The Fatah and Hamas delegations to the internal Palestinian reconciliation celebrate its signing in the Gaza Strip (Paltoday.ps, April 23, 2014)
The site of the IED attack near the border security fence in the northern Gaza Strip (Facebook page of Otef Aza news updates, April 24, 2014).
Palestinians confront IDF forces in Bil'in during the weekly riot (Palestinian TV, April 25, 2014)
Palestinians, one a child, burn tires and throw stones at IDF forces during the weekly riot in the village of Qadoum (Wafa News Agency, April 25, 2014)
Shabiba activists celebrate the victory in the student council elections. Imad Nasser al-Din, Fatah secretary general for the Hebron weapons, fires live ammunition in to the air
- Israeli Air Force (IAF) aircraft struck a Palestinian terrorist operative in the Gaza Strip who was apparently planning to launch rockets into Israeli territory. A Fatah network in the Gaza Strip confirmed that one of its operatives had escaped the strike. In response five rockets were fired at Israel, one of them landing in the western Negev. A Fatah network in the Gaza Strip also claimed responsibility for attacking an IDF jeep with an IED. In Judea and Samaria violence continued as part of the so-called "popular resistance."
- April 29, 2014, was the final day of the nine-month Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. The talks ended in crisis, illustrated this week by the decision of the Israeli political-security cabinet to suspend negotiations with the Palestinians as a response to the reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas. Hamas spokesmen again stated that Hamas would not recognize Israel, would not abandon the path of terrorism ("resistance") and would not waive the so-called "right of return" of the Palestinian refugees.
The IAF Strike in the northern Gaza Strip and Rocket Fire into Israel
- On April 23, 2014, IAF aircraft struck a terrorist operative riding a motorcycle in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip. The operative was apparently planning to launch rockets into Israeli territory. A direct hit was not identified (Ynet, April 23, 2014). The Palestinian media reported that 12 people had been hurt. A Gaza Strip-based network belonging to Fatah's Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades confirmed that one of its operatives had escaped the attack on his motorcycle (Paltoday.ps and the Safa News Agency, April 23, 2014).
- In response five rockets were launched at Israel's south. Four of them fell inside the Gaza Strip. One landed in the western Negev (Ynet, April 23, 2014).
Fatah Gaza Strip-Based Network Claims Responsibility for IED Attack on IDF Force
- On April 24, 2014, Palestinian terrorist operatives attacked an IDF force in the northern Gaza Strip with an IED. The force was engaged in routine security activities along the border fence. No casualties were reported. It was previously reported that the IDF had located and neutralized two IEDs planted near the security fence in the southern Gaza Strip (Ynet, April 24, 2014).
- After the attack in the northern Gaza Strip, a Fatah Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades network claimed responsibility for detonating an IED weighing 50 kilos (110 lbs.) in an attack on an IDF jeep. According to the statement issued, the attack was carried out east of Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip (Facebook page of the so-called Nabil Masoud Units and the Al-Rasoul Al-Azam Companies, April 25, 2014).
Palestinian Violence Continues
- This past week violent incidents continued in Judea and Samaria, part of the so-called "popular resistance." Stones were thrown at Israeli civilians and Israeli security forces and Molotov cocktails were thrown at vehicles on main roads. The Friday riots held at the traditional friction points (Bil'in, Ni'lin, Nebi Saleh, Qadoum, etc.).
Two Molotov Cocktail-Throwing Palestinians Apprehended
- Early in the morning of April 25, 2014, an IDF force detained two Palestinians youths who had thrown Molotov cocktails several times at the Minharot ("Tunnels") checkpoint in the Etzion bloc; the two were known to the Israeli security forces. One of them was released in the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal, and today lives in the Al-Aida refugee camp near Bethlehem (IDF Spokesman, April 25, 2014).
Attempted Stabbing Attack in Hebron
- On April 27, 2014, two Palestinian terrorist operatives attempted to stab a member of the Israeli security forces. The attack took place at an IDF post near the Tomb of the Patriarchs. One of them was detained and the other fled the scene (Tazpit News Agency, April 27, 2014).
Nighttime Hamas Demonstration
- On April 27, 2014, masked Hamas operatives held a nighttime demonstration in the Nuseirat refugee camp. Its theme was "[We are] loyal to the blood of the shaheeds." The demonstrators marched through the streets of the refugee camp carrying pictures of Hamas shaheeds, terrorist operatives who had been killed (Filastin Al-'Aan, April 27, 2014).
The nighttime demonstration in the Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. Its theme was "[We are] loyal to the blood of the shaheeds"(Filastin Al-'Aan, April 27, 2014)
Hamas Hopes for Improved Relations with Egypt Following the Reconciliation Agreement
- Maher Abu Subha, the de-facto Hamas administration figure responsible for the Gaza Strip crossings, said that Egypt had informed him the Rafah crossing would open for humanitarian cases between April 29 and 30 (Filastin Al-'Aan, April 29, 2014).
- Following the reconciliation agreement recently signed in Gaza by Fatah and Hamas, sources in Hamas expressed hope that relations between Hamas and Egypt would improve (although the limitations the Egyptians placed on passage through the Rafah crossing were still in force). Issam al-Da'alis, advisor to Hamas administration head Ismail Haniya, emphasized the role of Egypt in the reconciliation agreement, and said that the Hamas administration had never cut off relations with Egypt (Alresala.net, April 28, 2014).
Reactions to the Fatah-Hamas Reconciliation Agreement
Left: The signatures of senior Hamas figures and the PLO-Fatah delegation (Fatah's official Facebook page, April 23, 2014). Right: Senior Fatah and Hamas figures after they signed the agreement. Left to right: Azzam al-Ahmad (Fatah), Ismail Haniya, head of the de-facto Hamas administration in the Gaza Strip, and Musa Abu Marzouq, deputy chairman of the Hamas political bureau (Filastin Al-'Aan, April 23, 2014).
- On April 24, 2014, Israel's political-security cabinet met and voted unanimously to suspend the negotiations with the Palestinian Authority (PA). According to the cabinet's announcement, Israel will not negotiate with a Palestinian government supported by Hamas, which is a terrorist organization that calls for the destruction of the State of Israel. In addition, the cabinet decided that Israel would respond to the Palestinians' unilateral move with moves of its own. The Israeli moves have not yet been formally announced. According to the Israeli media, tax revenues due the PA will be frozen and Palestinian banks will not be permitted to deposit funds in Israeli banks (Haaretz, April 27, 2014).
- After the cabinet meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu made the following statement: "Instead of choosing peace, Abu Mazen formed an alliance with a murderous terrorist organization that calls for the destruction of Israel...The agreement between Abu Mazen and Hamas was signed even as Israel is making efforts to advance the negotiations with the Palestinians...Whoever chooses the terrorism of Hamas does not want peace" (Website of the prime minister's office, April 24, 2014).
- In response Saeb Erekat, a member of the PLO's Executive Committee, expressed disappointment with Israel's response. On April 24, 2014, he said in a statement that "Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu and his government used the Palestinian schism as a reason not to achieve peace. Now they want to use the Palestinian reconciliation as an excuse for the same thing...the only logical explanation is that Netanyahu's government is not interested in peace" (Wafa News Agency, April 24, 2014).
The United States
- On April 23, 2014, Ms. Jen Psaki, spokesperson for the American State Department, said in an initial reaction that the United States was disappointed by the Palestinian reconciliation agreement, that its timing was problematic and it could seriously complicate the American efforts to extend the negotiations. She said that it was unclear how Israel could be expected to negotiate with a government that did to recognize its existence. Now, she said the ball was in the Palestinians' court and they would have to explain how the American principles would be met (American State Department website, April 23, 2014).
- Senior Hamas figures, in relating to the reconciliation agreement with Hamas, emphasized two main themes:
- The common denominator between Hamas and Fatah-PA (sometimes manipulatively) and praise for Mahmoud Abbas's speech before the PLO's Central Council on April 26, 2014.
- At the same time, Hamas made it clear would not abandon the path of "resistance" [i.e., terrorism and violence], would not recognize Israel and would not waive the [so-called] "right of return" of the Palestinian refugees.
Senior Hamas Figures: Hamas Will Not Abandon Its Positions on the "Resistance" and the Refugees
- Ismail Haniya, head of the de-facto Hamas administration in the Gaza Strip, paid a visit to the Jordanian field hospital in Gaza on April 27, 2014. While there he said that "the resistance continues." He added that Hamas had no intention of accepting the various solutions proposed for the Palestinian refugees, among them financial reparations, settlement in other countries and internationalizing their cause. He said that "the Palestinians have one homeland and one country and it is [called] Palestine" (Website of the office of Ismail Haniya, April 27, 2014).
- Mahmoud al-Zahar stressed the right of the Palestinian people to "defend" themselves. Thus he demanded that "a program of every form of resistance be adopted to remove the Zionist occupation, since for years the negotiations with Israel have led nowhere." He denied information that appeared in the media that Hamas had abandoned the path of "resistance" (Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades website, April 23, 2014).
Hamas Spokesmen: Hamas Will Not Recognize Israel or Negotiate With It
- Sami Abu Zuhri, Hamas spokesman in the Gaza Strip, interviewed by Lebanon's Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Mayadeen TV, stressed Hamas' opposition to the negotiations with Israel and the organization's refusal to recognize it. He said that Hamas was not part of the PLO and therefore not committed to its positions. He added that the organization [the PLO] needed reform before Hamas would join it (Al-Mayadeen TV, April 26, 2014).
- Taher al-Nunu, advisor to Ismail Haniya, denied the statement attributed to him by the Washington Post regarding recognition of Israel. He said that Hamas had no intention of recognizing Israel (Quds.net, April 27, 2014). Salah al-Bardawil, a senior Hamas figure, made a similar statement, noting that Hamas had not and would not recognize Israel, regardless of the price (Al-Mayadeen TV, April 26, 2014).
- Azzam al-Da'alis, advisor to Ismail Haniya, said that he was sorry that Mahmoud Abbas still adhered to the idea of negotiating with Israel. He made the remark in response to a statement by Mahmoud Abbas at the meeting of the PLO's Central Council in Ramallah at the end of the week, according to which he was willing to extend the negotiations for three months if Israel met his conditions (Filastin Al-'Aan, April 26, 2014).
Left: The United States tries to undermine the internal Palestinian reconciliation by giving money to the PA (Al-Dustour, Jordan, April 26, 2014). Right: Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu tries to prevent the internal Palestinian reconciliation (Al-Quds, April 25, 2014)
Decisions Adopted by the PLO's Central Council
- On April 26-27, 2014, the PLO's Central Council held its 26th session in Ramallah. It issued a strict statement making Israel entirely culpable for "destroying the international efforts to achieve a political arrangement" and setting the Palestinian terms for renewing the negotiations. The central condition (according to the Wafa News Agency, April 27, 2014), was the demand that Israel unequivocally accept the concept of the 1967 borders as the basis for the negotiations. During the negotiations Israel would have to agree to the June 4, 1967 borders, including the matter of Jerusalem, "before any discussion of other issues, including security."
- Moreover, according to the Central Council's statement, the settlements were illegal; the exchange of territories was unacceptable; "the rights of the refugees" had to be included in the agreement based on the relevant UN decisions; 30 prisoners from "the fourth phase [of prisoner release] had to be released; the Council would continue to work for the release of [all] the prisoners and to that end international support had to be recruited; appeals had to be made to the UN General Assembly and the Security Council for condemnation of the settlements, the steps taken by Israel to "Judaize" Jerusalem and Israel's "aggression" against churches and mosques, especially Al-Aqsa mosque; and a UN resolution had to be passed calling for sanctions [on the settlements] and for boycotts of institutions and companies that supported the settlements. The Central Council also stressed that it rejected recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.
- The Central Council fully supported the reconciliation agreement between the PLO and Hamas and called for the formation of a "government of national agreement" headed by Mahmoud Abbas. Later, according to the statement, elections would be held and all the problems in the PLO resulting from internal dissension would be dealt with. The statement condemned "the attack of the government of Israel" on the reconciliation agreement and praised the international bodies that gave their blessing to it, especially Russia, China, the EU, the UN and other countries.
Mahmoud Abbas chairs the meeting of the PLO's Central Council in Ramallah (Wafa News Agency, April 26, 2014).
Senior PA Figures Condemn the Holocaust
- Meeting with American Orthodox Rabbi Marc Schneier in Ramallah, Mahmoud Abbas said that what happened to the Jews in the Holocaust was the most loathsome crime committed in human history in modern times. He expressed his solidarity with the families of the innocent victims who had been killed by the Nazis. He described the Holocaust as an expression of ethnic racism. He also called on the government of Israel to exploit the opportunity to achieve regional peace (Wafa News Agency, April 27, 2014). Mahmoud Abbas' remarks on the Holocaust were quoted by the Palestinian media.
- Saeb Erekat, head of the Palestinian negotiation team, told the Israeli website Ynet that "the Holocaust is the most evil chapter in human history. Therefore we say that Judaism is a holy religion, Christianity is a holy religion, Islam is a holy religion. It was an evil act to kill more than six million people and then to go home and drink champagne and listen to Beethoven. The Palestinians should condemn it and therefore we need the peace process" (Ynet, April 27, 2014).
Senior Fatah Figure Calls for Broadening "Popular Resistance" Activities against Israel
- Interviewed by Fatah's Radio Mawtini in Ramallah, Mahmoud al-Alul, a member of Fatah's Central Committee and head of the ministry of enlistment and organization in Judea and Samaria, noted the importance of increasing coordination and collaboration among all the branches of the "popular resistance." He said the idea of the "popular resistance" should be exploited and had to be made the duty of every Palestinian citizen. He added that "they struggle against the occupation and Israel by establishing villages [i.e., illegal outposts], focusing on friction points like Eyn Hijla, Bab al-Shams and Knaan." He said that the "popular resistance" made the occupation more expensive for Israel (Wafa News Agency, April 28, 2014).
Fatah Wins the Elections at Hebron University
- On April 24, 2014, elections were held for the student council at Hebron University. After the votes had been counted, it was announced that Fatah's Shabiba faction had won 21 of the 41 seats, with Hamas' winning 19. When the results were posted Fatah activists celebrated the victory. Imad Nasser al-Din, Fatah secretary general for the Hebron region, fired shots into the air with live ammunition (Wafa News Agency and Filastin Al-'Aan, April 24, 2014).
Shabiba activists celebrate the victory in the student council elections. Imad Nasser al-Din, Fatah secretary general for the Hebron weapons, fires live ammunition in to the air (Filastin Al-'Aan, April 24, 2014).
- Omar Barghouti, a prominent BDS campaign leader, gave a speech at a Jordanian forum whose theme was "Global solidarity with the rights of the Palestinians: motivation and challenges." He claimed that since the beginning of 2014, the BDS's boycott of Israel was no longer symbolic, but had begun to have an effect on Israeli's economy, culture and academia, and even on its military. Especially important was the EU's call for legislation that would designate the settlements as a crime, and European reconsideration of agreements with Israel. He called on the Jordanians not to content themselves with symbolic acts like burning the Israeli flag but to initiate the BDS campaign in Jordan (Rai al-Youm, London, April 16, 2014).
 As April 29, 2014. The statistics do not include mortar shell fire and rocket hits inside the Gaza Strip.
 The statistics do not include mortar shell fire.
 For further information see the April 28, 2014 bulletin "Following the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation, Hamas may maneuver between adherence to its fundamental positions and its desire to benefit from the agreement which may serve its internal political and media purposes."
 The Jordanian hospital in Gaza was established in January 2009 as a field hospital during Operation Cast Lead, following a decision by King Abdallah of Jordan to help the Gazans. Today it continues providing medical services to the residents of the Gaza Strip. The doctors are Jordanians and medical supplies are delivered by convoy from Jordanian to the Gaza Strip.
 Boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) , one aspect of the campaign to delegitimize Israel.