A Palestinian child with a Fatah headband carries a small model of a rocket inscribed ''Abbas 194,'' that is, Mahmoud Abbas and Palestine, the 194th member of the UN (Palinfo website, January 4, 2013).
Fatah-supporting masked students armed with dummy guns and knives and/or daggers in a procession at Beir Zeit University (Wafa News Agency, January 5, 2013)
Palestinian youths confront IDF forces in the village of Qadoum (Wafa News Agency, January 1, 2013).
The mass rally in the Gaza Strip (Palinfo website, January 4, 2013).
Fatah activists carry signs in support of Muhammad Dahlan (Filastin Al-'An, January 5, 2013).
Pictures from a video of Fatah's military display in the Dheisheh refugee camp (Qudsnet website, January 1, 2013).
Fatah-supporting masked students at a procession in Beir Zeit University carry Fatah flags and dummy rifles (Wafa News Agency, January 5, 2013).
- The Palestinian terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip continue honoring the understandings reached at the end of Operation Pillar of Defense. In Judea and Samaria confrontations and friction continue between Palestinians on the one hand and Israeli security forces and Israeli settlers on the other. Palestinian spokesmen continue inciting the Palestinians to violence.
- In the Gaza Strip a mass rally was held to mark the anniversary of Fatah's founding, which turned into a display of force of Fatah against Hamas. In Judea and Samaria there were events in the large cities and elsewhere. In some of the locations (Al-Dheisheh, Beir Zeit) signs of militarism were prominent (masked activists, models of rockets, dummy guns, clubs, axes and knives).
- Hamas and the other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip continue to implement the understandings reached at the end of Operation Pillar of Defense. Since 2300 hours on November 21 no rockets or mortar shells hit Israeli territory.
The Wave of Violence in Judea and Samaria Continues
- This past week as well confrontations and friction continued between Palestinians on the one hand and Israeli security forces and Israeli settlers on the other. Some of the more glaring incidents were the following (Ynet):
- On January 5 there was a stone-throwing confrontation between an estimated 200 Palestinians and 30 residents of the Esh Kodesh outpost (north of Ramallah). Israeli security forces arrived on the scene and used riot control equipment to separate the two sides. One Israeli woman was injured and evacuated for medical treatment.
- On January 3 Israeli Border Policemen who went to Jenin to detain a wanted Palestinian were attacked with stones, Molotov cocktails and burning tires. IDF forces used riot control equipment to evacuate the Border Policemen from the site of the attack.
- On January 2 dozens of settlers rioted in the village of Jaloud (near Ramallah). They broke the window of one of the houses and beat three Palestinian residents.
- Palestinian spokesmen continue incitement for "popular activity" (with violence):
- Adnan al-Dmeiri, spokesman for the Palestinian Authority (PA) security services, said that the so-called "popular resistance" had to be intensified and expanded so the world would exert pressure on Israel to stop what he called its "acts of aggression" (Radio Mawtini, which belongs to Fatah's information service, January 3, 2013).
- Salah al-Khawaja, coordinator of the popular campaign against the settlements and the security fence, said that in his opinion the Palestinians did not have to make do with local protest activities, like those in Ni'lin and Bila'in, but rather they had to have "politically significant confrontations." He said that in the near future the Palestinians would employ a new policy when confronting the settlers, which would create a new situation on the ground (Voice of Palestine Radio, January 2, 2013).
Mass Rally in the Gaza Strip to Mark the Founding of Fatah
- On January 4, 2013, there was a mass rally to mark the 48th anniversary of Fatah's founding. It was held in the Al-Saraya Square in Gaza City and attended by hundreds of thousands of Gazans, turning into a display of Fatah's power. The rally was heavily guarded by Hamas' security services. Several senior members of Fatah in Judea and Samaria arrived for the rally after Hamas had authorized their entry into the Gaza Strip. Among them were Nabil Shaath and Jibril Rajoub, both members of Fatah's Central Committee, and Osama al-Qawasmeh, Fatah spokesman in Judea and Samaria (Ma'an and Shihab news agencies, January 3 and 4, 2013).
- The rally began with a recorded speech by Mahmoud Abbas, projected on a giant screen. The speech emphasized Fatah's continuing struggle to liberate Palestine and Jerusalem (which he called "the Palestinians' eternal capital") and the need for Palestinian unity under the authority of the PLO, "the only and exclusive representative of the Palestinian people."
- The rally ended earlier than planned, immediately after Mahmoud Abbas' speech. According to Yahya Rabah, a member of Fatah's higher committee in the Gaza Strip, it was shortened because of "technical and logistic problems" resulting, among other things, from the overcrowding. Sources within Hamas claimed that it was cut short by arguments which broke out between the organizers of the rally and Muhammad Dahlansupporters, who demanded to allow one of their representatives to deliver a speech. They also marched through the streets of Gaza City chanting slogans calling Muhammad Dahlan the next chairman of the PA (Filastin Al-'An, January 5, 2013).
- Fatah's military-terrorist networks in the Gaza Strip (under the banner of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades) issued a statement signed by 12 Fatah factions to mark the anniversary. It emphasized the loyalty of Fatah in the Gaza Strip to Mahmoud Abbas, the "president" of the PA, and the commitment of Fatah activists to the leadership's decisions. It also called for advancing the internal Palestinian reconciliation, and to accelerate the uniting of all the [military] Fatah networks in the Gaza Strip under the banner of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades with one joint military headquarters (Al-Ahad, January 7, 2013).
Palestinian Security Service Course Graduations
- The ministry of the interior of the de-facto Hamas administration held a graduation ceremony for a course in protective security named for Salah al-Din al- Ayubbi. At the end of the ceremony, attended by Ismail Haniya, head of the de-facto Hamas administration, a military display was held which included the simulated takeover of a helicopter and exercises for the personal security of VIPs (Shihab website, January 2, 2013). In addition, on January 3 a graduation ceremony was held to mark the end of courses for men and women in the Hamas police force in Gaza. The ceremony included a military display and a demonstration presented by operatives of the Hamas naval police (Filastin Al-'An and Al-Rai online, January 3, 2013).
Left: The police force graduates (Filastin Al-'An, January 3, 2013). Right: Simulation of the takeover of a helicopter during the graduation ceremony of the protective security operatives (Shihab website, January 2, 2013).
Egypt's Security Services Seize Weapons Bound for the Gaza Strip
- The Egyptian security services in the Sinai Peninsula raided a weapons store south of El-Arish. They found six advanced anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles and their launchers. The missiles and other equipment had apparently been smuggled from Libya through the Sinai Peninsula and were meant for the Gaza Strip (Ma'an News Agency, January 4, 2013). In our assessment the information indicates that the Palestinian terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip are the beginning of a renewed weapons smuggling effort to rebuild their arsenals damaged in Operation Pillar of Defense.
Interview with the Spokesman of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad's Military Terrorist Wing
- Interviewed by Al-Sharq, Abu Ahmed, spokesman for the Jerusalem Brigades, the military-terrorist wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), spoke about the results of Operation Pillar of Defense (Al-Sharq, January 2, 2013). He repeated propaganda slogans aimed at supporting the "victory narrative" of the PIJ and the other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip:
- The operation, he said, created a "new equation" of "a blow for a blow:" Israel struck Ahmed al-Jaabari and immediately thereafter it struck the rockets. In response the PIJ used medium-range rockets to strike the residents of Tel Aviv.
- Use was made of a considerable part of the PIJ's military capabilities and some of the rockets were used for the first time. However, Abu Ahmed claimed, the organization could have withstood Israel for a number of months of fighting against Israel.
- The PIJ was successful in what Abu Ahmed called "the information battle." He claimed that for the first time 5,000 Israeli cellphones had been hacked and important information gained about IDF soldiers and bases.
- The current lull in the fighting, he said, would come to an end when "Israel does something stupid." He said that any Israeli violation of the understandings that led to the end of Operation Pillar of Defense would be brought to the attention of Egypt.
- Most of the PIJ's weapons were manufactured locally, therefore, he claimed, difficulties in smuggling weapons into the Gaza Strip would not influence the organization's new military buildup.
Presidential Edicts Order Practical Steps to Turn the PA into a State
- Following the upgrade of the PA in the UN to a non-member observer state, Mahmoud Abbas issued presidential edicts ordering practical steps to indicate that the PA was now a state (Wafa News Agency, January 4, 5, 6, 2013):
- The PA's foreign ministry received instructions to send circulars to its delegations around the globe ordering them to use the term "State of Palestine" instead of "Palestinian National Authority."
- The term "State of Palestine" must be used on all official documents.
- Passports, ID cards, documents relating to individual status, driver's licenses, vehicle registration, postage stamps and tax stamps will bear the term "State of Palestine."
- Riyad al-Maliki, PA foreign minister, said that the presidential edict would go into effect as soon as it was issued. He said the decision was also relevant for countries which voted against the resolution in the UN or abstained. However, he said, the resolution was not sufficient because the various countries had to authorize the name change (Voice of Palestine Radio, January 6, 2013).
- The edict elicited the following responses:
- Mark Regev, spokesman for the office of the Israeli Prime Minister, rejected the PA's name-change edict, Telling USA TODAY that it was "pointless." "Instead of looking for gimmicks, Palestinians should negotiate with Israel to bring about the end of the conflict," he said. "That will lead to a situation of two states for two peoples."
- Victoria Nuland, spokeswoman for the Department of State, expressed opposition to using the term "State of Palestine" at this time. She said, "...our policy on continuing to call it the Palestinian Authority until such time that there is a negotiated agreement for a state with borders will not change." [ITIC emphasis] She added that "...you can’t create a state by rhetoric and with labels and names. You can only create a state in this context through bilateral negotiations." She also called it "provocative without changing the condition for the Palestinian people." In addition, she said, America would tell the Palestinians that "it’s a bad idea and it doesn’t change anything for the Palestinian people, and if they really want to change things for the Palestinian people, they need to get back to the table."
- Saeb Erekat, a member of the PLO's Executive Committee, said that the new emblem would be used in correspondence with countries that have recognized a state of Palestine. He suggested that there would be no change in passports or other documents Palestinians need to move through Israeli crossings.
Events in Judea and Samaria Marking the Anniversary of Fatah's Founding
- Throughout Judea and Samaria events were held to mark the 48th anniversary of the founding of Fatah, which falls on January 1. The focal points of the events were the large cities, among them Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron and Qalqiliya. Events were also held in other locations.
- Some of the events had military motifs and the participants came masked, holding models of rockets, and armed with dummy rifles, clubs and knives. Two events were particularly prominent:
- In the Dheisheh refugee camp (near Bethlehem) on January 1 Fatah operatives held a military display attended by dozens of masked men who held axes, metal rods and clubs, as well as a model of an M75 rocket. They waved pictures of Yasser Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas and other senior Fatah figures, as well as pictures of shaheeds and terrorists imprisoned in Israeli jails (Blog of journalist Najib Faraj, January 2, 2013; Qudsnet website, January 1, 2013).
- On January 5 Fatah held a rally and military display at Beir Zeit University. Fatah-supporting masked students participated carrying dummy rifles and knives and/or daggers (Wafa News Agency, January 5, 2013).
 As of January 8, 2013. The statistics do not include mortar shell fire.
 The statistics do not include mortar shell fire.
 According to Hamas, there were 200,000 Gazans present. Sources within Fatah claimed, in exaggeration, that there were more than a million.
 Muhammad Dahlan is a senior Fatah figure from the Gaza Strip who fled to Ramallah when Hamas took over in 2007, and then was expelled in July 2011 following a dispute with Mahmoud Abbas.
 A legendary figure in the Arab-Muslim world known in the West as "Saladin," famous for chasing the Crusaders out of Jerusalem.