The Palestinian delegation to the negotiations in Cairo (Quds.net, August 19, 2014).
Hamas' view of the ceasefire: a ticking bomb whose fuse is periodically extended (PALDF, Hamas forum, August 19, 2014).
The ceasefire agreement written with an M75 rocket targeting Tel Aviv one minute before the ceasefire went into effect (Facebook page of the Palestine Information Network, August 11, 2014).
Clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces at the roadblock near Beit Furik, east of Nablus (Wafa.ps, August 15, 2014).
Riots near the Tomb of Rachel, Bethlehem.
Demonstrations in support of the Gaza Strip.
Demonstrations in support of the Gaza Strip.
Evacuating wounded Palestinians through the Erez crossing for medical treatment in Turkey (Cogat.idf.il, August 14, 2014).
Hazem Abu Murad, commander of Hamas' demolitions unit, near unexploded shells which had been neutralized (Facebook page of Ghaza al-A'an, August 13, 2014).
The Facebook page of the Islamic bloc in Al-Najah University posted a picture of Palestinians preparing Molotov cocktails with the caption "The resistance unites.
- Indirect, Egyptian-sponsored negotiations for a long-term ceasefire agreement continue in Cairo. The talks have been accompanied by temporary ceasefires, the latest of which was for 24 hours, from midnight August 18 to midnight August 19, 2014. On the afternoon of August 19 Hamas unilaterally violated the ceasefire and fired three rockets targeting Beersheba and Netivot, and the ceasefire collapsed. The IDF responded with air attacks on terrorist targets. The Israeli media reported that the Israeli delegation to Cairo was recalled.
- In the past few months the Israeli security forces detained several scores of Hamas operatives in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. They had been involved in establishing a military-terrorist network which planned to carry out terrorist attacks in Israel and act against the Palestinian Authority (PA). The network operatives were handled by a senior Hamas figure currently residing in Turkey and by a kind of command group in Jordan. The operatives were found with large quantities of weapons in their possession.
- On August 11, 2014, an agreement for an additional 72-hour ceasefire was reached. The Israeli, Hamas and PA delegations arrived in Cairo to discuss a long-term agreement brokered by Egypt and based on the Egyptian initiative. On August 13, 2014, it was announced that the ceasefire would be extended by five days, during which the negotiations would continue. On August 18, 2014, when the five-day extension ended, Egypt issued a formal statement to the effect that both sides had agreed to an additional 24 hours to complete the negotiations. On the afternoon of August 19, 2014, the ceasefire was unilaterally violated when three rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip targeting Beersheba and Netivot.
- According to reports in the Arab media, the agreement discussed in Cairo was aimed at including issues which theoretically could be agreed on: the cessation of military activity, facilitating entrance into the Gaza Strip, extending the fishing zone and rebuilding the Gaza Strip. However, it was also reported that the disputed issues, which under the current circumstances could clearly not be negotiated, have been postponed: the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip, the construction of an airport and a seaport, the opening of the Rafah crossing, the release of detainees and the return of bodies. However, in view of the rocket fire on August 19, it is doubtful that an agreement will be reached in the immediate future and it is unclear what the nature of the agreement will be.
- The following statements were made by Israel and the Palestinians:
- At the beginning of the weekly Cabinet meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu said, "We are in the midst of a combined military and diplomatic campaign. From the first day, the Israeli delegation to Cairo has worked under clear instructions: Insist on the security needs of the State of Israel. Only if there is a clear response to our security needs will we agree to reach understandings..." (Website of the Israeli prime minister, August 17, 2014).
- IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Benny Gantz said that the operation might not yet have ended. He said the IDF would continue defending the State of Israel and work in every way, using every method, at all times. He said Hamas, which set the chain of events in motion in Judea and Samaria by abducting three Israeli youths and by opening fire at Israel's south, now realized the enormity of its mistake (IDF Spokesman, August 13, 2014).
nAt a meeting of the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas claimed that the most important thing now was stopping the fighting. After that the other problems and demands could be discussed, he said. He expressed his esteem for Egypt for the role it was playing in the negotiations, and claimed that the PA adhered to the Egyptian initiative (Palestinian TV, August 16, 2014).
- While negotiations are being held in Cairo, Hamas has been waging a multi-themed propaganda campaign:
- Establishing the "myth of victory:" Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri gave a speech at a rally in support of Hamas held in Rafah, where he said it was the first time Israeli airports [sic] had been "under siege." He also claimed that hundreds of Israeli soldiers had been killed, wounded, or taken prisoner. He added that the residents of Israel's south could not yet return to the homes because "Hamas still does not allow them." He claimed that in view of Hamas' "great victory" in battle it would continue working to liberate the Palestinian lands and not only the opening of the crossings (Al-Aqsa, August 17, 2014). A senior source in Hamas claimed that throughout, the military wing had preserved its firepower and kept launching rockets in identical number and of identical kind until the last minute. The source also claimed that communications were continuously maintained between Hamas' military, security and political wings (Al-ayyam.com, August 9, 2014).
- Attempts to minimize Israel's military achievements: Hamas claims that it had few losses among its military personnel, as opposed to the many civilians killed by Israel. A senior operative in the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military-terrorist wing, who chose to remain anonymous, claimed that one of the "surprises in the fighting" was the relatively small number of losses suffered by the military wing. He claimed that during the entire operation no more than 20 operatives were killed. (In ITIC assessment during the operation Hamas lost hundreds of its military-terrorist operatives, whose identities it is trying to keep secret.) He also claimed that all the senior members of the military wing remained alive, and that the IDF had not tried to kill even one of them (Al-ayyam.com, August 9, 2014).
- After the fighting Hamas preserved its military capabilities: To prove the point, Hamas has taken correspondents to visit the combat zones where its military-terrorist operatives demonstrated their capabilities regarding the tunnels and in developing and producing weapons (Aa.com.tr, August 18, 2014). According to a Hamas report it continues manufacturing long-range rockets.
- Threatening Israel if it does not meet Hamas' demands: Hamas accused Israel of the lack of progress in the negotiations and warned that the current ceasefire would be the last. Senior Hamas figure Ismail Radwan claimed that if Israel refused to meet the Palestinians' demands, the "resistance" [i.e., the terrorist organizations] had the "right" to use any means to achieve its goals. He claimed the "resistance" would decide how the next war would be waged to achieve the Palestinian people's goals. The "resistance," he said, could continue the battle against Israel, enforce its will on it and was not afraid of Israel (Alaraby.co.uk, August 17, 2014).
Rocket Hits in Israeli Territory – Weekly Summary
- Generally speaking, the ceasefires were honored by the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip (with the exception of the latest ceasefire). However, as the appointed end of the ceasefire approached and until it was extended, sporadic rocket fire attacked Israel:
- On August 14, 2014, rocket hits were identified in open areas in the western Negev. There were no casualties and no damage was reported.
- At 2200 hours on August 13, 2014, two hours before the ceasefire was scheduled to end, a rocket hit was identified in an open area in the western Negev. There were no casualties and no damage was reported.
- On the evening of August 13, 2014, the Iron Dome aerial defense system intercepted a rocket in the skies over Netivot. Three additional rockets fell in open areas in the western Negev.
- In accordance with an Israeli decision to respond to every rocket attack targeting Israel, Israeli Air Force (IAF) aircraft attacked a number of terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip:
- On the night of August 13, 2014, the IAF attacked terrorist targets in Khan Yunis in the northern Gaza Strip and areas in the central Gaza Strip.
- Before dawn on August 14, 2014, the IAF attacked terrorist targets, including rocket-launching locations (IDF Spokesman, August 14, 2014). The Palestinian media reported that areas were attacked in the region of Beit Lahia and east of Gaza City.
- Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoumclaimed that the attacks carried out by Israel after the ceasefire had been announced were grave, unjustified violations and asked Egypt to keep Israel from attacking (Maannews.net, Alresala.net, August 14, 2014).
Hamas Military-Terrorist Network Exposed
- In recent months the Israeli security forces detained several scores of Hamas operatives in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem who were suspected of involvement in establishing a terrorist network that planned to carry out terrorist attacks in Israel. According to the Israel Security Agency (ISA) the network engaged mostly in recruiting operatives and acquiring weapons, and may have been planning to act against the PA. Large quantities of weapons, ammunition and money were found in the activists' possession. The network was headed by Riyad Nasser, from Deir Qaddis (Ramallah district), who had formerly been imprisoned in Israel.
- Riyad Nasser was recruited by Salah Arouri, who was expelled from Israel and currently lives in Turkey. Before his expulsion Arouri charged Riyad Nasser with constructing a broad Hamas network in Judea and Samaria to undermine and subvert stability on the ground and even to incite a third intifada. He set up a number of local squads which he handled directly. He established squads in Nablus, Bethlehem, the Yatir region, Jerusalem and Tulkarm. Experts in engineering and chemistry were also recruited to the network. According to the ISA, one of the network's objectives was to overthrow the PA, but apparently the plan is still in its first stages.
- In addition, a kind of command group was established in Jordan for the network, headed by Awda Zaharan, who lives there. He is suspected of being the liaison between operatives in Judea and Samaria and activists abroad. The network operatives were given large sums of money to purchase weapons and prepare safe houses for storing weapons and/or setting up laboratories to manufacture weapons.
Left: One of the hiding places where weapons were stored. Right: Some of the weapons found in the possession of the operatives (Shabak.gov.il August 18, 2014).
- Interrogation of the suspects revealed that Khaled Mashaal, head of the Hamas' political bureau, was aware of the establishment of the network, which he considered as an activity of "building force." In the wake of the exposure, Israeli security alerted the Palestinian security forces and officials in Jordan, from which some of the network members operated.
- Others recruited for the network included:
- Dr. Majdi Mafarja, 32, operative in Hamas' security services and a computer expert, recruited to Hamas in Malaysia, specializes in encryption and cyber
- warfare. He was detained by the ISA in May 2014. He said he was a Hamas envoy and one of the liaisons operating between Jordan, Turkey, Judea and Samaria.
- Salah Barakat, Israeli citizen, 35, from Beit Safsafa. Detained in July 2014 on suspicion of involvement in the network. Suspected of being a network envoy in Jordan.
- Mahmoud Kafaya, 24, from Bituniya, suspected of being a weapons provider in Judea and Samaria. After his detention he surrendered large quantities of weapons.
- Mahmoud Abu Daud, 26, from the Hebron region. Suspected of recruiting terrorist squads that planned an abduction and killing in the Hebron region. At the beginning of 2014 he was put in administrative detention and went on a hunger strike. Apparently his detention caused a disruption of the network's plans for terrorist attacks.
- The Palestinian media reported that Mahmoud Abbas instructed Palestinian security to monitor the news in the Israeli media and to find additional information. Mahmoud Abbas said the implications for the political situation were grave, especially in light of the fact that Israel had published the names of the detainees, their confessions and pictures of the weapons seized (Wafa.ps, August 18, 2014).
Houses of the Abductors and Murderers of the Three Israeli Youths Razed
- On the night of August 17, 2014, Israeli security forces razed the houses of two of the terrorist operatives who abducted and murdered the three Israeli youths in Gush Etzion on July 12, 2014, and sealed the house of a third. The activity followed a court order after appeals had been lodged and rejected. Two houses in which the terrorists lived were razed. In addition, the basement was sealed in which a third terrorist lived (who sent the terrorists on the abduction mission and was detained southeast of Ramallah in July). During the razing and sealing, which lasted for six hours, the Israeli forces did not meet with significant resistance, although there were a number of local demonstrations (Police.gov.il, August 18, 2014).
- In response to the destruction of the houses Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri praised the terrorists' families, saying that the policy of destroying houses would not break Hamas and that Israel would bear the consequences of its "crimes" in Judea and Samaria (Facebook page of Sami Abu Zuhri, August 18, 2014).
Events on the Ground
- 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, Beit Umar, etc.).
- The following event also occurred:
- On August 11, 2014, during an Israeli security force counterterrorist activity in Qabalan (south of Nablus), a Palestinian suspected of terrorist activities barricaded himself in his house. The Israeli security forces used a variety of methods to get him out. The Palestinian opened fire at the soldiers, who returned fire, killing him (Police.gov.il, August 11, 2014).
- On August 13, 2014, the Israeli security forces detained 57 Palestinians suspected of public disturbances in east Jerusalem neighborhoods (Police.gov.il, August 13, 2014).
Solidarity Demonstrations in the Gaza Strip
- Hamas continues calling for support from the residents in Judea and Samaria for the Gaza Strip. On Friday, August 15, 2014, a number of marches were held, during which Hamas-affiliated flags were carried. Marches were held in Nablus, Hebron, Ramallah, Jenin and elsewhere. In Nablus an Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades flag was carried. During the demonstrations demonstrators clashed with the Israeli security forces.
Left: Invitation issued by Hamas to a march in Hebron called "We are all the resistance" (Facebook page of Ghaza al-A'an, August 13, 2014). Right: Notice posed on the Facebook page of the Islamic bloc of Al-Najah University in Nablus, inviting residents of the Nablus district to a march on August 15 after the Friday prayer. The march was also called "We are all the resistance" (Facebook page of the Islamic bloc of Al-Najah University, August 14, 2014).
- Between July 8 and August 18, 2014, 4,191 trucks bearing supplies entered the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom crossing. During the same period 4.44 million liters of diesel fuel for the power station were delivered, 1.39 million liters for UNRWA, as well as 7,14 million liters of fuel, 3.51 liters of gasoline and 3,624 tons of cooking gas. During Operation Protective Edge the Kerem Shalom crossing was open almost every day despite rockets and mortar shells, which restricted movement through the crossing. However, the ceasefires made it possible to deliver larger quantities of supplies to the Strip (Cogat.idf.il, August 18, 2014).
- Between July 8 and August 18, 2014, 227 ambulances passed through the Erez crossing and several thousand people entered Israel. Some were foreign nationals (1,928) and some were Palestinians who left to receive medical treatment (1,676). Several dozen wounded Palestinians left through the Erez crossing en route to medical treatment in Turkey (Cogat.idf.il, August 18, 2014).
The Rafah Crossing
- The Rafah crossing remains closed most the time, with the exception of short, non-scheduled openings. Opening the Rafah crossing continues to be an important issue for the Palestinian delegation in Cairo. Egypt insists that any arrangement regarding the Rafah crossing must be made in collaboration with the PA. According to Rami Hamdallah, prime minister of the national consensus government, the Rafah crossing will be opened through coordination between the PA and the Egyptian authorities. He stated that the Egyptians wanted Palestinian-Egyptian supervision of the crossing, and that they demanded that Palestinian presidential guard forces man the crossing and supervise it in security coordination with the Egyptian side (Aawsat.net, August 14, 2014).
- Regarding the suggestion that a third party supervise the Rafah crossing, an Egyptian source said that the delegation the EU suggested be sent to help supervise the Rafah crossing would be able to operate only on the Palestinian side. The Egyptian side, said the source, was under exclusively Egyptian control (Almasryalyoum.com, August 16, 2014).
The Gazan Population
- According to UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness, there has been an increase in the number of Gazans housed in UNRWA shelters in the northern Gaza Strip. He said there were 237,659 Gazans in 81 UNRWA shelters. The agency also provides services to thousands of non-UNRWA schools throughout the Gaza Strip (Twitter account of Chris Gunness, August 18, 2014).
Rebuilding the Gaza Strip
- Muhammad Mustafa, deputy prime minister and minister of the economy in the national consensus government, said that during September two conferences would be held by donors for rebuilding the Gaza Strip. One will be an international conference for donor states held in Cairo at the beginning of September. The other will be held towards the end of the month, on the margins of the UN General Assembly. It will discuss obtaining budgetary support for the PA (Al-ayyam.com, August 17, 2014).
- The Norwegian ministry of foreign affairs announced that the Norwegian and Egyptian governments had decided, with the support of the chairman of the PA, to hold a conference to discuss rebuilding the Gaza Strip. The conference will be held in Cairo and invitations will be sent after negotiations currently being held lead to an agreement (Website of the Norwegian ministry of foreign affairs, August 18, 2014).
Aid for the Gaza Strip
- In view of the ceasefire, various countries have begun sending aid to the Gaza Strip
- On August 14, 2014, the UAE Red Crescent announced it had sent two planes with aid for the Gazans. They landed in Jordan and the equipment was transferred to UNRWA by the Jordanian Charity Association (WAM.ae, August 15, 2014).
- The coordinator for the Turkish aid organization TIKA said that humanitarian aid including 12 trucks of canned food and other supplies would reach the Gaza Strip on August 19. It is the organization's second shipment to the Gaza Strip (Aa.com.tr, August 19, 2014).
- The Turkish Red Crescent said it would send aid in the coming days. According to the Egyptian ministry of foreign affairs and the Turkish Red Crescent, it is the only organization permitted by the Egyptian authorities to deliver aid to the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing (Aa.com.tr, August 15, 2014).
- The government of Venezuela said it would donate 12 tons of humanitarian equipment, including medicines, canned food, clothing, shoes, hygiene products, hospital beds, wheelchairs and mattresses. The equipment is supposed to be delivered through the Rafah crossing. In addition, wounded Gazans and orphaned children will also be sent from the Gaza Strip to Venezuela.
Left: Medical equipment from Qatar for one of the hospitals in the Gaza Strip. Right: Donations from Britain reach an UNRWA school (Ghaza al-A'an, August 13, 2014).
Fatalities Caused by Unexploded Shells
- The Palestinian media reported that on August 13, 2014, six Palestinians died in two explosions in Beit Lahia. Four were Palestinians from the ministry of the interior's demolitions unit and two were correspondents (one Italian and one Palestinian). According to Palestinian reports, the six were killed when unexploded Israeli missiles and mortar shells left on the ground exploded as the demolitions experts tried to neutralize them (Paltoday.ps, August 13, 2014).
Promoting Legal Procedures against Israel
- Speaking in Sudanese capital of Khartoum, Osama Hamdan, in charge of Hamas' external relations, praised those attempting to try Israel in the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. He said Hamas would provide them with proof and evidence of "Israel's violations and crimes." He called for the strengthening of the weapon of boycotting Israeli goods and for diplomatic ties with Israel to be cut (Alaraby.co.uk, August 16, 2014). Note: After Operation Cast Lead as well, Hamas provided "proof" (biased and unreliable) for international agencies acting against Israel.
- The political committee of the Palestinian National Council, chaired by Salim Zaanoun, met in Amman. A statement was issued calling for the international committee of the UN's Human Rights Council to investigate the alleged "crimes" committed by Israel and to try the "guilty" individuals in an international court. The statement stressed the need for the PA to sign the Rome Convention to enable it to sue Israel in the ICC (Wafa.ps, August 14, 2014).
- Rami Hamdallah, prime minister of the national consensus government, said that careful preparations were being made before the appeal to the ICC to ensure the Palestinians would not lose the suit (Aawsat.net, August 14, 2014).
Boycotts of Israeli Products
- The Palestinian campaign in Judea and Samaria to boycott Israeli products continues. Mahmoud al-Habash, the PA's high Sharia judge, forbid the buying and selling of Israel products, especially if there were locally-made or imported alternatives (PNN TV, August 17, 2014).
Notices calling for the boycott of Israeli products. Left: A tank composed of Israeli products (Palestine-info.info, August 17, 2014). Right: An M-16 rifle made of Israeli products. According to the text, 16% of every sale goes to the IDF (Ghaza al-A'an, August 15, 2014).
 As of August 19, 2014. The graph indicates rocket hits in Israeli territory and does not include mortar shell fire into the western Negev or rocket launches that fell inside the Gaza Strip.
 The statistics do not include mortar shell fire.
 According to the IDF Spokesman and Haaretz, August 19, 2014.
 Salah Arouri was born in the village of Aroura in the Ramallah region. He was one of the founders of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades in Judea and Samaria, a member of Hamas' political bureau and holder of the prisoners' portfolio. He was released from an Israeli jail in 2010 after serving a term of 18 years, and expelled from Israel. He was a member of the Hamas team that negotiated the Shalit deal. He currently lives in Turkey.
 It was not the first time Malaysia was mentioned in connection with Hamas terrorist activity. On the night of July 20, during Operation Protective Edge, an IDF force detained a Hamas operative in the region of Qarara (Khan Yunis), who commanded a Hamas squad in the Khan Yunis battalion. During interrogation he recounted that he had been trained to use a hang glider to infiltrate Israel for a terrorist attack. He said after he was recruited he was sent to Malaysia for training along with about ten other operatives from various battalions. He said he had spent about a week in Malaysia (Shabak.gov.il July 31, 2014).