Three terrorist operatives in the region of Yata (Hebron) were killed when an Israeli security force attempted to detain them. The three belonged to a Salafist-jihadi network that planned to attack Israeli and Palestinian Authority targets.
Palestinian throw stones at IDF forces near the Ofer jail (near Ramallah) (Wafa News Agency, November 27, 2013).
Palestinians throw stones at IDF forces near Qalandia (Wafa News Agency, November 29, 2013).
The Gazan naval protest (Qudsnet website, December 2, 2013)
The Gazan naval protest (Qudsnet website, December 2, 2013)
- This past week Israel's southern border was quiet. In Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem Palestinian popular resistance riots continued. A two year-old baby girl was hit by a stone thrown at a vehicle near the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood in Jerusalem. In other violent events an improvised hand grenade and stones were thrown at Israeli security forces near the Tomb of Rachel (Bethlehem) and a Molotov cocktail was thrown at the Jewish village of Karmei Tzur (southwest of Bethlehem).
- In the region of Yata the Israeli security forces killed three Palestinian terrorist operatives belonging to a Salafist-jihadi network during the attempt to detain them. The operatives had planned to carry out attacks on Israeli and Palestinian Authority (PA) targets. Two guns and a number of IEDs were found in the terrorists' vehicle.
- This past week Israel's southern border was quiet. During the week no rocket or mortar shell hits were identified in Israeli territory.
Toddler Injured by Stone Thrown in the Jerusalem Neighborhood
- At 1700 hours on November 28, 2013, a two year-old baby girl was injured when a large stone hit the car driven by her mother, near the Jerusalem neighborhood of Armon Hanatziv. Her three children were also in the car. One of the stones thrown at the car struck the baby girl in the head. She was evacuated to a hospital in critical condition and treated in the ambulance; on arrival her condition was listed as serious. The stone broke the window on the right-hand side of the car. Following the attack, four suspects, aged 15-20 from the village of Sur Baher, were detained.
Israeli Security Forces Kill Three Salafist-Jihadi Operatives
- During an Israeli security force action in the region of the village of Yata (Hebron) three Palestinian terrorist operatives were killed when the soldiers attempted to detain them. The three belonged to a local Salafist-jihadi network. Two guns and a number of IEDs were found in the operatives' vehicle. Before the event several operatives belonging to the network had been detained in Yatir and Nablus. So far, an investigation has revealed that the network was planning to carry out a number of attacks against Israeli and PA targets. During recent months they established a broad military-terrorist infrastructure: they set up a safe house, purchased weapons and manufactured explosives (Israel Security Agency, November 2013). The three were also wanted by the PA's security forces (Al-Hayat, November 27, 2013).
- The Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem, a network in the Gaza Strip affiliated with the global jihad, issued a statement following the deaths of the three terrorist operatives. It announced the arrival of jihad in the West Bank [i.e., Judea and Samaria] and said a jihad would be waged there against the "PA tyrants" (Al-Fidaa forum, November 29, 2013). The three were buried in Yata, where black Salafist flags were waved. Senior Judea and Samaria Salafist figures were present; it was an exceptional public appearance (Al-Hayat, November 27, 2013).
- Following the deaths of the three operatives a general strike and day of mourning were declared in Yata. Senior PA figures condemned their deaths while ignoring their terrorist affiliation and plans to carry out attacks against the PA. Yasser Abd Rabbo, secretary general of the PLO's Executive Committee, accused Israel of escalating the security situation on the ground. He said that Israel was exploiting the fact that the world's attention had been captured by other international issues, allowing it to carry out "crimes" against the Palestinian people, to eradicate the progress made in the negotiations and to inflame the region (Voice of Palestine Radio, November 27, 2013).
The terrorist operatives' funeral. Their bodies were wrapped in black Salafist flags, which were also waved by mourners (Al-Watan TV in Ramallah, November 27, 2013)
Violence and Attempted Attacks Continue in Judea and Samaria
- Violence continues in Judea and Samaria, part of the so-called popular resistance. Stones and Molotov cocktails were thrown at Israeli civilians and Israeli security forces. In addition, a number of attacks were attempted on the main roads. For example, on November 30, 2013, during a riot near the Tomb of Rachel in Bethlehem, an improvised hand grenade and stones were thrown at Israeli security forces (IDF spokesman, November 30, 2013). In addition, a Molotov cocktail was thrown at the Jewish village of Karmei Tzur (southwest of Bethlehem). There were no casualties and no damage was reported (IDF spokesman, November 30, 2013).
The Rafah Crossing
- The Rafah crossing continues to operate irregularly, opening and closing intermittently. Mahmoud al-Habash, minister for religious endowments and religious affairs in the PA, said that recently an agreement had been reached with the Egyptian authorities for opening the Rafah crossing once every two weeks so that Palestinians could leave for and return from Amara, Saudi Arabia (for pilgrimages carried out at times other than during the hajj) (Ma'an News Agency, December 1, 2013).
The Energy Crisis
- The energy crisis in the Gaza Strip continues, affecting all spheres of civilian life. There are serious power outages, a steep decline in services, such as the provision of water and waste disposal, a rise in the price of fuel, a shortage of cooking gas and a halt in construction.
- The de-facto Hamas administration is looking for a solution to the problem, and in the meantime is taking steps to reduce the harmful effects of the crisis on the population:
- Ziyad al-Zaza, deputy head of the Hamas administration and minister of finance, said that in light of the energy crisis the Hamas administration had taken a number of steps, among them providing fuel for buses carrying workers, office workers and students, and for taxis, bakeries and municipalities (Al-Aqsa TV, November 26, 2013).
- Following complaints from residents that gas was being distributed unfairly, Fathi Hamad, minister of the interior in the Hamas administration, ordered the deployment of a "restraining force" at gas-distribution centers. He ordered members of the force to accompany the men delivering gas to oversee the distribution (Website of the ministry of the interior of the de-facto Hamas administration, November 26, 2013).
- The Hamas administration also maintains contacts with the PA and Arab and international agencies to solve the energy crisis, but so far without significant results. Abd al-Salam Siam, secretary general of the Hamas administration, said that there was no news regarding a solution for the Gaza Strip's energy crisis, and that the Hamas administration was continuing its contacts with various agencies (Filastin al-Yawm, December 1, 2013).
- On November 27,2013, Mahmoud Abbas met with Yasser Othman, the Egyptian ambassador to the PA, to discuss the possibility of easing the lot of the residents of the Gaza Strip who were "suffering from the closure of the [Israeli] occupation" (Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda, November 28, 2013). Fathi al-Sheikh Khalil, chairman of the Gaza Strip's energy authority, said that three months ago the authority had appealed to the PA to examine the possibility of buying electricity form Israel, but, he claimed, the PA had not seriously discussed the request (Qudsnet website, December 2, 2013).
- UNRWAbegan distributing fuel quotas through the Kerem Shalom crossing for the needs of the local municipalities and for sewage facilities. In addition, the UN asked Israel to renew the delivery of building materials to the Gaza Strip (Sama News Agency, November 28, 2013). Turkey promised to finance the purchase of fuel for vital facilities in the Gaza Strip and to that end transferred $850,000 to the PA, which in turn transferred $200,000 to the Gaza Strip (PalPress website, November 28, 2013).
The Negotiations with Israel
- According to Palestinian sources, on November 27, 2013, the Palestinian and Israeli negotiating teams met in Jerusalem. It was the first meeting since the Palestinian team resigned. Saeb Erekat, a member of the PLO's Executive Committee and the Palestinian representative to the negotiations, protested to the team about the increase in construction in the settlements. No progress was made at the meeting (Xinhua News Agency, November 27; Walla!, December 2, 2013).
- PA figures continued criticizing Israel and expressed skepticism for the chances of successful negotiations:
- Muhammad Ashtiya, who resigned from the Palestinian negotiating team, said in an interview that Israel's arrival at the negotiating table was a tactical move meant to placate the international community. He also said that the negotiations were carried out by envoys of the prime minister, not by the prime minister himself, which indicated that the Israeli side was not genuinely serious about conducting negotiations (Palestinian TV, November 28, 2013).
- Nabil Shaath, a member of Fatah's Central Committee, said that as far as the Palestinians were concerned the negotiations had already failed and that the only thing that kept the Palestinian representatives at the negotiating table was the release of the Palestinian prisoners (NRG website, November 29, 2013). On another occasion he said that the Palestinian leadership would continue with the negotiations until the nine months allotted for them were over, so that Israel and the United States would not be able to accuse the Palestinians for their failure. He said that in his opinion the talks would not lead to an agreement (Al-Ayam, December 2, 2013).
- Saeb Erekat, a member of the PLO's Executive Committee, told a group of foreign diplomats that a permanent solution could be found in the five months remaining for the negotiations. He said it would be possible if the Palestinians could find a partner in the State of Israel who would say sincerely that he agreed to the two-state solution based on the 1967 borders. He rejected the Israeli request to recognize the State of Israel as a Jewish state. He said that would mean changing Palestinian culture and history, and that was not going to happen (Al-Quds Al-Arabi, November 30, 2013).
Security Operations to Restore Law and Order to Nablus
- An estimated 150 operatives of the Palestinian security forces have recently begun operating in Nablus, in collaboration with local police, against felons and holders of illegal weapons. According to the commander of the Nablus region and the spokesman for the PA security forces, the objective of the action is to preserve security, implement the rule of law, and increase the safety of Nablus' residents and of the refugee camps in its vicinity. He added that the activity was not linked to specific incidents (Quds News, Palestine24, December 2, 2013).
PA security forces arrive in Nablus (Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda, December 3, 2013).
Naval Activity on the Gaza Shore
- On December 2 activists from the so-called Intifada Youth, a network operating mainly through the social media, held a naval activity in collaboration with the Gazan fishermen's union to protest the so-called Israeli "naval closure" of the Gaza Strip. On the morning of December 2 an estimated 150 activists set out in 17 small boats with the intention of crossing the six-mile line (which has limited Gazan fishermen since Operation Pillar of Defense).
- Before the boats set sail the organizers held a press conference where they spoke of the suffering of the residents of the Gaza Strip in general and fishermen in particular, caused by the limitations on their activities. The activists, who planned to cross the six-mile line, returned in the afternoon after having distanced themselves only 4-5 miles from the shore (Ma'an News Agency and Al-Aqsa TV, December 2, 2013).
UN Declares 2014 "Year of Solidarity with the Palestinians"
- On November 29, 2013, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution declaring 2014 the "year of solidarity with the Palestinians." One hundred and ten countries voted in favor, seven voted against and 56 abstained. The resolution was passed on the anniversary of the PA's gaining recognition as an observer state in the UN. During the year activities will be held in collaboration with NGOs and government organizations (Voice of Palestine Radio, UN website, November 26, 2013). The General Assembly then passed six resolutions dealing with the Palestinian issue (UN website, November 26, 2013).
 As of November 26, 2013. The statistics do not include mortar shell fire.
 The statistics do not include mortar shell fire.