The family vehicle after the shooting attack near the community of Otniel in south Mount Hebron. The attack killed Rabbi Yaakov Litman and his 18 year-old son (Judea and Samaria Rescue spokesman, November 13, 2015).
Two Palestinian children who carried out a stabbing attack on the light railway in Jerusalem. Left: Ali Alqam, 13. Right: Muawiya Alqam, 12 (Hamas website, November 10, 2015).
A Palestinian throws a Molotov cocktail during a clash with IDF forces in Al-Bireh (Wafa News Agency, November 16, 2015).
A masked Palestinian woman wearing a yellow Fatah headband collects stones to throw at IDF forces during riots in Al-Bireh.
The Fatah military-terrorist wing call to continue the intifada and for a general enlistment in the struggle against Israel (Facebook page of Our Home Sa'ir, November 11, 2015).
Clashes near the Karni crossing (Facebook page of what? November 13, 2015).
The naval commando unit of the DFLP's military-terrorist wing (Facebook page of the National Resistance Battalions, November 15, 2015).
- This past week the wave of violence and terrorism continued, although with a slight reduction in quantity. Prominent was the shooting attack in south Mt. Hebron, in which Rabbi Yaakov Litman and his son Netanel were killed. The Israeli security forces detained the terrorist who carried out the attack. He was turned in by his family, who feared Israel would destroy their house because of the attack. With the deaths of Rabbi Litman and his son, the number of Israelis killed in the current wave of terrorism has climbed to 15.
- Israel outlawed the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel. The Israeli minister of defense signed an order to confiscate the funds and property of 17 NGOs and institutions belonging to the Northern Branch. In recent years in general, and in the current wave of terrorism in particular, the Northern Branch, with its radical Islamist Muslim Brotherhood ideology, played a significant role in Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa mosque incitement (making the false slogan "Al-Aqsa mosque is in danger" its rallying cry).
Deadly Shooting Attack at South Mount Hebron
- On the afternoon of November 13, 2015, a Palestinian terrorist shot at a vehicle carrying seven family members. The attack took place near the community of Otniel, in south Mount Hebron. The shooter fled. The father, Yaakov Litman, and his 18 year-old son, Netanel, were killed. His wife, young son and three daughters suffered minor wounds.
- The attack was carried out near the towns of Dura and Yatta in south Mount Hebron. The terrorist lay in ambush in a curve at the side of the road where passing cars had to slow down. Having verified the license plates as Israeli, he stood next to his car and shot at the Litmans' vehicle. At least 14 bullets hit the car, which crossed the road and rolled over the embankment. The terrorist then drove away, going south.
- Shortly after the attack the Israeli security forces detained the shooter and a number of operatives linked to him. He was Shadi Ahmed Mutawe, 28, father of two, from Hebron, affiliated the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). He was detained at home after his father went to an IDF roadblock and reported that his son had carried out the attack. An initial investigation revealed that Shadi Ahmed Mutawe told his brother he had carried out the attack, and the brother rushed to tell their father. The two were afraid that the IDF would raze their house and turned Shadi Ahmed in. When he was detained the gun he used was also found (Israel Security Agency, November 15, 2015).
Palestinian Reactions to the Shooting Attack
- Mahmoud Abbas, in Cyprus at the time, held a joint press conference with the Cypriote president a few hours after the attack. As usual, he did not condemn the attack. He said the [Israeli] "occupation and the aggression of the settlers" had driven the Palestinians to despair and "pressure" (Wafa News Agency, November 13, 2015).
- The Palestinian terrorist organizations praised the attack:
- The PIJ issued a statement praising the attack, calling it "a response to Israel's terrorist activity [carried out] in the name of the Palestinian people." The PIJ also claimed such "operations" would escalate (Paltoday, November 13, 2015).
- Less than an hour after the attack Hamas spokesman Husam Badran issued a statement praising the "heroic action of the Palestinians in Hebron." He claimed it was "the natural response to Israel's ongoing crimes" (Hamas website, November 13, 2015).
- The Hamas-affiliated Islamic Bloc in Hebron University issued a notice praising the terrorist who carried out the attack (Facebook page of the Islamic Bloc in Hebron University, November 13, 2015).
- Hamas and the PIJ in Rafah held a joint rally in support of the current wave of terrorism (the so-called "Al-Quds intifada"). During the rally participants waved knives (Paltoday, November 14, 2015). Candy was also distributed (Facebook page of PALDF, November 14, 2015).
Left: Notice issued by the Islamic Bloc in Hebron University. The Arabic reads, "Hebron struggles. May your hand be blessed, man of the resistance. The death of two settlers and the wounding of others in the shooting attack near Hebron" (Facebook page of the Islamic Bloc in Hebron University, November 13, 2015). Right: Candy is passed out in the Gaza Strip to express joy at the killing (Facebook page of PALDF, November 14, 2015).
Terrorist Attacks Carried Out and Attempted This Past Week
- On November 14, 2015, a Palestinian was killed in a two-car collision near the community of Psagot (east of Ramallah). Of the four Israeli passengers in one of the cars involved, three suffered minor injuries and one was seriously injured. An investigation of the accident indicated it was apparently a vehicular attack. The Palestinian drove a car with false Israeli plates. After the vehicular attack Fatah issued a death notice for its "fighting shaheed" Shadi Fathi Jamil Matriya, 22, from Al-Bireh (Facebook page of PALDF, November 14, 2015).
- On November 12, 2015, a Palestinian terrorist tried to stab an IDF soldier at the Tomb of Rachel in Bethlehem. The attempt failed and the terrorist fled.
- On November 10, 2015, a security guard in a light railway car in Jerusalem was stabbed by two Palestinian children, aged 12 and 13. They got on the train armed with a knife and a pair of scissors and stabbed the guard. He wounded one and the other escaped; he was later apprehended. The two were cousins from Shuafat: Muawiya Alqam, 12, and Ali Alqam, 13.
- On November 10, 2015, a stabbing attack as the Nablus Gate in Jerusalem was prevented. A Palestinian terrorist brandishing a knife rushed at two security guards. One of the guards opened fire, killing him. He was Muhammad Abd Nimr, 37, father of four, from the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya. Hamas issued a death notice for him (Dunia al-Watan and the Facebook page of the Islamic Movement in Jenin, November 10, 2015).
- On November 10, 2015, there was a stabbing attack during a riot in the village of Tira, southwest of Ramallah. The terrorist was detained.
- On November 10, 2015, a Palestinian carried out a stabbing attack at the "kiosk roadblock" near Abu Dis. A Palestinian approached a Border Police force stationed at the roadblock and attempted to stab one of the soldiers. There were no casualties. The terrorist was killed. He was Sadek Ziyad Gharbiah, 16, from the town of Sanur (southwest of Jenin). He was an outstanding student, according to his family. He was religious and frequented the mosque. His father, Ziyad Abu Garbiah, was a senior Hamas operative in Jenin and one of the terrorists expelled to Lebanon in the 1990s. Hamas and the Islamic Bloc in Sanur issued a death notice for the young man (Ma'an News Agency, November 10, 2015; Facebook page of the Islamic Bloc in Jenin, November 10-11, 2015).
Left: The death notice issued by the Islamic Bloc in Sanur. Right: The death notice issued by Hamas for its "son, the jihad fighter shaheed" (Facebook page of the Islamic Bloc in Jenin, November 11, 2015).
- In the meantime, rioting and the throwing of stones, Molotov cocktails and pipe bombs continue throughout Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. Some of the more prominent incidents were the following:
- On November 16, 2015, Palestinians threw improvised pipe bombs at an IDF guard post near the Tomb of Rachel. There were no casualties (Red Alert, November 16, 2015).
- On November 16, 2015, Palestinians threw Molotov cocktails at a bus and Israeli vehicle near the Bayt Umar Junction in Gush Etzion (Red Alert, November 16, 2015).
- On November 15, 2015, Palestinians threw stones and a gas grenade at an Israeli vehicle near a junction in Mount Hebron. There were no casualties (Red Alert, November 15, 2015).
- On November 14, 2015, Palestinians threw stones and Molotov cocktails at /an Israeli vehicle on the road between Tapuah and Migdalim (south of Nablus). There were no casualties (Red Alert, November 14, 2015).
- On November 14, 2015, four Palestinians threw stones and Molotov cocktails at the Halhul Junction (Hebron region). Israeli security forces shot at them (Red Alert, November 14, 2015).
- On November 13, 2015, during a riot in the region of Burdus (west of Ramallah) a Palestinian tried to grab an IDF soldier's gun. He was shot and killed by an IDF force (Red Alert, November 13, 2015).
- On November 13, 2015, Palestinians threw a number of IEDs and Molotov cocktails at Israeli security forces near the Tomb of Rachel. The soldiers shot at the terrorists (Red Alert, November 13, 2015).
- On November 13, 2015, a knife-wielding Palestinian ran towards an IDF post near the Tomb of the Patriarchs. IDF soldiers ordered him to halt and he threw the knife on the ground. He was detained and taken for questioning (Red Alert, November 13, 2015).
- On November 13, 2015, Palestinians threw stones at the light railway near Shuafat in east Jerusalem. There were no casualties; the railway was damaged (Red Alert, November 13, 2015).
- On November 12, 2015, Palestinians threw stones at an ambulance on the road between Kiryat Arba and Hebron. There were no casualties (Red Alert, November 12, 2015).
Fatah Notice Calls to Continue the Intifada
- The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, Fatah's military-terrorist wing, issued a notice calling to continue the intifada and for a general enlistment in the struggle against Israel. The notice was distributed in the villages of Bayt Fajar and Marah Rabah, north of Hebron (Facebook page of Our Home Samoa, November 11, 2015).
Shots Fired and Rioting during the Razing of a Terrorist's House
- On the night of November 16, 2015, in accordance with a directive from the political leadership, IDF forces razed the house of Palestinian terrorist Muhammad Abu Shahin in the Qalandia refugee camp. The order was given following the shooting attack carried out by Muhammad Abu Shahin on June 19, 2015 (where he killed Danny Gonen and wounded another civilian). During the event Palestinian terrorists shot at the IDF forces. Two terrorists (or three, according to another version) were killed. There were no IDF casualties. Hundreds of Palestinian rioted, throwing IEDs, Molotov cocktails, rocks and stones at the soldiers (IDF Spokesman, November 16, 2015).
The two Palestinians killed during the riot in Qalandia. Left: Laith Ashraf Manasra. Right: Ahmed Abu al-Aish (Facebook page of QudsN, November 16, 2015).
- Spokesmen for the Palestinian organizations condemned the event, calling it a "crime" and an example of "Israeli terrorism." They called on the international community to protect the Palestinians. Riyadh al-Maliki, the PA's foreign minister, claimed Israel was exploiting ISIS's attacks in Beirut and Paris to escalate its activities in the territories at a time when the global media were busy with events in other parts of the world (Voice of Palestine Radio, November 16, 2015).
Wanted Palestinian Terrorist Detained in a Hospital in Hebron
- On November 12, 2015, undercover IDF forces entered a hospital in Hebron and detained terrorist Azzam Izzat Sha'ban Shalaldeh. He carried out the stabbing attack near the community of Mezad in Gush Etzion on October 25, 2015. He fled after the attack and was hiding in the hospital. He was detained and a relative was killed.
- In the wake of the detention, Rami Hamdallah, prime minister of the Palestinian national consensus government, instructed the Palestinian security forces to assemble a joint force to strengthen security at the hospitals in Judea and Samaria. He claimed the Palestinian government had asked the World Health Organization (WHO) to implement international agreements and protect the hospitals (Wafa News Agency, November 12, 2015).
- The PA and Fatah condemned the invasion of the hospital:
- The Palestinian foreign ministry condemned the invasion of the hospital by undercover Israeli soldiers, claiming it was [an example of the] crime and "organized terrorism" employed daily by the Israeli authorities against the Palestinian people (Wafa News Agency, November 12, 2015).
- Fatah spokesman Ahmed 'Asaf called on the WHO to punish Israel for its invasions of Palestinian hospitals. He also called on humanitarian institutions, especially the Red Cross, to clearly state their position condemning Israel's measures (Wafa News Agency, November 12, 2015).
The Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel Outlawed
- On the night of November 16, 2015, the Israeli Government's Political-Security Cabinet declared the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel an illegal association. That immediately outlawed the Movement, which is headed by Sheikh Ra'ed Salah. Therefore, any entity or individual belonging to the organization, and any individual providing the organization with a service or operating within it, is thereby breaking the law and can be expected to be imprisoned. It is also possible to confiscate all property belonging to the organization. Following the decision, Sheikh Ra'ed Salah, his deputy and the person in charge of the Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa mosque portfolio were summoned for interrogation. The Israel minister of defense also signed an order for the confiscation of the funds and property of 17 NGOs and institutions belonging to the Movement.
- The Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement's ideology is based on the Muslim Brotherhood, as is that of Hamas. Over the years the Northern Branch turned its false slogan, "Al-Aqsa mosque is in danger," into its rallying cry. During the current wave of terrorism it has played a significant role in inciting Israeli Arabs and Palestinians about Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa mosque. At least two of the Palestinian terrorists who carried out attacks in the current wave of terrorism said they had participated in a rally held by the Northern Branch in support of Al-Aqsa mosque. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Northern Branch "incited to violence against innocent people and has close relations with the terrorist organization Hamas…" (Ynet, November 17, 2015).
- Israel's outlawing the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement led to enraged responses from Hamas and the PIJ:
- Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri issued an official Hamas announcement condemning Israel's action against the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement. According to the announcement, Hamas called on the international community to take responsibility in view of "Israel's racism, which again emphasizes that the Israeli occupation is a terrorist gang" (Official Hamas website, November 17, 2015).
- Izzat al-Rishq, a member of Hamas' political bureau, claimed that outlawing the Islamic Movement in Israel was "a new crime" of Israeli policy intended to break the will of the Palestinian people and put down the "Al-Quds intifada." He claimed Israel's decisions would not frighten Ra'ed Salah and his brothers in the Islamic Movement (Official Hamas website, November 17, 2015).
- A source within the PIJ issued a statement condemning the Israeli decision against the Islamic Movement in Israel. According to the statement, the Movement was part of the Palestinian people's [societal] fabric. The decision, it claimed, was intended to "persecute and oppress the Palestinian people" (Paltoday, November 17, 2015).
Terrorist Statistics, October 2015
- Statistics issued by the Israel Security Agency regarding terrorist attacks carried out in October 2015 indicate that during the month their numbers increased sharply. During October 2015 in Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem and other locations in Israel 609 terrorist attacks were carried out, compared with 223 in September 2015, as follows:
- Geographical distribution: 485 attacks in Judea and Samaria (compared with 151 in September 2015), 117 in Jerusalem (68 in September 2015), seven inside Israel (none in September 2015).
- Modus operandi: Most of the attacks (482) involved Molotov cocktails (94 of them in Jerusalem). There were 42 stabbing attacks (15 in Jerusalem, six within the Green Line), 24 shooting attacks (three in Jerusalem, one within the Green Line), 57 attacks involving IEDs and improvised grenades (five in Jerusalem), three vehicular attacks and one detonation of bottled gas.
- Casualties: During October 2015, 11 Israeli and one foreign national were killed; 80 Israelis were wounded, 37 of them critically and seriously. Most of the wounded were injured in stabbing attacks.
Stabbing Attack in Eilat (Update)
- On October 29, 2015, a stabbing attack was carried out in Eilat in which an Israeli suffered minor wounds. Nidal Yussuf Younes Jabarin, 24, was detained at the scene of the attack. He comes from Um el-Fahm but has lived in Eilat for the past several years. During interrogation he revealed that his motives for carrying out the attack were nationalist and that he had been inspired by videos he recently saw in the media (Israel Security Agency, November 12, 2015).
Hamas Network Exposed in Qalqiliya
- The Israeli security forces exposed an extensive network of Hamas terrorist operatives in the region of Qalqiliya. The network served as the regional field headquarters, was geared to renew Hamas terrorist activity in Qalqiliya and the surrounding villages, and planned to carry out terrorist attacks. The operatives received instructions and financing from Hamas sources abroad, especially from Qatar and the Gaza Strip. In the wake of the network's exposure 24 operatives were detained, among them senior operatives who in the past had been imprisoned in Israel because of their Hamas activities. A sum of money was also found (Israel Security Agency, November 10, 2015).
Rocket Fire Attacking Israel
- On November 16, 2015, a rocket was fired at Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip. It fell inside the Strip (Red Alert, November 16, 2015).
Riots near the Border Security Fence
- Riots continue in the Gaza Strip near the border security fence in a show of solidarity with Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. The focal points were the border regions near Nahal Oz (east of Shejaiya) and Al-Bureij (near Khan Yunis). On November 13, 2015, clashes developed between young Palestinians and IDF forces near the Karni crossing (Facebook page of Gaza al-A'an, November 13, 2015). There were reports of several Palestinians wounded by IDF fire (PalInfo, November 13, 2015).
The Crossings – Recent Developments
The Rafah Crossing
- Meeting with Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Mahmoud Abbas requested that the Rafah crossing open in the near future. Al-Sisi promised to take action, but conditioned it on the security situation in the Sinai Peninsula. A senior Fatah figure claimed Egypt was planning to open the Rafah crossing for three days in the near future for residents with humanitarian issues. However, he claimed that opening the crossing depended on the security situation in the Sinai Peninsula (Sahem, November 16, 2015). The ministry of the interior in the Gaza Strip claimed there were 25,000 Gazans with humanitarian issues registered to leave the Gaza Strip (Al-Risala, November 16, 2015).
- According to Palestinian sources, Hamas had a number of conditions for transferring control of the Rafah crossing to the PA. Among them were the demand that at least 60 Hamas appointees be employed at the crossing, that they receive their salaries from the PA, and that senior Hamas figures be allowed free passage through the crossing. Hamas also demanded to receive all the information about civilians authorized to pass between Egypt and the Gaza Strip (Dunia al-Watan, November 12, 2015).
Fatah Harassed at Events Marking the Anniversary of Arafat's Death
- On November 11, 2015, the Palestinians marked the anniversary of the death of Yasser Arafat with a series of events and activities. In the Gaza Strip Hamas prevented Fatah from holding mass rallies in open areas, and therefore they were held in a closed venue. Hamas' security forces summoned a number of senior Fatah figures for questioning and to warn them against holding anniversary activities (Karameh Press, November 11, 2015). However, after several years, Hamas has transferred control of Arafat's house in Gaza to Fatah.
The DFLP in the Gaza Strip Revealed the Activity of its Naval Commando Unit
- The National Resistance Battalions, the military-terrorist wing of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) held a series of military exercises in the Gaza Strip to mark the third anniversary of Operation Pillar of Defense. The organization issued photos documenting the activity of its naval commando unit (Facebook page of the National Resistance Battalions, November 15, 2015).
Statement from Mahmoud Abbas
- Speaking at an Arab-South America summit conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of the PA, warned against what he called the continued "choking" of the Palestinian people at Israel's hands and Israel's methodical attempts to change Jerusalem's identity. He claimed that for many years he had warned of the consequences of Israel's actions in "occupied Jerusalem" and its attempts to change the city's historical and demographic character. He claimed Israel had turned the political conflict into a religious conflict "whose consequences will be destructive for everyone." He also claimed that the Palestinians genuinely wanted peace but that the policies of the government of Israel had caused the failure every attempt to construct a peace process between the sides (Raya.ps, November 11, 2015).
PA Appeal to the ICC regarding the Videoed Interrogation of Ahmed Manasra
- Following the public release of the video of the Israel Police Force interrogation of Ahmed Manasra, the child who carried out a stabbing attack in Givat Zeev in Jerusalem, Mahmoud Abbas issued instructions to the PA's foreign ministry to turn the video over to the International Criminal Court (ICC). He claimed the international community and the human rights organizations had to take responsibility for defending international law and human rights, and to bring to trial whoever had committed "the crime" [i.e., the interrogation of the child] (Wafa News Agency, November 10, 2015).
The EU's Decision to Mark Products Made in the Territories
- On October 11, 2015, the EU's European Commission issued a Notice instructing the "indication of origin" for products made in the territories. According to the Notice, since the EU does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the territories occupied since June 1967, there is a demand from consumers, economic operators and national authorities about existing Union legislation on origin information of products from Israeli-occupied territories. In addition, according to the European Commission, the Notice does not create any new legislative rules, and when the indication of origin of the product in question is explicitly required by the relevant provisions of Union law, it must be correct and not misleading for the consumer.
- The EU vice president said that it was a technical step which did not express a political opinion. He said the EU did not support and sort of boycott or sanction on Israel and that the Israeli products manufactured within Israel's recognized borders received preferential treatment in the EU with regard to customs duties (EU website, November 11, 2015).
- In response to the EU decision Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that "The EU decision is hypocritical and constitutes a double standard; it singles out Israel and not the 200 other conflicts around the world. The EU has decided to label only Israel, and we are not prepared to accept the fact that Europe is labeling the side that is being attacked by terrorism. The Israeli economy is strong and will withstand this; those who will be hurt will be those Palestinians who work in Israeli factories. The EU should be ashamed."
- Mahmoud Abbas praised the decision, claiming it was a positive step. He claimed the Palestinians intended to maintain their contacts with the relevant parties (Wafa News Agency, November 11, 2015). Saeb Erekat, secretary of the PLO's Executive Committee, said the Palestinians praised the move and called on the EU to completely boycott all the Israeli settlements (Al-Quds Al-Arabi, not 11, 2015).
- Riyadh al-Maliki, foreign minister in the Palestinian national consensus government, claimed of the impact the move had on Israel's economy had to be constantly monitored. He claimed that if it had an influence of several million shekels, it was "a good beginning." He claimed the Palestinians should investigate how to initiate a series of media and educational activities that would reach all Europeans regarding the boycotting of all products made in the settlements (Voice of Palestine Radio, November 16, 2015).
Results of a Palestinian Public Opinion Poll
- The Palestinian Center for Public Opinion (PCPO), headed by Dr. Nabil Kukali, recently held a public opinion poll involving 1,000 Palestinians over the age of 18 from Judea, Samaria, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. It was conducted between October 12 and 18, 2015. The results were the following:
- 50.4% are in favor of an outbreak of a third uprising (Intifada).
- 42.1% are in favor of a violent uprising [i.e., armed intifada],whilst 29.9% favor, however, a peaceful, popular uprising.
- 58.9% are to various degrees discontent with the performance of the PA-president Mahmoud Abbas. 47.8% call for his resignation.
- 62.3% of the Palestinian public oppose the resumption of the peace negotiations with Israel.
PA Media Encouragement for the Current Wave of Terrorism
Glorifying Palestinian Terrorists
- On November 13, 2015, the municipality of the village of Surda (north of Ramallah) opened a new road and dedicated a memorial commemorating Palestinian terrorist Muhannad Halabi, who carried out a stabbing attack in the Old City of Jerusalem on October 3, 2015 (killing Rabbi Nehemiah Lavie and Aharon Bennett). The ceremony was held 40 days after Halabi's death; he has since become a role model for youth in the current wave of Palestinian terrorism.
- The new road leads to the Al-Basatin neighborhood of Surda, where the terrorist's family lives. The ceremony was attended by representatives of the municipality and the PIJ, and relatives of the Muhannad Halabi. Speeches were given praising the "jihad role" Muhannad Halabi had played. The Surda municipality named the road for him (Iranian Fars News Agency in Arabic, November 15, 2015).
Left: Relatives of Palestinian terrorist Muhannad Halabi photographed near the new road and monument. Right: The memorial erected by the Surda municipality in memory of Muhannad Halabi (Iranian Fars News Agency in Arabic, November 15, 2015).
Israel Security Agency website; the statistics do not include incidents involving stones thrown.
As of November 17, 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.