Terrorist attack in Elad. Three Israeli civilians killed and four wounded. Hamas again praises and encourages

On the evening of May 5, 2022, Israel's Independence Day, two Palestinians from a village near Jenin carried out a terrorist attack in the central Israeli city of Elad, using an axe and a knife. They killed three civilians and wounded four, two of them critically, beginning their killing spree in the late evening. Although the two terrorists apparently were not specifically directed by an established organization, the attack in Elad came during a Ramadan-long Hamas propaganda campaign encouraging terrorist attacks.

Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad continue to use Facebook and Instagram for the dissemination of incitement messages

The events of the month of Ramadan and the series of terrorist attacks perpetrated in Israel since mid-March 2022 have once again brought to mind the use made by Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) of social media as platforms to convey incitement messages and calls for carrying out terrorist attacks. To deliver their messages of incitement, Hamas and the PIJ make use of platforms such as Twitter, TikTok, WhatsApp, Telegram, and YouTube. These platforms are neither supervised nor subject to a consistent policy of removing content and blocking pages and accounts inciting terrorism and violence. However, alongside these types of social media, Hamas also succeeds in conveying its messages of incitement through Meta’s platforms (Facebook and Instagram)

Palestinian responses to the terrorist attack in Tel Aviv and to the subsequent activities of the Israeli security forces in Judea and Samaria

At around 21:00 on April 7, 2022, a Palestinian armed with a handgun went to a crowded bar on Dizengoff Street in the center of Tel Aviv. He shot at patrons sitting at tables outside, killing two, mortally wounding a third and wounding six others, three of them critically. The terrorist, a Palestinian from the Jenin refugee camp, fled the scene. It was the fourth deadly terrorist attack in an Israeli city in two and a half weeks. The attacks killed 14 people and wounded scores more. All four were carried out by lone-wolf terrorists who were not operatives of established terrorist organizations. Immediately after the attack in Tel Aviv the Israeli security forces began detaining suspects in the Jenin region, searching for weapons and apprehending members of the terrorist's family. Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) continued encouraging the residents of Judea and Samaria to carry out terrorist attacks but so far have been careful not to carry out attacks from the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian reactions to Israeli security force activities following the terrorist attack in Bnei Brak

Following the terrorist attack in Bnei Brak, the Israeli security forces began operating in Judea and Samaria, primarily in the Jenin region, to detain Palestinians suspected of terrorist activity and to prevent further attacks. Five Palestinians were killed, three of them operatives in a Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorist squad en route to carrying out an attack inside Israeli territory.

The deadly terrorist attack in Bnei Brak that killed five people was carried out by a Palestinian from the Jenin region

On March 29, 2022, a Palestinian armed with an M-16 assault rifle drove a vehicle with Israeli license plates through one of the gaps in the security fence and from there to Bnei Brak in central Israel, where he went on a killing spree. On Jabotinsky Street he entered and exited an apartment house. He then entered the building next door, where two stores were located. When he found them empty, he loaded his gun and went out into the street, shooting at a child riding a bicycle and a passerby, missing both times.

After the terrorist attacks in the Israeli cities of Beersheba and Hadera, ISIS launches campaign to encourage its supporters to continue carrying out attacks in Israel

In the third week of March 2022, two terrorist attacks were perpetrated in Israel (in Beersheba and Hadera) by Israeli Arabs who were affiliated with ISIS and were probably inspired by it. In a statement published by ISIS on its Telegram channel, it officially claims responsibility for carrying out the attack in Hadera. In a statement published by Amaq Agency, ISIS’s media arm, the terrorist attack in Beersheba is also mentioned, although no separate official claim of responsibility has been issued (Telegram, March 27, 2022).

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