Mahmoud Abbas at a meeting of Fatah's Revolutionary
Rocket and mortar shell fire into Israeli territory
Rocket Fire 2010, Monthly Distribution
The logo of the Canadian organization
The Felesteen article as it appeared on the Internet, July 21, 2020.
Mahmoud Abbas at a meeting of Fatah’s Revolutionary
Council in Ramallah
(Al-Quds, July 21, 2010).
This past week there was an increase in rocket fire attacks on western Negev population centers. Five rocket hits were identified near towns and villages. In response Israeli Air Force planes attacked three terrorist targets.
The international community is still probing the Mavi Marmara flotilla and its outcome, and the UN has appointed two committees to investigate the events. Other naval and overland convoys are planned for the near future. The Lebanese ships have not yet set sail, despite announcements by the flotilla’s organizers that they will leave in the near future
The Palestinian Authority continues dealing with direct negotiations with Israel. So far it has been decided to turn the subject over to the Arab monitoring committee and possibly to the Arab League.
The Gaza Strip
This past week there was an increase in the number of rocket attacks on western Negev population centers. A total of five rocket hits were identified near towns and villages, four of them on July 24. There were no casualties and no damage was reported.
On July 20 a mortar shell was fired at an IDF force engaged in routine patrols along the security fence. The shell fell inside the Gaza Strip. A network calling itself Supporters of the Sunnah in the Wings of Jerusalem claimed responsibility for the attack (Al-Fallujah forum, July 21, 2010).
On July 21 an IDF force opened fire at a rocket-launching squad northeast of the Karni crossing. The Palestinian media reported that two Palestinians were killed and seven wounded. One of those killed was an operative of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s military wing and the other belonged to the military wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (Safa News Agency, Ma�an News Agency and the organizations’ websites, July 21, 2010) .
Rockets and Mortar Shells Fired into Israeli Territory 1
Rocket Fire 2010, Monthly Distribution *
*Rocket hits identified in Israeli territory. A similar number misfire and
Israeli Air Force Response
In response to the rocket fire, on the night of July 25 Israeli Air Force aircraft hit a weapons manufacturing site and two tunnels in the southern Gaza Strip used for smuggling (IDF Spokesman, July 26, 2010). The Palestinian media reported that there were no casualties (Hamas� Paltoday website, Ma�an News Agency, July 26, 2010).
Judea and Samaria
The Israeli security forces continued their counterterrorism activities, detaining Judean and Samarian Arabs suspected of involvement in terrorist activities and seizing weapons. Riots continued at various sites in Judea and Samaria, and a Border Policeman and female demonstrator sustained minor injuries.
On July 25 an IDF force detained five Palestinians southeast of Nablus. In their possession were improvised weapons, two Molotov cocktails and a knife. The five set fire to tires on the road in order to draw IDF forces to the area, hiding nearby and planning to attack them.
Violent Confrontations between Israeli Settlers and Judean and Samarian Arabs
During an IDF activity to enforce the building freeze in the community of Bracha (southwest of Nablus) violent confrontations broke out between local residents and the security forces. Confrontations broke out later with Palestinians and four settlers were wounded, one of them seriously. Three Arabs were also wounded (IDF Spokesman, July 26, 2010).
Flotillas to the Gaza Strip
Investigation Committees Appointed to Investigate the Mavi Marmara� Flotilla
The international community continues probing the Mavi Marmara flotilla and its outcome, and the UN has appointed two committees to investigate the events:
The Secretary General’s committee will examine the findings of the Israeli and Turkish investigations. It will be composed of an Israeli representative, a Turkish representative and a representative from the international community,� possibly Geoffrey Palmer, former New Zealand prime minister (Israel’s morning daily Yediot Aharonot, July 25, 2010).
The UN Human Rights Council’s fact-finding committee will "investigate violations of international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law, resulting from the Israeli attacks on the flotilla of ships carrying humanitarian assistance.�2 The committee members will be Judge Karl T. Hudson-Phillips from Trinidad, who served as a judge of the International Criminal Court; Sir Desmond de Silva from the United Kingdom, who was chief prosecutor of the UN-backed court in Sierra Leon; and Mary Shanthi Dairiam from Malaysia, a member of the UN committee on the elimination of discriminations against women.3 Note: The UN Human Rights Council was the body which issued the Goldstone Report after Operation Cast Lead in 2009.
The Palestinian Authority and Hamas welcomed the committee’s appointment. Fatah spokesman Ahmed Assaf said that Fatah demanded that "the Israeli war criminals [sic] be tried in a court of law for their crimes against Palestinians, Arabs, Turks and others who supported the Palestinians" (Wafa News Agency, July 23, 2010). Ismail Haniya, head of the de facto Hamas administration, speaking at the Islamic University in Gaza City, praised the committee’s appointment but said that Hamas would prefer an investigation committee which would deter Israel from attacking other aid ships, try the "leaders of the occupation" in an international court and help lift the siege of the Gaza Strip (Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV, July 25, 2010).
Ismail Haniya, head of the de facto Hamas administration, speaks as the
Islamic University in Gaza (Hamas� Palestine-info website, July 25, 2010).
Naval and Overland Aid Convoys to the Gaza Strip � Update
On July 25 Yasser Qashlaq, the organizer of the Lebanese flotilla to the Gaza Strip, again claimed that the legal procedures were in their final stages and that the ships would set sail in the coming days (DayPress, July 22, 2010); they are, however, still in� port.4 A source involved in the sailing of the ship Nagi al-Ali claimed that while preparations were advancing, there were still technical delays, and it might be a matter of weeks before the ships sailed (Agence France-Presse, July 24, 2010).
In response to the issue of the Lebanese ships, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that if the ships did not accompany the Israeli Navy to the port of Ashdod, Israel would have no choice but to halt them on the high seas (Ynet, July 23, 2010). The organizers of the flotilla responded as follows:
Yasser Qashlaq said that Israel’s threats to attack the two ships did not frighten them and that they would show "the confusion and fear of the enemy of the ships [which came] to break the siege." He added that if Israel tried to attack the ships, "a suit will be brought against Ehud Barak in Poland" (DayPress, July 25, 2010).
Rima Farah, spokeswoman for the ship Maryam, which will carry only women and which is currently anchored in the port of Tripoli, claimed that the sailing date would be determined at the appropriate time and that "Israeli threats will not frighten us" (Al-Bayan Center website, July 25, 2010).
Tony Blair, the International Quartet’s emissary to the Middle East, urged the organizers of the Lebanese aid ships to reconsider their plans to sail to the Gaza Strip. He repeated the statement of the UN Undersecretary General that such convoys ran the risk of leading to escalation (Jerusalem Post, July 25, 2010)
Other initiatives continue to organize naval and overland convoys to the Gaza Strip:
Canada � A Canadian organization calling itself the Gaza Freedom March has begun collecting contributions to send a Canadian ship to the Gaza Strip, part of Freedom Flotilla 2. One of the organizers said that they did not intend to confront Israel and that they did not support Hamas, but rather the residents of the Gaza Strip (The National Post, July 15, 2010).
The logo of the Canadian organization
(Organization website, July 27, 2010).
Venezuela � According to unverified information, a ship sent by Venezuelan President Chavez carrying 6,000 tons of food is expected to reach the port of El Arish in the middle of August 2010 (Al-Masrawy, July 20, 2010).
The Arab Parliament � Hada Fathi, Arab Parliament spokesman, said that the Parliament intended to send an overland convoy to the Gaza Strip during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan; the convoy would be entitled Ramadan al-Karim. He said the Parliament had appointed a committee to organize both naval and overland aid convoys to the Gaza Strip (Safa News Agency, July 20, 2010).
Tunisia � Salman al-Harfi, Palestinian Authority representative in Tunisia, said that in the coming days Tunisia would send an overland aid convoy to the Gaza Strip. It could bring food for the Ramadan fast (Wafa News Agency, July 24, 2010).
Jordan � The organizers of the Jordanian aid convoy Ansar 1, whose entrance to the Gaza Strip was prevented last week by the Egyptian authorities, said that they intended to join the international convoy expected to leave for the Gaza Strip in September (Hamas� Palestine-info website, July 22, 2010).
In view of the many initiatives to organize naval and overland aid convoys to the Gaza Strip, the UN Undersecretary General said that did they not aid the Gaza Strip or solve its economic problems, and moreover presented the danger of a useless escalation. He said that there were formal land crossings to the Gaza Strip and that it was preferable that the aid pass through them (UN website, July 21, 2010). Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri criticized the undersecretary’s remarks and claimed that it was "a scandal which reflected a UN-Israeli plot." He also claimed that such remarks provided Israel with cover to continue carrying out "acts of piracy�against pro-Palestinian activists at sea" (Hamas� Palestine-info website, July 24, 2010).
Developments in the Gaza Strip
Some of the Medicine Brought to the Gaza Strip Passed Expiry Date
An Al-Jazeera TV correspondent in the Gaza Strip revealed that the heads of the health ministry of the de facto Hamas administration in the Gaza Strip were angry because 70% of all the medicines which were brought into the Gaza Strip from various countries, especially the Arab countries, could not be used. They were either spoiled or had passed their expiry dates by months and sometimes years. It was also reported that one of the convoys had brought useless dialysis machines. The report was also quoted by Hamas de facto administration-affiliated Felesteen (Al-Jazeera TV, July 20 2010).
The Felesteen article as it appeared on the Internet, July 21, 2020.
Claims that Israel’s Easing Restrictions on the Gaza Strip
Have Led to a Crisis in the "Tunnel Industry"
Tunnel owners in the Gaza Strip claim that Israel’s easing of restrictions on the Gaza Strip have led to a crisis in the tunnel industry. The owners, who have ties to Hamas, claim that many tunnels were forced to freeze operations and that they are afraid to smuggle goods into the Gaza Strip lest they suffer financial losses. However, there is an increasing number of reports that smugglers are breaking through the iron wall erected by Egypt along its border with the Gaza Strip (Al-Haqiqa al-Dauliya and The New York Times, July 24, 2010).
The Islamization of the Gaza Strip Continues
Since Hamas took over the Gaza Strip it has promoted the idea of establishing an Islamic state through legislation, ordinances and various rules of behavior compatible with the spirit of Islam. The Gaza Strip’s religious endowment ministry recently instituted a publicity campaign dealing with "proper behavior on the beaches," part of its "Yes to Morality 2" offensive. As part of the campaign preachers and sermonizers will patrol the beaches and distribute to vacationers brochures explaining correct behavior. Posters will be hung in the mosques and on the life guards’ booths, and there will be evening meetings to explain the issue (Religious endowments ministry website, July 25, 2010).
The Peace Process
Decision to Hold Direct Negotiations with Israel To Be Transferred
to the Arab Monitoring Committee
The Palestinian Authority continues to argue over negotiations with Israel. Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said in a speech to Fatah’s Revolutionary Council on July 21 that the Palestinians would not enter into direct negotiations with Israel and that they would consult with the other Arab countries at a meeting of the Arab Monitoring Committee on July 29. He said that if a positive development occurred before July 28, they would report it to the committee, and if not, then the Palestinians would continue holding proximity talks until the end of their mandate in September. According to unverified reports, the Arab Monitoring Committee intends to transfer the decision to the Arab League conference on September 16 (Al-Yawm Al-Saba�a, July 26, 2010).
Mahmoud Abbas again said that Israel had not done what was demanded of it by the proximity talks and that until building in the settlements had been frozen there would be no direct negotiations (Wafa News Agency, July 22, 2010). Muhammad Dahlan, a member of Fatah’s Central Committee, said that Fatah wanted to see genuine progress regarding borders and security and a complete freeze of building in the settlements and East Jerusalem, including that resulting from natural growth (Wafa News Agency, July 20 2010).
Israeli Products Still Boycotted
The Palestinian Authority continues to enforce its presidential edict forbidding Palestinians to buy goods manufactured in the settlements. The PA’s ministry of economy announced that by July 31 all the shop owners in Judea and Samaria had to "clean" their shelves of products manufactured in the settlements. After that date "any shop owner who violated the edict would be held responsible under the law (Al-Quds, July 26, 2010).
The Global Jihad
It was recently reported that the Moroccan security forces captured an 11-man terrorist squad of residents of Casablanca and Oujda. The squad was headed by Yahya al-Hindi, a Palestinian with ties to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, who had been in contact with several Moroccans for the past three years. Al-Hindi, influenced by the ideology of Al-Qaeda, learned how to manufacture and detonate explosives and arrived in Morocco this past May. The squad planned to carry out a number of attacks in Morocco (Agence France-Presse, June 22, 2010; The Arab Maghreb Agency, June 21, 2010); posterous.com, July 2, 2010).
1 The statistics do not include the mortar shells fired at IDF soldiers patrolling the border fence which fell inside the Gaza Strip.
4 For further information see the July 25, 2010 bulletin, �Yasser Qashlaq, the Lebanese flotilla organizer, claims the ships will soon set sail for the Gaza Strip. Syria and Hezbollah are involved. Considering Qashlaq’s anti-Semitic stance and links to terrorism, he apparently wants a violent confrontation (possiblycontrary to the wishes of many of the passengers)�