Ismail Haniya delivers a sermon for Eid al-Adha at the Yarmouk stadium in Gaza City (Paltimes.net, October 4, 2014).
Hamas' "victory" in Operation Protective Edge: cartoon from Fatah's official Facebook page, October 1, 2014.
Weapons found in the possession of two Palestinians by the Border Police at the Tapuah junction (IDF Spokesman, October 2, 2014).
For Eid al-Adha Israel allowed more than 500 Gazans a day to go to Jerusalem to pray Al-Aqsa mosque (Paltoday.tv, October 5, 2014).
Cartoon from the Hamas-affiliated Felesteen. Mahmoud Abbas rides the back of a former Gazan government employee by waving money (October 2, 2014).
Praise from the Palestinian national security forces for the Palestinians on Eid al-Adha (Facebook page of the Palestinian national security forces, October 4, 2014)
- This past week Israel's south remained quiet. Senior Hamas figure Mahmoud al-Zahar claimed that after the Eid al-Adha holiday (October 7, 2014) the Egyptian mediator would determine a date for renewing the negotiations with Israel. In the meantime, rebuilding the Gaza Strip proceeds slowly and the issue of the Rafah crossing has not yet been resolved. In addition, there is still no fundamental solution for Hamas' burdensome problem of paying its employees.
- Ismail Haniya, deputy head of Hamas' political bureau, delivered a sermon for Eid al-Adha in which he explicitly clarified Hamas would refuse to disarm and would continue developing weapons until Palestine had been liberated from "the Israeli occupation." He also appealed to the Palestinian Authority (PA) to sign the Rome Convention, claiming Hamas would continue to demand that senior Israelis be tried in the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.
- Mahmoud al-Zahar, a member of Hamas' political bureau, claimed that after Eid al-Adha (October 7, 2014) the Egyptian mediator would set a date for renewing the indirect negotiations with Israel. He said the various items on the agenda would be discussed separately. He added that Israel could not object to discussing issues such as a Gazan airport and seaport. He denied that Hamas had reservations regarding the indirect negotiating process with Israel (Aa.com.tr, October 1, 2014).
Drawing Up Casualty Reports by the PA
- Ms. Intisar al-Wazir, chairwoman of the PA's Families of the Martyrs and Wounded Institution, claimed the institution had begun composing reports about the casualties of Operation Protective Edge. The objective is to present them to the PA for authorization to be able to start paying monthly stipends to the families, funded by the government's treasury and the PLO (Maannews.net, October 1, 2014). Thus it can be assumed that the families of terrorist operatives killed in Operation Protective Edge will be given monthly allowances by the PA treasury.
Hamas Publicly "Predicts" an Upcoming Prisoner Exchange Deal
- The Palestinian media in the Gaza Strip reported that during the past two days Hamas activists have been seen hanging signs at crossroads and in the main streets of Gaza City claiming that there is an upcoming prisoner exchange deal with Israel [Note: The sign says "Soon...Allegiance to the prisoners 2]. The sign shows a Hamas operative in action, and at the right there is a picture of IDF MIA Shaul Oron, and next to him another IDF soldier (Felesteen.ps, October 6, 2014).
The Hamas sign promising an approaching prisoner exchange deal with Israel (Felesteen.ps, October 6, 2014).
Rocket and Mortal Shell Fire into Israel
- This past week no rocket or mortar shell hits were identified in Israeli territory.
Terrorist Events in Judea and Samaria
- This past week the ongoing 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 in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. Riots were held at the traditional friction points.
- Some of the more prominent events were the following:
- On October 2, 2014, Border Police soldiers at the Tapuah junction in Samaria detained two suspicious Palestinians from Nablus, both in their twenties. A search revealed three pipe bombs hidden in their tools, as well as an improvised handgun and several knives. The two were detained for interrogation (Ynetnews.co.il, October 2, 2014).
- On October 2, 2014, rocks were thrown at a vehicle in the A-Tor neighborhood of Jerusalem. Two young female passengers sustained minor injuries and the vehicle was damaged (Ynetnews.co.il, October 2, 2014).
- On October 1, 2014, rocks were thrown at a Jewish kindergarten in east Jerusalem (Ynetnews.co.il, October 1, 2014).
Restrictions Eased for Eid al-Adha
- For Eid al-Adha, the IDF and the Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories eased restrictions on the Palestinian population in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip. Residents of Judea and Samaria, regardless of age, could take trips and visit family in Israel. More than 600 family visits in Judea and Samaria were authorized for Gazans, every day approximately 500 Palestinians over the age of 60 could visit the Temple Mount and more than 500 residents over the age of 60 could visit Judea and Samaria (IDF Spokesman, October 1, 2014).
Hebron District Governor Gives Financial Support to Family of Hebron Terrorist Operatives
- According to the QudsN Facebook page, on July 14, 2014, the governor of the Hebron district gave 1,000 NIS [about $270] to the family of terrorist operative Marwan Qawasmeh, a member of the squad that abducted and murdered the three Israeli youths in Gush Etzion in June 2014. The funds were given as part of what was referred to as "emergency relief in view of the events in Hebron [i.e., the IDF's destruction of the terrorists' houses] resulting from the killing of the three [young] settlers." To that end the money was transferred from the account of the Hebron governor's office in the Bank of Palestine to the account of the Qawasmeh family in the Arab Islamic bank in Hebron (QudsN Facebook page, October 1, 2014). Note: The transfer had been made before the two terrorist operatives had been located and killed in a firefight with the IDF.
- In response the office of the governor of Hebron issued a clarification claiming that the office had given 4,000 NIS to the families of two "heroes" [four times more than what appeared on the bank document]. According to the statement, the funds had been transferred as part of emergency relief provided to 150 families in Hebron whose houses had been damaged as a direct result of the abduction of the Israeli youths. The money was given after a committee appointed for that purpose had examined the damages (QudsN Facebook page, October 1, 2014).
The bank documents relating to the transfer of funds to the family of terrorist operative Marwan Qawasmeh. Left: The clarification statement from the office of the governor of Hebron (QudsN Facebook page, October 1, 2014)
The Rafah Crossing and Hamas-Egypt Relations
- The Rafah crossing does yet not operate regularly. However, the Egyptians allowed several aid delegations to enter the Gaza Strip, including one from Oman. It was permitted to enter for half an hour to deliver 20 truckloads of humanitarian aid (Maannews.net, October 4, 2014).
Left: The Omani delegation that entered the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing. Right: Medical aid from Jordan (Palestine-info.info, October 2 and 3, 2014)
- Despite the fact that the issue of the entrance of civilians and goods into the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing has not yet been settled, "security sources" in Egypt claimed that the relations between Egypt and Hamas had improved considerably and they expected further improvements (Maannews.net, October 1, 2014). Senior sources in Hamas also claimed that relations with Egypt had improved:
- Mahmoud al-Zahar, a member of the Hamas leadership in the Gaza Strip, claimed there had been a breakthrough and positive change in the relations between Hamas and Egypt. He claimed that the Hamas delegation in Cairo had met with the Egyptians and discussed their mutual relations (Quds.net, October 1, 2014).
- Musa Abu Marzouq, a member of Hamas' political bureau, claimed that Hamas had made mistakes in its relations with Egypt but that they had been individual and not policy-directed. He stressed the importance of Egypt's role in the region with regard to the Palestinian cause (Samanews.com, October 2, 2014).
Rebuilding the Gaza Strip
- About a month after the end of the fighting and the announcement of a ceasefire, the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip is still proceeding slowly. So far, apparently most of the activity focuses on welfare and pinpointed attempts for immediate relief carried out by international organizations. Sources in the Gaza Strip noted disappointment at the lack of progress on the ground, especially with regard to clearing rubble and rebuilding, the activity of the crossings and "lifting the siege" (Samanews.com, October 1, 2014).
- Some of the stalling is due to the hopes the PA has pinned on the international conference for rebuilding the Gaza Strip that is planned for Cairo at the end of October. Badr Abdel Aty, spokesman for the Egyptian ministry of foreign affairs, said that with the participation of the Norwegian government and PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, Egypt would host an "international Cairo conference for Palestine – the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip." It would be headed by the UN secretary general, the secretary general of the Arab League, the EU's high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, a representative of the International Quartet and representatives of the countries.
- Abdel Aty said that the conference would aspire to establish the foundations of the ceasefire agreement and provide a foundation for a political solution by enabling the Palestinian government to bear the responsibility of rebuilding the Gaza Strip. The conference would also try to improve the UN's current mechanism for Gazan imports and exports (Facebook page of the Egypt ministry of foreign affairs, October 3, 2014).
- Muhammad Sabih, aide to the secretary general of the Arab League for Palestine, claimed that during the conference an attempt would be made to raise $5 billion. He claimed the contributing countries and the international community were responsible for rebuilding the Gaza Strip as quickly as possible. He also claimed that according to UNRWA assessment, rebuilding the Gaza Strip would take approximately ten years (Kuna.net.kw, October 2, 2014).
The PA's Plan for Rebuilding the Gaza Strip
- Muhammad Mustafa, deputy prime minister in the national consensus government, claimed that the government had authorized a plan for rebuilding the Gaza Strip. The plan had been devised, he said, by Palestinian economic experts, and was composed of three parts:
- Provision of immediate needs for the next six to nine months at an estimated cost of $414 million.
- Initial repairs of damages at an estimated cost of $1.9 billion.
- More than 200 plans and programs which would cost $2.4 billion, and an additional $1.9 for repairing the infrastructure.
- The issue of paying the employees working for the former de-facto Hamas administration has not yet been resolved and is burdensome for Hamas. On the eve of Eid al-Adha, senior Hamas figure Musheir al-Masri claimed that in view of the "national consensus government's abdication of its responsibilities," Hamas had made advance payments of $200 to 45,000 civilian and military employees who had continued working even during the "aggression against the Gaza Strip" (Alaraby.co.uk, October 3, 2014).
- Rami Hamdallah, prime minister of the national consensus government, confirmed that in coordination with the UN the government had reached an agreement with Qatar for transferring funds to some of the civilian workers who had been employed after 2007. He claimed funds would be paid by the end of October 2014 (Wafa.ps, October 3, 2014). Musa Abu Marzouq, a member of Hamas' political bureau, praised Rami Hamdallah, claiming the national consensus government was headed in the right direction and that he expected confidence-building steps and additional gestures of good faith from it (Hamas website, October 4, 2014).
Eid al-Adha Sermons and Ismail Haniya's Statement
- Sermons given throughout the Gaza Strip for Eid al-Adha called on the Gazans to help the homeless and the families of those killed and wounded. They stressed the sacrifice made by Gazans during the fighting and the activity of the "resistance," and called on the Gazans to support the "resistance" (Safa.ps, October 4, 2014).
- Ismail Haniya, deputy head of Hamas' political bureau, gave a sermon in which he praised the "victory" of the "resistance" during the fighting. His main points were the following (Felesteen.ps, October 4, 2014):
- Hamas' weapons – Hamas would not allow the weapons of the "resistance" to be taken away and would not surrender them. He stated that the weapon would always be turned only against Israel, and that Hamas would continue to develop new weapons and the capabilities of the "resistance" in the Gaza Strip until all Palestine was liberated from the so-called "Israeli occupation."
- Bringing senior Israelis to trial in the ICC – Haniya called on the PA to sign the Rome Convention, claiming that Hamas wound continue demanding bringing senior Israelis to trial in the ICC in The Hague.
- The Arab world and the conflict with Israel – Haniya claimed that the Arab world's main conflict was with Israel. He called on the Arab-Muslim nation to stop its bloodshed so that ideological conflicts would not take the place of the so-called central conflict, which was with Israel, which had "occupied Jerusalem, the Al-Aqsa mosque and Palestine."
Submitting a Draft Proposition to the UN Security Council
- At a meeting of the Palestinian leadership Mahmoud Abbas claimed work had begun with the UN Security Council on establishing a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders with east Jerusalem as its capital, and on setting a "time table to end the occupation" [the target date is apparently November 2016]. He claimed that after the borders had been defined the Palestinian leadership would initiate negotiations [with Israel]. Mahmoud Abbas claimed he needed three weeks to submit the proposal to the UN Security Council.
- Mahmoud Abbas added that if the United States vetoed the proposal the Palestinians would appeal to international agencies, especially the ICC in The Hague (Alhayat-j.com, October 2, 2014). Riyadh al-Maliki, the foreign minister of the national consensus government, claimed that consultations were being held with the 15 Security Council members. He claimed it would take time because the Palestinians had to wait until they knew the position of each state. He said the Palestinians were close to getting nine votes (Voice of Palestine, October 2, 2014).
- Senior UN figures confirmed that the Palestinians had submitted a draft copy of a resolution to the UN Security Council calling for the end of the so-called "Israeli occupation" by November 2016, but that so far not all the members of the Security Council had seen it. The American ambassador to the UN said the United States was aware of the Palestinian proposal but believed that the only solution was negotiations between the two sides (Reuters.com, October 1, 2014).
Joining the ICC
- Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum expressed surprise at the fact that Mahmoud Abbas had conditioned membership in the ICC on the failure of the UN Security Council to fix a date for the end of the occupation. He claimed joining the ICC would mean deterring Israel, protecting the Palestinians from new Israeli crimes and punishing Israel for its crimes and "acts of slaughter." He claimed that every delay gave senior Israeli figures a new opportunity to avoid punishment and paying an international price for their acts (Facebook page of Fawzi Barhoum, October 1, 2014).
- Riyadh al-Maliki rejected the accusations that the Palestinians were delaying membership in the ICC. He demanded that senior figures in the Palestinian organizations (Hamas, the members of the Palestinian Legislative Council and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad) hasten to join the ICC. He claimed Musa Abu Marzouq had already signed the necessary document but that other senior Hamas figures had to sign it as well. He added that the heads of the ICC had made it clear that Israel's accusations against the Palestinian [terrorist] organizations would also be investigated (Alaraby.co.uk, October 1, 2014).
Criticism of Israel's Announcement to Promote Construction in Jerusalem and East Jerusalem
- The Jerusalem city hall issued an announcement regarding the promotion of a plan to build a neighborhood in the southern part of Jerusalem of 2,610 dwelling units (Giv'at Hamatos). The international community and the Palestinians regard the issue as sensitive because of the neighborhood's proximity to Beit Safafa, in the region between southern Jerusalem and Bethlehem. In addition, there are Jews living in several houses in the neighborhood of Silwan in east Jerusalem, which were bought in recent years by the "City of David" foundation (Haaretz.co.il, October 2, 2014).
- The announcement gave rise to harsh international criticism:
- The president of the United States urged Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu to stop the plan for building in the settlements. He added that the United States was very concerned about reports that Israel was planning to continue building in east Jerusalem (AFP.com, October 2, 2014).
- The EU condemned the Israeli decision to build the new neighborhood (Giv'at Hamatos), claiming that it would be damaging, undermine the hope for a two-state solution and raise doubts about Israel's commitment to conducting negotiations for peace with the Palestinians (AFP.com, October 3, 2014).
- Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu responded that it was not a matter of settlement but of a neighborhood in Jerusalem. He stressed that it was a matter of free enterprise of buying and selling. He said the issue was beyond that of property, it was a matter of the right of every individual to live where he wanted to as long as he purchased his house legally and did not take it over [unlawfully] (Website of the Israeli prime minister, October 1, 2014).
The Swedish Prime Minister Says Sweden Will Recognize the Palestinian State
- Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said in his inauguration speech that he would recognize the PA as a state. He claimed the conflict would be resolved only through negotiations for a two-state solution with the supervision and coordination of international law. Thus Sweden became the first large European country to recognize the Palestinian state (Reuters.com, October 3, 2014). In a telephone conversation held later with Israeli opposition leader Yitzhak Herzog, Löfven and his foreign minister said that no specific date had been set for the actual recognition and that Sweden wanted to initiate a dialogue with Israel regarding the matter (Haaretz.co.il, October 6, 2014).
- Senior figures in the PA praised the Swedish prime minister's statement and called for other European countries to follow in his footsteps:
- Mahmoud Abbas praised the Swedish decision and said he hoped the other countries would act in similar fashion (Wafa.ps, October 4, 2014).
- Saeb Erekat, a member of the PLO's Executive Committee, claimed he esteemed the Swedish decision and the courage involved in saying it. He claimed Sweden had always supported the rights of the Palestinian people and was a country that respected international law. He expressed hope that all the European countries would follow (AFP.com, October 3, 2014). He said the Palestinians expected the Arab states to immediately send their foreign ministers and the head of the Arab League to Sweden to express their esteem and thanks for the recognition of the Palestinian state and to lead other countries to recognize it as well (Alquds.com, October 5, 2014).
- Riyadh al-Maliki, foreign minister of the national consensus government, praised the Swedish prime minister's statement and called on the other European countries to do the same for the sake of the success of the peace process (Maannews.net, October 3, 2014).
- Jen Psaki, spokeswoman for the American State Department, said that "We believe international recognition of a Palestinian state is premature. We certainly support Palestinian statehood, but it can only come through a negotiated outcome, a resolution of final status issues, and mutual recognition by both parties" (Website of the American State Department, October 3, 2014).
Results of a Palestinian Survey
- The Palestinian survey facility PRS, headed by Khalil Shqaqi, interviewed 1,200 Palestinians from Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria on September 25 to 27,with the following results:
- 67% were of the opinion that Hamas was victorious in Operation Protective Edge.
- 80% supported renewed fire from the Gaza Strip should Israel not lift the siege of the Gaza Strip.
- 57% (48% from the Gaza Strip and 62% from Judea and Samaria) justified rocket fire from populated areas of the Gaza Strip, while 39% objected.
- Only 21% defined the role of Egypt as mediator in the negotiations as positive for the Palestinians.
- 55% would vote for Ismail Haniya if presidential elections were held (61% in a survey held a month earlier)
- 44% said the armed struggle was the most practical way to end the occupation and establish a Palestinian state.
Praise for the People for Eid al-Adha from Palestinian National Security Forces
- On October 4, 2014, the Palestinian national security forces posted a notice for Eid al-Adha on its Facebook page. It showed a picture of masked Palestinians rioting against IDF forces at one of the friction points in Judea and Samaria. The caption read "A nation of heroes" (Facebook page of the Palestinian national security forces, October 4, 2014)
[*]Next week News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict will not appear due to the Succoth holiday. The English version will be issued as usual on October 22, 2014.
"Allegiance to the prisoners" was the name Hamas gave to the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal in October 2011.
 As of October 6, 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.