The Israeli Air Force attacks a Hamas naval police post in the northern Gaza Strip in response to rocket fire targeting the western Negev. Black-uniformed naval police operatives flee from the attack (Facebook page of Shehab, February 6, 2017).
The scene of the vehicular attack at the entrance to the community of Adam, northeast of Jerusalem (Arabs48 website, February 2, 2017).
IED discovered on route 450 between the communities of Neveh Tsuf and Nahliel (northwest of Ramallah) (Twitter account of Palinfo, February 3, 2017).
Front windshield of Israeli bus damaged by stones near Givat Assaf (northwest of Ramallah) (Twitter account of Palinfo, February 5, 2017).
Hamas cartoon issued after the Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip: Israel is trying to blow up the lull in the fighting (Facebook page of al-Risalah, February 6, 2017).
Notice from the Hamas economic ministry in the Gaza Strip informing importers of cement, iron and aggregates that they will need permits as of February 1, 2017; without permits a fine of 5,000 shekels will be imposed.
Mahmoud Abbas inaugurates the Palestinian embassy in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan (Wafa, January 31, 2017).
The Russian Orthodox church in Hebron (YouTube, January 20, 2013)
Official Fatah Facebook page posts a memorial notice on the anniversary of the death of Palestinian policeman Amjad al-Sukari, who died while carrying out a shooting attack (Facebook page of Fatah, January 31, 2017).
- This past week popular terrorism attacks in Judea and Samaria continued. At the entrance to the community of Adam a Palestinian woman from the Issawiya neighborhood of east Jerusalem carried out a vehicular attack. Three Israelis were wounded. On the road between the communities of Neveh Tsuf and Nahliel (northeast of Ramallah), Palestinians placed an IED containing shrapnel and nails. It was found and neutralized by a police demolitions expert. Palestinians continued throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at various locations in Judea and Samaria.
- A rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip into the western Negev. It was probably fired by a rogue organization in defiance of Hamas policy. In response to the rocket fire the IDF attacked a number of targets in the Gaza Strip. Hamas spokesmen accused Israel of responsibility for the deterioration of the situation.
- The Israeli security forces recently exposed a Hamas terrorist network in the Hebron region, handled by Hamas terrorist operatives in the Gaza Strip. The network operatives planned shooting attacks and abductions in the Hebron region and attacks inside Israel, including an attack on a synagogue in Zichron Ya'akov.
Terrorist Attacks and Attempted Terrorists Attacks
- February 2, 2017 – A Palestinian woman from the Issawiya neighborhood of east Jerusalem rammed a rental car into a police patrol car and the gate at the entrance to the community of Adam (northeast of Jerusalem). Three Israelis were wounded and evacuated to a hospital. Interrogation of the driver revealed the attack was premeditated and that she hoped she would be shot (NRG, February 2, 2017).
- February 3, 2017 – In the morning the Israeli security forces discovered an incendiary charge on route 450 between the communities of Neveh Tsuf and Nahliel (northwest of Ramallah). A baby food jar had been filled with kerosene and placed in a paint pail along with shrapnel and nails. The IED was supposed to be detonated remotely by cellphone. It was neutralized by a police demolitions expert (hnn.co.il and Channel 20, February 3, 2017)
Riots, Clashes and Popular Terrorism
- This past week, demonstrations and riots continued. Prominent among them were the throwing of stones and Molotov cocktails. The more prominent occurrences were the following:
- February 5, 2017 – Palestinians threw stones at an Israeli bus near the village of Hizma (north of Jerusalem). No casualties were reported. Palestinians threw stones at an Israeli vehicle near the village of Husan, west of Bethlehem, damaging the vehicle. Palestinians threw stones at Israeli vehicles at the T-Junction in Gush Etzion, damaging one. Palestinians threw stones at an Israeli bus near Givat Assaf in the Benyamin district, damaging the front windshield of the bus (Facebook page of Red Alert, February 5, 2017).
- February 5, 2017 – Palestinians threw two Molotov cocktails at the fence of the community of Kiryat Netafim, near Ariel in Samaria (Facebook page of Red Alert, February 5, 2017).
- February 4, 2017 – Palestinians threw stones at an Israeli vehicle near Hawwara, south of Nablus. No casualties were reported (Facebook page of Red Alert, February 4, 2017).
- February 3, 2017 – An IDF soldier received a head wound at the weekly riot in the village of Qadoum (Facebook page of Red Alert, February 3, 2017).
Exposure of Hamas Network Planning to Carry Out Terrorist Attacks in the Hebron Region and Inside Israel
- The Israeli security forces recently exposed a Hamas terrorist network in the village of Bani Na'im, in the Hebron region. One of its operatives was an Israeli Arab from the town of A'rara. The operatives were planning showcase attacks in the Hebron region and inside Israel. They were handled by Hamas operatives in the Gaza Strip, who maintained contact with them through Facebook. They planned shooting attacks, detonating IEDs and abducting Israelis from the Hebron region. In addition, they operatives collected information about various possible targets in Israel, including an IDF base in the region of Kafr Qara (central Israel), the Binyamina railway station, a synagogue in Zichron Ya'akov and a bus stop in Wadi Ara (central Israel) used mainly by IDF soldiers (Ynet, February 6, 2017).
Rocket Fire Attacking Israel
- On the morning of February 6, 2017, a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip landed in an open area in the western Negev. There were no casualties and no damage was reported. The rocket was probably fired by a rogue terrorist organization in defiance of Hamas policy.
- In response to the rocket fire the IDF attacked and destroyed a Hamas observation post in Beit Lahia (Facebook page of the IDF, February 6, 2017). Throughout the day and evening the IDF attacked a number of terrorist targets, among them a Hamas naval police post in the northern Gaza Strip, a building previously used by the Israeli civilian administration in Jabalia, a Hamas post east of Gaza City, open areas in the central Gaza Strip and a target in Khan Yunis (southern Gaza Strip) (Ma'an, February 6, 2017).·
- Responses to the attacks were the following:
- Fawzi Barhoum, Hamas spokesman in the Gaza Strip, accused Israel of responsibility for the current escalation in hostilities, saying it was dangerous and had to stop.
- Ahmed al-Mudallal, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) spokesman in the Gaza Strip, said Israel would be responsible for the outcome of the current escalation. He said Israel would have to pay the price (alresala.net, February 6, 2017).
- The terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip warned Israel not to broaden the scope of its attacks which might lead to a confrontation. They called on their operatives to be exercise caution (Ma'an, February 6, 2017).
- Ibrahim al-Mahoun, a Palestinian commentator in the Gaza Strip affiliated with Hamas, wrote on his Facebook page that what had happened in the Gaza Strip the previous day was a temporary escalation. He said both sides [i.e., Israel and Hamas]did not want to be dragged into a military confrontation, but rather felt it was in their interests to contain the events (Facebook page of Ibrahim al-Mahoun, February 6, 2017).
Snipers Attack IDF Force near Kissufim
- Snipers from the Gaza Strip shot at an IDF force operating near the border security fence in the southern Gaza Strip. There were no casualties and no damage was reported. IDF tanks fired three shells at the source of the sniper fire (Facebook page of Red Alert, February 6, 2017).
Prevention of Smuggling Contraband Materials into the Gaza Strip
- In recent weeks the Israeli security forces at the Erez crossing prevented contraband items from being smuggled into the Gaza Strip in hundreds of packages sent by mail. Most of the items had been ordered from the Internet, and included electronic items and other equipment. and electronic components. The items were seemingly ordered by innocent people, but terrorists in the Gaza Strip are suspected of being responsible for the orders. Among the items were drones and drone parts (israeldefense, February 6, 2017).
Drone and detector of listening devices exposed at the Erez crossing (The Crossings Authority of the Israeli Ministry of Defense, February 6, 2017).
Hamas Imposes New Taxes on Building Materials
- The Palestinian media reported that importers of construction materials in the Gaza Strip refused to accept merchandise imported from Israel through the Kerem Shalom crossing. That was because of new taxes imposed by the Hamas economic ministry. According to Usama Kahil, chairman of the contractors' union in the Gaza Strip, Hamas had imposed new taxes on imports (Ma'an, February 2, 2017).
- Yusef al-Mahdoud, spokesman for the Palestinian national consensus government, condemned the new taxes. He said it was another in a series of difficulties Hamas imposed on the Palestinian people. He said such steps had to be implemented through legislation after a thorough investigation of the issue (Watan24, February 1, 2017). Ahmed Majdalani, a member of the PLO's Executive Committee, attacked Hamas and accused it of stealing the money of the residents of the Gaza Strip (Ma'an, February 2, 2017).
Hamas Foments Tension in Israeli Jails
- On February 1, 2017, two Israeli guards were wounded by Hamas inmates in stabbing attacks in two jails. The events took place within minutes of one another. In the first attack, a guard was attacked with a sharp instrument in the Ktziot prison, and in the second, a guard was stabbed in the Nafha prison, both located in the southern part of the country. According to a prison service source, "the two attacks were planned and coordinated between the prisons. Behind the attacks were the Hamas leaders in the prisons, they were the ones who planned the stabbings" (Walla, February 2, 2017). In response, the authorities moved inmates to various wings between the two prisons to reduced tension.
- After the attacks the hashtag #prisoners_intifada was launched on February 2, 2017, a call went out through the Palestinian social networks to join rallies in support of the prisoners. The rallies were held in Ramallah, Nablus and Bethlehem in Judea and Samaria, and in the Gaza Strip, and attended by a few dozen participants (Twitter account of QudsN, February 2, 2017).
Left: Hashtag #prisoners_intifada (Facebook page of QudsN, February 1, 2017).Right: Hamas rally in Gaza to protest measures taken in Israeli jails after the stabbing attacks (Facebook page of Shehab, February 2, 2017).
Mahmoud Abbas Inaugurates the Palestinian Embassy in Pakistan
- On January 30, 2017, Mahmoud Abbas went to the Pakistani capital of Islamabad for a three-day visit. While there he inaugurated the Palestinian embassy. Present were the Pakistani prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, and other senior figures (Wafa, January 30 and 31, 2017). According to Majdi al-Khaldi, Mahmoud Abbas' advisor for diplomatic affairs, with the opening of the embassy in Pakistan the PA had 90 embassies around the globe, an important diplomatic achievement (Ma'an, February 1, 2017).
Confrontation between the Islamic Liberation Party and the PA over Transferring Land to the Russian Orthodox Church
- On February 4, 2017, The Islamic Liberation Party, an extremist Islamist party aspiring to revive the Caliphate, held a mass rally in Hebron. It was held to protest the decision made by Mahmoud Abbas to transfer waqf (Islamic endowment) lands to the Russian Orthodox church in Hebron. The demonstrators held signs and shouted slogans against the PA was built in 1906 under the Ottoman Empire, and is currently a tourist site (YouTube, the Islamic Liberation Party website, Twitter account of Palinfo, February 4, 2017).
Left: The Palestinian security forces use force to disperse the Islamic Liberation Party's mass demonstration in Hebron (Twitter account of Palinfo, February 4, 2017). Right: The Palestinian security forces use tear gas to disperse the Islamic Liberation Party demonstration in Hebron (Facebook page of al-Risalah, February 4, 2017).
Memorial Video Glorifying the Palestinian Policeman Who Carried Out a Shooting Attack at the Beit El Roadblock
- On January 31, 2017, an animated video was uploaded to YouTube called "Keep your weapon ready." It was uploaded in memory of Amjad al-Sukari, a Palestinian policeman who carried out a shooting attack at the Beit El roadblock on January 31, 2016. As of February 6, 2017, 13,644 people had watched the video. It shows the terrorist policeman who drives to the Qalqilya roadblock and sees Israeli soldiers detain a Palestinian woman for examination. He becomes enraged, turns his car around and drives home. The video ends with his opening a closet and taking out a rifle. He says, "Now the time has come" (YouTube, January 31, 2017).
- The official Fatah movement Facebook page posted a memorial notice for Palestinian terrorist Amjad al-Sukari to mark the anniversary of his death (Facebook page of Fatah, January 31, 2017).
A significant attack is defined by the ITIC as involving shooting, stabbing, a vehicle, the use of IEDs, or a combination of the above. Stones and Molotov cocktails thrown by Palestinians are not included.
The statistics do not include mortar shell fire or rockets which misfired and fell inside the Gaza Strip