Culture and terrorism
Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades forum, July 3, 2009
A website about Jerusalem as the capital of Arab culture
Hamas forum, February 3
A Hamas poster encouraging construction vehicle attacks
A poster commemorating the lone terrorist Ghassan Mustafa Abu Tir
Comment on the first construction vehicle attack perpetrated on July 2, 2008
Moussa Ibrahim Moussa Tit
Culture and terrorism: a Hamas poster released on the occasion of "Day of Jerusalem, Capital of Arab Culture”. Part of the Hamas incitement campaign, the poster encourages construction vehicle attacks (the Hamas forum, March 7, 2009)
1. In 2008 and in the first half of 2009 we have been witness to an increase in terrorist attacks, particularly construction vehicle attacks and stabbings, perpetrated by lone terrorists, without the direct orchestration of Palestinian terrorist organizations (which even avoided claiming responsibility for them). The focus of such terrorist attacks is Jerusalem ; however, they have also spread to other locations in Judea and Samaria and even in Israel . In some cases, solved in 2009 and 2008 by the Israeli security services, it could be said with certainty that those were indeed terrorist attacks perpetrated by lone terrorists, unconnected to each other and without the orchestration and assistance of terrorist organizations. 1 However, question marks remain over other terrorist attacks yet to be solved.
2. It is our assessment that there are several reasons why the lone terrorist attacks are still evident and why they tend to focus on the Jerusalem area.
a. From the operative viewpoint, these kinds of attacks are relatively easy to perpetrate using commonly available means and without careful planning. In contrast, Hamas in the Gaza Strip is having difficulties carrying out terrorist attacks, as are its terrorist networks in Judea and Samaria , resulting from the intensive counter-activities by the Palestinian and Israeli security forces. What is more, the extensive media coverage of those independent acts of terrorism resulted in copycat attacks by other terrorists (as seen in the multiple construction vehicle attacks in Jerusalem ).
b. From the social viewpoint, the lone terrorists emerge from a supportive society and a public atmosphere affected by continuous incitement, whose effectiveness increases particularly during and after such events as Operation Cast Lead. 2
c. From the political viewpoint, the population increasingly feels that the peace process between the Palestinian Authority and Israel is futile, and skepticism grows about the chances for dialogue between Fatah and Hamas. And then there are also the day-to-day hardships of the population, the incessant friction with the IDF, and the worsening economic situation.
d. The increase in the involvement of East Jerusalem residents in terrorist attacks (both independent and perpetrated by local networks) has several unique characteristics, in addition to those described above. 3
3. The present study looks at the reasons and background for the escalation and continuation of the lone terrorist attacks, divided into the following sections:
a. Belligerent rhetoric from Palestinian Authority and Fatah officials
b. The lone terrorist attacks as viewed by Hamas and Fatah
c. Jerusalem as a hotspot of incitement by Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, and Fatah
d. Appendix: Noteworthy terrorist attacks perpetrated in our assessment by lone terrorists in 2009
A. Belligerent rhetoric from Palestinian Authority and Fatah officials
4. The public discourse in the Palestinian Authority-administered territories makes increasing use of belligerent expressions which suggest the possibility of a return to the alternative of violence and terrorism. Palestinian Authority and Fatah officials employ such phrases as "resistance is still an option”, "return to the armed struggle”, "a political stalemate will lead to the path of struggle”, and so forth. Such terminology is occasionally heard on the media, at political gatherings, in speeches by Palestinian leaders, and in interviews. Several examples of such statements from recent months follow:
a. In a speech given at a Fatah convention in Tulkarm, Abu Alaa (Ahmed Qurei) said that "as far as Fatah is concerned, resistance in its various legitimate forms is still an option, because the dialogue is a means rather than an end unto itself”. In his speech, he lashed out against Israel claiming that it was oppressing the Palestinians and was responsible for killing and uprooting them (Maan website, April 8, 2009).
b. Speaking at a mass support rally for the PLO (February 25), Nablus governor Jamal Muheisin said: "Fatah is ready to resume the armed struggle should the political dialogue fail”. At the same rally, Haytham al-Halabi, the Fatah secretary in Nablus , mentioned that Fatah had led the Palestinian armed struggle as well as the Al-Aqsa Intifada (Al-Hayat al-Jadida, February 26, 2009).
c. According to an article on the Maan website (April 21), an intifada in Judea and Samaria against the Israeli settlers is only a matter of time. On the Fatah website , surfers called to resume terrorist attacks against the settlers. Some surfers even criticized Abu Mazen’s ongoing refusal to resume anti-Israeli terrorist activities.
d. A senior Al-Aqsa Brigades official in Fatah was quoted as saying that the number of terrorist attacks on the Israeli home front would increase in light of the IDF’s continuing activities against the Palestinians. "The crimes perpetrated by the occupation are forcing all the military wings to respond with force”, he said (Qudsnet website, April 5, 2009).
e. Tulkarm governor Talal Dweikat gave a speech at a convention in Tulkarm for the " Jerusalem , Capital of Arab Culture 2009” events. He said that Jerusalem was being "Judaized” by the Israeli government, and that Netanyahu’s government was ruling out any negotiations and continuing a policy of oppressing the Palestinian people. He said that with that in mind, the Palestinian Authority and Fatah had all the options necessary to continue facing the "occupation” and to establish an independent Palestinian state, including "the weapon of resistance” (Al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 4, 2009).
f. Mazen Izz al-Din, the chief of Political and National Indoctrination in the Palestinian Authority’s National Security, also spoke at the same convention in Tulkarm. He called upon Israel not to force the Palestinian Authority into taking up arms against it once again (Al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 4, 2009).
5. These old-new voices still do not reflect the main political line led by Abu Mazen, and they are still heard even as the Palestinian security services conduct intensive counter-activities against Hamas’s military and civilian infrastructures. However, their very existence should be noted, seeing as they find sympathetic ears among the local population of Judea and Samaria . That population continues to face the hardships of day-to-day life (which have become worse because of the economic crisis) and constantly finds itself at odds with the IDF and sometimes with the Jewish settlers as well. Furthermore, the residents of Judea and Samaria have had enough with what they perceive as futile attempts to promote the peace process, and are frustrated by the inability and unwillingness of Fatah and Hamas to promote national dialogue and bridge the (seemingly widening) political and social gaps between Judea and Samaria on one hand and the Gaza Strip on the other. With the resulting tension and frustration in Palestinian society, the occasional acts of violence by lone terrorists are viewed as a legitimate alternative to the policy led by Abu Mazen, particularly in such a sensitive and problematic site as Jerusalem (even if the population in Judea and Samaria is still not prepared for popular uprising or the renewal of a large-scale violent confrontation).
6. The Fatah movement, Hamas’s opponent and the would-be political alternative to the path of "resistance” (violence and terrorism), is undergoing a profound internal crisis. The younger generation of Fatah seeks to take the center stage and seize the movement’s institutions, so far unsuccessfully. That generation is considered to be more militant, supporting the armed struggle and demanding to integrate the message of armed struggle into Fatah’s ideology. For young Fatah members, the alternative of terrorism may appear to be a way out, even though that is not the official policy of the Palestinian Authority and is not orchestrated by the Fatah leadership. Belligerent sentiments may be found in statements made by surfers on Fatah’s website after the lone terrorist attacks (see below).
7. The internal Palestinian and political circumstances in Judea and Samaria therefore contribute to an inciting public atmosphere, providing independent terrorists with a convenient social backdrop and a motive to take action, even if not called to do so directly by Fatah, the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, or other terrorist organizations. Such a motive among young people in Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria may be formed on the personal or the ideological level (Islamic and even nationalist Palestinian motives). The lone terrorists experience their environment directly, feeling the hardships, aware of the prevailing mood, in touch with media and incitement. For a young Palestinian, that may be enough to sympathize with a militant message with which he is intensively indoctrinated on the media, on the street, in the mosque, or in the education system, and take action using available means (a car, a construction vehicle, a knife). Such means do not necessitate ingenuity or careful planning by the terrorist organizations.
8. Furthermore, the lone terrorist is perceived as a hero in his family, his clan, his street, and his village. He is also perceived as a hero by Fatah, as well as by Hamas and the other Palestinian terrorist organizations, which, by their incitement, provide drive to lone terrorists. Furthermore, the Palestinian Authority, too, does not condemn lone terrorists and sometimes even assists families whose sons were killed or whose homes were destroyed. If the terrorist is killed, he will become a martyr ("shahid”), the family will receive money from the Palestinian Authority and from the charitable societies ( da’wah ) as well as moral and practical support from the environment. For example, Hatem Abdel Qader, PM Salam Fayad’s advisor on Jerusalem affairs, said that the Palestinian Authority was going to assist the family of the terrorist from Sur Baher, whose house was destroyed by Israel (Maan website, April 9, 2009). Hatem Abdel Qader previously said that he was willing to provide legal assistance to East Jerusalem families whose houses were to be demolished.
The perpetrator of the first construction vehicle attack portrayed
as a hero on the Fatah forum
Posters issued by Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades commemorating Hussam Dawiyat, from Sur Baher, the perpetrator of the first construction vehicle attack on Jerusalem’s Shivtei Israel street, who became a role model for additional construction vehicle attacks (July 2, 2008). Three people were killed and about forty were wounded in the attack. The posters refer to the terrorist as a "shahid” and "mujahed” (holy warrior) (Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades forum, July 3, 2009)
B. The lone terrorist attacks as viewed by Hamas and Fatah
9. Hamas has expressed its satisfaction with the prevalence of terrorist attacks in Jerusalem and with the attacks carried out by lone terrorists. However, Hamas, which seeks to seize control of Judea and Samaria and turn them into a staging area for terrorist attacks against Israel, does not settle for that, taking the trouble to explain in its Gaza-based periodical that in the movement’s view, merely lone attacks are not enough and should not be viewed as the sole expression of the armed struggle against Israel. Spokesmen interviewed by the Hamas organ expect that lone terrorist attacks will escalate to become an organized, official military activity of the "resistance” (that is, Hamas and the other terrorist organizations) in Judea and Samaria .
10. On April 21, Felesteen, a daily published by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, featured an article by Muhammad al-Ayyubi, titled: "Solitary resistance—the beginning of a revolution or just a passing fad?” The article argues that "solitary resistance operations” 4 have become more frequent in the West Bank, in "occupied Jerusalem ”, and in Israel ("the lands occupied since 1948” ). The article cites as examples a construction vehicle attack perpetrated in Jerusalem by a young Palestinian, the terrorist attack by a teenager in Beersheba , and an axe attack in Bethlehem (possibly referring to the terrorist attack in Bat Ayin). Those attacks, according to the article, take place in various geographical locations and using different means, causing much concern to "the Israeli occupation”.
11. The article contains interviews with several political commentators who address the lone terrorist attacks and attempt to explain them within the larger context of military terrorist activity against Israel . Their main points follow:
a. Dr. Abd al-Sattar Qassem, a lecturer on political science in the Al-Najah University in Nablus, associated with Hamas: 5no organized "resistance” is conducted in the West Bank, and the terrorist attacks carried out using construction vehicles and knives are the result of lack of [organized] resistance. He compares lone terrorist attacks to what is known in Arabic as (in Arabic) "knife revolution” of the 1990s, when individuals started taking initiative into their own hands. He expects that, sooner or later, it is possible that some organizations, such as Hamas, will take the initiative and decide to launch military operations in the West Bank , "making it possible to reverse the equation”. According to Abd al-Sattar Qassem, this requires the establishment of a secret organizational network, "without which it would be impossible to carry on with the operations”. The current lone attacks, in his view, are no substitute for organized military activities, because while they hurt the "Israeli occupation” and receive media attention, they lack the ability to remain consistent over time.
b. A publicist named Imad Salah al-Din: the increasing "solitary resistance operations” do not herald an all-out military "explosion” of the "resistance”. He criticizes those elements in the West Bank (possibly referring to Fatah) which support the two-state solution, which represent solitary activities as an alternative to military action, and which do not want that alternative to compete with the other alternatives (that is, the alternative offered by Hamas—large-scale terrorist operations in Judea and Samaria). In his opinion, the increase in lone terrorist attacks results from the tremendous pressure exerted on the population and from its feeling of oppression. He predicts that in the near future those activities will develop in terms of their scale, quality, and modus operandi.
c. Political commentator Adel Samara: the background for "the rekindling of the flame of resistance” is "the continuation of Israeli occupation and extremism”, the dead-end peace process, and the difficult economic situation of the West Bank population. He believes that those acts are not carried out by single individuals because "resistance”, as he puts it, "alternates between dying down and growing stronger”. He expects that "the ongoing occupation”, "the existence of an extremist government in Israel ”, and the continuation of lone terrorist attacks in Jerusalem "will motivate the people to further escalate the resistance”.
12. The daily Felesteen published an article by Hamas MP Mahmoud al-Ramhi, titled: "Will a third intifada break out in the Palestinian territories?” The article reports the existence of "personal efforts by fervent youngsters” to react to "the Israeli oppression”, the settling activities, and IDF’s roadblocks. The author is confident that "the pressure that the West Bank is currently under will result in an explosion…” that will bring about a third intifada (Felesteen, May 1, 2009).
C. Jerusalem as a hotspot of incitement by Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, and Fatah
The " Jerusalem , Capital of Arab Culture 2009” campaign
13. Numerous organizations, groups, and personalities in the Palestinian Authority-administered territories, in Israel, and in the Arab and Muslim world take advantage of the highly charged and sensitive issue of Jerusalem to promote incessant anti-Israeli incitement and to provoke East Jerusalem residents (and Palestinians in general).
14. In the past two months, the Palestinian Authority and the Hamas administration in the Gaza Strip have been running a cultural-political campaign titled " Jerusalem , Capital of Arab Culture 2009” . The event is held every year since 1996, when the culture ministers of Arab countries embraced the European custom of naming a "capital of culture” every year. As part of the events, the Palestinian Authority organizes art workshops, exhibitions, shows, sports competitions, and music nights in East Jerusalem neighborhoods and elsewhere in Judea and Samaria . Those events are also used for anti-Israeli incitement.
A website about Jerusalem as the capital of Arab culture, created by
the Palestinian Authority (http://www.alquds2009.org)
15. The flurry of activity by the Hamas administration in the Gaza Strip with respect to the Jerusalem culture campaign is designed to harness it for its own purposes. The events are used for anti-Israeli incitement and encouragement of terrorist attacks against Israel, making use of various conspiracy theories, as usual: the Jerusalem municipality’s decision to demolish illegal houses in the neighborhood of Silwan is portrayed as a "scheme” for the "Judaization of Jerusalem”, while archaeological digs carried out by Israel are portrayed as a "plot” to "destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque”, which is supposedly in danger.
"Al-Aqsa in danger”, a battle cry resounding throughout the Arab and Muslim world
(Hamas forum, February 3)
A Hamas poster encouraging construction vehicle attacks, published on the occasion
of the "Jerusalem , Capital of Arab Culture” campaign (Hamas forum, March 7)
A poster commemorating the lone terrorist Ghassan Mustafa Abu Tir, from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Umm Tuba. The terrorist perpetrated a construction vehicle attack on July 22, 2008, injuring 19 people. Titled "Construction Vehicles—The [Israelis’] Next Horror”, the text on the poster reads: "The family of Abu Tir accompanies its pure son, Ghassan Mustafa Abu Tir, who carried out the heroic attack which caused injuries to 19 Zionists, as a groom to his wedding with the virgins of Paradise” (Hamas forum, July 26, 2009)
16. In the examples that follow, Hamas explicitly calls to perpetrate terrorist attacks in Jerusalem :
a. The April 2009 issue of the Hamas periodical Filastin al-Muslimah, 6 dedicated to Jerusalem , featured an editorial titled: "We must win the campaign for Jerusalem !” The article was written by Rafat Ahmed Salah, most likely Rafat Mara, the Hamas information chief in Lebanon . Following is a translation of one paragraph from the article:
"… The forces of resistance [i.e., Hamas and the other Palestinian terrorist organizations] must carry out actions [i.e., terrorist attacks] in the city of Jerusalem , to send a strong message to [the forces of] the [Israeli] occupation and to fail [the occupation’s] plans [regarding Jerusalem ]. In recent years, the Palestinian people has more than once defeated the [forces of the] Zionist occupation. The Palestinian people and its resistance [i.e., terrorism] have managed to send a strong message to the occupation [i.e., Israel ] on more than one level. Nowadays, the Palestinians are required to defeat the occupation [as part] of the campaign [for] Jerusalem , because a Palestinian retreat [from the path of "resistance”] would be a disgrace. All options should remain open in this campaign, including [waging] a bloody battle and dying as martyrs on the gates of the neighborhoods of Silwan, Shuafat, and Sheikh Jarah”.
b. Ahmed Abu Halabiya, a Hamas operative and head of the Jerusalem Committee in the Palestinian legislative council, gave a speech at a rally held in Gaza on September 27, 2008 on the occasion of Jerusalem Day by Hamas and the Islamic Jihad. In the speech, he called to perpetrate suicide bombings ( ‘amaliyyat istishhadiyya ) in Jerusalem in order to stop the "Zionist aggression” against the Palestinian people. He noted that those attacks should follow the example of the terrorist attack in Jerusalem (possibly referring to a construction vehicle attack which took place on September 22, 2008, several days before the rally) and the Merkaz Harav Yeshiva attack. 7
The Palestinian Authority
17. The Palestinian Authority is using the "Jerusalem, Capital of Arab Culture 2009” events as well as local incidents in Jerusalem such as the demolition of houses to reinforce the messages about the struggle for Jerusalem; however, unlike Hamas, it does so without explicitly calling to perpetrate terrorist attacks. For example:
a. Following media reports about Israel ‘s intention to demolish illegal houses in Jerusalem , the Palestinian government called on the Palestinian public to come to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on April 15, 2009, and resist attempts by Jewish extremists to take over the mosque compound on the Temple Mount . The Palestinian struggle was led by Dr. Rafiq al-Husseini, the director of the PA Chairman’s office.
b. Palestinian Authority officials announced that "an actual war” was being waged in Jerusalem against its population and its holy sites. Noteworthy in that context was a statement made by Abu Alaa (February 24, 2009), that the Palestinians would not sit idly by and watch Israel evacuate whole neighborhoods, and that they considered valid all options to prevent Israel from realizing its intentions.
c. Palestinian Authority officials use such false descriptions as "ethnic cleansing” when describing the demolition of illegally-built houses and other activities carried out by Israel in Jerusalem . Such statements were made by Sheikh Taysir Tamimi, the president of the Supreme Shar’i Court , Mustafa Barghouti, member of the Legislative Council, and other figures. Senior clerics also continue spreading the false incitement that Israel supposedly jeopardizes the Temple Mount mosques.
18. The main political-propaganda line of the Palestinian Authority and Fatah, led by Abu Mazen, does not explicitly call for terrorist attacks against Israel , not even in Jerusalem . However, Fatah’s online forums published expressions of support of terrorist attacks perpetrated in Jerusalem , which, in our assessment, reflect the sentiments of those operatives who do not sympathize with the main political line. Particularly popular are the construction vehicle attacks in Jerusalem ("the construction vehicle war”). Several examples follow:
Noteworthy terrorist attacks perpetrated in our
assessment by lone terrorists in 2009
The Jerusalem area
1. Construction vehicle attack (March 5): In the afternoon, a construction vehicle driver deliberately hit a police car near Jerusalem ‘s ‘Teddy’ Stadium. The driver brought down the vehicle’s bucket on the police car, which had been dispatched to the scene due to a car accident and was parked on the side of the road. The construction vehicle crossed the junction, hit the police car several times, and rolled it across the road. The police car was smashed against a streetlight and a bus standing on the opposite lane. The two policemen were lightly injured. The driver started driving backward, when he was shot by three police officers and a taxi cab driver. The construction vehicle driver was severely injured and died on the way to the hospital. This was a deliberate construction vehicle attack perpetrated by Mar’i al-Rodeida, 24, from Beit Hanina, northern Jerusalem . According to relatives, the perpetrator of the terrorist attack did not belong to any organization and was not considered to be particularly religious.
2. Car attack (April 7): Three police officers were lightly injured when a terrorist from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber ran down police officers standing at a roadblock near a traffic circle in the neighborhood of Sur Baher. The terrorist, Iyad Uweisat, was shot dead by the police officers (Haaretz, April 8). The terrorist attack took place while police forces were demolishing a floor in the house of Hussam Dawiyat, a terrorist who had perpetrated a construction vehicle attack in Jerusalem on July 2, 2008.
3. Car attack (April 18): A Palestinian driving a Mercedes attempted to run down two border guards at a roadblock near the entrance of the village of Hizma (northeast of Jerusalem ). The car came from the opposite lane, hitting the two border guards and the taxi cab they were busy checking. One of the border guards was moderately injured, the other was lightly injured. The terrorist is Muhammad Abedin Abd al-Salaam Moussa, 37, from the village of Azariya , a PIJ operative.
4. Stabbing attack (April 18): A young Palestinian with a knife attacked four Indian tourists in Via Dolorosa ( Jerusalem ‘s Old City ). One of the tourists sustained light injuries. The suspect escaped and was later arrested by the police.
5. Stabbing attack (April 2): A Palestinian terrorist infiltrated into the town of Bat Ayin , where he stabbed to death one teenager (Shlomo Nativ) and injured another. The terrorist was able to flee the scene. On April 14, following an intelligence lead, Israeli security forces arrested Moussa Ibrahim Moussa Tit, a 26 year old Palestinian from the Palestinian village of Khirbet Safa (about a mile south of Bat Ayin) on suspicion of perpetrating the attack. In his interrogation by the Israel Security Agency, he admitted to perpetrating the attack, reenacted it, and even handed over the murder weapons (a knife and an axe). His interrogation showed that he was not acting on behalf of a terrorist organization and that he perpetrated the terrorist attack, which he had planned in advance, "due to religious reasons” and his desire to die as a martyr.
Moussa Ibrahim Moussa Tit, the terrorist who perpetrated the Bat Ayin terrorist attack, holding his last will. Written on a piece of paper, the sloppily-worded will was composed by the terrorist himself. It is not similar in content to other wills dictated by terrorist organizations to suicide bombers, which included verses from the Quran as well as detailed descriptions of the suicide bomber and the target of his attack. Judging by the will’s contents, it appears that, while the writer is a pious Muslim, he does not have extensive Islamic education.
6. Stabbing attack (April 17): A Palestinian armed with a knife infiltrated into the town of Beit Hagai (southern Mount Hebron) in order to perpetrate a stabbing attack. In response, one of the residents shot him dead. One local resident was lightly injured. The Palestinian was Hejazi Muhammad Sadr, 18, from Hebron (Palestinian TV, April 17). It appears that the incident was a lone terrorist attack. A (probably fictitious) organization called Army of Jerusalem claimed responsibility and threatened more acts of terrorism (April 17, PNN website).
7. Shooting attack (April 4): A young Bedouin woman from the Negev Bedouin town of Hura arrived at the guard post of a Border Guard base at the Shoket junction (in the vicinity of Beersheba ) and started shooting at the post. There were no casualties. She was shot dead by a Border Guard officer who came from the direction of the junction. The terrorist, 16 year old Basma Awad al-Nabari, wrote in notebooks found in her home that she wanted to be a martyr "because of what they did to the Palestinians in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead” (April 4, ynet).
8. Stabbing attack (May 3): a soldier was stabbed in his neck while getting off a bus in Ramat Gan . He was moderately injured. The suspect fled the scene. The next day, May 4, a Palestinian was arrested for allegedly perpetrating the attack and handed over to the security forces for interrogation (Ynet, May 4). The identity of the perpetrator and his motives are still unclear.
1 For example, upon solving the stabbing attacks which took place in 2009 in Bat Ayin and Beit Hagai, Israeli security forces discovered that the attacks had been perpetrated by independent terrorists. Several terrorist attacks which took place in 2008 were also shown to have been perpetrated without the direct coordination of terrorist organizations, for example: the murder at Merkaz Harav Yeshiva (March 2008); the first construction vehicle attack in downtown Jerusalem (July 2); the construction vehicle attack which followed (July 22); and the car attack (September 2008) were all perpetrated by lone terrorists. In addition, there were some terrorist attacks perpetrated or supported by local networks, without the coordination and assistance of terrorist organizations.
2 The incitement is done not only by Palestinian media but also by Arab satellite channels, mainly Al Jazeera. The Internet also plays an increasing role in the incitement campaign, as do the mosques, that are hotspots of incitement.
3 For an assessment of the reasons behind the increasing number of terrorist attacks in Jerusalem , see our October 6, 2008 Information Bulletin : " Jerusalem as a focus for terrorist attacks: increase in terrorist activity in Jerusalem and in the involvement of East Jerusalem residents”.
4 ‘Amaliyyat al-muqawama al-fardiyya, in the original.
5 Dr. Abd al-Sattar Qassem is a reputable lecturer associated with Hamas. During the Palestinian terror campaign (2004), he published articles justifying suicide bombing attacks and calling to kidnap Israeli soldiers as bargaining chips. In December 2004, the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center published a thesis paper by one of his students which justifies suicide bombing attacks ("The Development of the Concept of Istishhad in Palestinian Society”). He has been detained several times by Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
6 In the past, Filastin al-Muslimah, Hamas’s important organ, was published in Britain . Its publication was terminated for about six months and resumed in April 2009. It is our assessment that it is still published in Britain .
7 http://www.alhourriah.ps/ar/?page=det&id=1004, September 27, 2008; Al-Manar, September 26, 2008.