Hamas rally in support of terrorism.
Palestinians on the security fence near the neighborhood of Pisgat Ze'ev in north Jerusalem throw Molotov cocktails, causing weeds to catch fire (Jerusalem district fire department, April 28, 2016).
The ruins of the house of Zaid Ziyad Jamil 'Amar in Nablus (Wafa, May 3, 2016).
The consignment of salt concealing the ammonium chloride (Website of the Israel Tax Authority, May 3, 2016)
Ismail Haniyeh speaks at the rally in Gaza City (Paldaf forum, April 28, 2016).
Senior PIJ figures visit Iran.
- This past week there were a number of stabbing attacks in and around Jerusalem. One (at the Lions' Gate) was carried out by a lone terrorist and two others by pairs of terrorists (two Palestinian women; a brother and a sister). However, the terrorist campaign is clearly waning. The Passover holiday, which was accompanied by a Hamas incitement campaign centering on the Temple Mount, passed relatively quietly and did not change the overall trend. Note: On May 3, 2016 (after this document was issued), there was a vehicular attack northwest of Ramallah in which three IDF soldiers were injured.
- Hamas is trying to reawaken the terrorist campaign, calling for it to become an "armed intifada." To that end Hamas exploited the terrorist attack on the bus in Jerusalem on April 18, 2016. It was carried out by a Hamas operative, who had participated in riots against IDF forces and had been detained by Palestinian security forces for half a year.
Terrorist Attacks and Attempted Attacks
- May 2, 2016 – A Palestinian stabbed an Israeli in the back near the Lions' Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem. The victim, a 60 year-old man, was seriously wounded and evacuated to a hospital. The stabber dropped the knife and fled. He was later located hiding in one of the alleys in the Old City. Another young Palestinian was detained on suspicion of helping him.
- April 28, 2016 – Two Palestinian women went to a roadblock near Ramallah (near route 443, the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv road). They were armed with a knife and a syringe which apparently contained chlorine bleach and a liquid detergent. They asked the soldiers manning the roadblock for water, arousing the soldiers' suspicions. One of the women took out the knife and tried to stab two of the soldiers. A soldier shot her and the other terrorist fled and hid; she was later apprehended. The wounded terrorist was evacuated for medical treatment. A suicide note was found.
- April 27, 2016:
- A Palestinian man and woman went to the roadblock near the Qalandia crossing north of Jerusalem. They walked in the car lane and approached the Border Policemen manning the roadblock. The woman kept her hand in her bag and the man held his hand behind his back. They did not heed calls to halt and quickened their pace towards the soldiers. The woman then took a knife out of her bag and threw it at one of the soldiers. The two were shot and killed. An identical knife was found in the man's belt.
- The Palestinian media reported that the two were brother and sister. The woman was Maram Saleh Hassan Taha [her Palestinian ID card, as reported in the Palestinian media, has her family name listed as Abu Ismail, apparently her married name]. She was married and had two children, and came from Bayt Surik (northwest of Jerusalem). He brother was Ibrahim Saleh Hassan Taha, 16, from the village of Qatanna (northwest of Jerusalem) (Facebook page of Paldf, April 27, 2016).
- Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum claimed the death of the two was "a crime that crossed all the red lines." He called for a new stage in the "armed resistance" in the West Bank against Israel (Ma'an, April 27, 2016). Daoud Shihab, a senior figure in the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), stated that Israel was responsible for the deaths of the brother and sister and called for the intifada to continue and escalate (Paltoday, April 27, 2016).
Left: The knives found in the possession of the two terrorists (Middleeasteye, April 28, 2016). Center: The death notice issued by the PIJ for the two terrorists and hung on walls in the village of Qatanna (Al-Quds al-Arabi, April 29, 2016). Right: The death notice issued by Hamas in the Jerusalem district for the two terrorists (Facebook page of Paldf, April 29, 2016).
Monthly Distribution of Terrorist Attacks in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem since the Beginning of the Current Terrorist Campaign
Riots, Clashes and Popular Terrorism
- In the meantime, demonstrations, protest marches, riots, and the throwing of stones, Molotov cocktails and pipe bombs continue in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. This past week a number of sites overgrown with weeds caught on fire when Molotov cocktails were thrown.
- The more prominent events were the following (including terrorist attacks that were prevented):
- May 3, 2016 – Palestinians threw stones at an Israeli vehicle near Huwwara (south of Nablus), wounding the driver and shattering the windshield (Facebook page of Red Alert, May 3, 2016).
- May 1, 2016 – Palestinians threw stones at an Israeli vehicle carrying three children from Ma'aleh Amos to Efrat (Gush Etzion). The front windshield was shattered, injuring two children who were treated at the site.
- April 29, 2016 – About two hundred Palestinians rioted near Bituniya and threw stones at IDF soldiers. There were no casualties. In addition, Israeli policemen detained eight Palestinians who threw stones at Israeli security forces near the Mughrabi Gate on the Temple Mount (Facebook page of Red Alert, April 29, 2016).
- April 28, 2016 – Palestinians threw a pipe bomb at an Israeli vehicle near the village of Jammaa'in, south of Nablus. There were no casualties (Facebook page of Red Alert, April 28, 2016).
- April 26, 2016 – Three Palestinians from Nablus were detained in Jabel Mukaber in east Jerusalem on suspicion of planning to carry out a terrorist attack. They had previously stated their intention to attack Israelis. The three were taken for interrogation. They had no criminal record and were not affiliated with a terrorist organization.
- April 26, 2016 – The police removed eight Jews from the Temple Mount. They were holding prayers, thus violating the status quo. Riots broke out between dozens of praying Muslims along with members of the wakf, and Israeli security forces. Calm was restored after the police removed the Jews at prayer.
- April 26, 2016 – Palestinians threw stones at the light railway in the Shuafat area of north Jerusalem. There were no casualties; a train car was damaged (Facebook page of Red Alert, April 26, 2016).
- April 24, 2016 – Palestinians threw a pipe bomb at the Tomb of Rachel in Bethlehem. There were no casualties (Facebook page of Red Alert, April 24, 2016).
Terrorists' Houses Destroyed
- In accordance with instructions from the political leadership, on May 3, 2016, Israeli security forces destroyed the house of Zaid Ziyad Jamil 'Amar in Nablus. He was the terrorist who carried out a shooting attack in which Itam and Naama Henkin were killed on October 1, 2015. On April 20, 2016, the IDF destroyed the house of terrorist Hussein Muhammad Abu Ghosh in the Qalandia refugee camp. He killed Shlomit Krigman in a stabbing attack in Beit Horon on January 25, 2016.
Information about the Terrorist Who Bombed the Bus in Jerusalem
- According to reports in the Palestinian media, the terrorist who carried out the attack on the bus in Jerusalem on April 18, 2016, was Abd al-Hamid Muhammad Abu Srour, 19, from the Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem. He was a Hamas operative who participated in riots against IDF forces during the current terrorist campaign. He had been detained for six months by the Palestinian security forces. Hamas issued a formal statement noting that Abu Srour was one of its operatives (Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades website, April 21, 2016). His mother said he asked for a picture of him in military uniform to be published only after his death (Facebook page of Gaza al-A'an, April 21, 2016).
Left: Picture of Abu Srour posted by the Islamic students' movement in Ramallah (April 21, 2016). In the background is a picture of an Israeli bus in flames Center: Abu Srour in uniform (Facebook page of Gaza al-A'an, April 21, 2016). Right: The death notice issued by Hamas for Abd Abu Srour specifically referring to him as a Hamas operative (Facebook page of Paldf, April 20, 2016).
Attempt to Infiltrate into Israeli Territory
- Four Palestinians went to the border security fence in the southern Gaza Strip and began cutting through it. An IDF force shot and wounded two of them. The remaining two fled (Facebook page of Red Alert, April 29, 2016).
Rocket and Mortar Shell Fire Attacking Israel
- This past week no rocket or mortar shell hits were identified in Israeli territory.
Smuggling of Chemicals to the Gaza Strip Prevented
- Two weeks ago customs inspectors at the Nitzana crossing, collaborating with the Israeli security forces, prevented four tons of ammonium chloride from being smuggled into the Gaza Strip. The chemical was hidden by sacks of salt. According to the Israel Security Agency, the importer was a resident of the Gaza Strip affiliated with operatives from Hamas' military-terrorist wing. Ammonium chloride is one of the materials used in the manufacture of long-range rockets. Hundreds of rockets could have been manufactured from the amount seized (Website of the Israel Tax Authority, May 3, 2016).
Limits Placed on the Amount of Cement Entering the Gaza Strip
- On April 3, 2016, the Israeli Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories announced a freeze on the import of cement into the Gaza Strip for the private sector (NRG, April 4, 2016). The freeze does not include cement for international organizations using it for reconstruction in the Gaza Strip. The import of cement was banned following the exposure of a Hamas tunnel extending into Israeli territory. Hamas used cement imported into the Gaza Strip to construct the tunnel.
- According to an Iranian website, Robert Piper, UN humanitarian coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory, said that as a result of the Israeli freeze the construction of houses had been suspended for more than 1,350 families, who were left without a roof after Operation Protective Edge. He claimed he had no proof that Hamas used construction materials for military purposes (Press TV, April 29, 2016). Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri claimed that Piper's remarks were "proof" that Israel was lying when it said Hamas used cement in the Gaza Strip for military purposes (Ma'an, May 2, 2016).
Reinforcements along the Egyptian Border
- Iyad al-Bazam, spokesman for the ministry of the interior in the Gaza Strip, said that an additional 500 operatives of the national security forces had been deployed along the Gaza Strip border with Egypt. He said it increased the number of Palestinian security forces along the border from 300 to 800. He said the number of security posts and positions would also be increased, from 20 to 60, especially in the region east of Rafah (Qudsnews, April 22, 2016).
- Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the increase in security along the border with Egypt was the result of understandings reached between the Hamas delegation and senior Egyptians during Hamas' most recent visit to Cairo. He said Hamas hoped to coordinate another visit to monitor the results of the recent understandings reached (Watan, April 23, 2016).
Left: Senior figures from the ministry of the interior, Hamas and the PIJ, including Sami Abu Zuhri and Khaled al-Batash, tour the Egypt-Gaza Strip border. Right: Operatives of Palestinian national security on the Egypt-Gaza Strip border (Facebook page of Shihab, April 20, 2016).
Solidarity Rally in Gaza City in Support of the Intifada
- On April 28, 2016, Hamas held a rally in Gaza City in support of the intifada. Its theme was "The melody of the intifada." On stage was a model of a burned-out Israeli bus. The rally included simulations of the abduction of an IDF soldier, of a stabbing attack and of confrontations with the Israeli security forces. The rally was attended by senior figures of the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip, among them Ismail Haniyeh, deputy head of Hamas' political bureau. A senior operative of Hamas' military-terrorist wing gave a speech threatening Israel, warning it either lifted the "siege" of the Gaza Strip or there would be "an explosion."
Left: Simulation of abducting an IDF soldier. Center: Simulation of confronting IDF soldiers (Hamas website, April 28, 2016). Right: Simulation of stabbing an IDF soldier (Alresala.net, April 28, 2016).
- Ismail Haniyeh gave a speech in which he said that the first stages of the intifada had ended and Hamas was now moving to the third stage. He said the rally was taking place at the same time as two "important" developments. The first was the suicide bombing attack of Abd al-Hamid Abu Srour from Bethlehem (who carried out the suicide bombing attack in a bus in Jerusalem). The second was the victory of the Hamas-affiliated Islamic bloc in the student council elections at Bir Zeit University, which he called a "terrible blow" to everyone who wanted to end the intifada (Al-Aqsa TV, April 28, 2016).
- Ismail Haniyeh was flanked on stage by two signs. One was a picture of Abd al-Hamid Abu Srour, who carried out the suicide bombing attack on the bus in Jerusalem. The other was a picture of Maram and Ibrahim Saleh Taha, who attempted a stabbing attack at the Qalandia crossing on April 27, 2016.
Indictment against Tunnel Operative form the Gaza Strip
- A court in Beer Sheba handed down an indictment against Hamas operative Midhat Fawzi Abu Sanima, 24, from the Gaza Strip. One of the accusations was that for the past two years he had been the owner of a smuggling tunnel. Abu Sanima joined Hamas in 2007. He participated in planting IEDs, and in firing rockets and mortar shells. In 2014 he became a partner in a smuggling tunnel under the border between Egyptian Rafah and the Gaza Strip. Between 2014 and the beginning of 2016 he and his partners smuggled approximately 30 Kalashnikov assault rifles, ten crates of ammunition, 34 pipes for the manufacture of rockets and uniforms. In 2016 the Egyptian security forces flooded the tunnel, destroying it (Ynet, May 1, 2016).
PIJ Delegation Visits Iran
- Ramadan Abdallah Shallah, PIJ secretary general, headed a PIJ delegation on a visit to Iran. The members of the delegation met with Ali Khamenei, the Iranian supreme leader, and other senior figures, among them Ali-Akbar Velayati, the supreme leader's advisor for international affairs, Ali Larijani, speaker of the Majlis (the Iranian parliament), Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister. During the meetings the Iranians stressed Iran's continuing support for Palestine (ISNA, April 30, 2016).
The international Arena
- Israel announced its official rejection of the French initiative. Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu said, "Israel adheres to its position that the best way to resolve the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is direct, bilateral negotiations. Israel is ready to begin them immediately without preconditions. Any other diplomatic initiative distances the Palestinians from direct negotiations."
- The rejection of the French initiative was exploited by the Palestinian Authority (PA) for propaganda purposes to accuse Israel of rejecting the peace process:
- Nabil Abu Rudeina, PA presidential spokesman, said that Israel continued to refuse to accept any initiative for a solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and challenged the international will for a two-state solution. He claimed the Palestinians would continue to support and promote the French initiative (Wafa, April 28, 2016).
- Wasel Abu Yusuf, a member of the PLO's Executive Committee, said Israel wanted to destroy the peace process and cause the international efforts to restart it to fail.
The Hamas-Affiliated Islamic Bloc's Again Won the Student Elections at Bir Zeit University
- In the elections held on April 27, 2016, for the student council at Bir Zeit University, the Hamas-affiliated Islamic Bloc retained its strength, winning 45.7% of the votes. The Bloc won 25 seats (26 last year). The Fatah-affiliated Shabiba movement came in second with 39.86% of the votes, winning 21 seats (19 last year). Approximately 70% of the student body voted.
- Hamas issued a formal announcement congratulating the Islamic Bloc and Bir Zeit University. Hamas thanked the students who had again demonstrated faith in the Islamic Bloc. The victory, according to the announcement, was a new pledge of faith in Hamas and support for the "Al-Quds intifada" (Hamas website, April 27, 2016).
- At an activity held for an elementary school in the Jabel Mukaber neighborhood in east Jerusalem, students met with the families of terrorists who had carried out terrorist attacks during the current campaign. Among the relatives who met with the students were the father and brother of Muhammad Alian, who carried out the terrorist attack in a bus in Armon HaNatziv in Jerusalem, killing three Israelis; and relatives of Muhammad Ali, who carried out a stabbing attack at the Nablus Gate. Members of the Palestinian ministry of education were also present. The Jerusalem municipality responded that the school was private and not under its supervision or that of the ministry of education, and therefore the Israeli municipality could not intervene in the school curriculum or activities (Yedioth Ahronoth, April 24, 2016).
- Pictures of the meetings were posted to the school's Facebook page, as well as a notice praising the terrorists and their families, thanking them for their visit (the pictures were later removed from the school's Facebook page).
Children from a school in east Jerusalem meet with relatives of Palestinian terrorists (Akhbaronline, Egypt, April 26, 2016).
Jews Documented Entering the Temple Mount
- Hamas media issues daily reports about Jews entering the Temple Mount compound (referred to by Hamas as "desecration"). Their objective is to continue to use the sensitive issue of the Temple Mount to foment discord. One of the reports claimed that during April 2016 1,908 Israelis entered the Temple Mount compound, and that since the beginning of 2016 4.840 Israeli had entered the compound (Twitter account of Palinfo, May 1, 2016).
Hamas documentation of Israelis entering the Temple Mount compound (Twitter account of Palinfo, May 1, 2016).
As of May 3, 2016. 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.