Knives found in Al-Amro’s possession (QUDSN Facebook page, September 16, 2016)
Jordanian terrorist Saeed Al-Amro, who on September 16 carried out a stabbing attack close to the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem (Ma’an, September 17, 2016).
Issa Taraira, perpetrator of the stabbing attack at the entrance to Bani Na'im (The Bani Na'im Facebook page, September 20, 2016)
Iman Hassan Al-Kurd, who carried out the stabbing attack at the Herod’s Gate, resident of East Jerusalem (QUDSN Facebook page, September 19, 2016).
Documentation of the attack from a security camera in Hebron.
Abu Mazen Speaks at the Non-Aligned Movement Conference (Wafa, September 17, 2016)
Right to left: Director-General, Ministry of Finance, Shai Babad, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, Minister of Civil Affairs in the Palestinian Authority, Hussein Al Sheikh, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, General Yoav (Poli) Mordechai, at the signing ceremony for settling the Palestinian electricity debts to Israel (Israel Ministry of Finance Facebook page, September 13 2016)
- After some five months of relative calm, there was an outbreak of a new wave of popular terrorism. There were eight attacks within five days (September 16-20, 2016). Seven of them were stabbing attacks and one was a vehicular attack. The attacks were concentrated in the Hebron region, Gush Etzion, and east Jerusalem, similar to the pattern in the previous wave of terrorism. Six Israelis were injured in the attacks. Eight terrorists, perpetrators of the attacks, were killed. A significant hallmark of the current wave of attacks is the family relationship between the attackers and Palestinians who were killed in previous attacks. In the current wave of attacks there is as yet no return to the scale of the attacks during the previous wave, although the potential for that exists. This, in view of the tendency to see “copycat attacks”, besides the upcoming Jewish New Year holidays this October and the tensions around the Temple Mount that traditionally accompany this period.
Description of the attacks
- September 20, 2016- A Palestinian attempted to stab soldiers at the roadblock t the entrance to the town of Bani Na'im (near Hebron). The Palestinian arrived on foot at the roadblock and drew a knife. The soldiers manning the roadblock shot and killed him. The Palestinian is Issa Taraira, aged 15, of Bani Na'im, family member of Mohammed Taraira, who murdered the girl Halel Ariel in Kiryat Arba in June 2016.
- September 19, 2016 – Two Palestinian residents of Hebron attempted to carry out a stabbing attack near the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. The two approached Border Police soldiers, drew knives and attempted to stab them. The soldiers opened fire at them, killing one and critically wounding the other. The terrorists were Muhanad Jameel Al-Rajabi, aged 21 of Hebron, and Amir Jamal Al-Rajabi, aged 18, a high school student from Hebron. The two were cousins. Another cousin of the two is Mohammed Kaeed Al-Rajabi, who carried out a stabbing attack at a military position in Hebron on September 16 2016. Hamas issued mourning statements for the two, in which it referred to them as shaheeds, Jihad fighters. It is unclear whether they did indeed belong to the Hamas (QUDSN Twitter page, Hamas in Hebron Facebook page, September 19, 2016).
- A look at the Facebook pages of the two shows that Muhanad had an inactive Facebook page, the theme picture of which was Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades rockets (Muhanad Al-Rajabi’s Facebook page). Amir Al-Rajabi had a Facebook he had opened in April 2016. He too did not post much on his page. On June 16, 2016, he changed his profile picture to a picture of the Quran and on July 6 2016 he changed it again to a picture of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. On September 17, 2016, one day after the death of his cousin Mohammed Al-Rajabi, he changed his profile page to a picture of his cousin (Amir Al-Rajabi’s Facebook page).
Right: The knives the two terrorists used in their attempt to carry out a stabbing attack near the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron (QUDSN Facebook page, September 19, 2016). Left: A poster of the three cousins who carried out the attacks on September 16 and 19, 2016 (QUDSN Twitter page, September 19, 2016).
- September 192016 - In the morning hours, two policemen were injured, one seriously and the other moderately, in a stabbing attack at the Herod’s Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem. The terrorist attacked the policemen from behind and stabbed them until he was shot by the policemen who had been attacked. The terrorist was seriously injured. An initial investigation shows, that the terrorist followed the two policemen (Red Alert Facebook page, YNET, September 19, 2016). the Palestinian media reported that the terrorist is Iman Hassan Al-Kurd, 20, a resident of East Jerusalem.
- On September 18, 2016 - a Palestinian was detected at night by a lookout of the Town of Efrat in Gush Etzion. A standby force arrived at the scene and combed the area in an effort to find him. In the early hours of the morning the terrorist jumped from behind a bush where he had hidden and stabbed an IDF officer. The officer was injured moderately to seriously. The terrorist had several knives in his possession. An IDF force at the scene shot and critically injured the terrorist. The terrorist is Bahaa’ Aldin Mohammed Oudeh, 20, from the village of Artas, south of Bethlehem, who had worked at a restaurant in Bethlehem (Quds Net Facebook page, September 18, 2016).
Right: the terrorist Bahaa’ Aldin Mohammed Oudeh. Left: Knives found in his possession (QUDSN Facebook page, September 19, 2016).
- September 17, 2016- A Palestinian arrived in the morning hours at one of the IDF check point at the Tel Rumeida neighborhood in Hebron. The Palestinian was asked by the soldiers to produce his ID card. Instead he handed the soldier a piece of paper, apparently in an attempt to distract him. The Palestinian then drew a knife and attacked the soldier. The soldiers fired at the terrorist and killed him (Red Alert Facebook page, September 17, 2016). Palestinian media reported the terrorist was Hatem Abd Alhafiz Abd Alrahim Al-Shaloudi, 25, of Hebron. He had worked as a laborer at one of the factories in Hebron and was on his way to work (PNN, September 17, 2016). Hamas issued a mourning statement although it seems he did not belong to the organization (Hamas Hebron Facebook page, September 17, 2016).
Right: Hamas mourning statement on the death of Hatem Abd Alhafiz Al-Shaloudi. Left: the knife with which he stabbed the IDF soldier (Hamas Hebron Facebook page, September 17, 2016).
- September 16, 2016 - A Palestinian armed with a knife arrived at an IDF during the afternoon hours in the Tel Rumeida area in Hebron and stabbed an IDF soldier in the face. The soldier was lightly wounded and opened fire together with his fellow soldier. The terrorist was killed. The terrorist was Mohammed Kaid Talaji Al-Rajabi, 16, a high school student from Hebron. According to his parents he was a social activist and used to help the needy. He also prayed and gave sermons on national and religious occasions. His parents said he was highly influential among his listeners and classmates. Hamas issued a mourning statement although it seems he did not belong to the organization (Hamas Hebron Facebook page, September 16-17, 2016; PALINFO, September 18, 2016).
- Mohammed Kaid Talaji Al-Rajabi’s Facebook page indicates that on September 14, 2016, two days before the attack, he uploaded a post in which he appears beside mourning posters for terrorists (some from the recent wave of terrorism). He wrote in his post: “[they] shook the world... And they held but a stone in their hand... And like candles they spread light and came like the Gospel... And took revenge... And exploded... And died martyrs’ deaths”. On September 15, 2016, Talal Al-Shareef Abu Tareq responded in a post (apparently a relative of Mohammed Al-Rajabi and father of Malek Al-Shareef, who was killed on November 5, 2015, after having attempted a stabbing attack at the Gush Etzion junction). In the post, Abu Tareq congratulated Mohammed Al-Rajabi. On September 16, 2016, after the attack in which Mohammed Al-Rajabi was killed, Talal responded in a post in which he begged for mercy on Mohammed and congratulated him on the attack (Mohammed Al-Rajabi’s Facebook page, September 17, 2016). Earlier posts also deal with support for terrorists and with documentation of clashes in Jerusalem and on the Temple Mount.
Right: A post on Al-Rajabi’s Facebook page (which was shut down after his death) on September 11, 2016, in which he is seen beside mourning posters for terrorists (some from the most recent wave). From left: The correspondence between Talal Al-Shareef and Mohammed Al-Rajabi. Bottom: Talal Al-Shareef congratulating Mohammed for carrying out the attack after his death (Al-Rajabi’s Facebook page, September 17, 2016).
- September 16, 2016 -In the afternoon hours, a Palestinian vehicle with a driver and one passenger drove at high speed toward the Elias transport stop (at the entrance to Kiryat Arba). Three Israeli youths were there at the time. An IDF force at the site responded with fire, killed the driver and wounded the Palestinian woman sitting beside him. Two of the youths were lightly wounded. Palestinian media reported that the two Palestinians were Firas Mussa Alkhadur, and Raghd Abdallah Alkhadur, relatives from the village of Bani Na'im. The two left wills (see below). The sister of one of them is the terrorist Almajd Abdullah Alkhadur, who carried out a vehicular attack at the same place on June 24 2016 and was killed by an IDF force. Relatives told that the lives of the two changed following her death. One of them became a more deeply pious Muslim (the Nablus television station, September 17, 2016). Hamas issued a mourning statement over the death of Alkhadur, although it seems he was not a Hamas operative.
Right: The mourning notice posted by Hamas following the death of Mohammed Kaid Al-Rajabi, who carried out the stabbing attack (Hamas Hebron District Facebook page, September 16, 2016). Middle: A photograph from Raghd Alkhadur, which was apparently shut down, with a post she made on June 26, 2016, two days after her sister was killed. In her post, Raghd glorifies her sister and calls her the “Hero Sister” (Bani Na’im News Facebook page, September 16, 2016) Left: The vehicle the two terrorists were driving near the hitchhiking stand at the Elias junction (Hamas Hebron District Facebook page, September 16, 2016).
- September 16, 2016 - A Jordanian citizen arrived in the afternoon hours at the Damascus Gate in East Jerusalem wielding two knives hand shouting, “Allahu Akbar”. He ran toward Border Police soldiers, who were securing the place, and attempted to stab them. The soldiers, who noticed him, called out to him to stop. When he failed to respond they shot and killed him. Palestinian media reported that the assailant was Saeed Hail Alamro, a Jordanian citizen, aged 28, a Karak resident who worked at the Jordanian Water Authority in the city. He entered Judea and Samaria via the Allenby bridge on September 15, 2016 to tour the area. His relatives tell that his dream was to pray at Al Aqsa Mosque. They claim he was not a radical (Maan, September 17, 2016).
- In response to the attack the Jordanian Foreign Ministry issued a statement condemning Alamro’s “execution” and called it an “act of barbarism” (PALINFO, September 18, 2016). His body was transferred for burial in Jordan (Jordanian news agency, September 18, 2016). Hamas issued a mourning statement over his death, although it seems he was not a Hamas operative. Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman, called for an escalation of the clashes against Israel (Hamas Internet website, September 16, 2016).
Attempted Terrorist Attacks
- During the week the Israeli security forces arrested at least two Palestinians in whose bags knives were found:
- On September 18, 2016 - a young Palestinian woman was arrested near Itamar, south of Nablus. A search of her bag produced a knife. The Palestinian is Wafa Saeed Mohammad Awad, 19, from Awarta (Maan, September 18, 2016).
- On September 14, 2016 -Border Police soldiers detained a Palestinian who aroused their suspicion at the Rachel Crossing (north of Bethlehem). A search produced a knife under his shirt (Red Alert Facebook page, September 14, 2016).
Palestinian Authority and Hamas Reactions to the Attacks
- The Palestinian Authority continues to back popular terrorism attacks and places the blame on Israel. Following the attacks on September 16, 2016 in Jerusalem and Hebron, the Palestinian Authority condemned the “crimes perpetrated by the Israeli occupation government”. According to Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for the Palestinian Authority Chairman’s office, these actions once again prove the Israeli government is headed toward a policy of escalation, ignoring diplomatic moves. Abu Rudeineh called for international intervention to stop Israel’s actions (WAFA, September 16, 2016).
- Hamas expressed its satisfaction with the attacks, saying they are a natural response to “Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people” (Pal Today, September 19, 2016). Hamas took care to publish mourning notices for the deaths of the terrorists despite the fact they did not appear to be Hamas operatives. On social networks and on the Internet websites Hamas encourages the continuation of the attacks and calls for “ignition of the Intifada”.
Right: a poster on which a masked Palestinian is seen catapulting a rock. The poster says: “Strike your enemy. Have no fear” (Hamas Hebron Facebook page, September 19, 2016). Middle: A post saying: “Ignite the Intifada... Ignite the Intifada... With stones and knives #Return_of_the_Attacks #Jerusalem_Intifada”. A poem was attached to the post with a call to come out and launch an Intifada (the Facebook page of the Islamic Bloc at Al Najah University, September 19, 2016). Left: A post with a clip linked to it, calling for attacks using handguns, knives, or axes. In the explanatory note: “Revolution, revolution, the people of the occupied land #Jerusalem Intifada #The Intifada Continues #Islamic_Student_Movement” (Facebook page of the Islamic Student Movement in the Ramallah and Al Bireh Region, September 19, 2016)
Riots and Clashes
- Riots continued throughout the week in Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria. Stone throwing also continued, as well as Molotov cocktails and pipe bombs. Following are some of the outstanding incidents:
- September 19, 2016 - Molotov cocktails thrown at the Israeli security forces in the Dheisheh refugee camp (near Bethlehem). Two IDF soldiers were lightly wounded.
- September 16, 2016 - Palestinians threw stones and a bottle of paint toward an Israeli bus on its way from Jerusalem to Ma’ale Adumim. The bus driver was lightly wounded from glass splinters (Red Alert Facebook page, September 16, 2016).
- September 14, 2016 - Palestinians threw stones at Israeli vehicles traveling along the road between Hizma and Anatot, north of Jerusalem. No casualties were reported (Red Alert Facebook page, September 14, 2016).
Significant Attacks in the Past 12 Months
Rocket Fire Attacking Israel
- On the night of September 14-15, 2016 three rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israel. Two rockets fell within the Gaza Strip. The third fell inside Israeli territory near the security fence (Red Alert Facebook page, September 15, 2016). In response to the fire, Israeli Air Force attacked three Hamas terrorist targets in the northern Gaza Strip (IDF Facebook page, September 15, 2016). Palestinian media reported that the targets attacked were: the Yarmuk post belonging to the Hamas military wing in the Shajaiyah neighborhood (east of Gaza City), an open area near a Hamas in Beit Lahia and an open area near the Al Doha mosque in Beit Lahia. No casualties were reported (Shehab Facebook page, September 15, 2016).
A Network of Vehicle Smugglers from Israel into the Gaza Strip Exposed
- The Israeli security forces recently exposed a network of smugglers who smuggled vehicles from inside Israel into the Gaza Strip. The smuggling had been going on for quite some time. The suspicion is that the network smuggled over one hundred vehicles in 2016 alone, which were intended for Hamas use in the Gaza Strip. The members of the network dismantled the vehicles and concealed them in cargos brought into the Gaza Strip via the Kerem Shalom crossing. The network collaborated with or deceived truck drivers, who transported this cargo (the Israel Security Agency website, September 14, 2016).
Arrest of a Palestinian Fisherman Smuggling Explosives for Hamas
- Israeli security forces reported the arrest of a fisherman from Gaza in August 2016. The fisherman had been smuggling explosives and weapon making raw materials for Hamas. The suspect is Hamis Jihad Saeed Araishi, 24, from the Shati refugee camp in Gaza. Araishi was arrested by the Israel Navy, after he sailed beyond the permitted fishing zone. In his interrogation he admitted involvement in smuggling for Hamas and for other terrorist organizations from 2012 until he was detained. In 2014 he planned to carry out an attack against IDF forces near the Zikim base after he had purchased weapons and carried out reconnaissance of the target (Israel Security Agency website, September 13, 2016).
Abu Mazen Speaks at the Non-Aligned Movement Conference
- In a speech by Abu Mazen at the Non-Aligned Movement Conference held on the Isle of Margarita, Venezuela, he called for the member countries to support a French initiative to convene an international peace conference. Abu Mazen repeated his accusation that Israel was sabotaging peace efforts in the region and persisted in preventing the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. According to him, six million Palestinian refugees were still awaiting the day they would return to their homes and assets according to UN resolution 194. Abu Mazen emphasized that the Palestinian hand is extended for peace according to international resolutions based on the idea of the two-state solution and the principle of land for peace (Wafa, September 17, 2016).
- On September 19, 2016, Abu Mazen met with John Kerry, USA Secretary of State, in New York. (Wafa, September 20, 2016). On September 22 2016 Abu Mazen is scheduled to give a speech at the UN General Assembly. The expectation is that the speech will be similar in spirit to the speech Abu Mazen gave in Venezuela (Watan, September 19, 2016).
Agreement Settling Outstanding Palestinian Electricity Debts to Israel
|Israel and the Palestinian Authority signed (September 13 2016) an agreement in principle to resolve the Palestinian electricity debt crisis, which is estimated at NIS 2 billion. The agreement was signed in the presence of the Israeli Finance Minister, Moshe Kahlon, by the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, General Yoav Poli Mordechai, Director-General of the Ministry of Finance, Shai Babad, and the Minister of Civil Affairs in the Palestinian Authority, Hussein Al Sheikh. The outline agreed includes two principles for resolving the issue of the Palestinian debt, and they arrange the energy sector in the Palestinian Authority, including agreement on a permanent mechanism for supplying electricity in the Authority’s territories. According to these principles, management operational and commercial aspects of the Palestinian electricity sector will be handed over to the responsibility of the Palestinian Authority. For this, a new body will be set up, which will purchase electricity exclusively from the Israel Electric Corporation, and which will bear full responsibility for paying for the electricity consumption of the Palestinian residents.|
Women’s Flotilla to Gaza
- On September 14 2016 a women’s flotilla set off from the Port of Barcelona, Spain, headed for Gaza. The flotilla consists of two vessels: Amal and Zaytouna. On board are thirty activists from around the world (PALINFO Twitter account, September 14, 2016). The flotilla is scheduled to arrive at the Gaza shores in the first week of October 2016 (Maan, September 15, 2016). On September 17 2016 Zaher Al Birawi, Chairman of the International Committee to Lift the Siege on the Gaza Strip, reported that due to technical problems the Amal returned to its home port in Barcelona (Dunia Al Watan, September 17, 2016).
- On September 18 2016 the Zaytouna docked at Ajaccio in Corsica. From there it departed for Messina in Italy, its last docking stop before arrival in Gaza (Women’s Boat to Gaza website, September 19 2016).
- The Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC), which is behind the women’s flotilla to Gaza, began a fund-raising campaign to purchase a new boat to replace the Amal, which was disabled (Freedom Flotilla Coalition website, Women’s Boat to Gaza website, September 19 2016).
Right: The Zaytouna docking in Ajaccio, Corsica. Left: Link to the fund-raising campaign of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC) (Freedom Flotilla Coalition website, Women’s Boat to Gaza website, September 19 2016).
These data do not include mortar fire. Rockets that landed inside the Gaza Strip are not included either.
A resolution adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 11, 1948. According to this resolution, a “Conciliation Committee” would be set up by the UN, which would take responsibility for the arrangements the UN had decided upon concerning various issues concerning the Land of Israel. The resolution stated that those refugees who sought to return to their homes and live peacefully with their neighbors, would be permitted to do so as soon as possible, and compensation would be paid for the property of those who were not seeking to return. The supporters of the “right of return” among the Palestinians use this resolution to legitimize the mass return of Palestinian refugees to Israel, which would mean changing the character of the State of Israel as the land of the Jewish People.
Zaher Al Birawi is a Hamas activist from Nablus. He left for Britain in the 1990s for his studies and settled there. He got involved in activities with radical Islamic movements in Britain, primarily those affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood movement. Over the many years of his widespread activities in Britain Al Birawi took care never to present himself in public as a Hamas activist, or even as a Muslim Brotherhood activist (ICIC believes he has done so for rear of trouble with the British law enforcement agencies). Over the past six years Al Birawi has been involved in sending convoys and flotillas to the Gaza Strip and on some occasions he served as spokesman for the convoys. Al Birawi, who is in contact with anti-Israeli organizations around the world, which work for the dispatch of ships, took part in the departure ceremony for the Mavi Marmara (2010). He avoided boarding the vessel, in ICIC’s opinion for fear of being arrested by Israel.