Burning the Israeli and American flags at the Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ) in the northern Gaza Strip
Burning the Israeli and American flags at the Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ) in the northern Gaza Strip
Palestinians confront Israeli security forces at Ma'sara (near Bethlehem), one of the traditional friction points
The Canaan outpost near the village of Surif is evacuated (Wafa News Agency, June 6, 2013).
Semi-military training is given to children at a Hamas camp in the Gaza Strip (Palinfo website, June 10, 2013).
One of the camp counselors explains the map of "Palestine," on which the State of Israel does not exist
Ismail Haniya at the opening ceremony of the summer camps in western Gaza City
The stamps issued by the de-facto Hamas administration to commemorate Ahmed al-Jaabari and Operation Pillar of Defense
Confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli police forces in east Jerusalem
- This past week the quiet along Israel's southern border continued. In Judea and Samaria violent confrontations and friction continued, peaking on June 7 (Naksa Day), which passed, however, without exceptional incident. There were marches and events in the northern Gaza Strip, the southern Jordan Valley and in many cities around the world, all of whose political impact and media coverage were scanty.
- The new Palestinian Authority (PA) government headed by Rami Hamdallah was sworn in on June 6 by Mahmoud Abbas. Minor changes were made in personnel but most of the ministers of the outgoing government retained their portfolios. At the swearing-in ceremony Mahmoud Abbas said he expected the new government to lead to the founding of an independent Palestinian state and be a national unity government that would advance the internal Palestinian reconciliation.
Rocket Fire on the Southern Border
- This past week Israel's southern border was quiet; no rocket or mortar shell hits were identified in Israeli territory.
- This past week violence and riots continued between Palestinians and the Israel security forces at the traditional friction points, part of the so-called "popular resistance." They peaked on June 7 during Naksa Day, which passed, however, without exceptional incident (See below.). The Palestinian media reported that on the morning of June 8 Palestinian activists tried to erect an outpost near the village of Surif (region of Hebron) but were prevented by an IDF force (Al-Aqsa TV, June 8, 2013).
Weapons Seized in May 2013
- In May 2013, as part of ongoing counterterrorism activities, Israeli security forces in Judea and Samaria seized large quantities of weapons. They included handguns, rifles, knives, Molotov cocktails, ammunition, spare parts and military equipment (IDF spokesman, June 6, 2013).
Weapons seized in Judea and Samaria in May 2013 (IDF spokesman, June 6, 2013).
Summary of Attacks, May 2013
- According to an Israel Security Agency (ISA) report, in May 2013 there was a slight decrease in the scope of attacks carried out in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. In May there were 83 attacks (as opposed to 90 in April) in Judea and Samaria and 38 in Jerusalem (as opposed to 36 in April). Most of them involved Molotov cocktails (102 of 121), 17 involved IEDs and there were two attacks involving light arms fire (ISA website, June 2013).
Hamas' Restraint Force
- A delegation from the ministry of the interior of the de-facto Hamas administration paid a visit to the northern Gaza Strip where Hamas' "restraint force" operates. The force was established by the ministry to enforce Hamas' policy of restraint on the rogue terrorist organizations operating in the Gaza Strip. The delegation was received by the Dhiaa' al-Din al-Shurafa force. The objective of the visit was to inspect the preparedness of the force defending the Gaza Strip's northern border with Israel. The force held a military display for the visitors (Website of the Hamas administration ministry of the interior, June 8, 2013).
- Hamas announced it had opened its 2013 summer camps. This year their slogan is "generation of the return," part of indoctrinating the younger generation with the Palestinian refugees' so-called "right of return."
- According to Khalil al-Haya, a member of Hamas' political bureau, an estimated 100,000 Gazan children will participate in the camps. He said the camps' objectives were "to unite the younger generation with the homeland," "to make religion attractive" and "to instill educational values." According to Musa al-Samak, chairman of the high summer camp committee, there are 700 summer camps throughout the Gaza Strip with activities, which will end before the Muslim religious month of Ramadan (Safa News Agency, June 9, 2013). This 2013, as in past years, the camps can be expected to be exploited for giving children and adolescents semi-military training.
Right: One of the camp counselors explains the map of "Palestine," on which the State of Israel does not exist (Filastin Al-'Aan, June 8, 2013). Left: Semi-military training is given to children at a Hamas camp in the Gaza Strip (Palinfo website, June 10, 2013).
- The ceremony opening the camps was attended by Ismail Haniya, head of the de-facto Hamas administration, and other senior figures. Haniya said that the objective of the camps was to instill the campers with values to strengthen their morals and spread the spirit of jihad (Al-Ra'i, June 9, 2013). He also said "Israel has no future in the land of Palestine" (Al-Aqsa TV, June 9, 2013).
- The Hamas-affiliated Dar al-Qur'an wal-Sunna Association opened its own summer camps for Qur'an memorization, and expects an estimated 20,000 children to participate (Safa News Agency, June 8, 2013). UNRWA also announced the opening of its summer camps, 125 in number, throughout the Gaza Strip, for an estimated 150,000 children.
The De-Facto Hamas Administration Issues New Stamps
- On June 5, 2013, Ziyad al-Zaza, deputy prime minister in the de-facto Hamas administration, in conjunction with the ministry of communications, issued a new series of stamps commemorating former Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades commander Ahmed al-Jaabari (who died in an Israeli targeted killing on November 14, 2012) and the rockets fired into Israeli territory during Operation Pillar of Defense.
Miles of Smiles 21 Convoy
- On June 9, 2013, Hamas head Ismail Haniya received the Miles of Smiles 21 convoy in his office. The members of the convoy, most of whom were from Arab-Muslim countries, came to participate in the Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ). They also attended the opening ceremony of the summer camps (Shihab website, June 9, 2013).
New Palestinian Government Sworn In
- The new Palestinian government headed by Rami Hamdallah was sworn in on June 6, 2013, by Mahmoud Abbas. Most of the ministers of the outgoing government retained their portfolios. Six changes were made in the ministries of the treasury, welfare, education and higher education. Two new deputy prime ministers close to Mahmoud Abbas were also appointed.
- At the swearing-in ceremony Mahmoud Abbas said that the new government would receive all the support necessary to carry out its responsibilities toward the Palestinians and lead to the founding of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. He said that the government should make a supreme effort for as long as it took, "whether weeks or months." He added that he expected it to be a national unity government that would work as a unit to advance the issue of the internal Palestinian reconciliation (Voice of Palestine Radio, June 8, 2013).
The new Palestinian government (Wafa News Agency, June 6, 2013)
Security Prisoners' Protest
- The struggle of the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails continues. The Palestinian prisoners club said in a statement that on June 5 the security prisoners would begin what it called "a campaign for national awakening," in which the prisoners would protest in the Israeli jails. It was part of their demand to be recognized as prisoners of war (Quds News, June 3, 2013).
American Attempts to Promote Negotiations with Israel
- Sources high in the PA responded to the activities of the American envoy, Secretary of State John Kerry, to promote negotiations with Israel as follows:
- Saeb Erekat, a member of the PLO's Executive Committee, said in an interview that the Palestinians were interested in making an effort to have Kerry's mission to succeed. However, Israel had to stop the construction in the settlements, recognize the 1967 borders and release the Palestinian prisoners. He said that those were not pre-conditions but rather commitments Israel had to stand by. He said that if Kerry's mission failed Mahmoud Abbas would join international organizations to wage the struggle against Israel as a continuation of the popular resistance activities (Palestinian TV, Al-Mayadeen TV, Lebanon, Al-Hayat, June 6, 2013).
- Yasser Abd Rabbo, secretary of the PLO's Executive Committee, said that John Kerry had not succeeded in restarting the peace process. He said Israel had not stood by its commitments to the PA (Voice of Palestine Radio, June 9, 2013).
Adding Hezbollah to the European List of Terrorist Organizations
- European Union diplomats held at a meeting to discuss adding Hezbollah to the EU's list of terrorist organizations. Representatives from a number of countries said they doubted there was sufficient evident to link Hezbollah to the terrorist attack at Burgas, Bulgaria. According to Bulgaria's new foreign minister, at this point evidence indicating Hezbollah was behind the attack in July 2012 was circumstantial and not absolute (Agence France-Presse, June 5, 2013). The position is contrary to Bulgaria's former stance following the attack, which was that Hezbollah had to be added to the EU list of terrorist organizations.
The Global March to Jerusalem
- The events of the Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ) passed without exceptional incident. The marches and main events were held in the Gaza Strip, Jordan, Egypt, Malaysia, Pakistan, Turkey and other countries. Demonstrations were held in many European capitals and across North America, some of them held near local Israeli legations. Their slogan was "Citizens of the world want to liberate Jerusalem."
- According to Zaher al-Birawi, a Hamas activist in Britain who was the GMJ spokesman, events were held in 120 cities in 40 countries around the globe. He claimed the events of June 2013 were far more successful than those of the previous year, noting improvements in their quality, the number of participants and the number of countries in which they were held (Al-Quds, June 8, 2013). However, in reality, the events had very little political impact and received scanty media coverage.
- Some of the main events were the following:
- In Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem demonstrations were held at the traditional Friday sites, during which Naksa Day was noted. In Jerusalem a march was held starting from the Al-Aqsa mosque. Gatherings in the region of the Old City's Nablus Gate were also reported. A number of Palestinians were injured and several were detained by the Israeli security forces.
- In the Gaza Strip a GMJ march was held after the Friday prayer. The marchers advanced along the main road leading to Beit Hanoun, near the Erez crossing, where the main rally was held. No exceptional events were recorded. The rally was attended by several thousand people; the flags of Israel and the United States were burned. Speakers accused Israel of damaging Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa mosque and called for Palestinian unity. The rally was secured by the Hamas administration security forces, which had deployed in advance along the main routes and at the site of the rally.
Left: The march from the Jabaliya refugee camp to Beit Hanoun (Filastin Al-'Aan, June 7, 2013). Right: The rally in Beit Hanoun (Hamas forum website, June 7, 2013).
- In Jordan participants from all over the country were bussed in the afternoon to the region of Al-Suweima in the southern Jordan Valley. The participants included Hammam Sa'id, the inspector general of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, who gave a speech, and the chairman of the Arab Engineers Union (Al-Aqsa, June 7, 2013).
- In Egypt several thousand people participated in a march after the Friday prayer. It began at the Rabaa' al-Adawia mosque in Cairo and ended at the memorial of the Unknown Soldier. Participants burned Israeli flags and demanded the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador (Al-Wafd, June 7, 2013).
The "Gaza Ark" Project
- The Gaza Ark website formally invited the media to watch the first stages of turning the fishing boat the initiative purchased into a cargo boat to export merchandise from the Gaza Strip (Gaza Ark website, June 5, 2013). The Gaza Ark activists plan to launch the boat from the Gaza port with a cargo of merchandise manufactured in the Gaza Strip to protest the so-called Israeli "naval blockade." At a press conference the activists said that the boat would sail at the end of the year after its renovation had been completed (Gaza Ark website, June 2013).
Turning the fishing boat into a cargo boat (Gaza Ark website, June 10, 2013).
Bethlehem BDS Conference
- On June 8, 2013, the fourth annual BDS conference was held at the University of Bethlehem. Organized by the global and Palestinian BDS campaign, it was attended by an estimated 700 people, among them politicians, members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, and representatives from Palestinian trade unions and organizations. Various ways were suggested to promote the boycott of Israel and normalization with Israel was rejected (Ma'an News Agency, June 8, 2013). Jawad Naji, Palestinian minister of the economy, who was supposed to deliver a speech at the conference, began but had to cut it short and leave because of verbal harassment from some of the participants (PalPress website, June 8, 2013).
 As of June 11, 2013. The statistics do not include mortar shell fire.
 The statistics do not include mortar shell fire.
 For information about Palestinian outposts, see the May 20, 2013 bulletin, "The Palestinian 'Popular Resistance' and Its Built-In Violence."
 The statistics do not include incidents of stone throwing, which are estimated at several dozen every month.