The scene of the stabbing attack at the Tapuah Junction in Samaria
A picture of Salam Zaghal issued by Fatah to celebrate his release from jail
Fatah's Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claim of responsibility for the stabbing at the Tapuah Junction
The post near Rafah after the strike (Wafa News Agency, April 28, 2013).
Palestinian youths set fire to an Israeli flag during a violent confrontation with IDF forces in Hebron
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad speaks at a conference devoted to the Palestinian prisoners and marking the 11th anniversary of the detention of Marwan Barghouti in Israel
Fathi Hamad and Idris Şahin, Turkish minister of the interior (Filastin Al-'Aan, April 25, 2013).
Jibril Rajoub (center) with the Iranian ambassador to Lebanon (left) (Wafa News Agency, April 29, 2013).
- On April 30, 2013, an Israeli civilian was stabbed to death at the Tapuah Junction in Samaria. The assassin was a Fatah terrorist operative who had been released from an Israeli prison after having served three years for throwing stones. The stabbing attack was a manifestation of the general increase in both the extent and severity of terrorist attacks carried out with "cold weapons" as part of the so-called "popular resistance."
- Rogue terrorist networks in the Gaza Strip continue their efforts to challenge Hamas and undermine the lull in the fighting achieved at the end of Operation Pillar of Defense. This past week sporadic rocket fire from the Gaza Strip continued targeting the civilian Israeli population in the western Negev (during April ten rocket hits were identified in Israeli territory). The IDF responded with strikes on terrorist bases in the southern Gaza Strip and with the targeted killing of a terrorist operative who was involved in firing rockets at the southern city of Eilat from the Sinai Peninsula (April 17, 2013).
Stabbing Attack at the Tapuah Junction
- On the morning of April 30, 2013 a Palestinian terrorist stabbed and killed a young Israeli man who was waiting at the bus stop at the Tapuah Junction (south of Nablus) in Samaria. According to initial reports, the terrorist arrived at the junction. He approached a group of Israeli civilians who were waiting at the bus stop and stabbed one of them in the chest, critically wounding him. He stole the wounded man's gun and began shooting at a nearby force of Border Policemen. The policemen returned fire, wounding the terrorist.
- Attempts to revive the Israeli were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at the scene. He was Eviatar Borovsky, 32 years old, married and had five children. It was not the first time an Israeli had been stabbed at the Tapuah Junction. On January 29, 2013, a 17 year-old Israeli was stabbed while waiting for a bus. His wounds were not critical and he was evacuated to a hospital for treatment.
- The terrorist operative who carried out the attack was Salam Assad Zaghal, a Fatah operative from the village of Shuwaykah (north of Tulkarm). In March 2013 he was released from an Israeli jail after having served a term of three years for throwing stones. His brother was sentenced to jail by the Palestinian Authority for collaborating with Israel (Palestinian TV, April 30, 2013).
Left: A picture posted by terrorist operative Salam Zaghal's father to celebrate his release from jail. Right: A picture of Salam Zaghal issued by Fatah to celebrate his release from jail (Facebook page of the Al-Fajar al-Judeid channel, April 30, 2013).
- The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Fatah's military-terrorist wing, claimed responsibility for the attack. According to its announcement, the attack was carried out by "released prisoner and hero Salam Assad Zaghal, a son of the village of Shuwaykah and one of the heroes of the Shaheed Rae'd Karmi Squad." It also said that a green light had been received to carry out "military attacks" on Israeli targets to avenge the deaths in Israel several weeks ago of Palestinian prisoners Arafat Jaradat and Maysara Abu Hamdia (Watan News, April 30, 2013).
Rocket Fire Targets the Western Negev
- This past week two rocket hits were identified in southern Israel:
- On the evening of April 27, 2013, a rocket hit was identified in the western Negev. The rocket fell in an open area near one of the villages while the residents were at bonfires held for the Jewish holiday Lag B'Omer. There were no casualties and no damage was reported. The previous day, April 26, 2013, a rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip but fell in Palestinian territory (Ynet, April 28, 2013).
- On the night of April 28, 2013, a rocket hit was identified in an open area in the western Negev. There were no casualties and no damage was reported. (Ynet, April 29, 2013).
- In response to the rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, on the night of April 27 Israeli Air Force aircraft struck a terrorist facility and a weapons storage site in the southern Gaza Strip. It was the second IDF strike since the end of Operation Pillar of Defense after rocket fire from the Gaza Strip targeted Israel's south (IDF spokesman, April 28, 2013). In addition, the crossings from Israel to the Gaza Strip were closed (Website of the Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories, April 28, 2013).
- The Palestinian media reported that two posts in the Gaza Strip had been attacked, one west of Khan Yunis which belonged to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The other, near Rafah, belonged to the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine. According to the reports, neither attack resulted in casualties (Safa News Agency and the Alresala.net website, April 28, 2013).
Reactions to the IDF Strike
- Hamas spokesmen issued statements after the Israeli Air Force strike. They accused Israel of responsibility for any future escalation and stressed the right of the Palestinians to "self defense." Some of the statements were reported by Filastin al-Yawm (April 28, 2013):
- Yusuf al-Rizqa, Ismail Haniya's political advisor, said that during the past two weeks Israel's political and military leaders had sharpened the tone of their threats against the Gaza Strip. He said Israel would be responsible for any future escalation.
- Taher al-Nunu, spokesman for the de-facto Hamas administration, said that Hamas had contacted Egypt to "stop Israeli aggression."
- Salah al-Bardawil, senior Hamas figure, said that Egypt was following "Israeli violations" closely. He claimed Israel justified its violations with claims relating to rocket fire into its territory from the Gaza Strip.
Terrorist Operative in the Gaza Strip Attacked and Killed
- On the morning of April 30, 2013, Israeli Air Force aircraft struck a senior terrorist operative in the Gaza Strip as he was riding his motorcycle. It was the first IDF attack on a terrorist operative in the Gaza Strip since the end of Operation Pillar of Defense (November 2012).
- The terrorist operative was Haytham Ziad Ibrahim Mis'hal, born in 1989, a resident of the Shati refugee camp who was involved in firing rockets from the Sinai Peninsula at the southern Israeli city of Eilat on April 17, 2013. He was also involved in firing rockets and mortar shells targeting the civilian population of the western Negev. He had also been active in the Salafist networks in the Gaza Strip affiliated the global jihad. In recent years he specialized in manufacturing weapons, focusing on rockets and IEDs, which he transferred to various terrorist networks. He also aided the Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem, which carried out the rocket fire from the Sinai Peninsula at the city of Eilat (IDF spokesman, April 30, 2013).
Haytham Ziad Ibrahim Mis'hal (Hamas forum website, April 30, 2013)
- The Palestinian media reported that Mis'hal was an Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades operative who worked in security at the Shifaa Hospital in Gaza City. They also reported that three Palestinians had been wounded (Ma'an News Agency, the Shihab website, the Paltoday website and PalPress, April 30, 2013). A jihadist network calling itself the Sword of Islam Brigades issued an official death notice that was quoted by the Hamas forum. In the announcement the Sword of Islam Brigades mourned the death its operative Haytham al-Mis'hal, and made prominent mention of his jihadist past and operations (Hamas forum, April 30, 2013).
UAV Intercepted Attempting to Enter Israeli Air Space
- In the early afternoon of April 25, 2013, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was intercepted by the Israeli Air Force over the Mediterranean Sea at a distance of about 9 kilometers, or about 5.6 miles, from the Haifa coast. The aircraft was identified while it was still over Lebanese territory and the IDF monitored its route. After it had been ascertained that the plane was not friendly, Israeli Air Force planes and helicopters were sent to intercept it over the sea with an air-to-air missile. An Israeli Navy boat searched for the remains of the plane (IDF spokesman, April 25, 2013).
- No organization claimed responsibility for launching the aircraft. Hezbollah issued a statement denying it had launched the UAV (Al-Ahad, April 25, 2013)
The site of the interception of the UAV, near the Haifa coast (IDF spokesman, April 25, 2013).
"Popular Resistance" Events
- This past week violent "popular" activities continued using cold weapons, in various locations in Judea and Samaria. Violent confrontations continued at the traditional friction points between Palestinians on the one hand and Israeli security forces and Israeli settlers on the other.
Palestinian youths set fire to an Israeli flag during a violent confrontation with IDF forces in Hebron (Wafa News Agency, April 26, 2013).
Two Prisoners End Their Hunger Strike
- Samer al-Issawi, a Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist operative, and Yunis al-Haroub, a Palestinian from Hebron under administrative detention, who were on a hunger strike in an Israeli jail, ended their strike after having reached an agreement with the prison services that their administrative detention would not be extended. Public figures in the PA represented the agreement as another Palestinian "victory" over Israel.
Conference on the Anniversary of Marwan Barghouti's Detention
- On April 27, 2013, Palestinians in Judea and Samaria marked the 11th anniversary of the detention of Marwan Barghouti with a well-attended conference in Ramallah. Present were senior PA figures, among them Salam Fayyad, as well as members of a delegation from the European Parliament, members of the Barghouti family, and others. In a recorded speech, Mahmoud Abbas told those present that the issue of the prisoners was the PA's top priority. He said the freedom of the prisoners was the yardstick by which the PA measured Israel's seriousness regarding the peace process, and that "there is no solution other than the release of the prisoners" (Wafa News Agency, April 27, 2013).
Fathi Hamad Visits Turkey
- On April 24, 2013, Fathi Hamad, minister of the interior of the de-facto Hamas administration, arrived in Turkey for a visit of several days. While there he met with the Turkish minister of the interior and with other senior figures. He went to Turkey to examine opportunities for Turkish-Hamas collaboration and the possibility of the Hamas administration's receiving aid from Turkey. In addition, Fathi Hamad was supposed to coordinate the visit of Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan's visit to the Gaza Strip at the end of May (PNN, April 24, 2013).
Hamas-Salafist Friction Continues
- The relatives of several Salafist operatives in the Gaza Strip who were recently detained by the Hamas security forces held a demonstration to protest their continued detention and demanded that the operatives, who are on a hunger strike in prison, be released. The demonstrators waved black flags identifying them as affiliated with the Salafist movements and called for the release of their relatives (Ma'an News Agency, April 28, 2013).
- An announcement issued by the Salafist jihadist organization the Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem claimed that the Hamas administration allowed officers from Egypt's general intelligence to enter the Gaza Strip and interrogate Salafist detainees held in the Ansar facility in the Gaza Strip. The announcement also claimed that the officers were interrogating the Salafist prisoners mainly about the structure and infrastructure of the Salafist networks in the Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula, especially the Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem (PalPress website, April 28, 2013).
Relatives of the Salafist detainees demonstrate in the Gaza Strip (Ma'an News Agency, April 28, 2013).
Medical Aid from Saudi Arabia for the Gaza Strip
- The ministry of health of the de-facto Hamas administration reported that on April 29, 2013, the first shipment of medical aid from Saudi Arabia had entered the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing. The entire shipment is composed of 140 tons of medical equipment valued at 10 million Saudi Arabian rials (about $267,000). The aid will enter the Gaza Strip at the rate of ten tons a day for the next 14 days. It includes 29 different types of drugs, covering about 95% of those lacking in the Gaza Strip today (Shihab website and the website of the Hamas administration ministry of health, April 29 and 30, 2013).
Left: Medical aid from Saudi Arabia enters the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing (Shihab website, April 29, 2013). Right: The contents of one of the trucks (Website of the Hamas administration ministry of health, April 29, 2013)
Consultations for the Establishment of a National Consensus Government
- Mahmoud Abbasannounced that consultations had begun for forming a national consensus government according to the internal Palestinian reconciliation agreement, and called on all the organizations to participate (Wafa News Agency, April 27, 2013). Sources in Hamas claimed that Mahmoud Abbas had not consulted with them about the announcement and that they had heard about it through the media. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that elections could not be held in Judea and Samaria because of the activities of the PA's security forces against Hamas activists and without holding elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council (Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda, April 28, 2013).
Foreign Ministers of the Arab League Promote the Peace Process
- A delegation of Arab League foreign ministers, currently in the United States to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, met with American Secretary of State John Kerry. After the meeting Sheikh al-Thani, the prime minister of Qatar, told reporters that "[t]he Arab League delegation affirmed that agreement should be based on the two-state solution on the basis of the 4th of June 1967 line, with the (possibility) of comparable and mutual agreed minor swap of the land."
Jibril Rajoub Meets with the Iranian Ambassador in Lebanon
- Jibril Rajoub, a member of Fatah's Central Committee, paid a visit to Lebanon. On April 29, 2013, he met with the Iranian ambassador to Lebanon, Qazanfar Roknabadi, to discuss the regional situation and the internal Palestinian reconciliation. The meeting was held at the Palestinian embassy in Beirut and also attended by Palestinian ambassador Ashraf Dabbour (Wafa News Agency, April 29, 2013).
Reactions to EU Decision to Mark Settlement Products
- A letter to Catherine Ashton, responsible for foreign policy, signed by 13 EU foreign ministers, stated that products manufactured in the Israeli settlements exported to Europe had to be marked as such. In response Mustafa Barghouti, chairman of the National Palestinian Initiative Party and senior activist in the global BDS campaign to boycott Israel, said that while it was an important step, it was insufficient. He said that another campaign was currently being organized to boycott Israeli-made products to strike a blow to Israel's economy (Al-Quds TV, April 22, 2013).
The Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ)
- The GMJ's central committee, which is organizing the march, held a preparatory meeting in Cairo on April 23, attended by members of the central committee and representatives from various countries. After the meeting a formal announcement was issued stating that the GMJ events would take place on June 7, 2013. Marches would be held in Judea and Samaria and would strive to reach points as close as possible to Jerusalem. They apparently also plan to march to Israel's borders: members of the committee asked that countries bordering on Israel provide support. Rida Fahmi, from Egypt, was chosen a chief activity coordinator to replace Ribhi Haloum, who announced his resignation (GMJ Facebook page, April 25, 2013).
The GMJ central committee conference in Cairo (GMJ Facebook page, April 25, 2013)
French Court Rules in Favor of Company Sued by Pro-Palestinians
- Pro-Palestinians expressed disappointment with a ruling handed down by a French court in favor of a French company which drilled during the construction of the foundations for the light rail in Jerusalem. A complaint was filed against the company by pro-Palestinian elements as part of the BDS campaign to boycott Israel and its economy. The pro-Palestinians claimed that laying the rails in "occupied" territories violated international law. The French court ruled that the railway would also serve the Arab population in Jerusalem (Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda, April 28, 2013).
 As of April 30, 2013. The statistics do not include mortar shell fire.
 The statistics do not include mortar shell fire.
 The Sword of Islam Brigades is a group that splintered off from Fatah's Ahmed Abu Rish Brigades.
 Rida Fahmi belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood. He is a member of the Egyptian House of Representatives, representing the Liberty and Justice Party. He serves as chairman of the committees for Arab affairs and for internal and national security affairs (El-Badil, Egypt. April 23, 2013). He often makes anti-Israeli statements. In October 2012 he criticized the Camp David Agreement and called for it to be changed or annulled (Al-Arab Al-'Aan, October 16, 2012). He condemned the April 2012 visit of the Mufti of Egypt, Dr. Ali Jumaa, to Jerusalem, because the city was, he claimed, under the rule of the "Zionist occupation." He described the visit as a knife in the back of the Palestinian people (Hamas Department of Refugee Affairs, April 24, 2012).