The family car destroyed by fire resulting from a Molotov cocktail thrown near the village of Maaleh Shomrom (east of Qalqiliya).
Taysir al-Samiri, Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades terrorist operative in the Gaza Strip (Paltimes.net, December 24, 2014).
The car destroyed by a Molotov cocktail (Photo by Yair Shoham forTazpit.org.il, December 25, 2014)
Clashes between Palestinians and IDF forces in the village of Silwad (Palestine-info.info, December 26, 2014).
"Popular resistance" activists erect an illegal outpost in Gush Etzion (Alquds.com, December 27, 2014)
"Popular resistance" activists erect an illegal outpost in Gush Etzion (Alquds.com, December 27, 2014)
"Popular resistance" activists dressed in Santa Claus costumes the IDF in Bethlehem (Maannews.net, December 23, 2014).
Khaled Mashaal (left) and Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoğlu (right) at the AKP meeting held in Konya (ODATV, December 27, 2014)
This past week Palestinian snipers shot at an IDF force securing work being conducted near the border security fence. An IDF soldier was critically wounded. In response the IDF attacked Hamas terrorist targets in the area and killed an operative. Hamas spokesmen condemned the Israeli response but claimed Hamas was committed to the lull.
In Samaria, a young girl was critically injured by a Molotov cocktail thrown at the family car. Israeli security forces detained two young Palestinians who during interrogation confessed to the crime. Throwing Molotov cocktails and stones is the most common form of popular terrorism (called "popular resistance" by the Palestinians), which is supported by the Palestinian Authority (PA).
On December 30, 2014, the UN Security Council rejected the Palestinian resolution calling for the end of the Israeli occupation and the establishment of a Palestinian state with the 1967 borders. Eight of the fifteen members of the Security Council voted in favor (with a majority of nine needed to pass the resolution), two, the United States and Australia, voted against it, and the rest abstained.
Rocket Fire Attacking Israel
- This past week no rocket or mortar shell hits were identified in Israeli territory.
Shooting Attack from the Southern Gaza Strip
- On the morning of December 24, 2014, an IDF force was attacked by sniper fire from the southern Gaza Strip. The force was securing work done on the Israeli side border security fence. An IDF soldier was critically wounded. In response the IDF attacked Hamas terrorist targets in the area with tanks and aircraft. It was the second serious attack within a week (IDF Spokesman, December 24, 2014).
- The IDF fire was responsible for the death of Taysir Yussuf Muslem al-Samiri, 34, a Hamas military-terrorist operative in Karara, a town in the southern Gaza Strip (Maannews.net and Qassam.ps, December 24, 2014).
- Following the event Hamas' military-terrorist wing issued a formal statement claiming it was "a gross violation of the lull, [Israel is] playing with fire and crossing all the lines." It also claimed that "if Israel continues [such actions] it will pay for them" (Qassam.ps, December 24, 2014).
- Hamas spokesman Musheir al-Masri claimed that the events in the southern Gaza Strip were an "escalation" for which Israel was responsible, and that Israel would pay for them. However, he added that Hamas was committed to the lull, but the length of its commitment was limited to that of Israel (Al-Mayadeen TV, Lebanon, December 24, 2014).
- Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri claimed Israel was responsible for the escalation. He claimed Israel had crossed the border and shot at Gazans, which, he said, called for a response (Facebook page of Sami Abu Zuhri, December 24, 2014.
- Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu said that Israel's policy was clear: every violation of the quiet in Israel's south after Operation Protective Edge would be met with a firm, determined response (Website of the Israeli prime minister's office, December 24, 2014).
- Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said that Israel considered Hamas responsible for everything that occurred in the Gaza Strip. He said Israel would not allow routine attacks and would continue to respond firmly and with force to every similar event. He added that Israel did not want the situation to escalate and did not want to harm the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip, but Hamas would be advised not to try Israel's patience with attempts to disrupt daily life (NRG.co.il, December 24, 2014).
Molotov Cocktail Thrown at Israeli Vehicle in Samaria
- On the evening of December 25, 2014, Palestinians threw a Molotov cocktail at a civilian Israeli vehicle on a road near the village of Maaleh Shomron (east of Qalqiliya). The vehicle caught fire and the passengers managed to escape. An 11 year-old girl suffered third degree burns. Her father's legs were also burned. Father and daughter were evacuated to a hospital for medical treatment.
- Over the weekend the Israeli security forces apprehended Palestinian terrorist operatives who were apparently responsible for the attack. The suspects are two young Palestinians from the village of Azoun, near the location of the attack. One of them is a minor (16 years old). During interrogation the two admitted that they had left their village and gone in the direction of the road leading from central Maaleh Shomron to its neighborhood of El Matan with the objective of throwing a Molotov cocktail at a passing car. They said they waited at the side of the road and when they saw a car coming they lit a Molotov cocktail and threw it at the car, which when up in flames. Then they ran back to Azoun (Shabak.gov.il, December 27, 2014).
Exceptional "Popular Resistance" Terrorism and Violence in Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem
- This past week the wave of Palestinian violence continued. Stones, rocks and Molotov cocktails were thrown and there was a stabbing attack in east Jerusalem.
- The prominent attacks were the following:
- On December 24, 2014, Border Police soldiers detained four suspicious Palestinians at the Salem roadblock near Jenin. Pipe bombs were found in their possession. The four, residents of the Nablus area, were detained. During interrogation they confessed that they were planning to attack Israeli security forces (Facebook page of the Israel Police Force, December 24, 2014).
- On December 26, 2014, two Border Police soldiers were stabbed, incurring incurred minor wounds. The attack occurred near the Lions' Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem. After the morning prayer on the Temple Mount a Palestinian approached one of the soldiers and stabbed him in the neck. Another soldier, who wrestled with the terrorist, was stabbed in the arm. The terrorist fled the scene. The wounded soldiers were evacuated to a hospital for treatment (Facebook page of the Israel Police Force, December 26, 2014).
- On December 28, 2014, a Molotov cocktail was thrown at a residence in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood of Jerusalem, causing a fire on a balcony. There were no casualties. The Israeli security forces instituted a search in nearby Jabel Mukaber to find the attackers (Ynetnews.co.il, December 28, 2014).
- On December 29, 2014, during an IDF action near the Tapuah junction in Samaria initiated to prevent stones from being thrown, the soldiers identified a number of Palestinian throwing rocks and endangering cars on the road. They instituted procedures for detaining suspicious individuals and wounded one of the Palestinians, who later died of his wounds (IDF Spokesman, December 29, 2014). The Palestinian media reported that the Palestinian was Imam Jamil Ahmed Dweikat, 17, from the village of Beita (near Nablus). They also reported that another youth had been wounded (Maannews.net, December 29, 2014). Mahmoud Abbas' office condemned the killing and issued a formal statement claiming the event justified the PA's appeal to the UN Security Council (Wafa.ps, December 29, 2014).
Formal notice from Fatah in Nablus of the death of "the shaheed hero" Imam Jamil Ahmed Dweikat from the village of Beita, near Nablus (Facebook page of Fatah, December 30, 2014).
Illegal "Popular Resistance" Outpost Erected
- On December 27, 2014, dozens of "popular resistance" activists in the Bethlehem region erected an illegal outpost in the Gush Etzion region, calling it "the village of Ziad Abu Ein" (named for a senior Fatah activist and PA minister who died during an anti-Israeli demonstration, apparently of a heart attack). The activists were dispersed by IDF forces, promising to erect other such outposts in the future (Alquds.com, December 27, 2014).
"Popular Resistance" Activists Dress in Santa Claus Costumes to Confront IDF Soldiers
- Activists of the Palestinian "popular resistance" led by Munzir Amira, Bethlehem coordinator for the so-called "Committee Resisting the Apartheid Wall and Illegal Settlements," clashed with IDF forces. Some of them dressed in Santa Claus costumes to make a greater impression on the media, especially abroad. On December 23, 2014, dressed in red with white beards and holding signs protesting "Israel's occupation," they marched to the IDF roadblock in Bethlehem.
Rebuilding the Gaza Strip
- This past week rallies and demonstrations continued in the Gaza Strip to protest the slow pace of the rebuilding and the disregard of the Palestinian national consensus government for the needs of the Gazans. On December 28, 2014, Palestinian organizations held protest marches throughout Gaza. One march in the northern Gaza Strip reached the Erez crossing. Representatives of the Palestinian organizations gave speeches and called for the siege of the Gaza Strip to be lifted and for rebuilding to progress more rapidly (Paltimes.net, December 28, 2014).
Left: Women demonstrate with signs warning of an explosion of the situation in Gaza. Right: Representatives of the Palestinian organizations in Gaza protest against the siege and in favor of accelerating the process of rebuilding (Paltimes.net, December 28, 2014).
- The Palestinian media reported that three Palestinians had been wounded by IDF fire in the Beit Hanoun area (Paltoday.ps, December 28, 2014). The IDF said shots had been fired to deter and distance a group of Palestinian youths who approached IDF forces in the northern Gaza Strip and threw stones at them (IBA.org.il, December 28, 2014).
- Senior Hamas figures strongly criticized the Palestinian national consensus government and warned of a "great explosion in the Gaza Strip:"
- Musa Abu Marzouq, a member of Hamas' political bureau, claimed that the national consensus government did not want to accept any project involving the Gaza Strip. He also claimed that it disregarded the needs of the Gaza Strip and did not transfer the necessary funds, including funds to pay the salaries of employees of the former de-facto Hamas administration (Maannews.net, December 28, 2014).
- Mahmoud Nazal, a member of Hamas' political bureau, claimed the situation in the Gaza Strip was "a ticking bomb and a [powder] keg that was liable to blow up at any moment." He claimed the humanitarian conditions were "catastrophic" and that the Gaza Strip could not continue as it was, and that if it did there might be "a great explosion" (Al-Quds TV, date, 2014).
- Maher Abu Subha, director of the crossings authority in the Gaza Strip, claimed that following the cancellation of the visit of the members of the crossings' committee in the Gaza Strip, the national consensus government did not want to deal with any aspect of them. He appealed to the government to accept its responsibility for the Gazan population (Paltimes.net, December 27, 2014).
Senior Palestinian National Consensus Government Delegation Visits Gaza Strip
- A delegation of more than 40 members of the Palestinian national consensus government, among them eight ministers, arrived in the Gaza Strip for a one-week visit. According to Ihab Bsiso, government spokesman and a member of the delegation, they came to find a solution for all the current issues and to unite the resources available in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip to serve all the Palestinians (Al-Jazeera, December 29, 2014).
- Despite the declarations of Rami Hamdallah, the Palestinian prime minister, of his intention to head the delegation, he did not arrive in the Gaza Strip. According to Ihab Bsiso, Rami Hamdallah was on a tour of Gulf States, trying to motivate them to keep their promises to send funds for the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip (Voice of Palestine Radio, December 29, 2014).
- The delegation was received near the Erez crossing by a demonstration of Gazans whose houses had been destroyed in Operation Protective Edge. The demonstrators held signs demanding the government lift the siege and rebuild what had been destroyed (Al-Aqsa TV, December 29, 2014). Ismail Haniya, deputy chairman of Hamas' political bureau, claimed he welcomed the delegation, and that the government had to show equal responsibility for Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip. He said he hoped the delegation's visit would begin the process of rebuilding the Gaza Strip and find a solution for the issue of unpaid salaries (Al-Quds TV, December 29, 2014).
Left: Gazans receive the Palestinian national consensus government delegation with a demonstration. Right: Press conference held by some of the ministers who arrived in the Gaza Strip (Maannews.net, December 29, 2014).
Gazans hold signs with demands for Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah. They read, "We want a government!!," "We want heath [services]," "We want the crossings [opened]," "We want salaries" (PALDF, December 29, 2014).
Supply of Electricity Reduced, Donation from Qatar Expected
- Fathi al-Sheikh Khalil, deputy chairman of the Gazan energy authority, said in an announcement that as of December 28, 2014, the supply of electricity would be reduced to six hours a day, and perhaps less. He claimed fuel for the Gaza Strip power plant had run out and that the money to buy more, expected from Qatar, had not yet been received. He said that senior members of the energy authority in Ramallah estimated that the crisis would continue until the donation expected from Qatar arrived at the end of the coming week (Alresala.net, December 27, 2014).
Hamas Exercises Simulate Taking Over IDF Posts and Abducting IDF Soldiers
- On December 23, 2014, operatives of the national security forces, one of the internal security apparatuses in the Gaza Strip controlled by Hamas, held an exercise during the graduation ceremony of an officers' training course. They simulated storming and taking over an IDF post. The exercise was held in an Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades training facility in the southern Gaza Strip. In addition, on December 27, 2014, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades issued a video showing dozens of armed operatives simulating an attack on an IDF post near the border security fence. In one of the attacks they simulated the abduction of an IDF soldier. In another they took over a post and dragged off the "bodies of dead IDF soldiers."
- The exercises were part of extensive training activities recently held by Hamas, its security forces and the other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip. The training courses are part of made by Hamas and the other terrorist organizations to rehabilitate the damage done to the terrorist organizations' military infrastructures by Operation Protective Edge. Publicizing the exercises and boasting of Hamas' military capabilities are meant to deter Israel and show it that Hamas is returning to its former strength and will soon be fully operative. Hamas is also trying to raise the morale of the Gazans and its military-terrorist operatives.
- In ITIC assessment, Hamas feels the attacks carried out on IDF posts near the border during Operation Protective Edge had positive results. Thus, exercises simulating attacks on IDF posts are intended to improve the operational skills of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades and the security networks affiliated with to them. The final goal is apparently to attack IDF posts during the next round of fighting, for which they are preparing. In addition, the exercises indicate the great importance Hamas attaches to seizing soldiers or the bodies of soldiers as bargaining chips in the negotiations for the release of terrorist operatives imprisoned in Israel.
Left: Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades operatives simulate an attack on an IDF post, kill soldiers and take their bodies. The Israel flag can be seen flying over the guard tower. Right: Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades operatives drag "the IDF soldier" away (Paltimes.net, December 27, 2014).
Hamas Leader Khaled Mashaal Participates in AKP Meeting in Turkey
- Khaled Mashaal, chairman of Hamas' political bureau, participated in a meeting of the AKP, the ruling party, held in Konya, Turkey, on December 27, 2014. He was welcomed by participants holding signs reading "Mashaal the fighter," "Hamas, I am willing to sacrifice my soul for you," and "Down with Israel."
- Khaled Mashaal (left) and Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoğlu (right) at the AKP meeting held in Konya (ODATV, December 27, 2014)
The PA Appeal to the UN Security Council Rejected
- On December 30, 2014, the UN Security Council rejected the Palestinian resolution calling for the end of the Israeli occupation and the establishment of a Palestinian state with the 1967 borders. Eight of the fifteen members of the Security Council voted in favor (with a majority of nine needed to pass the resolution), two, the United States and Australia, voted against it, and the rest abstained.
- The vote in the Security Council was preceded by PA efforts to promote its proposal for resolution to end the Israeli occupation. Saeb Erekat, a member of the PLO's Executive Committee, said the PA had made eight amendments to the proposal. He said that the amendments dealt with designating Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state, designating the [Jewish] settlements as illegal and invalid, a solution for the refugee problem based on UN Resolution 194 and an additional article relating to the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Erekat claimed that if the Palestinians did not receive the necessary nine votes in the Security Council [what in fact occurred] they would make efforts to have the resolution passed in 2015. He also claimed they had signed 16 international conventions and joined the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague (Wafa.ps, December 25, 2014).
Left: The PA's appeal to the UN. The Arabic reads, "The Arabs go to the Security Council to end the Israeli occupation" (Fatah Media, December 24, 2014). Right: Saeb Erekat holds a press conference in Ramallah to discuss the Palestinian appeal to the UN Security Council (Wafa.ps, December 24, 2014).
- Hamas harshly criticized the PA's decision to appeal to the Security Council, claiming it did not express national consensus:
- Ismail Haniya, deputy chairman of Hamas' political bureau, claimed the Palestinian organizations were "out of the picture" and that the proposed resolution violated the ideology of the Palestinian cause (Al-Aqsa TV, December 29, 2014).
- Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that Hamas strongly opposed the wording of the proposal because of what he called its "painful concessions." He claimed some of the language was unacceptable, especially calling Jerusalem the shared capital of two states. He also claimed that the proposal did away with any future demand for the "right" to Palestine and it also indirectly accepted the Jewish nature of Israel (Facebook page of Sami Abu Zuhri, December 28, 2014).
- Musa Abu Marzouq, a member of Hamas' political bureau, claimed that the proposal waived national principles and put an end to the Palestinian state, to the "rights" of the Palestinians to "resist" [i.e., wage a campaign of terrorism and violence], and to Jerusalem (Safa.ps, December 28, 2014).
The Head of the Iranian Majlis Visits Lebanon and Meets with Ramadan Shallah
- This week Ali Larijani, head of the Iranian Parliament (Majlis), began a round of visits to Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. On December 21, 2014 he arrived in Lebanon for a two-day visit. In Beirut he met with Ramadan Shallah, secretary general of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. While there he also paid a visit to the grave of Imad Mughnieh, where he placed a wreath (Al-A'hed website, December 23, 2014).
Left: Ali Larijani brings a wreath to the grave of Imad Mughnieh in Beirut. Right: Ali Larijani meets with PIJ secretary general Ramadan Shallah in Beirut (Al-A'hed website, December 23, 2014).
 As of December 30, 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.
 For further information see the December 29, 2014, bulletin "Hamas' Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades and National Security Forces Exercises Simulate Takeover of IDF Posts near Gaza Strip and Abduction of Soldiers."