Another victim of the vehicular terrorist attack at the Ammunition Hill light railway station in Jerusalem dies: Karen Yemima Mosquera, a tourist from Ecuador, was laid to rest.
The symbolic funeral held for terrorist operative Abd al-Rahman al-Shaloudi in east Jerusalem
Palestinian rioters confront Israeli security forces in Silwad
The bus attacked near Pisgat Zeev (Photo by Elad Diamant for Tazpit.org.il, October 22, 2014).
Residents of the northern Gaza Strip demonstrate in front of the UNRWA offices in Jabaliya to protest the delay of the beginning of rebuilding activities
Egyptian army activity along Egypt's border with the Gaza Strip (Facebook page of PALDF, October 27, 2014)
Egyptian army activity along Egypt's border with the Gaza Strip (Facebook page of PALDF, October 27, 2014)
The mourning tent for the Egyptian soldiers killed in the Sinai Peninsula (Paltimes.net, October 27, 2014).
Musa Abu Marzouq visits the mourning tent (Facebook page of Gaza al-'An, October 27, 2014).
Adnan Dhameri holds a press conference at the governmental information center in Ramallah. During it he savagely criticized the Israeli government (Wafa.ps, October 23, 2014).
Vehicular Attack at the Ammunition Hill Light Railway Station – Update
- On the afternoon of October 22, 2014, a Palestinian terrorist operative from the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan carried out a vehicular attack at the Ammunition Hill light railway station in Jerusalem. The attack killed a three month-old infant girl. A young female tourist from Ecuador was fatally wounded and died a few says later in the hospital. Eight other civilians were also injured. The Ecuadorian tourist, Karen Yemima Mosquera, 20, came to Israel to study Judaism and convert. She spent the last two months at a conversion center for women.
- The vehicular attack was carried out on the backdrop of the continuing Palestinian violence in Jerusalem in general and on the Temple Mount in particular. Tensions have been worsening during the past three months because of the murder of Muhammad Abu Kheir and Operation Protective Edge. In the past two weeks, during the Jewish High Holidays and because of the authorization given to Israelis to visit the Temple Mount, tensions increased and there were violent confrontations between Palestinian rioters and the Israeli security forces.
- The terrorist who carried out the attack was Abd al-Rahman al-Shaloudi, 21, a Hamas operative. He was born in Silwad north of Ramallah but according to his documents he resided in the Silwan neighborhood of east Jerusalem. In the past he committed security-related crimes. When he was 18 he, his brothers and friends were indicted for attacking Jewish residents of Silwan and for trying to prevent the Israeli security forces from entering the neighborhood. In May 2013 his sentence was plea-bargained to 16 months in prison. He was released in December 2013, and redetained for a month in February 2014.
The Funeral Held for Terrorist Operative Abd al-Rahman al-Shaloudi
- The police limited the number of mourners allowed at Abd al-Rahman al-Shaloudi's funeral because of concerns over possible rioting. Initially the family opposed the limitations imposed by the police and refused to accept the body and hold the funeral. They later relented and held a small funeral (Ynetnews.co.il, October 25, 2014). Mourners carried Hamas-affiliated flags (Maannews.net, October 26, 2014).
- While the small funeral was held under heavy Israeli security force guard, a symbolic funeral was held, attended by hundreds of Palestinians who walked from Silwan to the Temple Mount. During the symbolic funeral dozens of Palestinians rioted, threw stones and shot fireworks at the Israeli security forces. The riots continued throughout the night, and rioters called for Israelis to be abducted.
Negotiations for a Ceasefire Agreement Postponed
- Egypt originally sent invitations to the Israeli and Palestinian delegations to renew the indirect negotiations in Cairo on October 27, 2014. However, on October 25, 2014, a combined terrorist attack was carried out in the Sinai Peninsula in which 31 Egyptian soldiers were killed. Following the attack Egypt announced it was postponing the indirect negotiation meetings. The reason given was the situation in the Sinai Peninsula created by the mass-casualty terrorist attack, leading to the closing of the Rafah crossing (Alresala.net, October 26, 2014). Azzam al-Ahmad, chairman of the Palestinian delegation to the negotiations, said that Egypt was planning to set a new date for the Cairo meetings (Maannews.net, October 26, 2014).
- Hamas was critical of the postponement. Osama Hamdan, responsible for Hamas' international relations, claimed it played into Israel's hands. He claimed that for Israel it was a "golden opportunity" to sabotage the political efforts being made to improve the conditions under which the Gazans were living (Samanews.com, October 27, 2014).
Khaled Mashaal's Opinions on Operation Protective Edge
- Interviewed by the American magazine Vanity Fair, Khaled Mashaal, head of Hamas' political bureau mentioned Operation Protective Edge, making claims to improve Hamas' image in American public opinion:
- Who began and who won the war – Khaled Mashaal claimed that Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu "opted to escalate the situation in Gaza... because of his cabinet’s internal problems and because of the public anger against him." He claimed Hamas won the war because " t sent a message to the world that there is something called the 'Palestinian cause' ... that the occupation must be brought to an end, that the settlements’ expansions must stop, and that the blockade on Gaza must be lifted.”
- The terrorist tunnels – He claimed that "In light of the balance of power, which is shifted toward Israel, we had to be creative in finding innovative ways. The tunnels were one of our innovations. The Israeli army is stronger than us ... What Hamas and other resistance factions are doing in Gaza, with the full support of our people, is just an attempt to ensure the necessary means to protect our people ...The tunnels come in this context, that of putting more obstacles in the way of any Israeli attacks, and enabling the resistance in Gaza to defend itself ... Have any of the tunnels been used to kill any civilian or any of the residents of such towns? No. Never! [Hamas] used them either to strike beyond the back lines of the Israeli army or to raid some military sites such as Nahal Oz." [Note: A bald-faced lie. Hamas wanted to use the tunnels to infiltrate Israeli territory with the objective of the mass killing of Israelis.]
- Rocket fire – "We fired the rockets] when Israel began its aggression and its war on Gaza. That means we did that under the right of self-defense. [Note: A bald-faced lie. Hamas launched massive barrages of rocket fire at civilian Israeli targets before the beginning of Operation Protective Edge] ... When Hamas possesses smart and highly accurate rockets, you’ll see that it will only strike military targets ... When the rockets are fired out of Gaza, they are fired on military targets. The accuracy of such rockets, however, is limited. So, they sometimes miss their targets." [Note: Yet another bald-faced lie. Hamas launched rockets directly targeting Israeli population centers with the express intent of killing and maiming civilians.] "That’s why when we acquire the smart, accurate rockets, striking of military targets will be more accurate."
Rocket and Mortal Shell Fire into Israel
- This past week no rocket or mortar shell hits were identified in Israeli territory.
Drug Smugglers Fire Shots at IDF Force from across Egyptian Border
- In the early afternoon on October 22, 2014, shots were fired from Egyptian territory at an IDF force engaged in routine security activities near the border. Two soldiers were wounded and evacuated for medical treatment. IDF forces returned fire, wounding at least three of the shooters. An IDF investigation revealed that the shooters were drug smugglers and had fired an anti-tank missile at the IDF force (IDF Spokesman, October 22, 2014).
Violent Events in Jerusalem
- This past week the wave of riots and violence continued in the neighborhoods of east Jerusalem, part of what the Palestinians refer to as the "popular resistance." Riots were held and rocks and Molotov cocktails were thrown. The main target continued to be public transportation (buses and the light railway where it passed through east Jerusalem neighborhoods).
- The Israel Police Force initiated Operation Guardians of the Walls, in which thousands of policemen, Border Guard soldiers and members of elite units were deployed in east Jerusalem and at the friction points to prevent rioting and increase the safety of the Jerusalem's residents and visitors (Facebook page of the Israel Police Force, October 27, 2014).
- The following events occurred:
- On the evening of October 25, 2014, near the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat, Palestinians threw rocks at a bus, shattering windows. Two infants were wounded by flying glass. Rocks were also thrown at a light railway car in Shuafat, damaging the windows (Ynetnews.co.il, October 25, 2014).
- On October 25, 2014, rocks were thrown and fireworks shot at a bulldozer in the Silwan neighborhood in east Jerusalem. The bulldozer had been brought to Silwan by the Jerusalem municipality to clear the streets of the rocks and rubble thrown during the riots. There were no casualties and no damage was reported (Ynetnews.co.il, October 25, 2014).
- On October 25, 2014, after the Friday prayers in the mosques rocks were thrown and fireworks shot at Israeli security forces in Wadi Joz in east Jerusalem. The security forces dispersed the rioters. Tires were burned in the neighborhood of Issawiya (Ynetnews.co.il, October 25, 2014).
- On the night of October 23, 2014, homes of Jews were attacked in east Jerusalem. Rocks and Molotov cocktails were thrown at the buildings and fireworks were shot at them. The Israeli security forces acted to calm the situation (Tazpit.org.il, October 24, 2014).
- Mahmoud Abbas sent an urgent communiqué to the American administration asking for rapid intervention to end the so-called "Israeli escalation" in Jerusalem and to prevent "settlers and extremists" from entering the Temple Mount compound. Mahmoud Abbas warned of the danger of the possible division of the compound and the prayer schedules, and of the possibility of the situation's spiraling out of control. He blamed Israel for any possible escalation (Maannews.net, October 26, 2014).
- On October 27, 2014, Rami Hamdallah, prime minister of the Palestinian national consensus government, visited Al-Aqsa mosque in the company of other senior Palestinian Authority (PA) figures, among them Majed Faraj, commander of Palestinian general intelligence, Ziad Hab Alreeh, commander of Palestinian preventive security, the Palestinian minister of health and others. Rami Hamdallah was received by Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, the Mufti of Jerusalem, the minister of Jerusalem affairs, the district governor and the director of the wakf [religious endowments] department in Jerusalem. Rami Hamdallah said he had come to show solidarity with the residents of east Jerusalem who were defending the holy places, Al-Aqsa mosque and the Palestinian capital. He said there would be no solution or agreement without declaring east Jerusalem the capital of the future Palestinian state (Wafa.ps, October 27, 2014).
Left: A cartoon from Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda, the official Palestinian daily newspaper. It shows Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu beheading Al-Aqsa mosque, by implication as ISIS terrorist operatives behead foreigners they have abducted. The caption reads, "...Terrorism..." (Alhayat-j.com, October 18, 2014). Right: Rami Hamdallah and his entourage visit the Temple Mount (Wafa.ps, October 27, 2014).
- As part of Hamas' incitement campaign, Facebook pages affiliated with movement posted notices in Hebrew warning the Israeli population not to enter the Temple Mount.
Notices warning the Israeli population of death and hellfire if they enter Al-Aqsa mosque (PALDF, October 24, 2014).
- In Judea and Samaria rioting continued at the traditional friction spots and elsewhere, most of the riots focusing on the issues of Al-Aqsa mosque and Jerusalem, as follows:
- On the afternoon of October 25, 2014, a Molotov cocktail-throwing Palestinian youth was killed by IDF on a road east of Ramallah. An IDF force engaged in an operational activity near the village of Silwad identified and shot at the youth, who had thrown Molotov cocktails at vehicles on the road (Ynetnews.co.il, October 24, 2014). The Palestinian media claimed that the soldiers deliberately shot and killed him. Rami Hamdallah, prime minister of the national consensus government, condemned the "escalation of Israel's violations towards the Palestinians," the most recent of which was the shooting of the youth in Silwad (Maannews.net, October 25, 2014).
Left: Urwa Hamad at a Hamas victory rally held in Ramallah after Operation Protective Edge (Facebook page of the Islamic Bloc at Al-Najah University, October 24, 2014). Right: The death notice issued by Hamas, reading, "Hamas, the Islamic resistance movement mourns the death of its son, the shaheed Urwa Abd al-Wahab Hamad, the youth killed while throwing Molotov cocktails during clashes with soldiers of the occupation in the town of Silwad, northeast of Ramallah" (Facebook page of the Islamic Bloc in Bir Zeit, October 24, 2014).
- On the evening of October 26, 2014, shots were fired at an IDF guard post north of the village of Ofra in the region of Silwad. There were no casualties and no damage was reported. The initial search revealed where the shooters had been hiding (Tazpit.org.il, October 26, 2014).
- On the afternoon of October 23, 2014, a Molotov cocktail was thrown at a patrol car near the village of Dir Abu Masha'al (northwest of Ramallah). There were no casualties. The windshield of the car was damaged. The perpetrator fled, was chased and apprehended. A knife was found in his possession. He admitted to throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at vehicles and stated he planned to stab a policeman (Tazpit.org.il, October 23, 2014).
- On October 22, 2014, rocks were thrown at a bus near Pisgat Zeev (north of Jerusalem). There were no casualties. The bus was damaged (Tazpit.org.il, October 22, 2014).
Rafah Crossing Closed
- Maher Abu Subha, director of the crossings administration in the Gaza Strip, reported that Egypt had decided to close the Rafah crossing until further notice because of the security situation in the Sinai Peninsula. He warned the closing would lead to a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip and said that in his assessment it would operate in an irregular fashion because of the situation (Felesteen.ps, October 25, 2014).
Rebuilding the Gaza Strip
- The rebuilding of the Gaza Strip is still proceeding slowly. The Palestinian national consensus government, in an announcement summarizing its weekly meeting, said it was appointing national teams that would be responsible for the coordination and oversight of all the activities relating to rebuilding the Gaza Strip, formulating programs and defining priorities. The government also announced that it planned to follow up the transfer of the funds promised by the donor nations during the conference in Cairo by visiting the various countries to speed up the process (Maannews.net, October 22, 2014). Rafiq Maliha, director of the power plant in the Gaza Strip, announced that as of October 26, 2014, the service provided by the plant would improve and it would operate for eight hours a day (Paltimes.net, October 27, 2014).
- Senior Hamas and other Palestinian figures criticized the mechanism for overseeing the delivery of building materials, accused Israel of deliberate delays and linked the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip to Israeli security:
- Senior Hamas figure Mahmoud al-Zahar noted Hamas' objection to the mechanism for distributing the building materials, and claimed it was an Israeli mechanism whose objective was to delay the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip. He warned that the security of the population centers in Israel's south depended on facilitating the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip (Felesteen.ps, October 26, 2014). On another occasion he said he did not reject the possibility of renewed hostilities if Israel continued to delay acceding to the Palestinians' demands, especially the issues of opening the crossings and the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip (Samanews.com, October 27, 2014).
- Khalil al-Haya, a member of Hamas' political bureau, threatened that Israel's security would be the first thing to pay the price for delaying the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip. He claimed the conditions posed for the rebuilding "mocked the sensibilities of the Palestinian people and were liable to lead to a regional explosion." He also noted that the Hamas military wing had already taken many steps regarding rearming itself and could halt any aggression (Al-Aqsa TV, October 26, 2014).
- Khaled al-Batash, senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) figure, said at a rally that the "resistance" [i.e., terrorist organizations] were prepared for another campaign if Israel did not meet its commitments regarding opening the crossings and rebuilding the Gaza Strip (Maannews.net, October 25, 2014).
- Shawqi al-Issa, minister of welfare and agriculture in the Palestinian national consensus government, meeting with UN representatives in the Gaza Strip, claimed that the mechanism for overseeing the delivery of building materials into the Gaza Strip was a tool for "managing the closure imposed on the Gaza Strip" (Safa.ps, October 26, 2014).
- Kana'n Ubeid, coordinator for "the popular committee monitoring the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip," claimed the Palestinian people would not bargain over a sack of cement and that building materials should be delivered without limitations (Paltoday.tv, October 26, 2014).
Egypt Accuses Palestinians in the Gaza Strip of Involvement in the Attack that Killed Egyptian Soldiers
- Egyptian sources accused the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip of involvement in the attack in the Sinai Peninsula in which 31 Egyptian soldiers were killed. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi warned that Egypt would take strict security measures along the border with the Gaza Strip "to rip terrorism up by the roots" (Nile TV Egypt, October 25, 2014). Samih Bashadi, aide to the Egyptian minister of the interior, said Egypt had no doubt that the terrorist attack in the Sinai Peninsula had been carried out with the involvement of operatives from the Palestinian organizations who had infiltrated [into Egyptian territory] through the tunnels, some of which were still operative (Aawsat.net, October 26, 2014). Hamas was not explicitly accused of involvement in the attack but since it is the dominant organization in the Gaza Strip the Egyptian accusations can be seen as indirectly aimed at it.
- In the wake of the terrorist attack on the soldiers, in the coming days Egypt, on orders from the president, will begin erecting a buffer zone to separate Egyptian territory from the Gaza Strip. It will reportedly be between 1.5 kilometers (.93 miles) and 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) wide. It will be erected to facilitate the activities of the Egyptian forces responsible for guarding border security and foiling any attempt made by terrorist operatives to infiltrate into Egypt through the tunnels (Youm7.com, October 25, 2014). Hamas is also deploying forces along the border with Egypt (Raialyoum.com, October 26, 2014).
- Hamas has unconditionally denied all the Egyptian accusations. In both public statements and during contacts with those responsible for the Palestinian issue within Egypt general intelligence, Hamas stressed that it had no connection to those who carried out the attack (Raialyoum.com, October 26, 2014). The ministry of the interior in the Gaza Strip issued a statement of condolence on the deaths of the soldiers, saying that Hamas would not allow anyone to harm Egypt's national security (Paltimes.net, October 26, 2014).
- Other responses included the following:
- Musa Abu Marzouq, a member of Hamas' political bureau, denied all Palestinian involvement in the attack and claimed there was no foundation for reports of such involvement (Samanews.com, October 26, 2014).
- Khalil al-Haya, senior Hamas figure, claimed Hamas opposed shedding Egyptian blood and was of the opinion that Hamas-Egyptian relations would improve in the near future (Safa.ps, October 25, 2014).
- Salah al-Bardawil, senior Hamas figure, denied the accusations and claimed that neither Hamas, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades or any other entity in the Gaza Strip had any connection to the event. He claimed the accusations were false and unreasonable both morally and politically (Paltimes.net, October 26, 2014).
- To ease the tension between Hamas and Egypt, the union of Palestinian professionals in the Gaza Strip erected a mourning tent in memory of the Egyptian soldiers killed in the terrorist attack in the Sinai Peninsula. Signs hung on the tent read "Palestine and Egypt, one people, one blood," "Egyptian soldiers protect and aid Jerusalem and Palestine" (Paltimes.net, October 27, 2014).
- Khaled al-Batash, senior PIJ figure, said he opposed the media's accusations that Palestinians from the Gaza Strip were involved in the attack, and called for turning the "resistance" only against Israel (Paltoday.tv, October 26, 2014).
Memorial Rally and Other Events to Mark Operation Protective Edge
- Memorial rallies for the casualties of Operation Protective Edge continue to be held throughout the Gaza Strip. On October 23, 2014, Hamas held a rally in honor of 600 Palestinians killed in the Khan Yunis region. It was attended by senior Hamas figures, among them Ismail Haniya and Mahmoud al-Zahar, as well as families of the deceased and Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades terrorist operatives (PALDF and (Palestine-info.info, October 23, 2014, and Gaza al-'An, October 22, 2014).
Left: Ismail Haniya at a rally (PALDF, October 23, 2014). Right: Invitation issued by Hamas to a rally in Khan Yunis. It states that Ismail Haniya and other senior Hamas figures will attend (Gaza al-'An, October 22, 2014).
The PA's International Political Activity
- Writing in the Palestinian daily newspaper Al-Ayyam, Saeb Erekat, the PLO's chief negotiator, described the PA's intentions for its continuing political activity:
- According to Saeb Erekat, if the United States vetoes the proposed resolution to determine a date for the end of the Israeli occupation, the PA will have to complete the process of joining 522 international institutions and conventions, stop its security coordination with Israel and call upon Israel to bear full responsibility. He added that in addition to joining international institutions, the PA should try to receive recognition from the EU while continuing its efforts to convince the UN Secretary General to establish an "international mechanism to protect the Palestinian people in occupied Palestine."
- Saeb Erekat also claimed that the intention was not to dismantle the PA but rather to protest the fact that the previous Israeli governments had managed to appropriate the PA's jurisdiction in areas such as security, the law and the economy, and to limit its role to paying salaries and security coordination (Al-ayyam.com, October 21, 2014).
- On another occasion Saeb Erekat claimed the Palestinians would not wait longer than November 2014 to lodge a request for recognition of the Palestinian state. That was because they were determined to join the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague to be able to try Israel for crimes against the Palestinian people (Maannews.net, October 25, 2014).
- Muhammad Ashtiya, a member of Fatah's Central Committee, claimed that a communiqué regarding the Palestinians' joining the ICC in The Hague was ready for Mahmoud Abbas' signature. Also ready was a list of accusations against Israel of war crimes. He claimed they included the settlements, the occupation, the crimes committed during various military operations against the Gaza Strip, the issue of the prisoners, etc. (AFP.com, October 27, 2014).
Harsh Criticism from the Spokesman for the Palestinian Security Forces
- Adnan Dhameri, spokesman for the Palestinian security forces, claimed that Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu was more dangerous to the world than Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (the leader of the ISIS). He claimed that the "extremist Jewish ISIS movement" headed by Netanyahu was more dangerous than the original ISIS. He accused Israel of killing the young al-Shaloudi (the terrorist operative who carried out the vehicular attack at the light railway station in Jerusalem). Noting the real estate transactions in Silwan, he said that the PA's security forces would investigate everyone involved (Maannews.net, October 23, 2014).
 For further information see the October 23, 2014 bulletin " A vehicular attack in Jerusalem in which a three month-old baby girl was killed: The attack was carried out on the backdrop of a wave of Palestinian riots and violence as part of the Palestinian so-called "popular resistance."
As of October 28, 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.
 On October 14, 2014, an experiment was begun for delivering building materials to the Gaza Strip. The deliveries were overseen and controlled by a mechanism directed by representatives of the UN in cooperation with the PA. The mechanism was intended to ensure the materials would be used to renovate houses and public structures and not be misused (IDF Spokesman, October 14, 2014).