The Escalation in the Gaza Strip: What Next? (updated to June 4, 2018)

The two-month escalation in the Gaza Strip continues, the first of its kind since Operation Protective Edge. The escalation has been the result of Hamas' changing its policy and rules of engagement with Israel, in force since the end of Operation Protective Edge. Hamas initiated violent, organized "popular activity," including massive attempts to penetrate into Israeli territory, attacks against IDF forces along the border fence and flying incendiary kites into the western Negev.

Hamas sends boys to their deaths in the “great return march:” the case of Saadi Abu Salah, 16, who died in an attempt to cut through the security fence on May 14, 2018

On May 14, 2018, at the height of the riots held during the "great return march," Hamas affiliate Saadi Abu Salah, 16, was killed. His father and uncle, affiliated with Hamas, had been imprisoned in Israel. Despite his young age Hamas sent him to the front lines near the border fence, where Hamas operatives played a dominant role in the riots (manifested by the large number of Hamas fatalities).

Findings of the ITIC’s examination of the identity of Palestinians killed in the events of the “Great Return March”

After preparations which lasted for about two months, mass riots began to take place every Friday near the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel. The declared purpose of these demonstrations and riots, organized and orchestrated by Hamas, was to break through the border fence and have masses of people enter into Israeli territory.

The Flotilla to the Gaza Strip – Update for May 24, 2018

On May 20, 2018, a flotilla to the Gaza Strip set off from Norway. The flotilla is organized by two umbrella organizations engaged in dispatching flotillas to the Gaza Strip as part of the campaigns to “break the siege” on the Gaza Strip (“Freedom Flotilla Coalition” and the “International Committee for Breaking the Siege of Gaza”). The flotilla includes four boats which are expected to reach Gaza by late July 2018.

Russian Declarations Regarding Removal of Foreign Forces from Syria Encounter Greater Criticism in Iran

The statements made by the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, and his Presidential Envoy to Syria, Alexander Laverentiev, calling on foreign forces, including those of Iran and Hezbollah, to depart Syria, have been met with a sharp rebuke in Iran toward Russia.

Senior Hamas figure Salah al-Bardawil: 50 of the 62 shaheeds of May 14 [about 80%] belonged to Hamas

Salah al-Bardawil, a member of Hamas' political bureau, told a newspaper that in the "most recent event" [i.e., May 14, 2018] 62 shaheeds were killed, 50 of them belonging to Hamas. He added that in the events that took place before May 14 [i.e., since the beginning of the "great return march"] 50% of the Palestinians killed belonged to Hamas.

Previous years bulletins