Hamas puts on a display of strength in the Gaza Strip for the 27th anniversary of its founding.
Hamas puts on a display of strength in the Gaza Strip for the 27th anniversary of its founding.
Equipment found in the possession of the Palestinians
Equipment found in the possession of the Palestinians
Children demonstrate in front of the UNDP building. The sign reads, "[We say] Enough! to the closed crossings" (PALDF, December 11, 2014).
Demonstration in front of the government building in Gaza City demanding the reconstruction of buildings (Palestine-info.info, December 9, 2014).
An Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades naval commando unit that participated in Hamas' display of strength in Gaza City (Paltimes.net, December 14, 2014).
Jerusalem Brigades terrorist operatives stand on an Israeli flag (Saraya.ps, December 13, 2014).
Ziad Abu Ein (PALDF, December 10, 2014).
Ziad Abu Ein buried with full military honors (Wafa.ps, December 11, 2014).
- Israel's south remains quiet. This past week in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem riots and terrorism continued. They included attacks on civilians with acid, attempted stabbing attacks, and the throwing of stones, rocks and Molotov cocktails. In addition, this week it was made public that Palestinians from Samaria had planned to carry out a suicide bombing attack in Tel Aviv.
- Hamas held a rally in the Gaza Strip, one of the events marking the anniversary of the organization's founding. The events were exploited for a display of strength by the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military-terrorist wing. The rally included the display of a locally-developed unmanned aerial vehicle. An Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades spokesman gave a speech thanking Iran for its support of Hamas and warning Israel that the current lull was liable to explode if no progress was made on rebuilding the Gaza Strip
- In the international arena the PA continues its efforts to promote a unilateral UN Security Council resolution for a timetable to establish a Palestinian state with the 1967 borders. To that end this past week there was intensive political activity, participated in by the United States, the European countries, the Palestinians and Israel.
Rocket and Mortal Shell Fire into Israel
- This past week as well no rocket or mortar shell hits were identified in Israeli territory.
Hamas Test-Fires Rockets
- During the past few days Hamas test-fired a number of rockets into the sea. The launches were part of trials Hamas' military-terrorist wing has made in recent weeks to reestablish its military capabilities. According to Israeli estimates, since the end of Operation Protective Edge Hamas has test-fired several dozen rockets from the Gaza Strip into the sea (Ynetnews.co.il, December 13, 2014).
- Regarding the test launchings, Yahya Musa, a Hamas-faction member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, claimed it was the "right" of the "resistance" [i.e., the terrorist organizations] to rearm and test its weapons. He added that the lull agreement [obtained at the end of Operation Protective Edge] did not forbid a military buildup (Alarab.net, December 9, 2014). Musa Abu Marzouq, a member of Hamas' political bureau, said Egypt usually transmitted to Hamas Israel's complaints about Hamas's rocket fire experiments (Samanews.com, December 9, 2014).
Another Clash on the Israel-Gaza Strip Border
- This past week clashes continued along the security fence marking the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip. On December 12, 2014, dozens of Palestinians gathered near the fence opposite the Israeli village of Kfar Aza and burned tires. An IDF force fired shots to disperse them. Two Palestinians were seriously wounded. The Palestinian media reported that four Palestinians had been wounded east of Jabaliya (Watan Ramallah TV, December 12, 2014). Such clashes have become frequent in recent weeks and have the potential to escalate.
Terrorist Opinion Attacks Civilians with Acid
- On the afternoon of December 12, 2014, a Palestinian went to the Husan junction (near the Tunnel roadblock in Gush Etzion, south of Jerusalem) and tried to hitch a ride. He threw acid at cars that stopped for him. Then he ran after one of the civilians at the junction, chasing him with a screwdriver. Seven civilians were burned by the acid, three of them children. An armed civilian who was passing by shot and seriously wounded the terrorist. Israeli Border Police forces in the area detained the terrorist and he was taken to a hospital for medical treatment (IDF Spokesman, December 12, 2014). The terrorist was Jamal Shakarna, 45, from the village of Nahlin (near Bethlehem).
Terrorism and Violence in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem
- This past week the wave of violence and rioting continued in the traditional friction spots in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem (Kafr Qadoum, near the Ofer prison, Bil'in, the Qalandia roadblock, etc.), part of what the Palestinians call the "popular resistance." In Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem stones, rocks and Molotov cocktails were thrown and there were stabbing attacks targeting Israelis.
- The prominent attacks were the following:
- On December 15, 2014, an Israeli driver was wounded by a rock at a junction near Nablus. He lost control of the car and hit a wall (Ynetnews.co.il, December 15, 2014).
- In December 15, 2014, during an IDF activity to detain a wanted Palestinian in the Qalandia refugee camp (southeast of Ramallah) shots were fired at the soldiers. The soldiers returned fire. An improvised IED was thrown at them. They shot and killed the Palestinian who threw it. Another Palestinian was wounded (IDF Spokesman, December 15, 2014).
- On December 14, 2014, Israeli security forces went to the village of A'nata (northeast of Jerusalem) where a stolen vehicle had been located. A search of the vehicle found two improvised rifles and ammunition. Two passengers fled from the vehicle (Israel Police Force spokesman, December 14, 2014).
- On the evening of December 9, 2014, an Israeli bus driver en route from Ariel to Jerusalem reported his bus had been attacked. At first gunfire was suspected, but it later became clear that stones had been thrown at the bus, which was full of passengers.
- On December 9, 2014, there was concern that the village of Tekoa had been infiltrated. IDF forces searched the region and detained two Palestinians who were found to have knives and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) shirts in their possession. One of the Palestinians was Muhammad Abu Aisha, a relative of one of the Palestinians who abducted and murdered the three youths in Gush Etzion in June 2014 (Ynetnews.co.il, December 9, 2014).
Rise in the Number and Severity of Terrorist Attacks in November 2014
- According to the Israel Security Agency, in November there was an increase in the number of attacks in Judea and Samaria and a slight decrease in the number of attacks in Jerusalem. There was a rise in the severity and number of attacks. There was a total of 213 terrorist attacks in November, among them stabbing, vehicular and shooting attacks (Shabak.gov.il, December 2014):
- Number of attacks – There were 166 attacks in Judea and Samaria (103 in October) and 46 attacks in Jerusalem (49 in October). One attack was carried out inside Israeli territory.
- Types of attacks – Most of the attacks (181) involved Molotov cocktails. Three were vehicular attacks, 19 involved IEDs, seven involved light arms and there were three stabbing attacks in Judea and Samaria and one inside Israel. The most serious attack was in a synagogue in Jerusalem where five people were murdered and ten wounded.
- Casualties – Nine Israelis were killed (six civilians and three members of the security forces) and 29 were wounded (16 civilians and 13 member of the security forces).
Suicide Bombing Attack in Tel Aviv Prevented
- During October and November 2014 the Israeli security forces detained five Palestinians who were planning to carry out a suicide bombing attack in Tel Aviv and a number of other terrorist attacks. The detained were Yasmin Sha'aban, from Jenin, and four Palestinians from the village of Atil (Tulkarm region). According to the plan, Yasmin Sha'aban was supposed to acquire permission to enter Israel for medial reasons, and she would carry out the attack. She was supposed to hide an explosive belt under her clothing, pretending she was pregnant.
- The detained Palestinians turned over an improvised M16 assault rifle, a hunting rifle, ammunition and materials for making explosives. The members of the squad were in contact with a handler in the Gaza Strip who was supposed to guide them in preparing explosive belts (Shabak.gov.il, December 15, 2014).
- Interrogation of the detained terrorists revealed that for purposes of the attack they planned to use an apartment in Israel where Palestinians illegally in Israel stayed. The squad planned to use the apartment to prepare the suicide bomber for the attack. It was also planned that Hamas and the PIJ would claim responsibility. The squad also intended to place an IED on a bus that transported soldiers and to abduct a soldier (Shabak.gov.il, December 15, 2014).
Left: The suicide bomber, Yasmin Sha'aban. Right: The weapons found in the possession of the terrorist squad (Shabak.gov.il, December 15, 2014).
American Citizen Who Planned Terrorist Attacks Detained
- On November 19, 2014, in a joint Israeli security forces-FBI operation, an American citizen named Adam Everett Livvix was detained for questioning on suspicion of possessing illegal weapons and the intention to carry out a terrorist activity. Livvix was wanted in the United States in 1984 on a drug-related charge. He arrived in Israel in 2013 and stayed in Hebron and Bethlehem in the Palestinian Authority (PA). While in Bethlehem he was approached by Palestinian operatives who allegedly asked him if he would like to assassinate President Obama during his visit to the region (New York Daily News, December 9, 2014).
- Livvix left the PA and moved to Israel, where he stayed illegally for about a year and a half. He became friendly with Israelis and represented himself as a Navy SEAL. He proposed a number of ideas for attacking Muslim holy sites in Israel. He was found to be in possession of large quantities of weapons stolen from the IDF (Haaretz.co.il, December 10, 2014).
Hamas Operative Who Tried to Transfer Funds Detained
- Following intelligence about the transfer of funds for terrorist purposes, the vehicle of a Hamas operative was stopped for examination by the Israeli security forces near Abu Dis (east Jerusalem). A search of the car revealed thousands of shekels. The driver was detained and held for interrogation (Israel Police Force, December 15, 2014).
Rally in Hebron to Mark the Founding of Hamas
- On December 11, 2014, Hamas organized a rally in Hebron to mark the 27th anniversary of its founding. There was a relatively small turnout. During the rally there were violent clashes between the participants and Israeli security forces. Local Hebron residents baked cakes to mark the anniversary, decorated with pictures of Hamas terrorist operatives Omar Abu Aisha and Marwan Qawasmeh, who abducted and murdered three Israeli youths in Gush Etzion in June 2014 (Paltimes.net, December 15, 2014).
Left: Cake with the pictures of Hamas terrorist operatives Omar Abu Aisha and Marwan Qawasmeh, who abducted and murdered the three Israeli youths (Paltimes.net, December 15, 2014). Right: Clashes at the Hebron rally between Palestinians and IDF forces (Paltimes.net, December 12, 2014).
The Situation at the Crossings
- Maher Abu Subha, Hamas head of the crossings administration, denied reports that Egypt was planning to open the Rafah crossing in the coming days. He claimed there had been no official confirmation from the Egyptians (Paltoday.tv, December 13, 2014). It was also reported that the Egyptian regime, in coordination with Israel and the PA, had agreed to renew the delivery of building materials for rebuilding the Gaza Strip starting on December 14, 2014, using the Nitzana crossing instead of the Rafah crossing. That, according to the report, was because of the security situation (Aljazeera.net, December 11, 2014).
Shortage of Cooking Gas in the Gaza Strip
- Muhammad al-Abdallah, a member of board of directors of the Gaza Strip oil and gas company, claimed that for a number of days there had been a serious shortage of cooking gas. That was because the quantities of gas delivered from Ramallah to the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom crossing were insufficient for the Gazans' daily needs. He claimed they needed 400-450 tons of gas a day while only 200 tons were delivered daily through the Kerem Shalom crossing (Alresala.net, December 9, 2014).
- The shortage of gas in the Gaza Strip is a result of the power struggles between Hamas and the PA over collecting the tax on bottled gas. At its weekly meeting, the Palestinian national consensus government noted that every decision or step taken by groups not authorized by the government ministries in the Gaza Strip were null and void and in violation of the law. That was especially true of measures taken to collect taxes on goods entering the Gaza Strip (Paltoday.tv, December 9, 2014).
Rebuilding the Gaza Strip
- Musa Abu Marzouq, a member of Hamas' political bureau, and Ghazi Hamad, former deputy foreign minister in the de-facto Hamas administration, met with UN envoy to the Middle East Robert Serry and his delegation to discuss the crossings and the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip. Musa Abu Marzouq stressed that the rebuilding had to be accelerated and building materials had to be delivered. He claimed all the crossings had to be opened to make it possible to deliver the largest possible quantities of building materials (Facebook page of Musa Abu Marzouq, December 11. 2014).
- On December 9, 2014, demonstrations were held throughout the Gaza Strip to demand the opening of the Rafah crossing, the lifting of the siege and the beginning of rebuilding. The demonstrations were held in front of the government building in Gaza City and in front of the civilian liaison office (Palestine-info.info and Paltoday.tv, December 9, 2014). In addition, on December 11, 2014, children held a demonstration in front of UNDP headquarters to demand the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip and the lifting of the siege (Paltimes.net and PALDF, December 11, 2014).
- Regarding Hamas' complaints about the delay in rebuilding the Gaza Strip, at the beginning of a meeting of the PA leadership, Mahmoud Abbas claimed Hamas was delaying the delivery of materials for various reasons. He said there was a clear agreement with Hamas according to which the PA would man the crossings and the deliveries would go to those in the Gaza Strip who were supposed to receive them, under the aegis of the UN (Palestinian TV, December 14, 2014).
- His statements led to condemnation from senior Hamas figures:
- Musa Abu Marzouq claimed that Mahmoud Abbas was sabotaging the rebuilding and refused to carry out any part of the agreement dealing with the crossings. He said the crossings operated under PA-Israel coordination and Hamas had no responsibility for them (Aa.com.tr, December 15, 2014). He wrote on his Facebook page that Mahmoud Abbas had "crossed the Gaza Strip off his agenda." He claimed that representatives of the PA were responsible for the Kerem Shalom and Erez crossings (Facebook page of Musa Abu Marzouq, December 14, 2014).
- Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri claimed Mahmoud Abbas was being illogical. He claimed Hamas could not operate the crossings because "it does not even have a police force in the Gaza Strip" (Al-Aqsa TV, December 15, 2014).
Display of Strength and Threats Mark Hamas' 27th Anniversary
- Hamas held many rallies in the Gaza Strip to mark the 27th anniversary of its founding. The main event was a parade held in Gaza City by the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military-terrorist wing. Hamas displayed its weapons, some for the first time. Among the weapons were an R160 rocket (a type used for the first time in Operation Protective Edge) and an Al-Ababil, a locally-developed unmanned aerial vehicle (an Al-Ababil was also used to photograph the parade.). A new rocket was displayed, marked "Qassam??" (perhaps a hint that Hamas is developing a new type of Qassam rocket).
- Among the marchers were operatives from the Nukhba unit (an elite Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades unit), snipers and naval commandos (the unit that landed on the Zikim beach north of the Gaza Strip during Operation Protective Edge). For the anniversary Hamas produced a short movie of Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades operatives in training. There was also a recording, allegedly of Muhammad Deif, saying that Israel had existed for too long and that "the time has come to purify Al-Aqsa mosque, which has been defiled" (Paltimes.net, December 14, 2014). It is impossible to verify the authenticity of the recording, thus it cannot be proved whether Muhammad Deif is dead or alive.
- Abu Obeida, Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades spokesman, gave a speech boasting of the military-terrorist wing's achievements during Operation Protective Edge. He claimed that Hamas had no more patience for Israel's delaying the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip, and warned that the public and leadership of the enemy would bear the results of the delay. He also thanked Iran for its support of the Palestinian resistance [i.e., terrorist organizations], thanking it for the weapons Iran had given Hamas' military wing. He again warned Israel that the current situation could explode if no progress was made in rebuilding the Gaza Strip (Al-Aqsa TV, December 14, 2014).
- During the various rallies senior Hamas figures spoke about adherence to the "resistance" [i.e., continuing terrorism against Israel], stressing Hamas' capabilities in a military standoff with Israel:
- Ismail Haniya, deputy chairman of Hamas' political bureau, claimed that the northern Gaza Strip was still teaching Israel "lesson after lesson."
- Salah al-Bardawil, a senior Hamas figure, claimed that Hamas would adhere to the path of "resistance" [i.e., terrorist attacks] until all Palestine had been "liberated." He claimed that since is founding, Hamas had achieved great things for the Palestinian people, the most prominent of which was the Gilad Shalit deal (Safa.ps, date, 2014). (Note: An indication of how important abducting prisoners and the release of terrorist operatives are from Hamas' perspective.)
- Mahmoud al-Zahar, a member of Hamas' political bureau, claimed that Hamas and its military wing would return to the "experience of victory" in the Gaza Strip and in West Bank, until all the Palestinian territories had been liberated (Alresala.net, date, 2014).
- Fathi Hamad, a senior Hamas figure, claimed that the Palestinians territories included the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Al-Aqsa mosque and the "internal" territories [i.e., Israel]. He claimed that during Operation Protective Edge the Palestinians had gone from defense to offense and that after the operation the Palestinian people were continuing the path of jihad and "resistance" (Al-Aqsa TV, December 12, 2014).
- Khalil al-Haya, a member of Hamas' political bureau, praised Hamas' military capabilities. He claimed that all Palestine, "from the [Mediterranean] sea to the [Jordan] river" was all Arab Islamic land, with no associates. He added that the [Israeli] occupation would only be ended by the use of force and resistance, which he called "the legitimate right of the Palestinian people in all Palestine" (Al-Aqsa TV, December 14, 2014).
A Hamas Delegation Visits Iran
- Osama Hamdan, responsible for Hamas' external relations, reported that a Hamas delegation had arrived in Iran for a visit and had met with senior members of the Iranian regime. The members of the delegation are Osama Hamdan, Muhammad Nasr, Maher Obeid and Jamal Issa, members of Hamas' political bureau. They were joined by Khaled al-Qadoumi, Hamas representative in Iran. Hamdan said that the objective of the visit was to strengthen the ties between Hamas and Iran and to update the Iranian leadership on recent developments in Jerusalem and IDF activity in the West Bank (Al-ayyam.com, December 9, 2014).
- The members of the delegation met with senior Iranian official Ali Larijani, chairman of the Shura Council, with whom they discussed the issues of Jerusalem, rebuilding the Gaza Strip and the delivery of Iranian support to Hamas (Alresala.net, date, 2014). According to Amin Mousavi, head of the institute for strategic studies in Tehran, the objective of the visit was "to turn over a new leaf" in Hamas-Iran relations and to prepare for Khaled Mashaal's visit to Tehran (Alresala.net, December 9, 2014).
A Hamas delegation visits Iran. Left: Cartoon issued by Iran's Fars News Agency shows how Iranian rockets wipe off Israel (Farsnews.com, December 2, 2014). Right: The delegation meets with Ali Larijani, chairman of the Shura Council (Alresala.net, December 11, 2014).
PIJ Military Training
- The Jerusalem Brigades, the PIJ's military-terrorist wing, held military training in the central Gaza Strip with the theme "Firm Structure." Hundreds of Jerusalem Brigades operatives participated, as did senior PIJ figures. One of the exercises was simulating the assault and capture of an Israeli post. A new battalion called "Fajr" was displayed, established after Operation Protective Edge. According to Abu Hamzeh, senior Jerusalem Brigades operative, the training is preparation for the next round of fighting with Israel, and the current calm is nothing more than "a stage for making the forces ready for [the next round of] fighting" (Saraya.ps, December 13, 2014).
French Cultural Center in Gaza Attacked
- On the evening of December 12, 2014, an IED exploded at the French Cultural Center in Gaza City, damaging the external wall. Two policemen sustained minor injuries. Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis and Jaish al-Islam, two terrorist organizations affiliated with the global jihad, claimed responsibility for the attack. The Hamas ministry of the interior said in an announcement that it had begun an investigation into the circumstances of the explosion. The initial findings indicated that the IED was detonated by remote control using a cell phone.
- Approximately two months previously there was a similar explosion at the Cultural Center (Maannews.net, December 13, 2014). Note: In recent years Salafist-jihadi groups have carried out a number of attacks on Western institutions and individuals in the Gaza Strip.
Left: Hamas security forces examine the circumstances of the explosion (Watan TV, December 13, 2014). Right: The French Cultural Center in Gaza City (Maannews.net, December 13, 2014).
The death of Ziad Abu Ein – Update
- Ziad Abu Ein, a PA minister and in charge of the struggle against the security fence and the [Jewish] settlements, died on December 10, 2014. He felt unwell during a demonstration in Turmus Aya (north of Ramallah) and was taken to the hospital in Ramallah, where he was pronounced dead. After his death rumors spread among the Palestinians that he had been struck by IDF soldiers and inhaled tear gas. Pictures taken by the media at the time showed that during the demonstration there was a clash between him and Israeli Border Policemen which included pushing and physical contact, but no more than that.
- Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu sent a communiqué to the PA after the event making it clear that Israel would investigate. He also noted the need for calm and to act responsibly. Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe Yaalon sent his condolences and said that the IDF would investigate the event, offering to conduct a joint investigation with the PA.
- Ziad Abu Ein was born in 1959, married, father of three and lived in Ramallah. He had been minister for the struggle against the security fence and the [Jewish] settlements for about five months. Until recently he was the director of the prisoners' office, a senior Fatah figure in Judea and Samaria and a member of its Revolutionary Council. On May 4, 1979, he was involved in a terrorist attack in Tiberias which killed two 16 year-old boys and wounded 30 people. He fled to the United States where he was arrested and deported to Israel. In 1982 he was sentenced to life imprisonment but released three years later in the Jibril prisoner release deal. During the second intifada he was held in administration detention.
- Ziad Abu Ein's funeral was held in Ramallah on December 11, 2014. It was attended by thousands of Palestinians, including senior PA officials led by Mahmoud Abbas. Before the funeral an autopsy was performed at the pathological institute at Abu Dis with the participation of Palestinians, Jordanians and Israelis (the Israeli representatives were Dr. Hen Kogal, head of Israel's forensic medicine institute, and another physician). The initial autopsy report showed that Abu Ein died of a heart attack caused by blockage of a coronary artery and that he had previously suffered from heart disease. However, Dr. Sabar al-Aloul, head of the Palestinian pathological institute, refused to accept the findings, claiming that Abu Ein died as a result of a blow and not of natural causes (Wafa.ps, December 11, 2014).
- However, the death of Ziad Abu Ein caused a wave of condemnation and calls in the PA to end security coordination with Israel. In effect, security coordination with Israel, which is clearly in the PA's interest, was not stopped. Mahmoud al-Habash, Mahmoud Abbas' advisor for religious matters, said that for the time being security coordination with Israel would not be stopped. He said the coordination was one of the activities undertaken to stabilize the Palestinian regime. He said that if security coordination were found to negate Palestinian interests, it would be stopped (Maannews.net, December 14, 2014).
- Senior PA figures who refused to accept that Ziad Abu Ein died of a heart attack accused Israel of his death and called for his legacy to be continued:
- Mahmoud Abbas said Ziad Abu Ein was considered a shaheed. He said Palestinians were determined to continue the "popular resistance," fight against the settlements and continue the struggle against Israel. He claimed that what had happened was a crime and that the PA would not be silent (Palestinian TV, December 10, 2014).
- Rami Hamdallah, prime minister of the Palestinian national consensus government, eulogized Ziad Abu Ein and praised his personal involvement in the demonstrations and activities of the "popular resistance." He noted Abu Ein's long history of clashes with Israeli forces and courts in the United States and Israel (Wafa.ps, December 11, 2014).
- There were also international expressions of condolence:
- The PA chairman received a telephone call from Federica Mogherini, the high representative of the European Union for foreign affairs and security policy. She offered her condolences on the death of Ziad Abu Ein and called for an immediate independent investigation of the circumstances (Wafa.ps, December 10, 2014).
- Stéphane Dujarric, spokesperson for UN secretary general, called for an immediate investigation into the circumstances of the death of Abu Ein and called on the Palestinians and Israelis to exercise maximum restraint and avoid further escalation (UN.org, December 10, 2014).
PA Appeal to the UN Security Council
- In the international arena, the PA continues its efforts to promote a Security Council resolution for the establishment of a Palestinian state with the 1967 borders within two years. On December 14, 2014, the Palestinian leadership, headed by Mahmoud Abbas, held a meeting where they agreed to appeal to the UN Security Council to vote on the Palestinian proposal for a resolution, or the French proposal for a resolution, if the French agreed, by December 17, 2014. If the proposal is not accepted, or if the United States uses its veto, the Palestinians will promote resolutions in the parliaments in Europe and around the globe (Maannews.net, December 14, 2014).
- nAccording to an article in Al-Quds Al-Arabi, Riyadh Mansour, the Palestinian representative in the UN, is working to present the Palestinian proposal for a resolution before December 22, 2014, when the UN's winter recess begins. According to the article, the proposal, which was formulated by France, does not satisfy the Palestinians because they feel it was dictated by the United States. The Palestinian side has a number of reservations regarding the French proposal, including one regarding the section that recognizes the State of Israel as a Jewish state (Alquds.co.uk, December 11, 2014). Saeb Erekat, a member of the PLO's Executive Committee, strongly rejected the requirement to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and said they would not accept such a section under any circumstances (Al-Arabiya Al-Hadath, December 13, 2014).
- Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu and John Kerry, the American secretary of state, met in Rome to discuss the UN Security Council resolution regarding the political process. Kerry also discussed the issue with the foreign ministers of France, Germany, Britain and the EU. American sources reported that discussing the issue with the American administration before he left for Rome, Kerry asked for the Palestinian move in the UN to be postponed while Susan Rice, the national security advisor, supported its promotion (AP.org, December 15, 2014).
Shots Fired at Israeli Embassy in Athens
- At approximately 0300 hours on the night of December 12, 2014, shots were fired from automatic weapons at the Israeli embassy in Athens. There were apparently two attackers riding motorcycles. There were no casualties and no damage was reported. So far the identity of the attackers is unknown.
- Eye witnesses told the Greek police that four suspects arrived at the embassy, which is located in a northern suburb of Athens, on motorcycles. Two of them shot Kalashnikov assault rifles at the building. According to the police, the examination of 54 bullet casings found near the embassy indicated they were fired from two different Kalashnikovs which had previously been used on December 13, 2013, to attack the residence of the German ambassador to Greece. According to the Greek police the modus operandi of the two attacks was similar and they might have been carried out by the same group (Nytimes.com, December 12, 2014).
 As of December 14, 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.