News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (November 23-30, 2010)

Mahmoud Abbas at the Fatah Revolutionary Council meeting in Ramallah

Mahmoud Abbas at the Fatah Revolutionary Council meeting in Ramallah

Rocket and mortar shell fire into Israeli territory

Rocket and mortar shell fire into Israeli territory

Rocket Fire 2010, Monthly Distribution

Rocket Fire 2010, Monthly Distribution

Mahmoud Abbas at the Fatah Revolutionary Council meeting in Ramallah

Mahmoud Abbas at the Fatah Revolutionary Council meeting in Ramallah

Publications and Remarks in Praise of Shaheeds and Suicide Bombing Attacks

Publications and Remarks in Praise of Shaheeds and Suicide Bombing Attacks

The flyer distributed in Judea and Samaria (Ma'an News Agency, November 22, 2010).

The flyer distributed in Judea and Samaria (Ma'an News Agency, November 22, 2010).

The British Road to Hope convoy waits at the Rafah crossing to enter the Gaza Strip

The British Road to Hope convoy waits at the Rafah crossing to enter the Gaza Strip

Convoy activists welcomed by Ismail Haniya

Convoy activists welcomed by Ismail Haniya


Mahmoud Abbas at the Fatah Revolutionary Council meeting in Ramallah

Mahmoud Abbas at the Fatah Revolutionary Council meeting in Ramallah (Radiosawa.com website, November 24, 2010)

Overview

 This past week the western Negev was quiet.

 Senior Palestinian figures continue criticizing the incentive package proposed by the United States to Israel in return for freezing construction in the settlements. During a Fatah Revolutionary Council meeting, Mahmoud Abbas again stated that if the negotiations failed, the Palestinians would appeal to the United States and the United Nations to recognize a Palestinian state with the 1967 borders. He also strongly rejected the establishment of a Palestinian state with temporary borders.

Important Terrorism Events

Gaza Strip

Rocket and Mortar Shell Fire

 This past week no rocket or mortar shell hits were identified in Israeli territory. Attempts to fire mortar shells resulted in their falling inside the Gaza Strip.

Rockets and Mortar Shells Fired into Israeli Territory 1

Rocket and mortar shell fire into Israeli territory

Rocket Fire 2010, Monthly Distribution *

Rocket Fire 2010, Monthly Distribution

* Rocket hits identified in Israeli territory. A similar number misfire and customarily land inside the Gaza Strip. **As of November 30, 2010.

The British Independent Reports on Hamas’ Policy of Rocket Fire Restraint

 Interviewed by the British Independent, an operative of the so-called "Palestinian resistance" [i.e., terrorist organizations] who was not a Hamas member said that this past year he had been detained by the Hamas security forces in the Gaza Strip while carrying out an attack on Israel. He said that his interrogators emphasized that no attacks were to be carried out from the Gaza Strip because it had been "liberated" and there was a "truce" [hudna] with Israel. He said he had been told that anyone who wanted to carry out such "an operation" should do it from "the West Bank or 1948 territory," that is, within the borders of the State of Israel (Independent, November 28, 2010).2

Senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad Figure Boasts of Range of Organization’s Rockets

 Interviewed by Radio Sawt al-Quds, Abu Ahmed, spokesman for the military-terrorist wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, said that a meeting had recently been held of the commanders of the military wings of the "factions" [i.e., terrorist organizations] in the Gaza Strip to discuss joint operations should there be a war with Israel. He emphasized that should a war break out, they would "use all the force we have and strike places much further away than before." He added that the most important thing today was "to transfer the experience gained [in the Gaza Strip] to the [terrorist] organizations in the West Bank" so that they could strike the settlers and IDF forces there "on a daily basis" (Hamas� Paltoday website, November 25, 2010).

Hamas Reaction to the Killing of Army of Islam Operatives

 Following the killing of two senior operatives of the global jihad-affiliated Army of Islam network, Yussuf Rizqa, advisor to Ismail Haniya, head of the de facto Hamas administration, reported that Haniya had sent letters to the UN secretary general, the Arab League secretary general and Omar Suleiman, head of Egyptian general security. In the letters he claimed that Israel’s policies were "satanic" and aimed at striking the "resistance" [i.e., the Palestinian terrorist organizations] and ensuring the silence of the international community by claiming to fight Al-Qaeda in the Gaza Strip (Hamas� daily Felesteen, November 25, 2010). [Note: The Army of Islam planned to carry out terrorist attacks in the Sinai Peninsula.]

 In his letter to the UN secretary general Ismail Haniya noted the Israel accusations of mortar shells containing phosphorous which were fired from the Gaza Strip. He claimed that the "resistance" [i.e., the terrorist organizations] was a "legitimate liberation movement" which did to operate outside the borders of "Palestine," and did not use weapons containing phosphorous3 (Hamas� daily Felesteen, November 25, 2010).

Judea and Samaria

Counterterrorism Activities

 This past week the Israeli security forces continued their counterterrorism activities, detaining Palestinians suspected of terrorist activities and seizing weapons (IDF Spokesman’s website, November 30, 2010).

 This week an attempt was made to stab Israeli civilians, and stones and Molotov cocktails continued being used to attack Israeli vehicles:

  • Night of November 29: Stones were thrown at two Israeli vehicles southeast of Qalqilya. One Israeli civilian sustained minor injuries and his vehicle was damaged (IDF Spokesman’s website, November 30, 2010).

  • November 28: A Molotov cocktail was thrown at an Israeli vehicle west of Bethlehem. There were no casualties and no damage was done (IDF Spokesman’s website, November 28, 2010).

  • November 25: An IDF force detained a Palestinian who tried to stab Israeli civilians at the Gush Etzion junction (south of Jerusalem). There were no casualties. A number of Palestinians were detained when knives were found in their tools (IDF Spokesman’s website, November 25, 2010).

  • November 25: Stones were thrown at an Israeli vehicle southwest of Bethlehem. There were no casualties but the vehicle was damaged (IDF Spokesman’s website, November 25, 2010).

 The routine Friday demonstrations and riots took place at the traditional friction points of Bila�in, Ni�lin and Nebi Salah (northwest of Ramallah), and at the village of Um-Salmuna (west of Bethlehem). The demonstrators included several dozen Palestinians, Israeli civilians and foreigners. Some of them threw stones at the IDF forces and were detained (IDF Spokesman’s website, November 26, 2010).

Developments in the Gaza Strip

 This past week between 172 and 282 trucks carrying merchandise entered the Gaza Strip. On November 28 2.5 tons of strawberries and 2,000 flowers left the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom crossing, to be exported to European markets (Website of the Israeli government coordinator for the territories, November 30, 2010).

 A spokesman for the Israeli government coordinator for the territories said that since the beginning of the year 78 educational, health and infrastructure projects in the Gaza Strip had been authorized. The projects are funded and supervised by the international community and authorized by the Palestinian Authority (Website of the Israeli government coordinator for the territories, November 30 2010).

The Peace Process

Statements about Negotiations and Freezing Construction in the Settlements

 Palestinian criticism continues of the American proposal to Israel for the continuation of the construction freeze in the Israeli settlements. During a meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Mahmoud Abbas again stressed that he would not accept any American proposal which did not include "the complete freeze on building in the settlements, including Jerusalem." He also had reservations about the incentive package which the United States had promised Israel, saying it had to be "isolated and separate from the negotiating table" (Al-Ayam, November 22, 2010).

 At a meeting of Fatah’s Revolutionary Council on November 24 (without representatives from the Gaza Strip, who were prevented from leaving by Hamas), Mahmoud Abbas said that the Palestinians were still interested in negotiating with Israel on the condition that construction in the settlements was frozen. He again said that if the negotiations failed, the Palestinians would appeal to the United States and the United Nations to recognized a Palestinian state with the 1967 borders. He also strongly rejected the possibility of establishing a Palestinian state with temporary borders (Al-Ayam, November 25, 2010).

Mahmoud Abbas at the Fatah Revolutionary Council meeting in Ramallah
Mahmoud Abbas at the Fatah Revolutionary Council meeting in Ramallah

(Al-Sharq al-Awsat, November 25, 2010).

 Some other remarks made concerning the renewal of direct talks were the following:

  • Saeb Erekat, head of the PLO’s negotiating department, met with various senior European figures, among them Robert Serry, United Nations special coordinator for the Middle East peace process. Erekat demanded "immediate intervention" to put an end to "Israeli dictates and its establishing facts on the ground," the significance of which, he said, was a "perpetuation of the occupation" and the end of the peace process. He was opposed to a solution which included a Palestinian state with temporary borders and claimed that the key to negotiations was an end to construction in the settlements and East Jerusalem (Wafa News Agency, November 27, 2010).

  • Abu Udai, a senior figure in the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (Fatah’s military-terrorist wing), said that unless Israel accepted the Palestinian demands and restored the Palestinians’ so-called "rights," including stopping the "Judaization of Jerusalem," his organization would renew its "armed activity against Israel targets in the ‘occupied territories.’" He said that his organization had acceded to Mahmoud Abbas’ request and suspended its operations to give the peace process a chance, but that Israel had proved it understood "only the language of force" (Qudsnet, November 27, 2010).

Anti-Israel Pro-Terrorism Statements

Remarks from Hamas Leader Khaled Mashaal

 Khaled Mashaal, head of the Hamas political bureau, gave a speech at the founding convention held in Damascus of "The national authority for adherence to Palestinian principles." He noted five basic "principles" which he said most of the Palestinians believed in (Al-Jazeera TV, November 27, 2010):

  • "Every inch of Palestinian territories" must be returned.

  • "The occupation" [i.e., the State of Israel] is not legitimate "in any part of Palestine."

  • Jerusalem is the capital of "Palestine."

  • "The resistance [i.e., violence and terrorism] is the strategic path of the Palestinians for the liberation of Palestine."

  • The future Palestinian state will be part of the Arab-Islamic nation.

 Khaled Mashaal said he opposed peace talks "supervised by America" because they would lead to a waiving of the so-called "rights of the Palestinians." He called on the Palestinian people to rise up against Salam Fayyad and join the "resistance," because "only the armed resistance will ensure that the Palestinian cause remains at the heart of things" (Reuters and Al-Jazeera TV, November 27, 2010).

Senior Palestinian Authority Figures Deny the Jewish People’s Link to
the Western Wall

 Al-Mutawakil Taha, the Palestinian Authority’s deputy information minister, presented the results of "research" which denied the connection between the Jewish people and the Western Wall. He made the remarks following a decision made on November 21, 2010, by the government of the State of Israel to invest 85 million shekels (about $23 million) in renovating the compound in front of the Western Wall (Israeli Prime Minister’s website, November 21, 2010),

 Taha claimed that his "research" "proved" that Israel’s claims to "ownership of the wall of al-Buraq [i.e., the Western Wall] are lies" and that its original right of ownership "belongs to Muslims." He claimed that "the Western Wall was never a place of prayer for Jews" before the Balfour Declaration of 1917, and only Muslim tolerance [sic] allowed them to pray there. He also claimed that the Western Wall was "part of Al-Aqsa mosque and not even one stone has any relation to the [Jewish] Temple." He said that for Muslims, "it has no replacement," and that no Muslim can "give up even a millimeter of the wall or the other holy places" (Website of the Palestinian information ministry, November 22, 2010).

 In response, Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu stated that "The Palestinian Authority Information Ministry’s denial of the link between the Jewish People and the Western Wall is reprehensible and scandalous. The Western Wall has been the Jewish People’s most sacred place for almost 2,000 years, since the destruction of the Second Temple. This is not the only instance in which Palestinians are trying to distort historical facts in order to deny the deep and historic link between the Jewish People and its homeland… The Government of Israel expects Palestinian Authority leaders to disavow and condemn the aforesaid document, refrain from distorting historical facts and encourage the creation of a bridge to peace that will lead to an historic reconciliation between the two peoples" (Israeli Prime Minister’s website, November 25, 2010).

Publications and Remarks in Praise of Shaheeds and Suicide Bombing Attacks

 On November 12, 2010, a sermon was given at the mosque of the Palestinian presidential compound in Ramallah, attended by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. The preacher stated that the Palestinians were determined to follow "the path of the shaheeds" until an independent Palestinian state was established with Jerusalem as its capital. The sermon was broadcast by Palestinian Authority TV, November 23, 2010).

Publications and Remarks in Praise of Shaheeds and Suicide Bombing Attacks
Right: Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas listens to the sermon delivered at the mosque of the Palestinian presidential compound in Ramallah. Left: The preacher says the Palestinians are determined to "follow the path of the shaheeds" until a Palestinian state is established (Palestinian Authority TV, November 23, 2010).

 On November 22, 2010, the Ma’an News Agency reported from Hebron that a flyer was being distributed in Judea and Samaria giving profiles of Palestinians suicide bombers and detailed descriptions of their attacks. The flyer’s headline was "Those who sacrifice their lives to glorify the name of Allah and their sacrifices to glorify the name of Allah." It gives the results of a "research project" called "Palestinian suicide bombers: facts and figures." It was written by Dr. Bassam Yussuf Ibrahim Banath, a Fatah activist from the Hebron district who lectures at the Al-Quds Open University. The research was also used as a thesis proposal for doctoral work at the University of Grenada in Spain. The author noted that suicide bombing terrorism had become part of Palestinian culture.

The flyer distributed in Judea and Samaria (Ma'an News Agency, November 22, 2010).
The flyer distributed in Judea and Samaria
(Ma’an News Agency, November 22, 2010).

 The flyer contained information about suicide bombers (istishhad), including demographic and statistical information. It was rife with praise for killing Israelis in terrorist attacks and the use of suicide bombing terrorism, quotations taken from the "living wills" of prominent suicide bombers in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip. It mentioned the names and organizations of 25 suicide bombers who carried out deadly suicide bombing attacks in Israeli cities. Among them were the bombing of the Caf� Moment in Jerusalem (March 9, 2002, 11 dead and 25 wounded), the attack at the Pat Junction in Jerusalem (June 18, 2002, 19 dead and 50 wounded), the suicide bombing attack carried out by female suicide bomber Hanadi Jaradat at the Maxim Restaurant in Haifa (October 4, 2003, 21 dead and 48 wounded), and others.

Flotillas and Convoys to the Gaza Strip � Update

The British Road to Hope Convoy Enters the Gaza Strip through the Rafah Crossing

 On November 26 the British Road to Hope convoy entered the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing. The following day convoy representatives met with Ismail Haniya, head of the de facto Hamas administration. He said that Hamas did not view the convoy as merely bringing humanitarian assistance, but as sending a "political message" of support for the occupied Palestinian people and its demand to "establish a Palestinian state with the holy city of Jerusalem as its capital" (Road to Hope website, November 26, 2010; Hamas� Palestine-info website, November 28, 2010).

The British Road to Hope convoy waits at the Rafah crossing to enter the Gaza Strip
The British Road to Hope convoy waits at the Rafah crossing to enter the Gaza Strip

(YouTube, November 26, 2010).

Convoy activists welcomed by Ismail Haniya
Convoy activists welcomed by Ismail Haniya

(Hamas� Palestine-info website, November 28, 2010).


1 The statistics do not include the mortar shells fired at IDF soldiers patrolling the border fence which fell inside the Gaza Strip.

2 http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/the-enemy-within-life-under-hamas-2145650.html

3 For further information see the November 28, 2010 bulletin, �Terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip have recently once again made use of phosphorus-containing 120-mm mortar shells� at http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/pdf/ipc_e144.pdf.