Palestinians in Hebron riot in solidarity with hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails (Facebook page of the Shehab news agency, May 22, 2017)
Israeli vehicle blocked by a Palestinian ambulance (Ma'an, May 18, 2017).
Palestinian terrorist Ra'ed Ahmed Radaydeh runs towards the Abu Dis roadblock carrying a knife in his right hand (Palinfo Twitter account, May 17, 2017).
Rami Hamdallah (second from right), Palestinian prime minister, and Akram Rajoub, governor of the Nablus district (right) in the village of Bayta, sitting in the mourning tent erected by the family of the Palestinian who was killed (Wafa, May 20, 2017).
The front windshield of an Israeli vehicle attacked by stone-throwing Palestinians near Deir Abu Mash'al, northwest of Ramallah (Palinfo Twitter account, May 19, 2017).
Ismail Haniyeh (right), newly-elected head of Hamas' political bureau, shakes hands with Muhammad al-'Amadi, chairman of Qatar's Committee for the Reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, at the laying of the corner stone for the committee's offices in the Gaza Strip (Palinfo Twitter account, May 21, 2017).
Mahmoud Abbas meets with Donald Trump in Bethlehem (Wafa, May 23, 2017).
Mahmoud Abbas meets with International Committee of the Red Cross chairman Peter Maurer in Ramallah (Wafa, May 19, 2017).
Palestinians riot against the Israeli security forces at the Qalandia crossing (north of Jerusalem) (Palinfo Twitter account, May 22, 2017)
- This past week Palestinian population terrorism was manifested with three stabbing attacks (Abu Dis, the Qalandia crossing and apparently in the central Israeli city of Netanya). On the ground there were demonstrations and riots in various locations in Judea and Samaria in solidarity with the hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners. A Palestinian was shot to death by an Israeli civilian caught up in a violent demonstration.
- In the Gaza Strip international organizations warned that the residents' situation was deteriorating to the point of humanitarian crisis. The Hamas ministry of health in the Gaza Strip also warned of an impending collapse. Hamas spokesmen called on the Gazans to go to the "contact lines" with Israel to protest the "siege" of the Gaza Strip. Hamas spokesman warned that the activity near the border was liable to escalate and it might become difficult to control the "enraged population." They called on the world to intervene because the situation was "about to explode."
- Hundreds of young Gazans answered Hamas' call. They gathered near the border security fence and rioted against IDF soldiers. A spokesman for the ministry of health in the Gaza Strip reported that dozens of Palestinians had been injured.
Terrorist Attacks and Attempted Terrorists Attacks
- May 23, 2017 – Stabbing attack in Netanya: A 45 year-old Palestinian from Tulkarm stabbed a Border Policeman in the neck, inflicting minor wounds. The terrorist was shot and seriously wounded. According to the initial investigation, the attack was nationally motivated (Israel Police Force, May 23, 2017).
- May 22, 2017 – Attempted stabbing attack in Abu Dis: A Palestinian terrorist tried to stab a Border Policeman at the Abu Dis roadblock (southeast of Jerusalem). The terrorist was shot and killed. The Palestinian media reported he was Ra'ed Ahmed Radaydeh, 15, from Ubeidiya (east of Bethlehem) (Palinfo Twitter account, May 17, 2017).
- May 20, 2017 – Attempted stabbing attack at the Qalandia crossing: A Palestinian girl tried to stab soldiers stationed at the Qalandia crossing. They took the knife away from her and she was taken for interrogation. She was 14 years old and came from the Jilazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah (Facebook page of Red Alert, May 20, 2017).
Violent Incident between and Israeli and Palestinian Demonstrators
- May 17, 2017 – An Israel from the community of Itamar driving through the village of Hawwara (south of Nablus) found himself in the midst of about 200 Palestinian demonstrators. They attacked his car with stones. In response he shot at them, wounding two of his attackers, one of them fatally. During interrogation he said he had felt he his life was in danger. The Israeli police have documentation of a stationary Palestinian ambulance blocking the Israeli car and preventing it from driving away, enabling the mob to rush the car and throw stones at it.
- The Palestinian who died was Mu'ataz Hussein Hilal Bani Shamsa, 23, from the village of Bayta, south of Nablus. Tareq Rashmawi, spokesman for the Palestinian national consensus government, claimed Israel was responsible for his death (Wafa, May 18, 2017). The Palestinian foreign ministry condemned the act of the Israeli which led to the death of one Palestinian and the wounding of another. The Palestinian foreign ministry called on human rights organizations to have the International Criminal Court in The Hague deliberate the matter in order to bring Israel to trial (Dunia al-Watan, May 18, 2017).
- The following day the Israeli security forces detained one of the Palestinians who had participated in the attack on the Israeli in Hawwara. The ambulance driver who blocked the Israeli's car was also detained and the ambulance was seized. Investigation revealed it was a private ambulance belonging to the village of Aqraba (east of Hawwara). During the attack the ambulance driver was on a private call.
- Hamas and Fatah each issued death notices. On May 20, 2017, Rami Hamdallah, prime minister of the Palestinian national consensus government, and Akram Rajoub, governor of the Nablus district, went to the family's mourning tent in the village of Bayta (Wafa, May 20, 2017).
Left: Death notice issued by Hamas (Palinfo Twitter account, May 18, 2017). Right: Death notice issued by Fatah (official Fatah Facebook page, May 18, 2017).
Riots, Clashes and Popular Terrorism
- In the meantime, this past week demonstrations, clashes and riots continued throughout Judea and Samaria, mainly involving the throwing of stones and Molotov cocktails. May 19, 2017, was declared a "day of rage" in solidarity with the hunger-striking security prisoners. Several hundred Palestinians rioted against Israeli security forces at a number of locations, including Ramallah, Nebi Saleh, Bethlehem, and the villages of Qadoum, Nil'in and Bila'in. Two IDF soldiers sustained minor injuries.
- In the Gaza Strip demonstrations were held near the border security fence. Their slogan was "a warning of rage." At some clashes attended by several hundred Gazans, rioters threw stones and tried to vandalize the fence. IDF forces responded with gunfire. According to IDF sources, the riots were initiated by Hamas, which usually restrains the riots held along the border (Ynet, May 19, 2017). Palestinian sources reported that in the clashes in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip several dozen Palestinians were injured, some of them seriously (Wafa, May 19, 2017).
- The more prominent occurrences were the following:
- May 21, 2017 – Palestinians threw stones at Israeli vehicles at a number of locations in Judea and Samaria, among them Gush Etzion. Windshields were damaged. Near Paduel (in southwestern Samaria) Palestinians threw stones at a bus. Palestinians threw stones at an Israeli vehicle north of Ofra (northeast of Ramallah) (Facebook page of Red Alert, May 21, 2017).
- May 19, 2017 – Palestinians threw stones at Israeli security forces in the village of 'Aboud (north of Ramallah). A Border Policeman sustained minor injuries (Facebook page of Red Alert, May 19, 2017).
- May 16, 2017 – An Israeli shot and seriously wounded a Palestinian near the village of Silwad (Ramallah area) after the Palestinian threw stones at his car (NRG, May 16, 2017).
Detention of Palestinians Who Planned Terrorist Attack
- Israeli security forces detained four Palestinians from the Askar refugee camp in Nablus. They were planning to carry out a combined terrorist attack by placing an IED and shooting at IDF forces on the road leading to Alon Moreh. Their interrogation led to the exposure of a laboratory for the manufacture of IEDs and improvised weapons. Many weapons belonging to the terrorists were also seized (Israel Security Agency, May 17, 2017).
Rocket Fire Attacking Israel
- On the morning of May 23, 2017, a rocket was fired at the western Negev from the Sinai Peninsula. Israeli security forces searched the area but found nothing. It is possible the rocket did not fall in Israeli territory.
Warnings of a Deterioration of the Conditions of the Residents of the Gaza Strip
- Internationalorganizations warned that the Gazans' situation was deteriorating to the point of humanitarian crisis. Hamas' ministry of health also warned of collapse. Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesman for the ministry of health in the Gaza Strip, wrote on his Facebook page that the health services in the Gaza Strip had deteriorated because of a lack of medicines, medical equipment and basic products, such as milk substitutes for infants and fuel. He said there was a lack of 175 types of medicines, 35 of which were basic (Dunia al-Watan, May 17, 2017).
Clashes near the Border Security Fence and Hamas Threats of an "Explosion"
- On May 19, 2017, in answer to Fathi Hamad's call, hundreds of young Palestinians gathered at several locations near the border security fence. A spokesman for the ministry of health in the Gaza Strip reported that in the wake of clashes between the Palestinians and IDF forces eight Palestinians who had been wounded by live ammunition and about 30 suffering from tear gas inhalation had been taken to hospitals (Hamas' al-Ra'i news agency and the Twitter account of Ashraf al-Qidra, May 19, 2017)
- Speaking on Hamas' al-Aqsa TV, Hamad al-Raqab was more aggressive. He said one of two things would happen: either the siege of the Gaza Strip would be lifted, or the [so-called Israeli] occupation would see maximum escalation, which would take the form of masses of Gazans who would go to every one of the occupation's gates [i.e., most probably the crossings] and break [through] them. He said the Gazans would not look back. Anyone who said nothing about the continuation of the siege was complicit in it. He said Hamas was losing what was left of its firm stance and that it had fewer and fewer options. He said the only thing Hamas could do was either fight with all its strength or agree to the "slow death" of the siege. He added that the Palestinian organizations all agreed with Hamas in everything connected to measures for "breaking the siege" (Dunia al-Watan, May 19, 2017).
Visit of the Chairman of Qatar's Committee for the Reconstruction of the Gaza Strip
- On May 16, 2017, Muhammad al-'Amadi, Qatar's envoy to the Gaza Strip and chairman of Qatar's Committee for the Reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, arrived for a visit. While in the Gaza Strip he will launch a $12 million building project (palsawa.com, May 17, 2017). On May 21, 2016, he and Ismail Haniyeh, head of Hamas' new political bureau, attended the ceremony laying the corner stone for the committee's new officers in the Gaza Strip (Palinfo Twitter account, May 21, 2017). Regarding the electricity crisis in the Gaza Strip, al-'Amadi said it was a complex issue and work was being done with the UN to solve the problem (Shehab, May 21, 2017).
Transfer of Funds from Iran to the Families of Shaheeds in the Gaza Strip
Nasser al-Sheikh Ali, spokesman for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)-affiliated al-Ansar charity association in the Gaza Strip, said the association, along with the Iranian Shaheed Foundation, would transfer the sum of $2 million to the families of shaheeds in the Gaza Strip who had been killed between the beginning of the al-Aqsa intifada [the second intifada, 2000-2005] and July 31, 2014. He claimed the funds would be distributed to 5,000 families at post office branches. The family of an unmarried shaheed would receive $300, and the family of a married shaheed would receive $600 (Filastin al-Yawm, May 21, 2017).
- This is not the first time the Iranian Shaheed Foundation has transferred funds to the families of shaheeds in the Gaza Strip. On February 24, 2016, the Iranian ambassador to Lebanon reported Iran's intention to provide financial support for the "Jerusalem intifada" (Hamas' term for Palestinian popular terrorism attacks). He said Iran would donate $7000 to the family of every Palestinian shaheed and $30,000 to every family whose house had been destroyed. The total amount given to the Gaza Strip by Iran was estimated by the ITIC at close to $2 million (similar to the current sum). The funds were transferred to the families in the Gaza Strip by the al-Ansar charity association.
Hamas Protests Speech by Donald Trump Calling It a Terrorist Organization
- In the speech Donald Trump, the American president, gave at the Islamic Arab summit meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, he said, "The true toll of ISIS, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas...must be counted not only in the number of dead..." The remark enraged Hamas' and other organization's spokesmen:
- Musheir al-Masri, Hamas spokesman in the Gaza Strip, condemned the remark and said it was more proof that the American administration was biased in favor of Israel. He said Hamas was the main political force in the Palestinian arena, adhered to "just principles" and believed in the future of its jihad program, whose objective was to liberate the lands [of Palestine] from the occupation (Shehab, May 21, 2017).
- Thulfikar Swairjo, a senior figure in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), said Trump's saying Hamas was a terrorist organization was an attempt to defend the interests of the United States and Israel. He claimed Trump had a regional and international plan to end the idea of the "resistance" and to prepare the region for the interests of the United States and Israel at the expense of the "rights" of the Palestinians (Shehab, May 21, 2017).
- On May 22, 2017, the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) held a demonstration in Rafah to protest the remark made by Trump in Riyadh. Dozens of PRC operatives burned Trump in effigy, as well as pictures of Trump and the American and Israeli flags (al-Qawm website, May 22, 2017).
The PRC demonstration in Ramallah (Twitter account of Muhammad al-Dayah from Gaza, May 22, 2017).
Meeting between President Trump and PA Chairman Abbas
- On May 22, 2017, Donald Trump visited Israel for the first time. On the second day of his visit, May 23, 2017, he went to Bethlehem for a short visit (less than an hour) and met with PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas. They held a joint press conference where Mahmoud Abbas stressed the two-state solution, saying the independence of the Palestinian people was the key to regional peace. He also claimed he was committed to cooperating with Trump to reach a historic peace agreement with the Israelis and to be a partner with Israel in the fight against terrorism. Trump noted the desire of both Mahmoud Abbas and Benyamin Netanyahu for peace, and said he intended to do everything in his power to help reach the goal. He also said he expected to work with Mahmoud Abbas to help the Palestinian economy (Wafa, May 23, 2017).
The Palestinian Prisoners' Ongoing Hunger Strike
- The hunger strike of the Palestinian security prisoners in Israeli jails has passed its 37th day. Mahmoud Abbas met with Peter Maurer, chairman of the International Committee of the Red Cross. They discussed the health of the hunger-striking prisoners. Mahmoud Abbas asked the Red Cross to exert pressure on Israel to accede to the prisoners' demands (Wafa, May 19, 2017). Meeting in Bethlehem with the families of the hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners, Mahmoud Abbas said he would not let anyone break the hunger strike (Ma'an, May 22, 2017).
- Other Palestinian remarks about the hunger strike were the following:
- Issa Qaraqe, head of the PA ministry of prisoners' affairs, reported that his recent meetings with Israel to end the strike had hit a dead end. That, he claimed, was because Israel demanded the prisoners end the strike before negotiations were held. He warned that Palestinian prisoners might die because many of them had reached a dangerous stage and he was worried about their health (alresalah.net, May 20, 2017).
- Fatah spokesman Usama al-Qawasmeh said that Israel's disregard for the prisoners demands, which were ensured by international law, would not weaken their resolve. He called on international human rights organizations to intervene rapidly to end the prisoners' suffering and to fight against the policies of Netanyahu's government, which refused to negotiate with the prisoners (Dunia al-Watan, May 18, 2017).
- Representatives of the military-terrorist wings of the various terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip held a press conference where they warned that any harm done to any prisoner would result in a response. They called on the Palestinian people to rise up against the "Zionist enemy" and demanded the Palestinians go to the "contact lines" with Israel and places where there were soldiers and settlers. They claimed the Palestinian "resistance" would continue to defend the Palestinian people and the prisoners, and that there were many ways the resistance could hurt Israel (al-Aqsa, May 18, 2017).
- An Internet survey conducted by the Ma'an news agency revealed that about 65% of responders were of the opinion that the hunger strike led by Marwan Barghouti had achieved only minimum results. On the other hand, about 24% thought it had achieved most of its goals (Ma'an, May 22, 2017).
* Because of the Shavuoth holiday next week, publication of News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict will be delayed.
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.
See the March 2, 2016 bulletin, "Encouragement for the Palestinian Terrorist Campaign through Financial Support. Iran announces its intention to provide funds for the families of Palestinian shaheeds and families whose houses were demolished by Israel."