Rami Hamdallah (center, red tie), new Palestinian Authority prime minister, visits the Temple Mount (Wafa News Agency, June 16, 2013).
Hamas delegation meets with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi (Filastin Al-'Aan, June 18, 2013).
Urgent notice issued by the Salafist-affiliated Ibn Taymiyyah Center forum according to which Sheikh Hussein al-Gha'itani was being tortured in a Hamas prison (PalPress website, June 16, 2013).
Children wearing green Hamas hats are shown how to fire an RPG at a Hamas summer camp (Filastin Al-'Aan, June 16, 2013).
- The quiet along Israel's southern border continues. Violent confrontations continue in Judea and Samaria, part of the so-called "popular resistance."
- Rami Hamdallah, the new PA prime minister, visited east Jerusalem; his visit included the Temple Mount. He said that east Jerusalem was at the top of the PA government's priority list and that some of its budget was allotted to the city (Voice of Palestine, June 16, 2013).
Rocket Fire on the Southern Border
- This past week as well 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." On June 15, 2013, residents of Palestinian villages west of Ramallah held a march whose theme was "The march of return to the villages of Wadi Latrun." The marchers approached the security fence at the village of Beit Lakia where they rioted and threw stones at the IDF forces stationed there. According to Ahmed al-Rab, who organized the march, its objective was to mark the 45th anniversary of Israel's destruction of villages in the Latrun area. He said the march was intended to protest waiving the "right of return" and the concept of territorial exchanges as part of a future political agreement between Israel and the PA (Raya forum, June 15, 2013).
Palestinian youths throw stones at IDF forces during the "march of return to the villages of Wadi Latrun," west of Ramallah (Paltoday website, June 15, 2013).
Hamas Delegation Goes to Cairo
- A delegation of the Hamas leadership, led by Khaled Mashaal, chairman of Hamas' political bureau, and Ismail Haniya, his deputy and head of the de-facto Hamas administration, went to Cairo for a Hamas political bureau conference. While in Egypt, on June 17, 2013 the members of the delegation met with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi. According to political bureau member Izzat al-Rishq, among the issues discussed at the meeting were the internal Palestinian reconciliation and the situation in Syria (Palinfo website, June 18, 2013). From Egypt the delegation is expected to go to Turkey to meet with the Turkish prime minister (Facebook page of Izzat al-Rishq, June 18, 2013).
Salafist Operative Detained in the Gaza Strip
- The security forces of the de-facto Hamas administration continue their security operations against jihadist Salafist operatives. The ministry of the interior of the Hamas administration announced its security forces had detained a "wanted radical Islamic operative." Following the announcement, a forum affiliated with the Salafist movement in the Gaza Strip reported the detention of Sheikh Hussein al-Gha'itani (Abu Muaz) (Ibn Taymiyyah Center forum, June 16, 2013).
Hamas' "Restraint Force" Holds a Military Exercise
- On June 17, 2013, the Hamas restraint force, established by the ministry of the interior of the de-facto Hamas administration to enforce its policy of restraint on the rogue terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip, held a military exercise in the central Gaza Strip. The exercise simulated an attempt to infiltrate into Israel and escape from the Gaza Strip. It was watched by a delegation of senior figures from the ministry of the interior, who wanted to personally examine the force's activities. Members of the delegation included Lieutenant Colonel Dhiaa' al-Din al-Shurafa, deputy director of the department of military matters in the ministry of the interior, and Captain Marwan al-Dalu, director of public relations for the department. Al-Shurafa praised the activities of the restraint force, saying that it had been entrusted with a very important mission (Website of the Hamas ministry of the interior, June 17, 2013).
Left: Exercise carried out by Hamas' restraint force simulates infiltrating from the Gaza Strip into Israel. Right: Group photo of the Hamas operatives and the members of the ministry of the interior delegation (Website of the Hamas ministry of the interior, June 17, 2013).
Military Training for Palestinian Youths in Summer Camps in the Gaza Strip
nDuring the current summer vacation camps are being run for children and adolescents in the Gaza Strip by the terrorist organizations (Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad), other organizations and religious associations, and UNRWA. As they do every year, the camps combine social activities with radical Islamist indoctrination and semi-military training. It was recently noted that children and adolescents at Hamas summer camps underwent military training and instruction which included the use of arms, live ammunition and RPGs. The camp counselors are operatives in the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas, military-terrorist wing (Safa News Agency, June 16, 2013). Pictures of semi-military training for adolescents in PIJ summer camps were previously issued.
The New PA Prime Minister Visits East Jerusalem
- Rami Hamdallah, the new Palestinian prime minister, paid a visit to east Jerusalem. He visited Al-Aqsa mosque and the Al-Maqassed Hospital (Wafa News Agency, June 16, 2013). He said that east Jerusalem was of great importance to the Palestinian people and was one of the core issues of the [Arab-Israeli] conflict. He added that east Jerusalem was at the top of the Palestinian government's priority list and that some of the government's budget was allotted to the city (Voice of Palestine, June 16, 2013).
Palestinian Reactions to the Election of the New Iranian President
- Mahmoud Abbas, PA chairman, sent his congratulations to Hassan Rowhani, the newly elected Iranian president. He wished him success and expressed hope for collaboration and improved Palestinian-Iranian relations (Wafa News Agency, June 16, 2013).
- Mahmoud al-Zahar, a member of Hamas' political bureau, congratulated Rowhani in the name of the Hamas movement and said that Hamas would work to upgrade its relations with Iran [in our assessment, a hint that Hamas would not surrender to pressures to sever its ties with Iran]. He said that the Palestinian people needed to collaborate with all the Arab-Muslim governments (Fars News Agency, Iran, June 16, 2013).
Tension between Hezbollah and Hamas
- Hezbollah's involvement in the fighting in Syria in support of the forces of the Assad regime and the harsh verbal attack on Hezbollah and Iran voiced by Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi have worsened the relations between Hezbollah and Hamas. It was also reported that disagreements had broken out within Hamas because of the relations between Iran and Hezbollah (a report denied by Ismail Haniya, head of the de-facto Hamas administration, in his Friday sermon). However, Hamas issued a formal announcement stating unequivocally that it was not involved in the struggle in Syria and that the movement was only interested in the struggle in Palestine (Hamasinfo website, June 13, 2013).
- The worsening of relations was mentioned in the media, which stated that according to a request from Hezbollah, Lebanese general intelligence had stopped issuing entrance visas for Hamas activists. Lebanese general intelligence was quick to deny the information, saying that the decision was the result of the discovery of Palestinians carrying forged Lebanese entrance visas and that the matter was being investigated (Lebanese News Agency, June 10, 2013). Ali Barakeh, Hamas representative in Lebanon, also said that it was not a political matter and that visas were temporarily not being issued and would be issued again as soon as the investigation had been concluded (Palestine Online website, June 11, 2013).
- In order to bridge their contradictory positions, Hezbollah figures responsible for relations with the Palestinians held a series of meetings in Lebanon with a Hamas delegation headed by Ali Barakeh, the Hamas representative in Lebanon. Hezbollah also sent out a circular forbidding its activists to criticize Hamas (Al-Akhbar, June 16, 2013). According to a source close to Hezbollah, the organization wants to preserve good relations with Hamas (Al-Nashra, Lebanon, June 13, 2013). According to a source close to Hamas, Hamas needs Iran and Hezbollah, and there is an internal consensus not to sever relations with them (Al-Nashra, Lebanon, June 13, 2013).
The United States Imposes Sanction of Hezbollah Activists Abroad
- As part of an American activity to limit Hezbollah's activity beyond the borders of Lebanon, the Treasury Department announced on June 11, 2013, that it was imposing sanctions on four Lebanese citizens for their activities to raise money and enlist operatives for Hezbollah in West Africa. The four are:
- Ali Ibrahim al-Watfawas formally appointed as the permanent Hezbollah liaison to Sierra Leone, and is a senior member of and has assisted in leading a Hezbollah cell in Freetown, Sierra Leone. He coordinated the transfer of funds from Sierra Leone to Hezbollah in Lebanon through the Hezbollah foreign relations department.
- Abbas Loutfe Fawazis a Hezbollah foreign relations official who serves as Hezbollah's leader in Senegal, where he plays a key role in Hezbollah activities and in recruiting activists. He used supermarkets which he owned and operated in Dakar to raise funds for Hezbollah and attract supporters. He hosted a visit to Dakar of Hezbollah activists from Lebanon to promote Hezbollah interests, gain support among the Lebanese expatriates and solicit financial donations. He traveled to Lebanon to meet with Hezbollah officials to discuss security in relation to the potential indictment of Hezbollah operatives by the UN for the assassination in 2995 of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.
- Ali Ahmad Sh'hadeis the Hezbollah foreign relations department official for the Ivory Coast, and in that capacity attempted to coordinate travel for Hezbollah activists from Senegal to the Ivory Coast. Sent to the Ivory Coast by senior Hezbollah leadership, he is also a recruiter.
- Hitham Nimr Ghanaferis an active, influential Hezbollah activist in Gambia, where he has been involved in recruiting and fundraising for Hezbollah.
- In addition, the Treasury Department disclosed the involvement of Hezbollah operatives in drug dealing and money laundering in South America. It imposed sanctions on a drug dealing network headed by Ayman Juma'a (a Colombian of Lebanese origin) and a Hezbollah support network in South America headed by Ali Muhammad Salah (Treasury Department website, June 11, 2013).
 As of June 18, 2013. The statistics do not include mortar shell fire.
 The statistics do not include mortar shell fire.
 Sheikh Hussein al-Gha'itani is a Salafist cleric from Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip. He was abducted from his home in the Gaza Strip by the security forces of the Hamas administration on June 11, 2013.
 For further information see the June 17, 2013 bulletin “This Year as Well Summer Camps Open in the Gaza Strip, Run Mostly by the Terrorist Organizations.”