One of three 122mm Grad rockets fired into Israeli territory from the Sinai Peninsula (Photo courtesy of the Israel Police, April 5, 2012).
One of the rockets which hit Eilat (Photo courtesy of the Israel Police, April 5, 2012).
The motorbike the two terrorist operatives were riding, hit by the Israeli Air Force (Qudsmedia.com website, April 7, 2012)
The transformers are delivered from Israel to the Gaza Strip power plant (Website of the Israeli government coordinator for the territories, April 9, 2012)
Khaled Mashaal speaks at a rally for Jerusalem in Doha (Qudsmedia.com website, April 7, 2012)
The Miles of Smiles 11 convoy enters the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing (Qudsmedia.com website, April 5, 2012).
- Rocket fire attacking Israel's south continues: three rockets were fired at Eilat, Israel's southernmost city, from the Sinai Peninsula (which has apparently become the venue of choice for the terrorist organizations attacking Israel). Three rocket hits were also identified in the western Negev (near the cities of Netivot and Sderot). Israeli Air Force aircraft prevented another attempt to launch rockets into southern Israel.
- This coming Sunday, April 15, hundreds of anti-Israel activists are planning to reach Israel by air on commercial flights. The Israeli security forces, taking into consideration that they will attempt to hold protest activities in Ben-Gurion International Airport, are deploying to prevent the fly-in.
- The International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague rejected a Palestinian Authority submission to investigate IDF activities in the Gaza Strip. The reason was the Court's lack of jurisdiction over PA complaints because the PA is not recognized as a sovereign state and is not a party to the ICC Statute.
Rocket Fire Hits Eilat
- On the night of April 4 residents of Eilat heard explosions throughout the city. Searches conducted by the Israeli security forces discovered the remains of two 122mm Grad rockets, two of three launched at Eilat from the Sinai Peninsula. The rockets fell in open areas near residential structures. There were no casualties, but a number of residents were treated for shock (IDF Spokesman, April 5, 2012).
- No terrorist organization claimed responsibility for the rocket attacks. Hamas denied involvement, saying in an official announcement that it had no knowledge of rocket fire from the Sinai Peninsula and that Israel's claims of rocket fire were "a kind of Zionist lie" (Website of the Hamas information bureau, April 5, 2012). Ismail Haniya, head of the de-facto Hamas administration in the Gaza Strip, said that the Hamas administration was monitoring the issue and had made it clear to the Palestinian terrorist organizations that they needed to operate "only within Palestinian borders" (Al-Aqsa TV, April 6, 2012).
One of the rockets which hit Eilat
(Photo courtesy of the Israel Police, April 5, 2012).
- The rocket fire is another example of how the Palestinian terrorist organizations operating in the Gaza Strip are transforming the Sinai Peninsula into their venue of choice for terrorist attacks against Israel. However, the various terrorist organizations, wanting to avoid complications with the Egyptian government, do not claim responsibility for attacks or attempted attacks, and often even deny their existence.
- Of the attacks carried out from the Sinai Peninsula over the past year and a half, the most prominent was the one north of Eilat in August 2011, carried out by the Popular Resistance Committees, which killed eight Israeli civilians. There were two cases of rocket fire from the Sinai Peninsula targeting Eilat in 2010, both carried out by the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military-terrorist wing:
- On August 2, 2010, six 122mm Grad rockets were fired at Eilat and the Jordanian city of Aqaba. Three hit Eilat, one landing in a drainage pool north of the city. There were no casualties (IDF Spokesman, August 2, 2010). Two rockets fell in front of Aqaba's Intercontinental Hotel, killing one Jordanian civilian and wounding five, one of them critically. The sixth rocket fell into the sea.
- On April 22, 2010, three 122 Grad rockets were fired at Eilat and Aqaba. One fell into the sea south of Eilat and the second hit the city of Aqaba in Jordan. Two days later divers retrieved the third rocket 70 meters, or about 76 yards, south of the beach in Eilat at a depth of 30 meters, or about 33 yards (IDF Spokesman, April 24, 2010).
Rocket Fire Targeting the Western Negev
- Rocket fire from the Gaza Strip continues targeting the cities and towns of the western Negev. This past week three rocket hits were identified, two of them long-range rockets:
- On the morning of April 8 two long-range rockets landed near the city of Netivot. There were no casualties and no damage was done.
- On the evening of April 8 a rocket landed in an open area near the city of Sderot. There were no casualties and no damage was done.
Rockets Fired into Israeli Territory
Note: The figures for March include 50 rockets intercepted and destroyed by the Iron Dome aerial defense system during the most recent round of escalation. In April three rockets were fired at Israel's southernmost city of Eilat.
Israeli Air Force Activity
- On the evening of April 7 Israeli aircraft attacked a terrorist squad in the southern Gaza Strip which was about to fire rockets into souther Israel (IDF Spokesman, April 8, 2012).
- The Palestinian media reported that Israeli aircraft attacked two passengers on motorbike in the eastern part of Gaza City. The two sustained wounded and were transferred to a hospital for medical treatment (The PIJ's Paltoday website, April 7, 2012).
The motorbike the two terrorist operatives were riding,
hit by the Israeli Air Force (Qudsmedia.com website, April 7, 2012)
Judea and Samaria
The Situation on the Ground
- This past week the IDF carried out routine counterterrorist activities, detaining Palestinians suspected of terrorist activities and confiscating weapons. Rioting continued, with stones thrown at Israeli civilians and security forces. There were no casualties and no damage was done.
Possible Solution for the Energy Crisis in the Gaza Strip
- After an energy crisis of several weeks' duration, the de-facto Hamas administration in the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian Authority officially reached an agreement. According to the agreement, two million shekels a day will be transferred to the PA, in return for which the PA will deliver fuel to the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom crossing.
- In addition, in the next few days a ship from Qatar is expected to dock at an Egyptian port with diesel fuel for the Gaza Strip. It will be delivered to the Gaza Strip through Egypt (Ma'an News Agency, April 3, and Al-Quds, April 6 2012). Muhammad Awad, the foreign minister of the de-facto Hamas administration, said that fuel from Qatar will be sufficient for two months and that contacts are being held with other countries. In the meantime, Hamas is looking for sources of financing for the fuel.
- In addition, on April 9, 2010, four transformers for the Gaza Strip power plant will be delivered to the Strip from Israel. They were donated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to boost the ability of the Gaza Strip plant to manufacture electricity (Website of the Israeli government coordinator for the territories, April 9, 2012).
The transformers are delivered from Israel to the Gaza Strip power plant
(Website of the Israeli government coordinator for the territories, April 9, 2012)
Khaled Mashaal on Jerusalem
- Khaled Mashaal, head of the Hamas political bureau, gave a speech at a rally for Jerusalem in Doha, Qatar, where he said that Jerusalem had been "anointed with the blood of shaheeds." He said he aspired to Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state and the Islamic nation. He also said that the correct and only way to restore and "liberate" Jerusalem was "resistance [i.e., violence and terrorism] and rifles" (Al-Jazeera, April 6, 2012).
Khaled Mashaal speaks at a rally for Jerusalem in Doha (Qudsmedia.com website, April 7, 2012)
Hamas Administration Minister Recommends Abducting IDF Soldiers
- At a press conference held for Prisoners' Day, Atallah Abu al-Sabah, prisoner affairs minister in the de-facto Hamas administration, said that all Palestinians should unite around the issue of the prisoners. He called on all the Palestinian terrorist organizations to abduct Israeli soldiers to trade for Palestinian prisoners (Ma'an News Agency, April 8, 2012). With regard to the prisoners, Khaled Mashaal, head of Hamas' political bureau, said that the only way to secure the release of prisoners wasto trade them for soldiers and senior Israeli figures (Al-Jazeera, April 6, 2012).
The International Criminal Court Rejects a Palestinian Authority Request
- The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague rejected a PA bid to investigate the activities of the IDF in the Gaza Strip, beginning with 2008. After listening to lawyers supporting the bid and Israel's rejection, the prosecutor rejected the submission, stating the Palestinians could not sign up for the ICC's founding treaty because the PA was not recognized as a sovereign state and therefore could not sign up to join the Court. Israel welcomed the decision, but had reservations regarding some of the legal pronouncements and assumptions in the prosecutor's statements.
Fatah Delegation to Meet with Israeli Prime Minister
- A Fatah delegation is supposed to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on April 17 to present him with a communiquéfrom Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of the Palestinian Authority. The delegation includes Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, Saeb Erekat, chief negotiator, and Yasser Abd Rabbo, chairman of the PLO's Executive Committee. According to reports in the Arab media, the communiqué, which is the product of consultations, deliberations and changes, includes accusations against Israel for having turned the Palestinian Authority into a "toothless" body, and reiterates the Palestinian conditions for renewing negotiations with Israel (Al-Khaleej, Dubai, April 8, 2012).
The Protest Fly-In to Israel
- Preparations continue for the protest fly-in to Ben-Gurion International Airport, scheduled to be held on or about April 15 (Easter Sunday). The event is being planned by networks, organizations and individuals familiar from previous anti-Israel propaganda activities in the campaign to delegitimize Israel (among them those behind the previous protest fly-in, held in July 2011). One of the prominent figures is Olivia Zemor, a French Jewish woman who plays a central role in anti-Israel activities in France.
- Hundreds of anti-Israel activists are planning to arrive on commercial flights on the same day and go from Ben-Gurion airport to Bethlehem. In our assessment, some of them will arrive earlier or later. Israel security forces take into consideration that again this year the activists will attempt to hold protest demonstrations at the airport, and are taking steps to prevent some of them from boarding planes in their countries of origin. Those who do reach Israel and are identified as agitators will be taken off the planes and led to holding facilities until return flights to their countries of origin can be arranged (Ynet, April 10, 2012).
Another Miles of Smiles Convoy Reaches the Gaza Strip
- On April 5the eleventh Miles of Smiles international aid convoy entered the Gaza Strip. According to the organizers, it has 100 members from various countries, among them Britain, Jordan, South Africa and Bahrain, and includes a delegation of doctors and a delegation of agronomists from Jordan. The convoy brought vehicles for the handicapped, medicines and medical equipment, and will remain in the Gaza Strip until April 12 (Safa News Agency, April 3, and Al-Aqsa, April 6, 2012).
- At a reception to welcome them into the Gaza Strip, Ismail Haniya, head of the de-facto Hamas administration, praised the convoy members from Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon, and stressed their adherence to the so-called "right of return" (Al-Aqsa TV, April 6, 2012).
The Miles of Smiles 11 convoy enters the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing
(Qudsmedia.com website, April 5, 2012).
Another Sea Voyage to the Gaza Strip Is Planned
- Swedish pro-Palestinian activists announced their intention to organization a European flotilla to the Gaza Strip for the end of the year. According to the organizers, a Finnish ship has already been purchased. Their intention is to sail from the Scandinavian countries to the Gaza Strip (Flotilla website, April 3, 2012).
 Major General Aviv Kochavi, head of Israeli Military Intelligence, noted that more than ten terrorist networks had recently been exposed operating in the Sinai Peninsula (IDF Spokesman, April 5, 2012).
 The statistics do not include rockets fired which fell inside the Gaza Strip. As of April 10, 2012.
 http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_INTERNATIONAL_COURT_PALESTINIANS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT, posted April 3, 2012.