Mounting tension between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority because of Hamas’ efforts to strengthen its status among the Palestinians

The growing increase of Hamas' popularity in Palestinian society, at the expense of Fatah, was boosted when Mahmoud Abbas' delayed, and in effect canceled, the Palestinian Authority (PA) parliamentary and presidential elections. It increased further after Operation Guardian of the Walls (May 2021) when Hamas positioned itself as the "defender" of Jerusalem, the Muslim holy sites and the Palestinian residents of the city. Hamas has been fomenting popular unrest to solidify its position as the Palestinians' main influencer, with tactics including demonstrations of strength in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem to undermine security in the PA territories while maintaining relative calm in the Gaza Strip to advance an arrangement with Israel.

The explosion of a weapons storehouse in the Burj al-Shemali refugee camp east of Tyre revealed the extent of Hamas’ military presence in Lebanon.

On the evening of December 10, 2021 there was an explosion in the Burj al-Shemali Palestinian refugee camp east of Tyre in south Lebanon. The media in Tyre reported it had taken place in a storeroom under a mosque, damaging the mosque and nearby structures. The Lebanese National News Agency reported the blast had killed and wounded several people (Lebanese National News Agency, December 10, 2021).

Palestinian condemnations of the British decision to outlaw Hamas’ political bureau

On November 26, 2021, the British Parliament approved the Home Secretary's Order and designated Hamas in its entirety as a terrorist organization. That means that "members of Hamas or those who invite support for the group could be jailed for up to 14 years" (British government website, November 26, 2021). The organization's military-terrorist wing had already been outlawed in March 2001. However, a reassessment of the situation led the British government to outlaw Hamas political bureau as well.

Hamas encouragement for terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria

On November 21, 2021, Fadi Abu Shekhidam, a lone wolf terrorist known as a Hamas activist, carried out a shooting attack near the Temple Mount, killing one Israeli and wounding four. Hamas rushed to praise him and even claimed he was a high-ranking operative in the organization. Hamas also claimed the 16 year-old Palestinian from Issawiya in east Jerusalem who carried out stabbing attack in Jerusalem was a Hamas operative. However, Hamas did not claim responsibility for either attack.

Palestinian reactions to Israel’s decision to outlaw organizations affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)

On October 22, 2021, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz issued an order designating six Palestinian social-civilian organizations (NGOs) as terrorist organizations. The order permits the legal confiscation of the organizations' assets and the legal sanctions to be imposed on anyone participating in their activities.

Nazism in Palestinian society and the use of Nazi symbols

On August 14, 2021, Palestinians from the village of Bayta held a demonstration near the outpost of Eviatar in Samaria. The outpost was evacuated in July 2021, but as part of the agreement with the Israeli government, the land is still controlled by the IDF, an issue which is currently being examined by the Civilian Authority. During they demonstration they ignited rags soaked in kerosene forming a swastika inside a Magen David.

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