Israeli security forces search the Jewish village of Psagot after a terrorist operative infiltrated the village and wounded a nine year-old girl
The Facebook page of Fawzi Barhoum congratulating terrorist operatives and calling for more terrorist attacks (Fawzi Barhoum's official Facebook page, October 6, 2013).
The Hamas rally in the northern Gaza Strip attended by Ismail Haniya, head of the Hamas administration
The Hamas rally in the northern Gaza Strip attended by Ismail Haniya, head of the Hamas administration
The Palestinian prime minister visits Jenin (Jenin TV, October 4, 2013).
Palestinian security force operatives in Jenin (Ma'an News Agency, October 2, 2013).
Abbas Zaki and Bashar Assad meet in Syria (Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda, October 8, 2013)
Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, former Jerusalem mufti, reads his fatwa to boycott the company (Ma'an News Agency, October 2, 2013)
- On October 5, 2013, a terrorist operative infiltrated the Jewish village of Psagot (near Al-Bireh), met a nine year-old girl, wounded her in the shoulder and fled. Israel's south was quiet; no rocket hits were identified. Violent confrontations continued in Judea and Samaria, and stones and Molotov cocktails were thrown at Israeli security forces and Israeli civilians. The Israel Security Agency reported an increase in the number of terrorist attacks carried out in Judea and Samaria during September.
- Relations between Egypt and the de-facto Hamas administration in the Gaza Strip remain tense. The Rafah crossing opened intermittently this past week, primarily for pilgrims on their way to Mecca. The Gazan economy continues to deteriorate, leading elements within Hamas to initiate demonstrations and rallies to renew and reinforce the narrative of the so-called "closure" of the Gaza Strip.
- This past week no rocket hits were identified in Israeli territory.
Terrorist Operative Infiltrates Psagot and Wounds Chile
- On October 5, 2013, a terrorist operative infiltrated in the Jewish village of Psagot (near Al-Bireh). The operative, who was armed, met a nine year-old girl, wounded her in the shoulder and fled. The girl, who was not seriously wounded, ran to her father, who alerted the security forces. Receiving the report of the attack, Israeli security forces arrived to apprehend the attacker. After they were certain he was no longer in the village they searched the area around nearby Al-Bireh (IDF spokesman and Ynet, October 6, 2013). On October 7, 2013, the Palestinian media reported that in Al-Bireh the Israeli security forces had detained two brothers in their 20s who had apparently been involved in the attack (Haaretz, October 8, 2013).
- The Palestinian media reported there were confrontations between Palestinians and the Israeli security forces operating in Al-Bireh and that two Palestinians had been wounded by rubber bullets (Al-Ayam, October 5, 2013). Nabil Shaath, responsible for Fatah's international relations, said that the "raid" of the Israeli security forces in Al-Bireh was an aggressive attempt to destroy the peace process, and that the United States had to stop such attacks, which were an example of what Israel would do after it had signed the peace agreement (Mawtini Radio, October 6, 2013).
- Responding on his Facebook page to the attack in Psagot and previous incidents, Fawzi Barhoum, Hamas spokesman in the Gaza Strip, called for the continuation of the "resistance" [i.e., terrorism and violence] in all its forms. He wrote, "Blessed are the young people who rise up against the occupation, blessed is the sniper in Hebron, blessed those who run over [Israeli] soldiers, blessed are the pure hands of the snipers who shot the two Zionists near Ramallah" (Fawzi Barhoum's Facebook page, October 6, 2013).
Weapons Cache Found in Hebron
- On the night of October 4, 2013, Israeli security forces operating in the Kasbah of Hebron uncovered a weapons cache in one of the houses. The weapons were on the roof and lower floors, hidden in large earthenware jars. Among the weapons found were two pipe bombs, improvised guns – one assembled and one in pieces – a number of Molotov cocktails and ammunition. The residents of the house were apparently arms dealers (IDF spokesman, October 4, 2013).
Increase in Terrorist Attacks in September
- According to an Israel Security Agency (ISA) report, there was an increase in the number of terrorist attacks carried out in Judea and Samaria during September. Particularly glaring were two, one the abduction and murder of an IDF soldier, and the other a sniper attack which killed an IDF soldier. During September 129 terrorist attacks were reported. Of them, 104 were carried out in Judea and Samaria (compared with 68 in August 2013) and 25 in Jerusalem (similar to the number in August). Most of the incidents involved Molotov cocktails (117 attacks), IEDs (seven attacks) and light arms fire (four attacks) (ISA website).
Violence Continues in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem
- Violence continues in Judea and Samaria as part of the so-called "popular resistance." Scores of stones were thrown at Israeli vehicles, the security forces and Israeli civilians, and Molotov cocktails were also thrown. Confrontations and friction continued between Palestinians and the Israeli security forces at the weekly demonstrations and riots.
- The main events were the following:
- On October 5, 2013 a Palestinian vehicle attempted to break through an Israeli Border Police roadblock near Sebastia (Nablus district). Two Border Policemen sustained slight injuries and were evacuated to a hospital.
- On October 1, 2013 in East Jerusalem stones were thrown at a civilian Israeli bus near Herod's Gate en route to the Western Wall. There were no casualties but the bus was damaged.
Left: Palestinians confront IDF forces in the village of Burin (south of Nablus) (Bukra.net website, October 5, 2013). Right: The Israeli bus attacked with stones near Herod's Gate in east Jerusalem (Tazpit News Agency, October 1, 2013).
Egypt's Influence on the Gazan Economy
- This past week the Rafah crossing opened and closed intermittently. Most of those using it were pilgrims on their way to Mecca. On October 2, 2013, 800 Gazans passed through the crossing to take planes to Saudi Arabia for the hajj (Al-Masri Al-Youm, October 2, 2013). Twenty-two trucks of building materials entered, a gift from Qatar for the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip (Al-Youm Al-Sabea, October 2, 2013).
A notice manifesting Hamas' displeasure with Egypt's operation of the Gaza Strip. The Arabic reads, "All dreams in Gaza end at the Rafah terminal...!" (Facebook page of the interior ministry of the de-facto Hamas administration in the Gaza Strip, October 3, 2013)
- Alaa al-Rifati, the Hamas administration's minister of the economy, said that as a result of Egypt's action the economic situation of the Gaza Strip continued to deteriorate. He said the Hamas administration was making an effort to cope with the new situation with a policy of what he called "resistance economy," based on encouraging the consumption of local products. However, he said, that would demand time and the reconstruction of Gaza's economy (Palinfo website, October 6, 2013).
Continuing Hamas-Egypt Tension
- The commander of the Egyptian border police officially announced the establishment of a 500-meter (about a third of a mile) buffer zone along Egypt's border with the Gaza Strip. He also ordered the destruction of every house within the zone. He also said that every house found to hide a tunnel would be blown up by the army and its owners would be subject to a court martial. The Egyptian navy is also patrolling Egypt's national waters to prevent Gazan fishing boats from entering Egypt's fishing territory (PalPress website, October 4, 2013).
- Following an Egyptian army statement that it had composed a list of possible targets in the Gaza Strip, Ihab al-Ghussin, spokesman and head of the bureau of information in the Hamas administration, asked Egypt to clarify its official position regarding military threats to the Gaza Strip (Filastin Al-'Aan, October 3, 2013). Bassem Naim, Ismail Haniya's foreign advisor, appealed to the Egypt authorities to meet directly with Hamas to discuss the situation. He claimed that the Egyptian threats served Israel and harmed the "historical" relations between the Palestinians and Egypt (Alresala.net website, October 5, 2013).
Rally in Support of Jerusalem
- Hamas organized a rally in the northern Gaza Strip in support of Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa mosque, with the theme "At your orders, Al-Aqsa." It was attended by Ismail Haniya, head of the de-facto Hamas administration, and senior Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) figures who called for Arab-Islamic intervention to counteract the "Judaization" of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa mosque. Khalil al-Khaya, a member of Hamas' political bureau, gave a speech boasting of Hamas' strength and claiming that the rockets that "pounded Tel Aviv and Jerusalem" would be launched again to liberate Al-Aqsa mosque (Al-Aqsa TV, October 4, 2013).
- Senior Hamas sources noted that Iran had renewed its support for Hamas, following the visit of Muhammad Nasr, a member of the Hamas political bureau, to Iran. However, it was also noted that Iranian support had not returned to its previous level and was still limited (Al-Hayat, October 2, 2013).
Propaganda Activity to Break the Israeli "Closure" of the Gaza Strip
- Elements in Hamas are renewing and reinforcing the narrative of the closure of the Gaza Strip. Khalil al-Khaya, a member of the Hamas leadership, announced that the Hamas administration had authorized a broad campaign to end the closure of the Gaza Strip. It will include demonstrations and marches, public activities and diplomatic efforts (Safa News Agency, October 1, 2013).
- In addition, the Intifada Youth Coalition, a group recently active in the social networks, announced its intention to breach the naval closure of the Gaza Strip and extend the six-mile fishing zone by organizing a naval demonstration (Safa News Agency, October 1, 2013). In preparation, a Coalition delegation met with foreign activists currently visiting the Gaza Strip. The delegation gave them information about the activities they had organized and asked them to participate; they expressed support and agreed (Filastin Al-'Aan, October 5, 2013).
The Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations
- Interviewed by Israel's Channel 10 TV, Israeli Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni said that the peace negotiations might continue for more than the nine months allotted for them. In response, Palestinian sources said that the Palestinian Authority (PA) would not accept any deviation from the nine-month limit. According to quotes in the Palestinian media, the negotiating teams are making plans for intensive negotiations. They intend twice a week to reach a solution within the nine months allotted to the negotiations (Al-Quds Al-Arabi, October 7, 2013).
- Nimr Hamad, Mahmoud Abbas' political advisor, said that the negotiations would not extend beyond the nine months allotted by the United States and accused Israel of trying to use excuses and negative declarations from senior figures to sabotage the peace process (Voice of Palestine, October 6, 2013). Yasser Abd Rabbo, secretary of the PLO's Executive Committee, said that the Palestinians would not agree to an extension of the nine months. He added that no peace agreement would be achieved unless Israel withdrew from all the territory occupied in 1967, especially Jerusalem, and without a just solution for the problem of the Palestinian refugees (Voice of Palestine, October 7, 2013).
Reactions to the Israeli Prime Minister's Speech in the UN General Assembly
- Most of the senior Palestinian figures and Palestinian media did not respond to the main issues raised by Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu in his speech in the UN General Assembly (which was devoted almost entirely to Iran), but rather to the "two minutes" devoted to the Palestinians:
- Nimr Hamad, political advisor to Mahmoud Abbas, said that the speech was insincere and showed Netanyahu did not desire to speak the truth. He said it proved that Netanyahu wanted to avoid the main issues and cast both blame and responsibility on the Palestinians (Al-Sabil, Jordan, October 2, 2013).
- Yasser Abd Rabbo, secretary of the PLO's Executive Committee, said that the fact that the speech devoted only two minutes to the peace process showed how low its priority was for Netanyahu. As to the speech itself, he said that Netanyahu had again demonstrated that he was a member of Israel's extreme rightist camp. He said the speech was ideological and aimed to win recognition of Israel as a Jewish state with ambitions to expand (Voice of Palestine, October 2, 2013).
- However, a meeting of the PLO's Executive Committee on October 2, 2013, praised the speech given in the UN General Assembly by Mahmoud Abbas, which set out the next stage of Palestinian policies. According to the committee, the Israeli position as presented by Netanyahu was an obstacle to progress in the negotiations. It called for the Palestinians to make essential concessions based on Israeli security demands, which would mean the Palestinians would lose extensive areas of Judea and Samaria, Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley (Wafa News Agency, October 2, 2013).
PA Security Service Actions in Jenin
- For a number of days the PA's security services have been active in Jenin and its nearby refugee camp as part of an broad military action to "stamp out anarchy" (Al-Quds Al-Arabi, October 4, 2013). More than 500 special forces' operatives were deployed in Jenin, reinforced by a battalion of the internal security forces. They detained several dozen suspects, among them senior PIJ operatives (Safa News Agency and Filastin Al-'Aan, October 5, 2013).
- Rami al-Hamdallah, Palestinian prime minister, who visited Jenin to watch the action, said that he had been sent there by Mahmoud Abbas to support the efforts of the security services to restore public order (Al-Quds, October 4, 2013).
- Hamas and the PIJstrongly condemned the operation, calling it "an operation of fraud and deceit." They claimed they were following with concern both the events and the "media fraud" accompanying them, claiming they were fighting anarchy and corruption (Safa News Agency, October 5, 2013). Taher al-Nunu, Ismail Haniya's media advisor, said that the "Zionists" and the PA leadership had the same goals and were collaborating, and were thus widening the internal Palestinian schism.
The Eighth Bila'in Conference Is Held
- On October 2, 2013, the eighth Bila'in conference was held to discuss "the reinforcement, expansion and development of the popular resistance in Palestine" (Voice of Palestine, October 2, 2013). The conference lasted three days and was attended by senior figures of the PA and Fatah, among them Rami Hamdallah, the Palestinian prime minister, Mahmoud al-Alul and Jamal Muhaisen, both senior Fatah figures, representatives of the various Palestinian organizations and foreign representatives, including the British Consul in Jerusalem (Wafa News Agency, October 2, 2013).
- At its weekly meeting the Palestinian government praised the conference and called for ministers and the general Palestinian population to attend en masse. The government also gave its support to the so-called "peaceful popular resistance" and stressed the right of civilians to defend their land. According to a government announcement, the conference was held even as the Israeli government escalated its oppression (Wafa News Agency, October 1, 2013).
- In its closing announcement, the conference noted that the activities of the "popular resistance" would be developed and expanded, and a call was heard to increase preparations to join international organizations, especially the International Criminal Court in The Hague, and to expand the global activities to boycott Israel. The conference organizers also said that as of 2014, instead of the Bila'in Conference it would be known as the "International Palestinian Conference for Popular Resistance" (Wafa News Agency, October 4, 2013).
- Among the resolutions adopted were the following (Wafa News Agency, October 4, 2013):
- To appoint a preparatory committee to examine the establishment of an umbrella organization which would unite all the bodies participating in the popular resistance with one effective program for the struggle.
- To establish a legal body to defend activists locally, regionally and internationally.
- To institute transparency of the conference's financial activities.
- Abdallah Abu Rahma, coordinator for the popular resistance committees of Bila'in, said in an interview that one of conference's achievements was the decision to go one step further, from "protest to confrontation." That would mean a change in perception and initiating activities that were out of the ordinary and would surprise Israel (Ajial, October 5, 2013).
Left: Rami Hamdallah, Palestinian prime minister, speaking at the Bila'in conference (Wafa News Agency, October 2, 2013). Right: The British consul (third from right, yellow arrow) to whose right are Mustafa Barghouti, Lila Ghanem, the governor of the Ramallah district, Jamal Muhaisen of Fatah's Central Committee, and Rami Hamdallah, Palestinian prime minister (Wafa News Agency, October 2, 2013).
- Abbas Zaki, a member of Fatah's Central Committee and Mahmoud Abbas's special envoy, met with President Bashar Assad and expressed the Palestinians' support for Syria. Assad told him that the Palestinian cause was always at the top of Syria's priority list and that events in Syria had not changed the way the Syrian people felt about the Palestinians (Syrian News Agency, October 7, 2013). The meeting led Hamas' Judea and Samaria Ajnad website to sneer, "someone who is no good for his own country will not be good for the Palestinians" (Ajnad Facebook page, October 8, 2013).
Heads of Palestinian NGOs Meet with the General Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague
- Representatives of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) and Al-Haq, two anti-Israeli Palestinian NGOs that play a central role in the lawfare campaign being waged against Israel, held a meeting with Ms. Fatou B. Bensouda, the General Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. They presented her with a legal opinion prepared in collaboration with Dr. Michael Kearney of Britain. According to the opinion, after having been recognized by the UN as a state with observer status, the claim of the former general prosecutor that the authority of the ICC was not valid in the PA could be obviated. Accordingly, the general prosecutor could act on the basis of a declaration presented by the PA in 2009 to accept the judgment of the ICC without the necessity of renewed action on the part of the Palestinian leadership (PCHR website, October 3, 2013).
- UNESCO's directorate met on October 4, 2013, and with an overwhelming majority passed six resolutions condemning Israel for so-called "activities against Palestinian culture and its historical legacy." Most of the members of the directorate voted in favor of the resolutions and condemned "Israeli violence" directed against the Palestinian culture and heritage of Jerusalem, Hebron, Bethlehem and the Gaza Strip. They expressed concern over the continuation of "illegal archaeological excavations" conducted by Israel around the Old City in Jerusalem, and also criticized Israel for not allowing a delegation of UNESCO experts to visit historical sites in Jerusalem (Middleeastmonitor.com website, October 4, 2013).
- The foreign ministry of the PA issued a statement following the passage of the resolutions stressing the Palestinians' diplomatic success in UNESCO (Wafa News Agency, October 4, 2013). Riyadh al-Maliki, the Palestinian foreign minister, praised the UNESCO vote and said he hoped Israel would be committed to obeying the resolutions. He said if Israel were not, the Palestinians would discuss more stringent resolutions which would require that UNESCO take steps to punish Israel (Palestinian TV, October 4, 2013).
Palestinian Fatwa to Boycott the International Security Firm G4S
- As part of the activities to boycott of firms working with Israel, Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, the former mufti of Jerusalem, issued a fatwa calling for a boycott of the international security firm G4S, which secures the Israeli prison facilities, checkpoints and Jewish villages in Judea and Samaria. He also called on Saudi Arabia to cancel its contract with the company to secure the pilgrims in Mecca (Ma'an News Agency, October 2, 2013).
As of October 8, 2013. The statistics do not include mortar shell fire.
The statistics do not include mortar shell fire.
Not including the scores of stones thrown.
For information about the violent nature of the popular resistance, see the May 20, 2013 bulletin “The Popular Resistance and Its Built-In Violence.”