Fatah praises the terrorist operative who stabbed an Israeli civilian to death at the Tapuah Junction.
Naji al-Tamimi, coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Fence and the Settlements in Nebi Saleh confronts a Border Policeman
Khaled Mashaal interviewed by Al-Jazeera TV
Al-Futuwwa students training with Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades operatives (Hamas forum website, May 3, 2013)
Hamas head Ismail Haniya receives members of the convoy in his office in Gaza City (Filastin Al-'Aan, May 2, 2013).
"Stay away." Fatah warns Israelis not to enter the Temple Mount
- Rogue terrorist networks in the Gaza Strip continue their efforts to undermine the lull in the fighting achieved at the end of Operation Pillar of Defense. The Palestinian media reported that operatives of Hamas' military-terrorist wing have taken steps to prevent attempts by Salafist network operatives to launch rockets into Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip.
- Attempts to carry out terrorist attacks using cold weapons (stones, knives, Molotov cocktails) continue in Judea and Samaria, part of the so-called "popular resistance." So far the Palestinian Authority (PA) has not officially responded to the stabbing attack at the Tapuah Junction in Samaria in which Israeli civilian Eviatar Borovsky was murdered. However, websites affiliated with Fatah have posted messages showering praise and admiration on the terrorist operative.
Rocket Fire Targeting the Western Negev
- Rogue terrorist networks in the Gaza Strip continue their efforts to undermine the lull in the fighting achieved at the end of Operation Pillar of Defense. On May 2 a rocket hit was identified in an open area in the western Negev. There were no casualties and no damage was reported (Ynet, May 2, 2013).
Hamas Takes Steps to Prevent Rocket Fire
Hamas continues its attempts to prevent rockets from being fired into Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip. "Palestinian sources" reported Israel sent messages to the de-facto Hamas administration through Egypt, stressing the need to stop the rocket fire. According to the sources, operatives of Hamas' military-terrorist wing deployed both near the Gaza Strip border with Israel and in areas at a distance from it, and erected permanent and mobile roadblocks (Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, April 30, 2013).
It was also reported that Hamas had increased the deployment of its security service operatives. Its objective was to prevent Salafist operatives in the region of the Kerem Shalom crossing from attempting to avenge the death of Haytham al-Mis'hal, who was killed on April 30, 2013 (PalPress website, May 3, 2013).
The Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem, a terrorist network affiliated with the global jihad, posted a video of Haytham al-Mis'hal reading his "last will and testament." In it he calls for the continuation of jihad and asks the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades not to serve as a cat's paw for the de-facto Hamas administration in its campaign against the Salafist operatives in the Gaza Strip (PalPress website, May 1, 2013).
Terrorist Attacks in April 2013
- According to a report issued by the Israel Security Agency, during April 2013 126 attacks were carried out in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem (as opposed to 122 in March). Most of the attacks (99) involved Molotov cocktails, 26 involved IEDs and there was one stabbing attack that also involved gunfire (Israel Security Agency website, May 6, 2013).
Acts of Violence in Judea and Samaria Continue
- This past week there again were violent confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli security forces at the traditional friction points. Following the stabbing at the Tapuah Junction there was an increase in friction between Israeli settlers and Palestinians.
- Two incidents were particularly glaring:
- On May 2 shots were fired at Israelis on a tour of the Ein Prat Nature Reserve near the Jericho lookout point. At approximately 20:00 hours a group of Israelis saw someone suspicious approaching. They hurried back to their vehicle and as they drove away shots were fired at them. The police arrived on the scene and searched the area (Ynet, May 2, 2013).
- On May 4 a riot broke out between Israeli settlers and Palestinians near the Doar Junction, south of Talmon (northwest of Ramallah) when the Israeli settlers arrived to hold a protest against the stones thrown at Israeli vehicles. Palestinians came from the neighboring villages, threw stones at the Israelis and attacked them with clubs. Israeli security forces arrived at the site and separated the rioters. A dozen people were wounded. One, an Israeli, was seriously injured (Ynet, May 5, 2013).
Egyptian Security Forces Expose Tunnels
- The director of the Egyptian security administration in the northern Sinai Peninsula recently reported the exposure by armed Egyptian forces of smuggling tunnels between the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip. According to the report, so far 276 tunnels have been uncovered, of which 154 have been destroyed. The Egyptian security forces are in the process of destroying 94 more tunnels and have taken control of the openings of 28 tunnels which they find it difficult to destroy. The head of the engineering department of the Egyptian armed forces reported that 137 tunnels which were destroyed returned to their previous activity. However, he said his forces had destroyed them again, blowing them up and flooding them with groundwater (Middle East News Agency, May 6, 2013).
- Abd al-Rahman al-Shourbaji, senior Muslim Brotherhood figure in Egypt and secretary of the Liberty and Justice Party in the northern Sinai Peninsula, called for the closing of the tunnels along the Egyptian-Gaza Strip border. He said that the movement of mutual trade had to be legal and carried out through overland passages. He made the remark following news that a Palestinian who had been tried in Egyptian Rafah had been abducted by operatives of Hamas' Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades and smuggled into the Gaza Strip through one of the tunnels (PalPress website, May 6, 2013). However, Musa Abu Marzouq, deputy head of Hamas' political bureau, claimed that "the tunnels in Rafah are legal because human legality supersedes legal legality..." (PalPress website, May 6, 2013).
Khaled Mashaal Interview
- Khaled Mashaalwas interviewed by Al-Jazeera TV after he was elected to serve another term as head of Hamas' political bureau. In the interview he related, among other issues, to his priorities for the coming four years. His first priority, he said, would be the Palestinian "resistance" [i.e., terrorist activities], especially "armed military resistance" [i.e., terrorist attacks employing guns and explosives]. Hamas, he said, would also support the "popular resistance," which would confront the [Israeli] settlements [in Judea and Samaria], the [security] fence and the [Palestinian terrorist] prisoners. Other issues high on his priority list would be preventing the Judaization of Jerusalem, the issue of the release of the Palestinians held prisoner by Israel using all possible means [i.e., the abduction of Israelis to be used as bargaining chips], and promoting the so-called "right of return" of the Palestinian refugees (Al-Jazeera TV, May 2, 2013).
Military-Terrorist Training for Adolescents in Gaza Strip Schools
- A British correspondent who recently visited the Gaza Strip reported thatschool children were being given military training in a program instituted by the de-facto Hamas administration. The program is called Al- Futuwwa ("youth"). The program, which began in September 2012, is intended for 37,000 boys aged 15 to 17. Classes are held weekly, with supplementary camps during school breaks, in which participation is voluntary. At the camps the boys are trained in handling guns and explosives by Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades instructors and instructors from Hamas' national security services.
- The Hamas forum reported that on May 3, 2013, 140 Al-Futuwwa students joined Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades operatives during night exercises. They patrolled and secured crossroads and key points in Gaza City (Hamas forum website, May 3, 2013).
Aid Convoy Enters the Gaza Strip
- On May 2, 2013, an aid convoy called Loyalty 6 entered the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing. It consisted of 30 activists from a number of European countries who brought humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip. The members of the convoy, who were expected to spend a number of days in the Gaza Strip, were received by Ismail Haniya, head of the de-facto Hamas administration (Ma'an News Agency, May 2, 2013).
Call to Forbid Israelis from Entering the Temple Mount Compound on Jerusalem Day
- Various Palestinian public figures as well as Fatah activists recently called on Palestinians to come to the Temple Mount compound to prevent Israelis from entering on Jerusalem Day:
- Hatem Abd al-Qader, who holds Fatah's Jerusalem portfolio, responded to the publication of the information that Israeli activists from the Likud-Beiteinu Party were planning to enter the Temple Mount on May 7 to mark Jerusalem Day. He said that Fatah and other nationalist groups had appealed appeal to east Jerusalem residents and Israeli Arab ("our brothers who live inside the Green Line") to come to Al-Aqsa mosque on the morning of May 7 to prevent the plan from being carried out. He said the Israeli government would be responsible for "all the consequences" which might arise from such an attempt (Voice of Palestine Radio, May 7, 2013).
- Sheikh Mahmoud Hussein, the Mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories, called on Muslims to come in force to the Temple Mount compound to "defend" it and prevent extremist Israelis from entering. He also condemned what he called Israel's activities to Judaize Jerusalem and allowing extremist Israelis to enter the Temple Mount (Al-Aqsa mosque website, May 6, 2013).
- On the morning of May 7 Fatah Facebook page made special mention of the intention of "Israeli elements" to enter the Temple Mount compound The page also posted a picture calling on "extremist Israelis" not to enter (Fatah Facebook, May 7, 2013).
Reactions to the Murder at the Tapuah Junction
So far the PA has not issued an official reaction to the attack on Eviatar Borovsky, who was stabbed to death by a Palestinian at the Tapuah Junction on April 30, 2013. Jamal Muhaisen, a member of Fatah's Central Committee, called the murder "the natural reaction to the violations of the occupation and the settlers." However, he also said that it did not represent the overall policies of the PA or of Fatah, which have opted for the "popular resistance" against the occupation. He accused the government of Israel for the tension in Judea and Samaria, because, he said, Israel was sabotaging all attempts made to advance the peace process (Quds Press and PalPress, April 30, 2013).
However, websites affiliated with Fatah showered praise and admiration on Salam Assad Zaghal, the terrorist operative who murdered Eviatar Borovsky. For example, the home page of Fatah al-Yawm (considered Fatah's official website) posted a poem of praise in his honor written by a poet named Sultan Hamid, a Fatah activist from Gaza City, who is a permanent member of the site's staff. According to the poem, through the attack, "[the Palestinians'] heads have been raised high, their longings for revolution have been awakened, and you have dealt the settlers [a blow like] an earthquake " (Fatah al-Yawm, April 30, 2013).
From the Fatah-affiliated website: "You are a hero in the time of depression...Salam al-Zaghal, who carried out the attack at Zaatra [the Tapuah Junction]" (Karameh Press website, May 1, 2013).
"Rise up, struggle, rebel against oppression. End your silence. Salam Zaghal is waiting for death as a martyr for the sake of Allah or... The man who stabbed a settler at the Tapuah Junction, April 30, 2013, who is now detained in one of the enemy's hospitals" (Facebook page of the Al-Sharaa TV station in Tulkarm, April 30, 2013).
Palestinian Reactions to Announcement by Qatari Prime Minister
- A visit to the United States was recently made by the committee monitoring the implementation of the Arab League peace plan. The delegation was headed by Hamad al-Thani, prime minister and foreign minister of Qatar (and currently chairman of the monitoring committee). During the visit he noted the Arab League's support for the two-state solution with the June 4, 1967 borders, "with the (possibility) of comparable and mutual agreed minor swap of the land." His statement was met with mixed reactions from the Palestinians:
- Mahmoud Abbasclaimed that the Arab League's position was the PA's position and that their were no differences of opinion between them regarding the position represented by the prime minister of Qatar regarding the swap of territories in the future, which the PA did not reject (Xinhua News Agency, May 3, 2013). Saeb Erekat, a member of the PLO's Executive Committee and the Palestinian's chief negotiator, said that the statement made by the Arab League regarding the swap of territory was not new and was the PA's official position (Ma'an News Agency, May 1, 2013).
- Mahmoud al-Shtayye, a member of Fatah's Central Committee, said that the issue of exchanging territories could not come before negotiations but could only be a result (Voice of Palestine Radio, May 1, 2013). Fatah's Mahmoud Dahlan issued a press release in which he criticized the Arab League's monitoring committee for its support of territorial exchange, calling it a "conspiracy" (Paltoday website, May 3, 2013).
- Hamastotally rejected the Arab League position because, it claimed, its acceptance would mean an intensification of the "policy of granting concessions" (Hamas website, May 1, 2013). According to Khaled Mashaal, the Arab League's position was a Palestinian concession Hamas could not accept (Al-Jazeera, May 1, 2013).
Syrian-Backed Terrorist Organizations Announcement about Intentions to Renew Attacks from the Golan Heights
- Following the attacks on Syria allegedly carried out by Israel, operatives from various Syrian-backed Palestinian terrorist organizations said they might renew their terrorist attacks from the Golan Heights:
- Anwar Raja, an operative of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command (the organization of Ahmed Jibril) praised what he called the announcement of the Syrian regime about the possibly allowing the Palestinian [terrorist] organizations to operate against Israel from the Golan Heights. He said that the Palestinian organizations wanted to begin a "military resistance" in the Golan Heights, which he called a vital geographic front (Russia Today news site, May 5, 2013).
- Khalid Abd al-Majid, secretary general of an organization called the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front, said that in meetings which would soon be held between the heads of the Palestinian organizations and the relevant Syrians, they would discuss ways of implementing the decision made by the Syrian authorities to allow actions against Israel through the Golan Heights. He said that the "Zionist aggression" against Syria had changed the nature of the conflict, and thus it was "the right and duty of Syria to respond to the aggression in every way it could" (Al-Watan, Syria, May 7, 2013).
 For further information about the IDF's targeted killing of Haytham al-Mis'hal see the weekly bulletin for April 24 – 30, 2013.
 As of May 7, 2013. The statistics do not include mortar shell fire.
 The statistics do not include mortar shell fire.
 The ISA report does not include the stones thrown, estimated as many scores to hundreds, every month.
 For further information about the military curriculum in the Gaza Strip see the February 4, 2013 bulletin “Education for terrorism: Hamas increases its military and propaganda activities among Gazan youth to raise a younger generation able to continue its anti-Israeli path of terrorism and ensure Hamas control of the Gaza Strip.”