Masked Palestinians wait on the Temple Mount to clash with Israeli security forces (Israel Police Force spokesman, July 26, 2015).
Cinderblocks prepared by Palestinians for throwing at Israeli security forces.
Falah Hamdi Zamel (Abu Maria) (Facebook page of Quds.net, July 23 2015).
The joint Hamas-PIJ statement of the death of Falah Hamdi Zamel (Abu Maria) and a call for Palestinians to participate in his funeral (Hamas website, July 23, 2015).
Muhammad Abu Latifa (Quds.net, July 27, 2015).
Muhammad Abu Latifa armed and in uniform (Facebook page of PALDF, July 27, 2015).
Three motorcycles seized during Operation Protective Edge found in a tunnel extending into Israeli territory near the Karni crossing (IDF Spokesman, August 3, 2014).
Summer campers in the central Gaza Strip arrive to start camp (Facebook page of "Pioneers of liberation," July 25-26, 2015).
Campers in the northern Gaza Strip hold a military exercise in a simulated tunnel in the northern Gaza Strip.
- Thispast week terrorist events focused on the violent clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces on the Temple Mount. The clashes occurred on Tisha B'Av, the day Jews fast to mourn the destruction of the First and Second Temples, and Jews went to the Temple Mount to pray. The clashes were preceded by a Hamas propaganda campaign calling on Palestinians "to defend Al-Aqsa mosque" and inciting them to clash with the Israeli security forces.
- Palestinians, some of them masked, prepared in advance for the clashes by stockpiling cinderblocks, rocks, stones, wooden boards, Molotov cocktails and fireworks. Israeli security forces broke into the Al-Aqsa mosque precinct after the Palestinians had barricaded themselves inside during the night of Tisha B'Av. Four policemen were injured; the Palestinian media reported that dozens of Palestinians had beeninjured.
- This past week three Palestinians were killed in various events during which Israeli security forces met with violent resistance while detaining wanted terrorists. Riyadh al-Maliki, the Palestinian foreign minister, claimed they had been "killed in cold blood," and that he would appeal to the international community.
Rocket Fire Attacking Israel
- This past week no rocket or mortar shell hits were identified in Israeli territory.
Rioting on the Temple Mount
- This past week the Temple Mount was the focal point for Palestinian violence. The alleged cause was Tisha B'Av (July 26, 2015), when Jews congregate to pray at the Western Wall. Some of the worshippers went to pray on the Temple Mount. On July 26, 2015, Israeli security forces broke into the precinct of Al-Aqsa mosque after Palestinians had made preparations inside during the night of Tisha B'Av. The Palestinians, some of them masked, had stockpiled cinderblocks, rocks, stones, wooden boards, Molotov cocktails and fireworks in preparation for clashes with police and attacking Jewish worshippers.
- The Israeli security forces entering the Temple Mount were met with violence and four policemen were wounded (Facebook page of the Israel Police Force, July 26, 2015). The Palestinian media gave extensive coverage to the events on the Temple Mount and reported that dozens of Palestinian rioters had beenwounded in the clashes (Ma'an News Agency, July 26, 2015).
Left: Masked Palestinians use rocks and cinderblocks to smash police shields (Facebook page of Shihab, July 26, 2015). Right: Israeli security forces in front of Al-Aqsa mosque; on the ground are rocks and boards thrown at them during the riots (Israel Police Force spokesman, July 26, 2015).
Hamas Incitement on the Temple Mount
- Before the clashes on Tisha B'Av Hamas waged an incitement campaign encouraging Palestinians to clash with Israeli security forces on the Temple Mount. Hamas' websites and the Facebook pages of its affiliated Islamic blocs at the universities in Judea and Samaria posted notices, pictures and videos inciting Palestinians to "defend Al-Aqsa mosque." For example:
Left: The caption reads, "At your orders, Al-Aqsa" (Facebook page of PALDF, July 22, 2015). Right: A cartoon from a Hamas-affiliated Facebook page shows an alarmed Al-Aqsa mosque "menaced" by Jewish "snakes" (Facebook page of PALDF, July 23, 2015).
Left: The Arabic reads, "Students for Al-Aqsa…For the victory of Al-Aqsa mosque…" (Facebook page of Islamic bloc at Al-Najah University, July 26, 2015). Right: A picture of a Palestinian wrapped in a green Hamas flag. The Arabic reads, "Stand up for Al-Aqsa mosque and say no to the occupation." In the upper right hand corner is the logo of the "I am at your orders, Al-Aqsa" campaign (Facebook page of Islamic bloc at Hebron University, July 26, 2015).
- Senior figures in the Palestinian Authority (PA) criticized the presence of Jewish worshippers on the Temple Mount on Tisha B'Av and warned of the consequences. The Palestinian ministry of communications appealed to all the radio and TV stations to devote their programs to the issue of Jerusalem in order to expose "Israel's aggression" towards Jerusalem and its holy places. Nabil Abu Rudeina, Mahmoud Abbas' spokesman, claimed Israel's ongoing "incursions" into Al-Aqsa mosque, its daily killings [of Palestinians] and the continued existence of the settlements [in Judea and Samaria] would lead the Palestinian leadership to make "important decisions" (Wafa and Ma'an news agencies, July 27, 2015).
"Popular Resistance" Terrorism and Violence Continue
- In addition to the rioting on the Temple Mount, violence and popular terrorism continued at the usual locations in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem, part of what the Palestinians call the "popular resistance" (i.e., popular terrorism). The violence mainly centered on throwing stones, rocks and Molotov cocktails at Israeli security forces and civilians. Some of the prominent attacks were the following:
- On July 23, 2015, Palestinians threw stones at an Israeli vehicle on the Tekoa Road in Gush Etzion, south of Jerusalem. There were no casualties; the vehicle was damaged. In addition, Palestinians threw stones at Israeli vehicles between Karmei Tzur and the Halhul junction in Gush Etzion. There were no casualties; several vehicles were damaged. Palestinians threw stones and Molotov cocktails near Bayt Umar (north of Hebron), wounding an IDF soldier (Facebook page of Red Alert, July 23, 2015).
- On July 23, 2015, Palestinians threw metal balls at an Israeli civilian vehicle north of Al-Arub in Gush Etzion. There were no casualties; the vehicle's windshield was damaged (Facebook page of Red Alert, July 23, 2015).
- On July 27, 2015, Palestinians threw stones at an ambulance near the community of Adorayim (Mt. Hebron). There were no casualties; the ambulance was damaged (Facebook page of Red Alert, July 27, 2015).
Three Palestinians Killed during Israeli Security Force Activities
- Three Palestinians were killed this past the week during violent opposition to Israeli security force activities to detain wanted terrorists. Riyadh al-Maliki, PA foreign minister in the national consensus government, claimed they had been "killed in cold blood" according to instructions from the Israeli political leadership not to strictly adhere to procedures relating to the detention of Palestinians. He claimed Mahmoud Abbas had instructed him and Saeb Erekat to bring the issue before the international community (Voice of Palestine Radio, July 23, 2015).
- The three incidents were the following:
- On July 21, 2015, a young Palestinian from the village of Burkin (near Jenin) was killed during a riot caused by an Israeli security force activity to detain a wanted Palestinian. He was shot in the chest and later died (Ynet, July 21, 2015). The Palestinian media reported the death of Muhammad Ahmed Alawneh, 21.During the funeral his body was draped in the PA, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and Fatah flags. The PIJ and Fatah flags were removed a short time later. Fatah spokesman Osama al-Qawasmeh condemned the killing (Safa, Ma'an and Wafa news agencies, July 22, 2015).
Left: The funeral held for Muhammad Alawneh in the village of Burkin. The mourners carry the flags of terrorist organization. Right: Muhammad Alawneh. (Facebook page of Quds.net, July 22, 2015).
- On July 23, 2015, during detentions in Bayt Umar (north of Hebron) an IDF force that entered the house of one of the wanted Palestinians met with violent opposition. While exiting the house the soldiers were pelted with stones and responded with gunfire to cover the exit of the rest of the force. A Palestinian was wounded by the gunfire and later died (Ynet, July 25, 2015). He was Falah Hamdi Zamel (Abu Maria), 52, a Hamas supporter and brother of a senior Bayt Umar PIJ figure. According to the Palestinian version, he was killed while trying to coverhis son. Hamas and the PIJ issued a joint statement accusing the IDF of his death (PNN, Facebook pages of PALDF and Quds.net, Hamas website, Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades website, and the Wafa News Agency, July 23, 2015). Qadoura Fares, chairman of the Palestinian prisoners' club, described the death of Falah Hamdi Zamel as "a war crime and gross violation of international conventions." He claimed the Palestinians had documented the event and were planning to appeal to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague (Wafa News Agency, July 23, 2015).
- On July 27, 2015, the IDF security forces held an activity in the Qalandia refugee camp to detain Palestinians suspected of terrorist activities. During the activity one of the wanted Palestinians tried to escape. The soldiers fired shots in his direction when he did not heed their calls to halt. He was wounded, fell off a roof and died. He was Muhammad 'Ata Abu Latifa, 20, from Qalandia. He was suspected of dealing arms (Ynet, July 27, 2015). The Palestinian foreign ministry condemned the "cold-blooded killing" of Muhammad 'Ata Abu Latifa and blamed the Israeli government and its head. It called on all the human rights organizations operating in PA territory to document events and send them to the ICC (Ma'an News Agency, July 27, 2015).
Left: Hamas death notice for Muhammad Abu Latifa (Facebook page of PALDF, July 27, 2015). Right: Fatah death notice for Muhammad Abu Latifa (Facebook page to commemorate the "martyr" Muhammad Abu Latifa, July 27, 2015).
Store Selling Fireworks Used in Riots Exposed
- On July 26, 2015, a toy store in the village of Bartaa (Samaria) was found selling fireworks of the type shot at Israeli security forces during clashes and riots. Three Palestinians were detained. They are suspected of having sold hundreds of boxesof fireworks used by rioters to attack Israeli security forces in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. In addition, the explosive material in the fireworks was used to manufacture improvised bombs. BB guns were also seized. Recently there has been an increase in the shooting of life-threatening fireworks at IDF security forces, in addition to the throwing of stones and Molotov cocktails (Facebook page of the Israel Police Force, July 26, 2015).
Left: BB guns. Right: Stocks of fireworks found in the store in Bartaa (Israel Police Force spokesman, July 26, 2015).
The Crossings – Recent Developments
The Kerem Shalom Crossing
- Security inspectors at the Kerem Shalom crossing foiled an attempt to smuggle a motorcycle into the Gaza Strip. The inspectors, who were examining a truck carrying used electrical appliances to the Gaza Strip, found a disassembled motorcycle hidden in a refrigerator (Facebook page of Red Alert, July 22, 2015). Note: It is forbidden to import motorcycles into the Gaza Strip because they have been used in terrorist attacks. During Operation Protective Edge motorcycles that had been used by Hamas to move inside the tunnels were seized.
The truck and refrigerator in which the various parts of the motorcycle were hidden (Photo: The Crossings Authority of the Israeli Ministry of Defense, July 22, 2015).
- Since the end of Operation Protective Edge Hamas has invested significant resources in acquiring large quantities of materials and equipment for manufacturing weapons and carrying out terrorist attacks. They are smuggled into the Gaza Strip with the aid of merchants from Judea, Samaria and Israel who camouflage them as innocent merchandise. The materials are used to rebuild the attack-tunnel system, and manufacture weapons and terrorism-supporting technologies. A great deal of money is invested in purchasing the materials, at times at the expense of civilian reconstruction. In addition, Hamas often uses violent methods to take possession of raw materials authorized for delivery to the Gaza Strip for civilian reconstruction (Israel Security Agency, July 26, 2015). The smuggling lanes from Israel, Judea and Samaria have become more important to Hamas during the past year because of the Egyptian security forces' intensive activities against the tunnels between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.
Civilian Difficulties in the Gaza Strip
- The energy authority in the Gaza Strip announced the power plant would shut down operations because the PA had cancelled the agreement according to which fuel was delivered without a tax. On July 21, 2015, Fathi al-Sheikh, Hamas head of the energy authority, said that ten thousand tons remained of the fuel donated by Qatar and was currently in Egypt. That amount, he claimed, would be sufficient to run the power plant for only fifty days. He said difficulties were currently being experienced in delivering fuel to the Gaza Strip and he hoped the problem would be resolved within a few days (Al-Ayyam, July 21, 2015).
- Adnan Abu Hasna, UNRWA media advisor, said that so far no decision had been made regarding the start of the up-coming school year. He added that great efforts were being made to solve the problem of UNRWA's budget deficit. He said that if funds were not received, the school year would apparently not begin (Voice of Palestine Radio, July 23, 2015). He made the statement following threats that UNRWA schools in the Gaza Strip would not open due to budgetary problems. Hamas expressed anger at the UNRWA decision and held protest demonstrations in front of UNRWA headquarters in Gaza City.
Hamas Satisfied by Results of Visit of Senior Figures to Saudi Arabia
- Senior Hamas figures expressed satisfaction with the visit of a political bureau delegation, headed by Khaled Mashaal, to Saudi Arabia. They said they expected another visit in August (Dunia al-Watan and Alresala.net, July 26, 2015).
- Khaled Mashaal, chairman of Hamas' political bureau, claimed the visit had been "a step in the right direction" and that Hamas "knocked and would continue to knock" on Arab and Islamic doors "for the sake of Palestine" (Sama, July 23, 2015).
- Senior Hamas figure Mahmoud al-Zaharclaimed the visit had helped thawrelations between Hamas and Saudi Arabia. He claimed it also led to the release of eight activists who had raised funds for Hamas. He noted that Hamas would continue to visit Saudi Arabia as part of its policy to restore good relations with Arab and Muslim countries (Sama, July 20, 2015). Senior Hamas figure Khalil al-Haya claimed Hamas was open to the entire Arab-Muslim world and sought balanced relations with all. He claimed the "weapon of resistance [was] aimed only against Israel" (Safa News Agency, July 20, 2015).
Tensions between Hamas and the Salafist-Jihadi Organizations Continue
- Tensions between Hamas and the Salafist-jihadi organizations in the Gaza Strip remain high. The Salafist-affiliated Ibn Taymiyyah Media Center issued a notice strongly criticizing Hamas. Among its complaints it noted that the detention of its activists was an escalation to the stage of "breaking bones." That was because some of those detained had been taken to a hospital to be treated for injuries sustained during torture. It also accused Hamas to collaborating with Israel in its struggleagainst the Salafists. The notice ended with a Salafist threat to respond to the Hamas detentions, and Salafi-jihadists used the social networks to publicize the names and pictures of senior figures in the Hamas security services who were, they claimed, behind the anti-Salafist activities.
- Salafist sources in the Gaza Strip blamed Hamas for the death of one of their detained activists who, they claimed, was tortured to death by Hamas (Al-Ayyam, July 27, 2015). According to the Facebook page of the relatives of detainees, one of the detainees had died in a Hamas jail and the movement's military wing was trying to hide the cause of his death (Facebook page of the association of the families of detainees, July 25, 2015). Hamas' security services denied the accusations (Pal Press News Agency, July 26, 2015).
Left: Notice issued by the campaign to raise donations for purchasing weapons for the Salafists' jihad (Twitter account of the campaign, July 19, 2015). Right: The notice issued by the Salafists in the Gaza Strip regarding the detentions (Twitter account of the Ibn Taymiyyah Media Center, July 23, 2015).
Hamas' Military-Terrorist Wing Opens Its Summer Camps
- On July 25, 2015, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military-terrorist wing, announced the opening of its summer camps, whose slogan this year was "Pioneers of liberation." According to the announcement, the camps, which would last a week, would be attended by 25,000 youngsters and adults ranging in age from 15 to 60. There will be morning and evening camps and they will feature training in military skills, including firing live ammunition. There will also be religious studies and extra-curricular subjects such as civil defense and first aid (Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades website, July 25, 2015).
Praise for the Palestinians Terrorists Who Killed Malachi Rosenfeld
- On June 29, 2015, Palestinian terrorists carried out an attack near the Jewish community of Shvut Rachel, killing Malachi Rosenfeld and wounding three other young men. Following the detention of the killers, Palestinians issued notices praising the two killers, currently detained by the PA's security services (the other members of the squad are detained by Israel):
- Hamas's military-terrorist wing issued a notice praising them with a picture of the two and a dedication reading "Muaz Hamed and Ahmed Shabrawi, who carried out the attack at Shvut Rachel…" "heroes of [the village of] Silwad. You have made your people and nation proud" (Facebook page of Silwad First, July 20, 2015; Facebook page of PALDF, July 22, 2015).
- The Facebook page of Silwad issued a notice reading "Silwad, the pride of the [West] Bank's nukhba [a Hamas elite unit]," "the Silwad squad" (Facebook page of Silwad First, July 20, 2015).
Left: Notice from the Silwad Facebook page (July 20, 2015). Right: Hamas military-terrorist wing notice (PALDF forum, July 22, 2015).
Saeb Erekat Appointed Secretary of the PLO's Executive Committee
- At a meeting of Fatah's Central Committee Mahmoud Abbas confirmed the appointment of Saeb Erekat to the post of secretary of the PLO's Executive Committee. Tawfiq al-Tirawi and Jibril Rajoub opposed the appointment (Rai al-Youm, July 23. 2015).
Visit of ICC Delegation to the PA Postponed
- Nabil Abu Zneid, Palestinian representative in Holland, reported that the delegation of ICC judges that was supposed to visit PA territory announced it was postponing the visit. No alternative date was mentioned. Nabil Abu Zneid claimed the reason for the postponement was unclear (Voice of Palestine Radio, July 27, 2015).
The Fourth "Popular Resistance" Conference Held in Kafr Qaddum
- On July 27, 2015, the fourth conference marking the local beginning of the "popular resistance" in Kafr Qaddum was held. It was attended by Walid Assaf, chairman of the Palestinian "Commission against the Wall and Settlements;" Rafa' Rawajbeh, governor of the Qalandia district; Mahmoud Al-Alul, a senior Fatah figure in Judea and Samaria; and high-ranking officers in the Palestinian security services. The invitation to the conference noted that it would be held under the auspices of Rami Hamdallah, prime minister of the Palestinian government and Fatah movement (Facebook page of Kafr Qaddum, July 26, 2015). It was another illustrationof the support the PA gives Palestinian popular terrorism (the "popular resistance").
Left: Invitation to the conference, noting it would be held under the auspices of Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah. Right: The conference participants. Front row center is Mahmoud al-Alul, senior Fatah figure in Judea and Samaria (Facebook page of Kafr Qaddum, July 26, 2015).
ICC Prosecutor Rejects Renewed Probe into Mavi Marmara Affair
- Ms. Fatou Bensouda, the ICC prosecutor, appealed the judges' request to reopen the investigation of the Mavi Marmara flotilla. The appeal was based on the claim that the request contradicted the procedural processes of the court and ignored the need to examine the information in context. According to Ms. Bensouda, the request to reexamine the file did not provide even one vital fact relevant to the findings of the flotilla investigation (ICC website, July 27, 2015).
As of July 28, 2015. 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 or rockets which misfired and fell inside the Gaza Strip.