The military-style funeral held for Jamil al-Kayal (Wafa, December 13, 2021).
Launching the second stage of the program for rebuilding the Gaza Strip (Twitter account of journalist Hassan Aslih, December 13, 2021)
Hamas rally in western Gaza City (Safa Facebook page, December 10, 2018).
Ceremony held by the Islamic Bloc, Hamas' student movement in Birzeit University. It was held despite IDF activity the previous evening to prevent it (QudsN
- A 15 year-old Palestinian girl stabbed and wounded an Israeli woman in Sheikh Jarrah in east Jerusalem. She was apprehended a short time later at her school.
- Two Palestinians were killed in Israeli security force activities in Nablus and the village of Bayta. Mourners at their funerals carried weapons and chanted their support for Muhammad Deif, commander of Hamas’ military-terrorist wing. Palestinians continued throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at Israeli vehicles driving on the roads.
- The Palestinian media continued giving extensive coverage to Hamas’ threats to escalate its “struggle” against Israel. The media message was that most of the threats were aimed at the Egyptians, claiming they had broken their commitments to rebuild the Gaza Strip and lift the [so-called] “siege.” On December 13, 2021, Egypt announced the beginning of the second phase of the rebuilding. Marches were held in the Gaza Strip to mark the 34th anniversary of Hamas’ founding. The joint operations room of the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip is planning to hold a military exercise similar to the one held in December 2020.
- On December 7, 2021, the Israeli defense ministry announced the completion of the underground barrier along the Israeli-Gaza Strip border, a project that had taken three and a half years. In response claims were made in Gaza that the security fence imprisons them inside the Strip [sic]. The Lebanese newspaper al-Akhbar, basing its reports on “Hamas sources,” reported that Hamas engineers had successfully found ways to circumvent the barrier.
- On December 11, 2021, the first round of voting for local councils in the Palestinian Authority (PA) districts ended. Fatah claimed it had won an overwhelming victory. However, senior Hamas figure said in response that the Fatah slate had been roundly defeated. He also said that Hamas had been represented on the independent slates.
- This past week clashes between Palestinians (for the most part Hamas operatives) and the PA security forces continued. The media claimed the clashes were caused by the security force “attacks” on celebrations held in a Palestinian refugee camp for the release of a Hamas-affiliated prisoner. During the funeral held for Jamil al-Kayal, who was killed by IDF fire, the PA security forces moved against participants who carried guns. The security forces shot into the air and used tear gas to disperse them (al-Aqsa TV, December 13, 2021).
- In Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip there was a rise in the number of active coronavirus cases; so far no one carrying the omicron variant has been detected.
- On the evening of December 10, 2021, there was an explosion in the Burg al-Shemali Palestinian refugee camp east of Tyre in south Lebanon. It occurred in a weapons storehouse situated under the Abi Bin Kaab mosque, which is controlled by Hamas. A Hamas terrorist operative was killed.
Attacks and attempted attacks
- On the morning of December 8, 2021, a young Palestinian girl stabbed an Israeli civilian at the entrance to Sheikh Jarrah in east Jerusalem. The Israeli woman, mother of five, was taking her children to school when she was stabbed in the back. The Palestinian girl fled, and was later located and detained in her school near the scene of the attack. Several others, who were suspected of helping here, were also detained (Israel Police Force Twitter account, December 8, 2021)
- Palestinian sources reported the stabber was Nafouz Hamad, 15, from Sheikh Jarrah. The Hamad family’s house is one of those currently under deliberation by the Israeli Supreme Court as part of the case involving ownership of land in Sheikh Jarrah. Nafouz Hamad’s grandfather, Aref Hamad, is the neighborhood spokesman and represents its residents.
Right: Nafouz Hamad (Khabar Press, December 8, 2021). Left: The knife used in the stabbing attack (Israel Police Force, December 8, 2021).
- Hamas spokesman Abd al-Latif al-Qanua welcomed the stabbing attack, claiming that the Palestinians in Jerusalem and the West Bank were “struggling” with Israel and would attack Israel with every means in every place (Shehab, December 9, 2021). The Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) also praised the attack (Filastin al-Yawm, December 9, 2021).
Palestinian terrorist killed in Nablus
- Israeli security forces detained a wanted Palestinian in Nablus, finding an improvised Carlo machine gun in his house. As the forces left Palestinians threw several IEDs at them. The forces fired at the Palestinians, hitting one of them (Israel Police Force spokesman’s unit, December 13, 2021).
- The Palestinian media reported that during the Israeli security force activity in Nablus there was an exchange of fire between local residents and the Israeli forces. The media also reported the death of Jamil Muhammad Sayid al-Kayal, 31, aka “the Chechen” (alresala.net, December 13, 2021). Fatah issued a mourning notice for him, claiming he belonged to their ranks, also declaring a general strike in Nablus to protest his death (Fatah Twitter account, December 13, 2021). PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh condemned the killing, claiming it was an expression of the murderous intentions of the heads of the Israeli government’s military establishment (Wafa, December 13, 2021). The PA foreign ministry called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to take all the steps necessary to restrain Israel and prevent the recurrence of such events (Wafa, December 13, 2021).
Formal Fatah mourning notice (Sawt Fatah, December 13, 2021).
- Hamas also issued a mourning notice stressing that young Palestinians would continue their “struggle” until Israel had been expelled and a Palestinian state had been established [on Israeli territory] (Hamas Telegram channel, December 13, 2021). Tareq Izz al-Din, PIJ spokesman for Judea and Samaria, praised al-Kayal’s “heroism” in confronting Israel, claiming the “resistance” [i.e., the Palestinian terrorist organizations] would continue its struggle against Israeli “invasions” of West Bank cities and would support the struggle against the [so-called Israeli] “occupation” (PIJ Telegram channel, December 13, 2021).
- The PA held a military-style funeral for al-Kayal in Nablus, his body carried on the shoulders of Palestinian security force operatives (YouTube, December 13, 2021). During the mass-attended funeral participants chanted their support for Muhammed Deif, the commander of Hamas’ military-terrorist wing. Many participants carried weapons. The PA security forces took action against the armed mourners, shooting into the air and using tear gas to disperse them (al-Aqsa TV, December 13, 2021).
- Talal Dweikat, spokesman for the PA security forces, said the forces had had no choice but to disperse the participants because of the “anarchy” they had demonstrated by firing their guns indiscriminately, endangering the lives of local residents (Ramallah News, December 13, 2021).
Right: The military-style funeral held for Jamil al-Kayal (Wafa, December 13, 2021). Left: General strike in Nablus (Safa Facebook page, December 13, 2021).
Terrorist squad exposed in the Hebron area
- The Israeli security forces exposed a Hamas terrorist network squad in the Hebron area, apparently handled by Hamas operatives outside Judea and Samaria. The squad had four members who were recently apprehended in the village of Surif, near Hebron. The operatives had in their possession an M-16 assault rifle, spare magazines and ammunition. A large amount of money was also confiscated, apparently intended to finance the squad’s activities. In addition to shooting attacks, the squad planned abductions and to use the hostages as bargaining chips for the release of Palestinian terrorist prisoners in Israeli jails. The squad was directed from Turkey by Abd al-Rahman Ghanimat, who headed the Surif squad during the 1990s and was responsible for a number of terrorist attacks in which Israelis were killed. He was released in the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal and moved to Turkey (Israeli media, December 8, 2021).
Locating weapons in Hebron
- During the search of a house in Hebron, Israeli security forces located three assault rifles, 22 magazines, three improvised gun barrels and various types of ammunition. A suspect from Hebron was detained for interrogation (Israel Police Force spokesman’s unit, December 14, 2021).
Weapons found in a house in Hebron (Israel Police Force, December 14, 2021).
Palestinian dies rioting against Israeli security forces
- On December 10, 2021, During the most recent weekly clash with Israeli security forces in Bayta, southeast of Nablus, protesting the establishment of the Eviatar outpost, a Palestinian was killed and 68 were wounded. The Palestinian was Jamil Abu Ayash, 31, from Bayta, who according to the Palestinians was hit by Israeli fire (Shehab, December 10, 2021). Muhammad Shtayyeh condemned his death and sent his condolences to the family. Hamas and the PIJ also sent their condolences. The PIJ issued a statement blaming Israel for his death and noting that such “crimes” would not suppress the Palestinian “resistance” [i.e., terrorism and violence], which would continue until the “occupation” had been expelled [from all of “greater Palestine”] (PIJ Telegram channel, December 10, 2021). A mass military-style funeral was held for him, during which participants chanted, “We are the men of Muhammad Deif!”
Jamil Abu Ayash (Shehab, December 10, 2021).
Rocks, Molotov cocktails and other events
- In Judea and Samaria Palestinians continued throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at Israeli vehicles driving on the roads. The more prominent events were the following:
- December 14, 2021: A Molotov cocktail was thrown at the community of Beit El, north of Jerusalem. No casualties or damage were reported.
- December 14, 2021: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli bus between the community of Adam and Hizma, east of Jerusalem. No casualties or damage were reported.
- December 13, 2021: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle near Luban al-Sharqia, northeast of Ramallah. Three people were injured by flying glass. The windshield of the vehicle was shattered.
- December 12, 2021: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle north of Kiryat Arba. No casualties were reported. The vehicle was damaged.
- December 12, 2021: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle in the region of Hizma, east of Jerusalem. No casualties were reported. The windshield of the vehicle was damaged.
- December 12, 2021: A Molotov cocktail was thrown at an Israeli bus between Tapuah and Migdalim, near Aqraba, southeast of Nablus. No casualties were reported.
- December 12, 2021: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle on the Gush Etzion-Hebron road near Bayt Ummar, southwest of Jerusalem. No casualties were reported. The vehicle was damaged.
- December 11, 2021: A Molotov cocktail was thrown at an Israeli vehicle near Umm al-Safa, northwest of Ramallah. No casualties were reported. A fire broke out near the road.
- December 10, 2021: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli bus near Hizma, east of Jerusalem. A passenger was injured by flying glass; the bus was damaged.
- December 10, 2021: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli bus on route 55 near Qadumim, east of Qalqilya. No casualties were reported; the bus was damaged.
- December 9, 2021: Molotov cocktails were thrown at a bus on the Gush Etzion-Hebron road south of Jerusalem. No casualties were reported; the bus was damaged.
- December 8, 2021: An IDF force identified Palestinians who were throwing rocks at Israeli vehicles near the Israeli community of Mevo Dotan in northern Samaria. The soldiers opened fire at the rock throwers. One was injured, detained and taken for medical treatment (IDF spokesman, December 8, 2021).
- December 7, 2021: Border Police fighters detained two Palestinians in al-Ram and near the village of Bidu, northwest of Jerusalem. The Palestinians were suspected of rioting, throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at Israeli security forces, and vandalizing the security fence. Palestinians rioted at both locations, throwing rocks and paint bottles at the forces, who employed crowd dispersal measures to end the riots. No casualties were reported (Israel Police Force spokesman’s unit, December 7, 2021).
Significant Terrorist Attacks in Judea and Samaria since January 2020
Rocket and mortar shell fire into Israel
- This past week no rocket hits were identified in Israeli territory.
Monthly Distribution of Rocket and Mortar Shell Fire since January 2020
Annual Distribution of Rocket Hits
Rebuilding the Gaza Strip
- This past week the Palestinian media continued its extensive coverage of Hamas’ threats to escalate the “struggle” in light of Egypt’s delays in rebuilding the Gaza Strip. For the most part, the media message was that Hamas directed its threats at the Egyptians, claiming they violated their commitments to rebuild the Gaza Strip and lift the “siege” (Shehab, Dunia al-Watan, December 9, 2021). The Palestinian media also reported a new social media campaign with the hashtag #warning_warning to send an alert regarding the coming “explosion” of the situation with Israel (Sabaq24, December 9, 2021).
- This week the PIJ joined Hamas in its threats. Senior PIJ figure Khader Habib said the result of Israel’s recent “aggression” against the Gaza Strip, the delays in rebuilding and the tightening of the [so-called] “siege” of the Palestinian people would be a “popular explosion” (Ma’an, December 7, 2021). He later toned down his message, saying that so far there had been no change in the Gaza Strip’s security or political situation, and they had not received new signals from Hamas (al-Ayam, December 9, 2021).
- On December 9, 2021, the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip issued a joint statement warning against “Israel’s delaying tactics in lifting the siege” and the deliberate delays in the rebuilding. According to the statement, the mediators had to accept responsibility before it was too late because their delays and postponements would cause what Israel did not want to happen (Ma’an, December 9, 2021).
- On December 13, 2021, the Egyptian committee for rebuilding the Gaza Strip held a ceremony in Gaza City to celebrate the beginning of the second stage. According to the announcement, the first stage ended with the removal of the rubble, which had taken 65 days. The second stage would be composed of six projects, including the construction of three residential neighborhoods, bridges and developing the shore line (Shehab, December 14, 2018). Naji Sirhan, deputy minister for public works and housing in the Gaza Strip, claimed Israel and the PA were making it difficult to transfer the funds donated by Qatar for the reconstruction of housing destroyed during the most recent confrontation (Sawa, December 12, 2021).
- In an interview conducted on the sidelines of the ceremony, Ali al-Haik, chairman of the Gazan businessmen’s association, thanked Egyptian President al-Sisi for the support he gave the residents of the Gaza Strip, which included promoting and speeding up the projects, delivering the necessary raw materials from Egypt to the Gaza Strip, and for other projects, such as the new promenade for the Gazan shore and the construction of 3,500 dwelling units (al-Ghad TV, December 13, 2021).
Launching the second stage of the program for rebuilding the Gaza Strip (Twitter account of journalist Hassan Aslih, December 13, 2021)
Senior Hamas figures meet with Russian deputy foreign minister
- Mikhail Bogdanov, the Russian deputy foreign minister, met with senior Hamas figures Izzat al-Rishq and Musa Abu Marzouq. Bogdanov reiterated that Russia was prepared to host a meeting of all the Palestinian organizations (Russian foreign ministry website, December 8, 2021).
Events marking the 34th anniversary of Hamas’ founding
- After Hamas announced the cancellation of its main rally to mark the 34th anniversary of the movement’s founding, it called on the public to participate in marches at various locations in the northern Gaza Strip and the western part of Gaza City after the Friday prayer (Shehab, December 10, 2021). Thousands of Gazans answered the call. Hamas spokesman Abd al-Latif al-Qanua said the mass participation in the events were a renewed vote of confidence confirming Hamas’ legitimacy and the adherence of the Palestinian people to its program of “resistance” (Hamas website, December 10, 2021).
Right: Hamas rally in western Gaza City (Safa Facebook page, December 10, 2018). Left: Hamas rally in the center of Rafah (alresala.net, December 13, 2021).
Ceremony held by the Islamic Bloc, Hamas’ student movement in Birzeit University. It was held despite IDF activity the previous evening to prevent it (QudsN Twitter account, December 14, 2021).
- As part of the events the Hamas-affiliated Shehab News Agency issued a short video in which Yahya al-Sinwar, head of the Hamas political bureau in the Gaza Strip, threatened to realize the threat made 20 years ago by Abd al-Aziz Rantisi, a senior Hamas figure who died in a targeted Israeli killing in 2004. Rantisi claimed the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military-terrorist wing, would strike Tel Aviv, Haifa, Safed and Acre. Al-Sinwar said proudly to Rantisi, “You made your threats more than 20 years ago, and you see, the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades have kept your promise [sic]” (Shehab Twitter account, December 14, 2021).
Yahya al-Sinwar threatens Israel (Shehab Twitter account, December 14, 2021).
The joint operations room in the Gaza Strip holds its annual exercise
- Senior Hamas figure Muhammad Abu Askar said in an interview that in addition to marking Hamas’ 34th anniversary, in the coming days the joint operations room of the organizations in the Gaza Strip would hold its annual exercise. He said the military wings of the organizations in the Gaza Strip would hold military maneuvers to send Israel the message that the “resistance” was prepared in the event Israel thought of committing “a new foolish act” against the Gaza Strip. He said that in addition to the joint annual exercise, Hamas would conduct two maneuvers on its own, one in the northern Gaza Strip and the other in the south (Sawt al-Aqsa, December 13, 2021). It will be the second annual exercise. The first was held on December 29, 2020, and called “Strong pillar.”
Reactions to the completion of the security fence-underground barrier project along the Gaza Strip border
- On December 7, 2021, the Israeli defense ministry announced the completion of the underground barrier along the Israel-Gaza Strip border. Its construction took three and a half years. A ceremony was held with the participation of Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz (Israeli defense ministry Facebook page, December 7, 2021). Building the 65-kilometer (about 40 miles) barrier was a complex engineering and technological project. It includes an underground wall, detection mechanisms, a six-meter high fence, a naval barrier incorporating defense systems against penetration from the sea, remote control weapons systems integrated with radar and cameras covering the entire area of the Gaza Strip (Haaretz, December 8, 2021).
The security barrier
The security barrier (Israeli defense ministry Facebook page, December 7, 2021).
- The Arab and Palestinian media gave extensive coverage to the completion of the barrier. The BBC in Arabic broadcast an investigative report elaborating on the project’s significance and objectives. It also reported criticism from Gazans who claimed Israel had imprisoned more than two million people in an iron cage [sic] (BBC in Arabic, December 9, 2021).
- The Lebanese newspaper al-Akhbar, relying on “Hamas sources,” reported that Hamas engineers had already found a way to circumvent the barrier. They claimed the barrier was only 30 to 40 meters (about 100 to 130 feet) deep and they had no problem digging a deeper tunnel. As for the detection system Israel had incorporated into the barrier, which was supposed to detect sounds of digging and expose the construction of a tunnel, at first it was a challenge for Hamas’ engineers but eventually they found a way to overcome it. Therefore, according to the “Hamas sources,” at “the moment of truth” Israel will discover that its army had deceived it and during the next military campaign it will be made clear that their “smart fence” is useless (al-Akhbar, December 8, 2021).
- Misbah Abu Karsh, a political commentator in the Gaza Strip, claimed the security barrier was a declaration of war on the Gaza Strip. He claimed the project separated the Gaza Strip from the other Palestinian territories and thereby completed Israel’s plan to joint the Gaza Strip to Egypt. The barrier, he said, would tighten the siege on the Gaza Strip and worsen its economic hardships (al-Kawfiya TV, December 10, 2021).
Mahmoud Abbas visits Tunisia
- On December 7, 2021, Mahmoud Abbas paid an official visit to Tunisia (Wafa, December 7, 2021), where he met with Tunisian President Kais Saied. Mahmoud Abbas called for an international peace conference which would lead to the end of the “Israeli occupation” and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. Mahmoud Abbas and Kais Saied opened the new Palestinian embassy in Tunisia.
Right: Mahmoud Abbas meets with Tunisian President Kais Saied (Wafa, December 8, 2021). Left: Mahmoud Abbas opens the PA embassy in Tunisia; at the entrance is a picture of “Palestine,” that is Israel (Mahmoud Abbas’ Facebook page, December 8, 2021).
Mahmoud Abbas meets with the United States under secretary of state for political affairs
- Mahmoud Abbas met with Victoria Nuland, the United States under secretary of state for political affairs at his office in Ramallah. He stressed the need for close PA-American relations and called for the removal of the obstacles preventing them.
Mahmoud Abbas meets with Victoria Nuland (Mahmoud Abbas’ Facebook page, December 13, 2021).
- According to a “Palestinian source,” Mahmoud Abbas proposed to the United States, Egypt and Jordan that Israel and the Palestinians hold immediate negotiations to mark the international boundaries of both sides, which would make it possible to reach agreements. The “source” reported that Mahmoud Abbas was expected to make the same proposal to Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz when he visits Ramallah next week (al-Sharq al-Awsat, December 12, 2021).
- Jordanian Prime Minister Bisher al-Khawasneh arrived in Ramallah heading a delegation of Jordanian ministers, among them the ministers of industry and commerce, agriculture, and energy. Al-Khawasneh met with PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh and several PA ministers. The main issue discussed was increasing bilateral economic cooperation (Wafa, December 9, 2021).
Elections in the PA
- On December 11, 2021, the first round of voting for 154 local authorities in the PA ended. Hana Nasser, chairman of the PA’s central elections committee, said 66.14% of people eligible to vote had done so. He said the independent slates had won 70.86% of the seats and the partisan slates had received 29.14%. The second round of elections is supposed to be held on March 25, 2021 (central elections committee website, December 12, 2021). Fatah said in an announcement that it had won an overwhelming victory, which proved it had been a democratic referendum for unity, and a renewal of faith in Fatah and its leadership and leader, Mahmoud Abbas. Senior Hamas figure Sa’ad Abu al-Bahaa, whose movement had boycotted the elections, said in response that the Fatah slate had been defeated despite its media, partisan and financial support. He also said that Hamas had been represented on the independent slates (al-Quds, December 12, 2021).
Right: Voting for local councils. Left: Elections committee chairman announces the results (Wafa, December 12, 2021).
Activities of the PA security forces
- Hamas operatives clashed with the PA security forces at several locations in Judea and Samaria, especially in the regions of Jenin, Tulkarm and Bethlehem. The media claimed the clashes were caused by PA security force “attacks” on the celebrations held in one of the refugee camps for the release of a Hamas-affiliated prisoner (al-Risalah, December 12, 2021). During the funeral held in Nablus for Jamil al-Kayal the PA security forces also took action against armed participants by shooting into the air and using tear gas to disperse them (al-Aqsa TV, December 13, 2021).
- Hamas issued a video criticizing the wave of detentions of Hamas operatives in Judea and Samaria carried out by the PA security forces. According to the video, since May 2021 there had been 200 detentions [allegedly] mainly of Hamas-affiliated journalists and students (al-Risalah Twitter account, December 9, 2021). According to a claim on the al-Risalah website, Israel and the Palestinian security forces shared in detaining Hamas operatives, and most of the detentions were of Islamic Bloc activists, the Hamas student organization in the universities (alresala.net, December 9, 2021).
- Before he was detained by IDF forces on December 13, 2021, senior Hamas figure in Judea and Samaria Sheikh Hassan Yusuf said the wave of detentions had recently increased, especially just before the anniversary of Hamas’ founding (which falls on December 14). He claimed Hamas was strong in the PA territories and its operatives stood with their heads high. He also said Hamas would continue its path and develop its various capabilities (alresala.net, December 9, 2021).
Right: PA-Israel security coordination (alresala.net, December 9, 2021). Left: The revolving door policy (Palestinian cartoonists’ Facebook page, December 11, 2021).
UNRWA’s financial situation
- During a meeting with Philippe Lazzarini, UNRWA commissioner general, Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati, Lazzarini warned there was a real threat that in 2022 UNRWA would not be able to continue providing the same services it had so far. That was because of UNRWA’s $60 million deficit. He said many countries had not met their commitments to donate to the agency’s budget (UNRWA website in Arabic, December 10, 2021).
Judea and Samaria
- According to the ministry of health in Ramallah, as of December 14, 2021, there were 2,207 active cases in human shields, up from 2,184 on December 7, 2021), and 57 Palestinians in hospitals, 16 of them on ventilators. So far 2,918 Palestinians have died of coronavirus-related causes. The total number of fully vaccinated (two shots) Palestinians was 1,061,739, up from 1,044,728 on December 7, 2021 (ministry of health in Ramallah, December 14, 2021).
The Gaza Strip
- The ministry of health in Gaza reported that on December 14, 2021, there were 1,730 active cases, up from 1,444 on December 7, 2021. Of 1,160 tests administered during the 24 hours between December 13 and 14, 2021, 128 were positive, a positive rate of about 11%. So far 1,669 Gazans have died of coronavirus-related causes, up from 1,656 on December 7, 2021. There are 65 Gazans in hospitals, 43 in serious or critical condition. So far 521,600 Gazans have been vaccinated, up from 515,206 on December 7, 2021 (ministry of health in Gaza, December 14, 2021).
Explosion of a Hamas weapons storehouse in a refugee camp in south Lebanon
- On the evening of December 10, 2021, there was an explosion in the Burj el-Shemali Palestinian refugee camp east of Tyre in south Lebanon. Media sources in Tyre reported a storehouse under a mosque, apparently containing weapons, had exploded. The mosque was completely destroyed and nearby structures were damaged. The Lebanese National News Agency reported the blast had caused numerous casualties (Lebanese National News Agency, December 10, 2021).
- Investigation found the explosion had occurred in a Hamas weapons storehouse situated under the Abi Bin Kaab mosque. Hamas later issued its official version, which was that an examination indicated the blast had been caused by an electrical short circuit in a storeroom containing a large number of oxygen tanks and cleaning materials for distribution as part of the fight against the coronavirus.
- A short time later, Hamas issued a mourning notice for an engineer named Hamza Ibrahim Shahin, killed “in a jihad training and combat preparation activity” (Hamas Telegram channel, December 10, 2021. Isma’il Haniyeh, head of Hamas’ political bureau, went to pay his condolences to the operative’s family (Hamas website, December 12, 2021); the was no information given about the location of the family’s house. During the funeral the mourners were shot at, some of whom were killed and wounded. Hamas accused the Fatah security forces of firing the shots.
 All information and reports are from Rescue Without Borders in Judea and Samaria unless otherwise noted. ↑
 A significant attack is defined by the ITIC as involving shooting, stabbing, a vehicular attack, the use of IEDs, or a combination of the above. Stones and Molotov cocktails thrown by Palestinians are not included. ↑
 For further information, see the January 5, 2021 bulletin, "The first military exercise was held under the command of the joint operations room of all the terrorist organizations operating in the Gaza Strip. Its objective was to send messages of unity and improved military capabilities." ↑
 More information will appear shortly in a bulletin devoted to the event.