Glorification of murderous terrorists on the Temple Mount: for Eid al-Fitr the family of a terrorist prisoner handed out boxes of candy decorated with pictures of Palestinian terrorists.
Bahaa' al-Harbawi, 23, from the village of al-E'izariya (Palinfo Twitter account, June 21, 2017).
Claim of responsibility for the rocket fire, similar in graphic design to ISIS announcements (Facebook page of the palhadth.com website, June 26, 2017).
Rioters east of Jabalia carry a model of the Dome of the Rock (Facebook page of Shamai Online, June 23, 2017)
Tanker trucks carrying diesel fuel through the Rafah crossing en route to the power plant in the Gaza Strip (YouTube, June 22, 2017).
Mahmoud Abbas meets with the American delegation at his office in Ramallah (Wafa, June 21, 2017).
Plaque in honor of Basel al-A'raj placed near where he was killed in Ramallah (Palinfo Twitter account, June 23, 2017).
- This past week a rocket was fired into Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip; a Salafi jihadist network claimed responsibility. In response Israeli Air Force aircraft attacked Hamas targets. A Palestinian terrorist carried out a stabbing attack in Judea and Samaria northeast of Jerusalem. He was shot and killed.
- This past week the Egyptian authorities opened the Rafah crossing for tanker trucks carrying diesel fuel for the Gaza Strip power plant and the private sector. The electric company announced the fuel would improve the flow of electricity (to about four hours a day).
- Palestinians continue to glorify shaheeds and prisoners who carried out murder: on the Temple Mount the family of a terrorist prisoner recently handed out boxes of candy decorated with pictures of a shaheed and terrorists imprisoned in Israel. In Jenin a monument was erected to the memory of a Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) operative responsible for lethal terrorist attacks. In Ramallah a plaque was placed in honor of a terrorist who headed a squad planning an attack and who was killed in an exchange of fire. In the village of Burqa, northeast of Nablus, a women's center was opened, named for Dalal al-Mughrabi, the female Fatah terrorist who participated in the Coastal Road Massacre
Terrorist Attacks and Attempted Terrorists Attacks
- On June 20, 2017 a Palestinian terrorist attempted stabbing attack at an IDF guard post northeast of Jerusalem. The terrorist went to the post armed with a knife. He did not obey calls to halt and continued running towards the soldiers. Even after a warning shot was fired into the air he continued towards them. He was shot and killed. The Palestinian media reported he was Bahaa' Imad Samir al-Harbawi, 23, from the village of al-E'izariya, east of Jerusalem (al-Hayat al-Jadeeda, June 21, 2017).
Riots, Clashes and Popular Terrorism
- This past week demonstrations, clashes and riots continued throughout Judea and Samaria, primarily involving the throwing of stones and Molotov cocktails. The Israeli security forces detained a number of Palestinians suspected of terrorist activity. The more prominent occurrences were the following:
- June 25, 2017 – Palestinians threw stones, bottles and other objects at Israeli security forces operating in Issawiya (east Jerusalem). Two policemen incurred minor injuries (Facebook page of Red Alert, June 25, 2017).
- June 23, 2017 – Palestinians threw stones at a bus north of Kiryat Arba (Hebron region). There were no casualties; the front windshield of the bus was damaged (Facebook page of Red Alert, June 23, 2017).
- June 21, 2017 – Palestinians threw stones at Israeli security forces and a military ambulance near the village of Luban al-Sharqia (northeast of Ramallah). There were no casualties (Facebook page of Red Alert, June 21, 2017).
- June 21, 2017 – Palestinians threw a Molotov cocktail at a field in Karmei Tsur (Gush Etzion), igniting a fire and causing damage (Facebook page of Red Alert, June 21, 2017).
- June 21, 2017 – Israeli security forces operating in Beit Jala (northwest of Bethlehem) noticed two vehicles disguised as police patrol cars. The vehicles were confiscated (Facebook page of Red Alert, June 21, 2017).
- June 21, 2017 – Palestinians threw stones at Israeli security forces operating in Bayt Umar (Hebron region). A soldier incurred minor injuries and received medical assistance at the site (Facebook page of Red Alert, June 21, 2017).
Rocket Fire Attacking Israel
- On June 26, 2017, a rocket hit was identified in an open area in the western Negev. There were no casualties and no damage was reported (Twitter account of the IDF spokesman, June 26, 2017). A Salafi jihadist network calling itself "the descendants of the companions of the prophet" claimed responsibility. According to the claim, the rocket was fired at the city of Netivot and was part of the ongoing jihad against the Jews, who are the enemies of Allah (Twitter account of the Filastin al-Hadath Agency, June 26, 2017).
- In response to the rocket fire, Israeli Air Force aircraft attacked Hamas terrorist targets in the northern and southern Gaza Strip. The Palestinian media reported three attacks: on the Badr post of Hamas' military-terrorist wing in the northwestern part of Gaza City, on a agricultural field in the region of Wadi Aza south of Gaza City, and on Hamas military wing's Shaheed Muhammad Abu Harb post in the al-Nasr neighborhood in northeastern Rafah. Reportedly, there were no casualties (Facebook pages of the ministry of the interior in the Gaza Strip and The City of Rafah Now, and the Safa news agency, June 27, 2017)
- Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum claimed Israel used rocket fire from the Gaza Strip and ISIS's claim of responsibility as an excuse to attack Hamas posts. He accused the Israeli security forces of playing a "dangerous and transparent" game. He warned Israel not to continue its escalation (Hamas website, June 26, 2017).
Hamas-Instigated Violence at the Border Security Fence
- This past week Hamas-organized demonstrations and riots continued along the Israeli-Gaza border. They peaked on Friday, June 23, 2017, World Jerusalem Day. Hamas called on the Gazan public to consider World Jerusalem Day, initiated by Iran, as a day of confrontation with Israel along the eastern border of the Gaza Strip and at the friction points in the West Bank (alresalah.net, June 22, 2017). Several hundred Palestinians participated in each of the riots and demonstrations in the Gaza Strip, which were held at six locations. Four rioters incurred minor injuries (see below for World Jerusalem Day events).
The Electricity Crisis
- Wael Abu Omar, media director for the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing, said the Egyptian authorities has opened the Rafah crossing for the passage of tanker trucks with fuel from Egypt for the power plant in the Gaza Strip (Safa, June 21, 2017). During the four days the crossing was open, a total of 1.6 million liters (about 423 thousand gallons) of diesel fuel were brought into the Gaza Strip for the power plant and the private sector. More diesel fuel is expected to enter the Gaza Strip after Eid al-Fitr (the holiday ending the Muslim religious month of Ramadan). The electric company announced that the arrival of the fuel would improve the flow of electricity (News Time, June 22, 2017). The power plant returned to partial operation (two turbines) using the fuel from Egypt. Today the plant provides electricity for about four hours a day.
- Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum praised Egypt for sending the fuel, and thanked it for easing the lot of the Gazans and for trying to resolve the crises in the Gaza Strip. He said it proved Egypt cared about the Palestinian people and the Gaza Strip, and stressed the good relations between the Palestinians and Egypt (Safa, June 21, 2017). Khalil al-Haya, a member of Hamas' political bureau, said that Hamas was dealing with and working to end the crisis. He thanked Egypt, Qatar and Turkey for their support of the Palestinian people. He claimed the besieged Gaza Strip was like a volcano about to erupt on the [so-called Israeli] occupation (Hamas website, June 25, 2017).
- Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) continue trading propaganda blows in the media over the electricity crisis: a Hamas organ claimed that members of Fatah's Central Committee said the delivery of fuel from Egypt into the Gaza Strip had offended Mahmoud Abbas. According to the report, Mahmoud Abbas was surprised when Egypt agreed to send fuel to the Gaza Strip (alresalah.net, June 22, 2017). It was also reported that the PA was allegedly exerting pressure on the company that operated the power plant in the Gaza Strip not to accept the fuel from Egypt. Mahmoud Abbas even threatened the company's management, saying he would cancel the contract between them (alresalah.net, June 21, 2017). On the other hand, an investigative report in al-Hayat al-Jadeeda (the official PA newspaper) accused Hamas of stealing the Egyptian fuel and selling it at a profit (al-Hayat al-Jadeeda, June 24, 2017).
Left: The power struggle between the PA and Hamas caused by the electricity crisis in the Gaza Strip (Palinfo Twitter account, June 23, 2017). Right: Hamas cartoon shows Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu's efforts to disrupt the flow of diesel fuel from Egypt to the Gaza Strip (Facebook page of al-Risalah, June 22, 2017).
Humanitarian Aid to the Gaza Strip from Turkey
- The Hamas ministry of welfare held a press conference to thank Turkey for the humanitarian aid its ship had brought to the Gaza Strip, which anchored in the Israeli southern port of Ashdod. Ibrahim Yusuf, secretary general of the ministry of welfare, thanked Turkey for standing shoulder to shoulder with the residents of the Gaza Strip. Turkey sent more than ten tons of humanitarian aid, primarily food (al-Hayat al-Jadeeda, June 24, 2017).
World Jerusalem Day Events in the Gaza Strip
- On June 23, 2017, World Jerusalem Day was marked throughout the Gaza Strip. Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) organized a series of events including processions, rallies and demonstrations. Along the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip rioters clashed with IDF forces.
- Hamas spokesmen exploited World Jerusalem Day to condemn Israel and stress the "right" of the Palestinians to Jerusalem, mentioning the UNESCO resolution:
- Ahmed Halbia, chairman of the Jerusalem committee in the Legislative Council, speaking at the main event in the Gaza Strip, threatened Israel would not be secure as long as it controlled Jerusalem and al-Aqsa mosque. He stressed the "right" of the Palestinian people to "resistance" [i.e., terrorism and violence] and the liberation of their lands. He also mentioned the UNESCO resolution as the foundation for the claim that al-Aqsa mosque and the Western Wall belonged to the Muslims (Palinfo and Filastin al-A'an, June 23, 2017).
- Abu Obeida, spokesman for Hamas' military wing, Tweeted that World Jerusalem Day was an opportunity to unite efforts and turn the compass towards the "liberation" of Jerusalem and Palestine, and to purge the "Zionist occupation." He called on the masses to participate in marking the day. He claimed the issue uniting the [Muslim] nation was the cause of Palestine and Jerusalem, which was what made World Jerusalem Day important (Twitter account of Abu Obeida, June 22, 2017).
- Senior Hamas figure Ismail Radwan, speaking at a conference in support of the intifada held for World Jerusalem Day, said Jerusalem was the central issue of the [Muslim] nation. He expressed his esteem for Iran and Khomeini, who had set the last Friday of Ramadan as World Jerusalem Day. He claimed Jerusalem and al-Aqsa mosque were in danger because Jerusalem was subject to demographic changes, changes in its legacy and changes in its Islamic character. He called on the Arab-Muslim nation to follow in the footsteps of Iran in supporting the "resistance" [i.e., terrorism] (al-Mayadeen, June 23, 2017).
Left: Children in uniforms walk on an Israeli flag during a World Jerusalem Day procession (Palinfo Twitter account, June 23, 2017). Right: Hamas World Jerusalem Day procession in Deir al-Balah (Facebook page of Deir al-Balah Media, June 23, 2017)
- For World Jerusalem Day the PIJ's military wing issued a video of one of its operatives claiming Palestine was land that belonged to the Islamic endowment [waqf], from the [Mediterranean] sea to the [Jordan] river, and that the Palestinians would not give up one inch of it. He said the rights of the Palestinians would be fulfilled only by the rifles of jihad fighters and not by negotiations. He also said they had prepared an army that would defeat those [Jews] who would not leave [the land of Palestine]. He took the opportunity to announce the establishment of a new fighting regiment of 2,000 fighters who had joined the ranks of the Jerusalem Battalions with the name "the Jerusalem Regiment" (Website of the Jerusalem Battalions, June 23, 2017).
Left: Picture of new regiment operatives. Right: PIJ terrorist operative delivers a speech at a training center (Website of the Jerusalem Battalions, June 24, 2017).
Media Tour of PIJ Military Wing Tunnels
- The PIJ held a tour of one of its tunnels for newspaper correspondents. An operative interviewed for an article said it was the obligation of the Palestinians to defend the land of Palestine in every possible way. He also said the operatives were preparing for the next campaign, which would be difficult for Israel. One operative claimed they were carrying out surveillance of Israel's activities day and night (Filastin al-Yawm, June 21, 2017).
Interview with Khaled al-Qadoumi, Hamas Representative in Iran
- Khaled al-Qadoumi, Hamas representative in Iran, gave an interview which dealt with a number of subjects of interest to Hamas, among them the following (ISNA, June 21, 2017):
- Hamas-Iran relations – At the end of 2016, he claimed, Hamas and Iran turned over a new leaf in their relationship. During the past six months their relations had taken a new turn. Their relations have been based on strong, stable principles, and an issue common to Iran and Hamas, which is the Palestinian cause. He claimed Iran had never stopped its support of the "resistance," although he admitted there were times when it was weaker. Iran and Hamas, he said, had a common enemy and they were fighting it together. Al-Qadoumi added that today Hamas-Iran relations were on the right track and that both sides agreed to focus on broadening their cooperation. He said meetings between senior Hamas and Iranian figures would continue both in Iran and abroad.
- Hamas' principles – Al-Qadoumi claimed that today Hamas was large powerful and better known than in the past. Hamas of 2017, he said, is not Hamas of 1988. He said some of Hamas' ideology had been based on Muslim Brotherhood ideology, but that there was no organizational connection between them. He said that in its new document of principles, Hamas had separated itself from the Muslim Brotherhood. According to al-Qadoumi, Hamas' objective is to repair its relations with Egypt and receive more freedom of action in the Sinai Peninsula. He added that in its new document Hamas stressed strengthening relations with the world.
- The United States – Al-Qadoumi claimed President Trump had made a grave mistake when he called Hamas a terrorist organization, and that could not be allowed to pass without comment. Hamas' position, he claimed, against [the Israeli] "occupation" has been accepted by the international community, and "resistance" is a legitimate right confirmed under international law.
Palestinian from Khan Yunis killed in Mosul
- The Palestinian media website reported that Alaa' Urfa Awad (Abu Urfa), 21, from Khan Yunis, had been killed on June 24, 2017, fighting in the ranks of ISIS in Mosul, Iraq (Palestine News, June 24, 2017).
Death notice issued by the ISIS-affiliated media group al-Nusra al-Maqdisiya for Alaa' Urfa Awad (Telegram, June 24, 2017).
Mahmoud Abbas Meets with the American Negotiating Team
- Jason Greenblatt, special envoy for international negotiations, and Jared Kushner, senior advisor to the American president, paid a visit to Israel and the PA, sent by Donald Trump to promote negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. They met with Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu in Israel, and with Mahmoud Abbas and senior PA figures in Ramallah (June 21, 2017).
- Palestinian sources leaked information to Arab newspapers that Mahmoud Abbas' meeting with the Americans had been "tense and charged." According to the Palestinian sources, the Americans focused on stopping payments to prisoners and the families of shaheeds and on stopping incitement instead of discussing the two-state solution. The sources added that while Mahmoud Abbas presented his position on the important issues, such as a Palestinian state, borders, Jerusalem and the refugees, the Americans did not want to discuss those issues. They preferred to exert pressure on Mahmoud Abbas to stop incitement and end funding the prisoners (al-Sharq al-Awsat, June 23, 2017).
- According to another source, the American delegation ended its visit and returned to Washington after what was described as a round of "unsuccessful" talks with the Palestinians. A senior Palestinian figure said the American delegation had adopted the Israel position on stopping the prisoners' salaries. The Americans had demanded the PA stop paying salaries to 600 prisoners who had been sentenced to life imprisonment on the claim they had killed Jews. The Palestinians made it clear that the delegation should demand Israel stop construction in the settlements, because that was the cause of all kinds of violence and left the Palestinians without hope. The talks will be renewed next month when a Palestinian delegation visits the United States (al-Hayat, June 23, 2017).
Saeb Erekat Criticizes Israel for Raising the Issue of Incitement
- Saeb Erekat, secretary of the PLO's Executive Committee, rejected Israel's accusations of PA incitement. He claimed that every time the opportunity to renew the political process presented itself, the Israeli government distorted the true picture of the situation and found new, misleading excuses to stall, such as incitement. That was the opposite of the Palestinian leadership, he claimed, which was committed to the two-state solution and to implementing international law.
- According to Saeb Erekat, the reason Israel refused to allow operations of the tri-partite anti-incitement committee was because the policies of the rightist government favored incitement and the return of Zionist terrorism. He warned the international community not to act according to Israel's false concept of incitement, where the victim, i.e. the Palestinians, was to be brought to trial. He demanded Israel stop its deception and stop inventing excuses to continue the occupation (Wafa, June 22, 2017).
The PA Glorification of Shaheeds
Monument in Jenin
- On June 15, 2017, the Jenin municipality inaugurated a square named for Khaled Nizal, who was head of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) military wing and a member of its Central Committee. He was responsible for lethal terrorist attacks in Ma'alot and Beit She'an in 1974 and in Jerusalem in 1984. Senior DFLP operatives were present at the ceremony, among them Qis Abu Layla, who is also a member of the PLO's Executive Committee (Facebook page of al-Risalah, June 23, 2017). Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu Tweeted that the PA had named a town square in Jenin for a terrorist who was a multiple murderer. As a result, the Jenin municipality later announced it had removed the monument.
- The DFLP then condemned the Jenin municipality for removing the monument because Israel had requested it, and demanded the PA not surrender to Israeli dictates, especially concerning shaheeds. The DFLP called on the Jenin public to restore the monument immediately (Paldf, June 23, 2017).
- Qis Abu Layla wrote on his Facebook page that Netanyahu was personally engaging in incitement to draw attention away from his crimes, such as increasing construction in the settlements, "the slaughter of the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip and the murders in Judea and Samaria." Qis Abu Layla claimed the shaheed Khaled Nizal was a victim of Israeli terrorism, because Israel murdered him in 1986.
- The end result was the Fatah movement in Jenin announced it had reached an agreement with Muhammad Abu Ghali, the mayor of Jenin, to restore the monument to the Khaled Nizal Square. Fatah said it objected to Israel's threats and emphasized that the issue of shaheeds was a "red line" which could not be crossed (Ma'an, June 24, 2017). It was reported that yielding to pressure, the Jenin municipality restored the monument to the square.
Left: Erecting the monument for the second time (Palinfo Twitter account, June 24, 2017). Right: The square in Jenin, before and after (Facebook page of al-Risalah, June 23, 2017)
Plaque for Palestinian Terrorist Basel al-A'raj
- Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) activists placed a plaque in honor of terrorist Basel al-A'raj near where he was killed by IDF forces in Ramallah on March 6, 2017. He headed a terrorist squad which planned attacks against Israeli targets. He was killed in an exchange of fire when the IDF entered a house he was staying in (IDF spokesman and the Facebook page of the Israel Police Force, March 6, 2017).
Women's Center Named for Palestinian Terrorist Dalal al-Mughrabi
- On May 15, 2017, a center for women and youth was opened in the village of Burqa (northwest of Ramallah). It was funded by the Norwegian government and elements within the UN. The center was named for Dalal al-Mughrabi, the female Fatah terrorist operative who participated in the Coastal Road Massacre in 1978 (killing 35 Israeli civilians). During the opening ceremony Rim Haji, a member of the village's council, said the center would focus on the history of the martyr Dalal al-Mughrabi's struggle and on presenting it to youth groups, and that it would be an introduction to enrichment activities about the history of the Palestinian struggle (Ma'an, May 15, 2017).
- After the center had been named for a terrorist, the Norwegian ministry of foreign affairs asked for a return of the money it had donated. It condemned the PA for naming the center after Dalal al-Mughrabi (website of the Norwegian foreign ministry, May 26, 2017). In response, the chairman of the Burqa village council called on Norway to focus on the center's essence, claiming the name had been chosen as a tribute to the martyr Dalal al-Mughrabi, who had been killed in the struggle against the occupation. He said defining the symbols of the Palestinian people and their leaders as terrorists was surrender to Israeli pressure and dictates. He called on Norway to respect the feelings of the Palestinian people (Madar News, May 28, 2017).
Left: Center activists and children participate in programs (Madar News, May 31, 2017). Right: The sign on Dalal al-Mughrabi women's center in the village of Burqa (Watan TV website, June 1, 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.
Since 1979 World Jerusalem Day, initiated by the Ayatollah Khomeini and the Iranian government, has been held on the last Friday of Ramadan. Its objectives are to demonstrate the support of Iran and the entire Muslim world for the Palestinian cause and the "liberation" of Jerusalem, to condemn Israel and call for its destruction, and to defy the United States and the Western countries.
See the June 26, 2017 bulletin, "During diplomatic contacts with the Americans, the Palestinian Authority rejected demands to stop financial support for terrorist prisoners and the families of shaheeds."
For the PA's cult of Dalal al-Mughrabi, see the March 23, 2017 bulletin, "Glorifying shaheeds who carried out deadly terrorist attacks and turning them into role models: Dalal al-Mughrabi, a Fatah terrorist who participated in the 1978 Coastal Road Massacre, as a case study."