lahia, and Ismail Fathi al-Teli from Jabalia (Filastin al-'Aan and the Ma'an News Agency, October 24, 2012).

2. On October 24 the Hamas administration's ministry of the interior, to which the internal security services are subordinate, issued a statement announcing the death of the two. It said that Ismail al-Teli belonged to the Hamas police force and that Abu Jalhoum worked for the Hamas Rehabilitation and Imprisonment Administration (Safa News Agency, October 24, 2012). Thus the operatives killed by the IDF two had double identities, they were Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades terrorist operatives on the one hand and employees of the Hamas security services on the other.

3. Many terrorist operatives routinely have double identities, that is, they belong to both Hamas' military wing and its governmental security services (police, ministry of the interior, various security apparatuses), which are revealed when terrorist operatives die in Israeli strikes. For example, on November 14, 2011, the Israeli Air Force struck a Hamas coastguard police post in the northern part of Gaza City in response to rocket fire into Israeli territory the previous day. The Palestinian media reported that target was a coastguard post and that the victims were men with "military" duties who were not connected to the naval police. The strike killed Muhammad Zaher al-Kilani, a naval policeman, and wounded four (Wafa News Agency, November 14, 2011).[1]

4. During Operation Cast Lead the extent of the double roles of Hamas operatives was fully exposed. One of the failures of the Goldstone Report was its utter disregard for the double identities of the Hamas police operatives and members of its other security services who died in IDF attacks. The Report claimed that Hamas' police and other security forces (with the exception of the national security apparatus) were civilian in nature, ignoring the fact that operatives who were killed also belonged to Hamas' military-terrorist wing. Thus the Report claimed that the 248 police killed during Operation Cast Lead should be regarded as civilians in every respect.[2] That was part of the foundation for the Report's theme (which Judge Goldstone later "reconsidered") that Israel had deliberately attacked the civilian population of the Gaza Strip and had thus committed "war crimes" against Gazan civilians.[3]

[1] For further information see the November 17, 2011 bulletin "The recent Israeli Air Force strike on a Hamas police coastguard post illustrated the dual nature of the Palestinian security force operatives, many of whom also serve in Hamas' military-terrorist wing.."

[3] On April 2, 2011, Judge Goldstone wrote a column for the Washington Post claiming that he had had "insufficient information" when he wrote the Report (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/reconsidering-the-goldstone-report-on-israel-and-war-crimes/2011/04/01/AFg111JC_story.html).

Top Hamas leader Musa Abu Marzouk, trying to market Hamas as pragmatic, tells an American-Jewish newspaper that Hamas would agree to a cease-fire (hudna) with Israel.

The Jewish Daily Forward editorial dealing with Musa Abu Marzouk's interview

The Jewish Daily Forward editorial dealing with Musa Abu Marzouk's interview

Musa Abu Marzouk and Larry Cohler-Esses

Musa Abu Marzouk and Larry Cohler-Esses

Musa Abu Marzouk during the interview (Jewish Daily Forward website)

Musa Abu Marzouk during the interview (Jewish Daily Forward website)

Introduction

1. On April 3 and 4, 2012, Musa Abu Marzouk, a senior member of Hamas' political bureau, was interviewed at length by the American-Jewish newspaper The Jewish Daily Forward,[1] the first time he had ever spoken to a representative of a Jewish paper.[2] He spoke with Larry Cohler-Esses, the assistant managing editor for news. The interview, which lasted five and half hours and was conducted over two days, was held at the request of the Forward and took place at Musa Abu Marzouk's home in New Cairo, a new suburb of the Egyptian capital. Abu Marzouk moved there at the beginning of 2012 after he and other senior Hamas figures left the movement's headquarters in Damascus and he settled permanently in Egypt.

2. The interview was conducted in English (Musa Abu Marzouk lived in the United States for more than ten years), in an apparently relaxed, informal manner. The Forward noted that Abu Marzouk had made no conditions regarding the material to be covered. In our opinion, Cohler-Esses was well-prepared for the interview and asked tough questions which discomforted Abu Marzouk and pushed him into a corner. His answers raised questions which led the Forward to conclude, in an editorial published on April 23, that Hamas had to change "before it could be a partner for peace."

Musa Abu Marzouk and Larry Cohler-Esses (The Jewish Daily Forward website)
Musa Abu Marzouk and Larry Cohler-Esses (The Jewish Daily Forward website)

The Main Issues of the Interview

3. In our assessment, Musa Abu Marzouk's objective in granting the interview was to market the idea to the American public and media that Hamas was pragmatic and moderate (following the attempts made by other senior Hamas figures, among them Khaled Mashaal, to make Hamas acceptable to the West and rid itself of its image as a terrorist organization).[3] With Musa Abu Marzouk, the idea would have a greater impact because of his (exceptional) willingness to be interviewed by an American-Jewish newspaper and talk about a variety of subjects without imposing preconditions. It was also an attempt to intimate that Hamas made a distinction between Jews in general, including American Jews (against whom he claimed he had nothing), and the Jews living in Israel, whom he felt should be killed (See below).

4. Our impression is that to market the image of Hamas as moderate and pragmatic, Abu Marzouk used the concept of a hudna with Israel as the his preferred claim. The concept has already been proposed by Hamas several times, and refers to a Hamas agreement to a long-term ceasefire (hudna) with Israel in return for Israel's withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines. Abu Marzouk presented the idea to the Forward correspondent as possible and even preferable to other options, among them an Israeli-Palestinian Authority peace treaty (which, Abu Marzouk made it clear, Hamas would make sure to "shift away from" if it took power over the PA) or a continuation of the current situation of "continuous resistance [i.e., terrorist attacks] against the [so-called Israeli] occupation."

5. However, at the same time, Abu Marzouk incorporated Hamas' basic intransigent stance throughout the interview (obvious to Cohler-Esses, who did not hesitate to confront him) which negated the pragmatic image he tried to project. Thus, Abu Marzouk emphasized that Hamas strongly objected to recognizing Israel and normalizing relations with it; would not permit the Palestinian Authority to sign a peace treaty based on the recognition of Israel; did not intend to abandon the path of "resistance" [i.e., terrorism]; insisted on the realization of the so-called "right of return" of the Palestinian refugees living outside "Palestine" and on holding a referendum in which they would be included as a condition for any agreement, which in any case would not include recognition of the State of Israel.

6.Similar positions have been frequently repeated by Khaled Mashaal, head of Hamas' political bureau, and other senior Hamas spokesmen. Stripped of the rhetoric, they simply state that Hamas refuses to accept the conditions of International Quartet, according to which Hamas will recognize the State of Israel, honor previously-signed agreements and abandon the path of terrorism.

7. Another conclusion to be drawn from the interview is that Mahmoud Abbas is constrained by his political contacts with Israel. As far as Hamas in concerned, any arrangement reached between Israel and the Palestinian Authority incompatible with Hamas ideology (regarding issues such as recognition of Israel and the so-called "right of return") will be changed if and when Hamas comes to power.

8. Particularly interesting is Cohler-Esses' confrontation of Abu Marzouk with theanti-Semitic sections of the Hamas charter (published in 1988). Abu Marzouk's remarks revealed basic truths which he may not have intended to divulge: when Cohler-Esses quoted him a hadith (part of the Islamic oral tradition) appearing in the charter which calls for the killing of Jews, Abu Marzouk claimed that the passage did not apply to all Jews, "just those in Palestine" [i.e., Hamas only wants to kill Israeli Jews]. When asked about anti-Semitic sections in the charter quoting The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, he answered that the Zionists themselves had written The Protocols and then denied it. Told that they were a forgery, Abu Marzouk "appeared nonplussed. 'Really? This is the first time I know [about this],' he said." (Note: It is difficult to know whether Abu Marzouk's answer reflected pretended innocence or merely the ignorance typical of Palestinians and many Arabs who grew up nurtured on The Protocolsand their myths.)

9. The following were the main issues of the interview as they appeared on the Jewish Daily Forward website, April 19, 2012 (ITIC emphases throughout):

1 The Jewish Daily Forwardis a left-leaning American-Jewish paper published in New York City. It has a relatively small circulation and appears in both an English and Yiddish edition.

[2] http://forward.com/articles/155054/hamas-wouldn-t-honor-a-treaty-top-leader-says/?p=1

[3] For further information about previous attempts made by Hamas figures to market the organization to the West as pragmatic, see the May 15, 2011 bulletin "Statements made by senior Hamas figures since the internal Palestinian reconciliation agreement attempt to present a moderate image while restating Hamas' refusal to recognize Israel or accept the International Quartet's conditions, continuing the "resistance" (i.e., terrorism), and drawing Fatah back into the cycle of violence" at http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/pdf/hamas_e144.pdf ;and the September 23, 2009 bulletin "Hamas’ smile attack for the West: Ken Livingstone interviews Khaled Mashaal, a case study," at http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/pdf/hamas_e083.pdf.