Hamas terrorist operatives display a Hamas-manufactured M75 rocket; M75s were used to attack Israel during Operation Pillar of Defense (Filastin Al-'Aan, November 14, 2013).
Military parade held by Hamas in the streets of Gaza City marking the first anniversary of Operation Pillar of Defense (Palinfo website, November 14, 2013).
The vehicle driven by the woman from Ofra attacked by Palestinians south of Beit El (Facebook page of The Jewish Voice, November 17, 2013).
Bashir Haroub, one of the murderers of Sraya Ofer from the village of Brosh HaBiqa', says he does not regret what he did (Israel Channel 2 TV, November 18, 2013)
Vehicles impounded by the IDF as part of the action in Dahariya against the escorts of Palestinians illegally in Israel (IDF spokesman, November 18, 2013).
Demonstration of mukhtars organized by Hamas at the Rafah crossing (Filastin Al-'Aan, November 17, 2013).
- This past week two mortar shells were fired into Israeli territory, one landing near an IDF force. In response the Israeli Air Force attacked two rocket launchers hidden underground in the northern Gaza Strip.
- On November 13, 2013, an IDF soldier was stabbed to death on a bus in the northern Israeli city of Afula. His killer was a 16 year-old Palestinian in Israel illegally. Violence continued in Judea and Samaria, part of the so-called popular resistance, including stones and Molotov cocktails thrown at Israeli vehicles.
- Hamas held a military parade in Gaza City to mark the first anniversary of Operation Pillar of Defense, displaying a long-range Hamas-manufactured M75 rocket. In our assessment, the objective was to deter Israel from launching another operation. In reality, the past year was the least violent since Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in 2006, the result of Israeli deterrence, which became stronger after Operation Pillar of Defense.
Mortar Shell Fire and Israeli Air Force Response
- On November 14, 2013, two mortar shells targeting Israeli were fired from the Gaza Strip. One landed close to an IDF force engaged in routine operations near the security fence. No casualties or damage were reported. The other landed inside the Gaza Strip. The military-terrorist wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) claimed responsibility for launching four mortar shells at IDF vehicles (Ynet, November 14, 2013).
- In response the Israeli Air Force (IAF) attacked two underground rocket launchers in the northern Gaza Strip (IDF spokesman, November 14, 2013). No casualties were reported.
- This past week no rocket hits were identified in Israeli territory.
- On November 13, 2013, IDF Private Eden Atias, 19, from the northern city of Nazareth Ilit, was stabbed to death by a 16 year-old Palestinian terrorist on a bus in the northern Israeli city of Afula. Private Atias was taking the bus from Nazareth Ilit to his base. He was asleep when his killer stabbed him in the neck several times, fatally wounding him. Private Atias was evacuated to the hospital in Afula where he later died of his wounds.
- The terrorist who stabbed him was Hussein Sharif Ghawadra, 16, from the village of Bir al-Basha, south of Jenin. According to initial reports he infiltrated into Israel where he remained illegally. The attack was premeditated. During questioning he admitted he had carried out the attack against Private Atias, claiming it was to protest the incarceration of relatives of his in Israeli jails (Israel Police Force Facebook page, November 13, 2013). The Palestinian media reported that Shadi Ghawadraand Muhammad Ghawadra, both cousins of the killer, were imprisoned in Israel (one of them for murdering an Israeli civilian in Baqa al-Gharbia in 2003).
- The official Palestinian Authority (PA) websites made no mention of the terrorist attack in Afula, as did most of the senior Fatah figures. Some of Fatah's websites gave information about the attack based on Israeli media reports. The main media exposure for the attack was the official Facebook page of Fatah's bureau of enlistment and organization. The attack was featured and the killer was supported and encouraged on the page, which customarily heaps praise on "popular resistance" operatives. Both Hamas and the PIJ praised the attack.
Violence Continues in Judea and Samaria
- Violence continued in Judea and Samaria, part of the so-called popular resistance. Stones were thrown at Israeli civilians and Israeli security forces, as were Molotov cocktails. In addition, a number of attacks were attempted on the main roads in Judea and Samaria.
Palestinians throw stones at IDF forces during the weekly riot in Bil'in (Wafa News Agency, November 15, 2013).
- On November 17, 2013, a woman from the Jewish town of Ofra was wounded when the window of her car was shattered by stones thrown by Palestinians on Route 60, the main road, south of Beit El (north of Ramallah). She was evacuated to a hospital for treatment. Palestinians also threw stones at an Israeli vehicle and a bus near Al-Aroub, on the Etzion-Hebron road (Judea and Samaria Rescue).
Possible Stabbing Attack Prevented
- On November 17, 2013, an Israel Border Police force detained a 17 year-old Palestinian at the entrance to the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. He aroused their suspicions and when they searched him they found a knife. He was taken for questioning by the Israeli security forces (INN, HNN, November 17, 2013).
The knife found in the possession of the Palestinian at the entrance to the Cave of the Patriarchs (Israel Border Police spokesman, November 17, 2013).
Improvised Explosive Charge Found
- On November 17, 2013, a young Palestinian was stopped at the Hawara roadblock near Nablus and found to be carrying an improvised explosive charge. It was detonated by the IDF and the Palestinian was taken for questioning (Judea and Samaria Rescue and the Tazpit News Agency).
Molotov Cocktails Tossed
- On November 14, 2013, Palestinians tossed a Molotov cocktail at an Israeli civilian bus near Neve Tzuf (northeast of Modi'in Ilit). No casualties were reported (Tazpit News Agency).
- On November 13, 2013, Palestinians tossed a Molotov cocktail at a vehicle belonging to a resident of Qadumim on Route 55 near Nebi Elias (Qalqiliya district). No casualties were reported (Judea and Samaria Rescue). A Molotov cocktail was also tossed at an Israeli civilian vehicle at the Yitzhar Junction No casualties were reported (Tazpit News Agency).
- On November 12, 2013, a Molotov cocktail was tossed at an Israeli civilian vehicle in the region of Beitar Ilit and at an Israeli vehicle driving from the Yitzhar Junction in the direction of the village of Hawara in Samaria (Judea and Samaria Rescue and the Tazpit News Agency).
Murder of Sraya Ofer in the Northern Jordan Valley (Update)
- On October 10, 2013, Sraya Ofer was murdered by two Palestinians from the village of Dir Samet (Hebron region). During questioning the two revealed that two weeks before the attack they had gone to the village of Brosh HaBiqa' in the northern Jordan Valley, where the Ofers lived, to collect intelligence before a robbery they were planning. Once they understood that the home belonged to a former senior IDF officer who most probably had a weapon, they decided to murder him, they said, "as an Eid al-Adha gift to the Palestinian people and the Hamas prisoners." They also wanted to take his weapon as well as any valuables they might find. Before the attack they sought to strengthen their resolve through religion and prayed for success before they left to carry out the attack (Israel Security Agency website, November 14, 2013). Interviewed by Israel Channel 2 TV, they expressed no remorse for the murder (Israel Channel 2 TV, November 18, 2013).
- On the night of the terrorist attack (October 10) the two went to the residence of the victim armed with a pickaxe and an axe and waited for Sraya Ofer and his wife to come home. They then attacked Ofer with the weapons they had brought. Ofer's wife, who was inside the house at the time, escaped, and when the two realized she was gone they fled, fearing they would be caught. As they ran they cast aside the murder weapons, which were later exposed by the Israeli security forces.
- The two murderers considered crossing the border into Jordan but decided against it and instead contacted Abd Rabbo Muhammad Abd Rabbo Shawamra, 27, from the village of Al-Ram, north of Jerusalem. They asked him to help them escape from the scene of the attack. He picked them up in his car and they told him about the murder; they went to his home to change clothes. Abd Rabbo Shawamra was detained for questioning, and he admitted that what the murderers had said was true (ISA website, November 14, 2013).
Broad Action Conducted against Escorts of Illegal Palestinians in the Hebron Region
- This past week IDF forces conducted a broad action against the escorting of illegal Palestinians based in the Dahariya region south of Mt. Hebron. The action was part of a campaign launched against escorting illegal Palestinians to Israel. Eleven escorts were detained and five vehicles were impounded, most of them stolen (IDF spokesman, November 18, 2013). A Palestinian in Israel illegally murdered Private Eden Atias and illegal Palestinians have been involved in terrorist activities inside Israeli territory. Moreover, according to military sources, escorting Palestinians illegally into Israel inflicts serious damage, to the extent of millions of shekels, on the security fence (IDF spokesman, November 18, 2013).
Israeli Media Reveal Global Jihad Operative Held in Administrative Detention in Israel
- On November 18, 2013, the Israeli media revealed that Samar al-Barq, a global jihad terrorist operative, had been held in administrative detention in Israel since 2010, after having been detained in 2010 at the Allenby crossing. He was born in Kuwait in 1974 of Palestinian extraction; his family lives in the village of Jaiyus in the Qalqiliya district. In 1997 he left for Pakistan to study biology and received military-terrorist training at Al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan.
- In 2001 al-Barq was recruited into Al-Qaeda by Ayman al-Zawahiri, who today heads the organization. He was recruited because of his biology studies, which Al-Qaeda felt could be useful for terrorist activities. He was reportedly involved in the terrorist attack against Israeli tourists in Jordan in 2001 and also agreed to teach Palestinians how to manufacture poisons for use in terrorist attacks in Israeli territory. In 2003 he was detained by the Americans in Pakistan, turned over to the Jordanian authorities and served a prison term of five years. He recently joined the hunger strike of the Palestinian prisoners in administrative detention (Israel Channel 2 TV, NRG and other Israeli media, November 18, 2013).
Samar al-Barq, global jihad terrorist operative, held in administrative detention in Israel since 2010 (Facebook page dedicated to the release of Samar al-Barq, March 13, 2013).
- In 2012 a Facebook page was launched for the release of Samar al-Barq. He also receives legal aid from Jawad Boulos, director of the legal department of the Palestinian prisoners' club, who visits him in prison. In addition, various Palestinian prisoners' organizations operating in the PA, especially the Palestinian prisoners' club, are waging a campaign for his release. In August 2012 a rally was held in front of the Red Cross offices in Qalqiliya to promote his release, attended by the Palestinian minister for prisoner affairs and the district governor.
Hamas and the PIJ Mark the First Anniversary of Operation Pillar of Defense
- To mark the first anniversary of Operation Pillar of Defense in the Gaza Strip, which fell on November 14, 2013, Hamas and the PIJ held military displays and mass rallies throughout the Gaza Strip to reinforce the narrative of the "victory" which they nurture. Hamas displayed a locally manufactured long-range M75 rocket of the type used to attack Tel Aviv during Operation Pillar of Defense (November 2012) (Filastin Al-'Aan and the Paltoday website, November 14, 2013).
- Senior Hamas and PIJ figures gave speeches boasting of the their organizations' military capabilities and threatening Israel against any possible escalation:
- Abu Obeida, spokesman for Hamas' military-terrorist wing in the Gaza Strip, said that the Palestinian resistance [i.e., terrorist organizations] would surprise Israel in the next round of fighting. He said Hamas had destroyed Israeli strategy and forced a million Israelis into bomb shelters (Safa News Agency, November 14, 2013).
- Spokesmen of the Jerusalem Brigades, the PIJ's military-terrorist wing, warned that the resistance would end the lull in the fighting if the Israeli army initiated aggression toward the Gaza Strip and would send rockets to targets more distant than Tel Aviv. One of the spokesmen, Abu Ahmed thanked Iran for the help it gave the Palestinian resistance in the form of weapons, and stressed Iran's part in the "victory of the resistance" (Filastin al-Yawm, November 13, 2013).
The Hamas Administration Criticizes Egypt's Operation of the Rafah Crossing
- This past week the de-facto Hamas administration in the Gaza Strip continued its criticism of Egypt for the difficulties it presented to Gazans in its operation of the Rafah crossing. The crossing was closed for 11 days, opening on November 19, 2013, for three days, and then only partially. The Hamas administration organized a demonstration of Gaza Strip mukhtars at the Rafah crossing to demand its return to full operation (Filastin Al-'Aan, November 17 and 19, 2013).
Ismail Haniya, head of the Hamas administration in the Gaza Strip, exploited his Friday sermon to appeal to Egypt to renew the operation of the Rafah crossing without delay. He said that it was Egypt's right to protect its security, but not at the expense of the Gaza Strip and the resistance. He added that he had only expected aggression from and to be starved by the Israeli enemy (Filastin Al-'Aan, November 15, 2013).
Mahmoud Abbas Says Palestinians Committed to Continuing Negotiations
- Mahmoud Abbas told Agence France-Presse on November 17, 2013, that he had decided, for the time being, not to accept the resignation of the Palestinian negotiating team, and that the team would continue its talks with Israel. He said the Palestinians were committed to the negotiations for the nine months they had agreed to (Ma'an News Agency, November 18, 2013).
- Mahmoud Abbas received the negotiating team's request to resign during a visit to Bethlehem on November 5, 2013. Saeb Erekat, a member of Fatah's Central Committee and a member of the Palestinian negotiating team, said in an interview on the Lebanese TV channel Al-Mayadeen that if within the allotted nine months the talks did not lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state, Mahmoud Abbas would promote the PA's joining 63 international organizations. He said the negotiating team's request to resign did not mean the end of the talks (Qudsnet website, November 19, 2013).
Fatah's Military-Terrorist Wing Hold a Military Display
- Armed, masked operatives of Fatah's military-terrorist wing held a military display in the refugee camp in Qalandia on November 16, 2013. It marked the ninth anniversary of the death of Yasser Arafat and the 25th anniversary of the declaration of Palestinian independence. The armed operatives fired live rounds of ammunition into the air even though they were surrounded by a large crowd (Paltoday website, November 16, 2013). The PA and Fatah have been holding events since November 10, 2013, including mass meetings and marches throughout the streets in Judea and Samaria, to mark the ninth anniversary of Arafat's death.
Armed, masked Fatah terrorist operatives hold a military display in the Qalandia refugee camp on November 16, 2013 (Paltoday website, November 16, 2013).
 As of November 19, 2013. The statistics do not include mortar shell fire.
 The statistics do not include mortar shell fire.