Masked children participate in the weekly riot in Bil'in (PALDF, September 19, 2014).
The pickaxe found in the possession of the Palestinian man detained near Beit Jala (Spokesman for the Israel Police Force, September 18, 2014)
The Molotov cocktail thrown on the trans-Samaria highway (Photo by Ehud Amitun forTazpit.org.il, date, 2014).
The weekly riot in Kafr Qadoum on September 19, 2014 (Wafa.ps, September 19, 2014). Some of the stone-throwers are clearly children.
Pilgrims bound for Mecca leave the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing (Website of the Palestinian ministry of the interior, September 18, 2014)
Mahmoud Abbas and Yitzhak Herzog in Ramallah (Wafa.ps, September 17, 2014).
Mahmoud Abbas and François Hollande in Paris (Wafa.ps, September 19, 2014).
Children at the Hamas rally in Rafah (Paltimes.net, September 19, 2014).
- On the afternoon of September 16, 2014, after three weeks of quiet, a mortar shell hit was identified in the western Negev. According to the Arab media, Hamas' security forces detained two jihadist operatives who had acted on their own initiative.
- Egypt announced that on September 24, 2014, the round of Israeli-Palestinian talks agreed on as part of the ceasefire would begin. Before the talks Egypt will host a meeting of Fatah and Hamas representatives in an effort to find a solution to their disagreements, which are causing difficulties for the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip.
- Violent events in Jerusalem continue. A large number of children were among the suspects detained by the Israeli security forces for throwing Molotov cocktails and stones.
Negotiations Renewed for a Ceasefire Agreement
- A month after the ceasefire went into effect the Egyptian ministry of foreign affairs announced that Egypt would host a round of indirect talks between Israel and the Palestinians. According to the announcement, the talks were part of the effort to stabilize the ceasefire, prevent new confrontations, and keep innocent civilians from being harmed and vital facilities from being destroyed. On September 22, 2014, before the talks begin, Egypt will sponsor a meeting to facilitate the internal Palestinian reconciliation. On September 23, 2014, exploratory meetings will be held and on September 24, 2014, indirect negotiations will begin (Facebook page of the Egyptian foreign ministry, September 21, 2014).
- The reports concerning the composition of the Palestinian delegation are contradictory. Senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) figure Yussuf al-Hassayna said that the delegation to the negotiations would limited to three men: senior Fatah figure Azzam al-Ahmad, Hamas political bureau member Musa Abu Marzouq, and senior PIJ figure Khaled al-Batash (Maannews.net, September 21, 2014). However, a senior Hamas figure said that other Hamas figures would also be delegates, such as Izzat al-Rishq, Muhammad Nasr, Khalil al-Haya and Ziyad al-Zaza (Alresala.net, September 21, 2014).
- Azzam al-Ahmad, a member of Fatah's Central Committee, said that the objective of the talks was to make it possible for the Palestinian government to take control of the Gaza Strip so that it could perform all the functions and tasks in Gaza it performed in Judea and Samaria. He again claimed that an illegal "shadow government" controlled the Gaza Strip (AFP.com, September 21, 2014).
- Sources in Hamas said the following about the indirect negotiations:
- At a meeting of Muslim sages in Doha, Qatar, Khaled Mashaal, head of Hamas' political bureau, said that it was very important to complete the ceasefire talks, claiming they would focus on establishing an airport and a seaport. He claimed that the issue of the "weapon of the resistance" [i.e., disarming Hamas] was in no way a subject that would be under discussion (Al-Aqsa TV, September 21, 2014).
- Musa Abu Marzouq, a member of Hamas' political bureau, claimed that Hamas did not want another war with Israel, but that there might be another round of fighting if no arrangement were reached that would lift the siege of the Gaza Strip. He claimed that after the fighting Hamas' popularity had increased and that if elections were held today Hamas would beat Fatah (AP.org, September 18, 2014).
Israel Agrees the Establishment of a Framework to Oversee the Rebuilding of the Gaza Strip
- Israel agreed to a UN proposal for the establishment of a UN mechanism to supervise and monitor the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip. Such a mechanism would make it possible to advance the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip while safeguarding Israel's security interests. The coordination between the three parties will be handled by Robert Serry, the UN envoy to the Middle East, Rami Hamdallah, the Palestinian Authority (PA) prime minister, and General Yoav Mordechai, the Israeli Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories. The framework was authorized by the political leadership (IDF Spokesman, September 16, 2014).
- Dr. Ahmed Mustafa, deputy prime minister in the Palestinian national consensus government, said that the proposed UN plan was based primarily on easing restrictions on the entrance of building materials into the Gaza Strip. He said that the Israelis had agreed that the materials would be delivered from Israel under Israeli supervision. He added that the Palestinians had agreed to the plan because it would accelerate the rebuilding process and provide guarantees for the contributing countries. He also said that the UN and private companies would deliver the materials, and the UN would supervise their use. He noted that the Palestinian crossings authority was in contact with the Israeli crossings authority to enlarge the Kerem Shalom crossing in order to improve its delivery capabilities. According to the proposed plan, the target number of trucks passing through the crossing on a daily basis is 850 (Alhayat.com, department 18, 2014).
- On the afternoon of September 16, 2014, after three weeks of quiet, a mortar shell hit was identified in the western Negev. It landed in an open area near the security fence. There were no casualties and no damage was reported.
- Palestinian sources reported that Hamas' security forces detained two operatives belonging to a Salafist-jihadi network who had fired the mortar shell. Interrogation, according to the reports, revealed that the two had acted on their own initiative. Hamas informed the Salafist leaders of the detention, stressing that Hamas would not permit anyone to violate the ceasefire agreement and would curb the activities of anyone who tried to fire rockets into Israeli territory (Aawsat.net, September 18, 2014).
- Musa Abu Marzouq, a member of Hamas' political bureau, claimed that in fact there had been mortar shell fire into Israel but denied the reports of the detention of the launchers. He claimed it was not Hamas policy to detain operatives who launched rockets but rather to reach an agreement with their organization to preserve the lull (Alqudsnews.net, September 17, 2014).
Detentions in the Wake of the Riots in Jerusalem
- Following the overall rise in the extent of attacks and riots in Jerusalem, the Israeli security forces carried out a series of detentions of Palestinians suspected of involvement in violence. Prominent among the detainees was the number of children who had thrown Molotov cocktails. For example, on September 16, 2014, the Israeli security force detained 22 Palestinians suspected of disturbing the peace in the Jerusalem area, of whom 13 were minors. Among them were three who were suspected of throwing stones at public transportation, four suspected of throwing Molotov cocktails at the Israeli security forces in Silwan, and three twelve year-olds suspected of throwing a Molotov cocktail in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Abu Tor (Spokesman for the Israel Police Force, September 16, 2014).
- Before dawn on September 18, 2014, members of the Border Police force detained a 29 year-old Palestinian man near Beit Jala who was behaving suspiciously. They searched him and found a pickaxe hidden under his clothing. The Palestinian, who lived in Bethlehem, said he planned to go to Jerusalem and attack an Israeli soldier (Ynetnews.co.il, September 18, 2014).
Other Violent Events in Judea and Samaria
- This past week the usual 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.). On the evening of September 20, 2014, a squad of three Palestinians threw a Molotov cocktail at an Israeli vehicle on the trans-Samaria highway. There were no casualties and no damage was reported.
The Rafah Crossing
- The Rafah crossing does yet not operate regularly. On September 18, 2014, the first group of pilgrims bound for Mecca left the Gaza Strip via the crossing. During the coming days 2,500 pilgrims are expected to leave Gaza through the Rafah crossing on their way to Mecca.
The Humanitarian Situation in the Gaza Strip
- According to an UNRWA report issued on September 18, 2014, the agency's schools are still used as shelters by 58,141 Gazans who left their homes during Operation Protective Edge (UN website, September 18, 2014).
Rebuilding the Gaza Strip
- Red tape continues to delay the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip. After a high inter-ministry committee for the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip prepared a plan, the national consensus government authorized a national plan for the recovery and rebuilding of the Gaza Strip, estimating that it would cost at least $4 billion (Wafa.ps, September 20, 2014).
- The national consensus government is trying to accelerate the process, especially through the delivery of the necessary materials to the Gaza Strip. Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said that the condition for rebuilding the Gaza Strip was that the national consensus government finance and direct the process. He said the PA had reached an agreement with Israel for the delivery of building materials from Israel to the Gaza Strip under UN aegis and supervision. He said it was also agreed that the Palestinians would determine the materials and amounts of materials necessary, and that the private sector would import them from Israel with UN inspection. In addition, he said that for six months the national consensus government would pay the rent of civilians whose houses had been destroyed (Maannews.net, September 18, 2014).
- Senior Hamas figure Ahmed Yussuf said that Hamas was not involved in rebuilding the Gaza Strip. However, he added that because of the governmental vacuum in the Gaza Strip, the UN was in contact with Hamas as well as with the national consensus government. He also claimed that authorizations and the inspection of materials delivered would be the responsibility of Israel, the UN and the national consensus government (Maannews.net, September 16, 2014).
- UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness said that UNRWA was formulating a two-year plan for rebuilding the Gaza Strip whose objective was to support the refugees, who made up 70% of the entire Gazan population. He claimed the program could be implemented only if the blockade of the Gaza Strip were lifted and the international community became involved (IPSnews.net, September 17, 2014).
- Rami Hamdallah went to New York to participate in a meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC). According to the media, the main topic of discussion will be the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip. Other topics will include the situation in Jerusalem, damage done to holy sites, the so-called "Judaization" of the city and the division of the Temple Mount (Alhayat-j.com, September 21, 2014).
International Support for Rebuilding the Gaza Strip
- Muhammad Mustafa, deputy prime minister and finance minister of the national consensus government, reported that the government was preparing for the Gaza rebuilding conference, expected to be held in Cairo on October 12, 2014, with the support of Mahmoud Abbas. In the meantime, various international agencies have been sending support to the Gaza Strip:
- The government of Sri Lanka said it would donate $1 million to the Gaza Strip (Website of the Sri Lankan government, September 20, 2014).
- Rami Hamdallah claimed that Saudi Arabia had promised to donate $500 million to rebuild the Gaza Strip and was also willing to provide water desalination facilities (Maannews.net, September 18, 2014).
- A delegation from an Italian group entered the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing. It brought medicine, foodstuffs and two first aid vehicles (Samanews.com, September 17, 2014).
- An Argentinean delegation brought medical aid (Samanews.com, September 17, 2014).
- Donations were also made by Hungary and the Turkish IHH.
Left: Donations from Hungary sent to Judea and Samaria and from there delivered to the Gaza Strip. Right: Donations for the Gaza Strip from the Turkish IHH (Palestine-info.info, September 16, 2014).
Three Palestinians Killed by an Exploding Mortar Shell
- A spokesman for the ministry of health in the Gaza Strip reported that two 23 year-old Palestinians were killed and three Palestinians were wounded when an unexploded mortar shell detonated in the Shejaiya area. The shell was left from Operation Protective Edge. Later one of the wounded Palestinians, aged 24, died (Maannews.net, September 19, 2014).
Mahmoud Abbas' Political Activity
- PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas went to Paris, where he met with French President François Holland and other high-ranking individuals. After the meeting they held a joint press conference, where Mahmoud Abbas expressed admiration for the French position on the Palestinian cause. He noted the need to realize Palestinian rights through political activity and broad international consultation to bring about a clearly designated, scheduled end to the Israeli occupation. He claimed the Palestinians demanded that the borders between the two countries be defined according to the 1967 borders. To that end, he claimed, they had gotten the support of most of the Arab states and they would continue their efforts with other countries to be able to appeal to the UN Security Council to have a resolution passed ending the occupation.
- Meeting with Yitzhak Herzog, head of the Israeli Labor Party, Mahmoud Abbas claimed he was prepared to appeal to the UN to achieve peace based on the solution of two states for two peoples. He claimed he wanted to make it clear that the objective of Palestinian appeal to the UN was to end the conflict and bring peace and stability to the area, with two states living in security, stability and peace (Al-ayyam.com, September 18, 2014).
- According to Issa Qaraqa, who heads the Palestinian authority for prisoners affairs, at a meeting of the UN Human Rights Agency in Geneva aninternational campaign will be launched to demand the release of 73 Palestinian prisoners who were released in the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal and later redetained by Israel. He also claimed that Palestinian and international human rights organizations would participate in the campaign. He claimed the detentions were "political revenge on the Palestinian people" and violations of justice and international law (Wafa.ps, September 18, 2014).
- The 73 prisoners who were redetained by Israel sent a letter to the authority for prisoner affairs demanding to be released and threatening to start protests such as an unlimited hunger strike. They demanded the intervention of the Egyptian government and Mahmoud Abbas. They claimed that being redetained violated the agreement signed with them (Paltoday.ps, September 17, 2014). They also said they would stage a one-day warning strike on September 23, 2014, demanding to be released as soon as possible (Wafa.ps, September 21, 2014).
Rally in Rafah
- On September 19 a rally was held in Rafah to honor Hamas operatives killed in southern Rafah. It was attended by Ahmed Bahar, head of the Palestinian Legislative Council. Pictures of the rally clearly showed that adult Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades operatives were not represented, but rather only young children wearing military uniforms and holding guns (Paltimes.net, September 19, 2014).
Rally Marking the "Hamas Victory" Held at Bir Zeit University
- On September 17, 2014, the Islamic Bloc in Bir Zeit University held a rally to mark "Hamas' victory" in Operation Protective Edge. Islamic Bloc university students, masked and wearing Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades shirts, organized a march. They carried Hamas-affiliated flags and signs. After the march there was a rally in the university where guns used in the operation were put on display, among them a new sniper rifle and an R-160 rocket (Facebook page of the Islamic Bloc at Bir Zeit University, September 17, 2014)
Left: The rally where a sniper rifle and an R-160 rocket (of the type launched during Operation Protective Edge) were displayed. Right: Members of the Islamic Bloc hold Hamas-affiliated flags and an Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades insignia (Facebook page of the Islamic Bloc at Bir Zeit University, September 17, 2014).
 As of September 23, 2014. The statistics do not include mortar shell fire or rockets which misfired and fell inside the Gaza Strip.
 The statistics do not include mortar shell fire.
 The Ad Hoc Liaison Committee is a 15-member committee that serves as the principal policy-level coordination mechanism for development assistance to the Palestinian people. The AHLC is chaired by Norway and co-sponsored by the EU and US. In addition, the United Nations participates together with the World Bank (Secretariat) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The AHLC seeks to promote dialogue between donors, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Government of Israel (http://www.lacs.ps/article.aspx?id=6). This year it is supposed to meet on September 25, 2014, and the meeting will be attended by UN Secretary General Ban-ki Moon and American Secretary of State John Kerry (Norway-UN.org).