News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (February 16-22, 2022)

  • This past week tensions remained high in Judea and Samaria, with Hamas and other terrorist organizations fanning the flames. In Sheikh Jarrah in east Jerusalem rioting continued, although not as intensely as previously. Palestinians continued clashing with Israeli security forces. Spokesmen for the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, Fatah’s military terrorist wing, called on Palestinians to confront the IDF and kill and abduct soldiers. The joint operations room of the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades and the military terrorist wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) claimed responsibility for attacks on IDF forces. Palestinians continued throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at Israeli vehicles and communities.
  • Zaher Jabarin, who holds the prisoners’ portfolio in Hamas, regarding the issue of prisoners and MIAs, claimed Israel was procrastinating to avoid concluding the prisoner exchange deal and trying to draw it out as much as possible. He said Hamas’ military wing was attempting to abduct more soldiers to use as bargaining chips to release [Palestinian terrorist] prisoners from Israeli jails.
  • Hamas denied reports in the Philippine and Israeli media about the prevention of an attack on the Israeli legation and Israelis in the Philippines. Australia outlawed Hamas’ political wing. Hamas criticized the move, claiming it was “illegitimate” and “violated international law.”
  • Mahmoud Abbas held a series of political meeting this past week. He met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and with Ibrahim Kalin, Turkish presidential spokesman, and Sedat Önal, deputy Turkish foreign minister.
  • On February 17, 2022, the PLO’s Executive Committee met in Ramallah; the meeting was chaired by Mahmoud Abbas. “Knowledgeable sources” reported the meeting rejected the recommendation of the Central Council to end agreements with Israel by March 2022. It was also reported that Mahmoud Abbas issued a “presidential” edict subordinating the PLO to the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) institutions. Hamas spokesmen viewed it as a measure by Mahmoud Abbas’ to block Hamas and keep it from joining the PLO.
  • Coronavirus infection: There was a significant reduction in the number of active cases in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip.
  • The northern arena: At noon on February 18, 2022, a radio-controlled aircraft crossed into Israeli territory from Lebanon and was tracked by the Israeli Air Force. A number of sirens were sounded in the area in accordance with standard protocol. The IDF’s aerial defense systems identified and tracked the threat and helicopters and fighter jets were dispatched. The Iron Dome aerial defense system acted to intercept the aircraft. After a few minutes, the radio-controlled aircraft returned to Lebanon. Civilian life in northern Israel returned to routine. Hezbollah claimed responsibility and said Israel demonstrated its weakness and had been unable to intercept it. Hezbollah boasted of having created a “new equation” with Israel. Two days previously, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah gave a speech in which he said the organization had begun manufacturing its own UAVs and no longer needed to bring them from Iran.
Tensions remain high in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem
  • This past week tensions remained high, while Hamas and other terrorist organizations continued fanning the flames.
  • East Jerusalem: Rioting continued in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, although less intensely. In the Gaza Strip a demonstration in support of the Sheikh Jarrah residents was organized, and during the march Palestinians burned pictures of Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Knesset Member Itamar Ben-Gvir. Hamas praised the “heroism of the Palestinian people in Jerusalem and al-Aqsa mosque” who “bravely confronted” Israel and “terrorized” the settlers. Hamas called on its supporters to participate in activities held during International Jerusalem Week, February 24 to March 3, 2022 (Hamas Telegram channel, February 19, 2022). Khalil al-Haya, deputy chairman of the Hamas political bureau in the Gaza Strip, said that anyone who wanted regional calm had to put an end to the events in Sheikh Jarrah, otherwise operation “Sword of Jerusalem” [i.e., Operation Guardian of the Walls] would repeat itself. He claimed the “damage” Israel did to Jerusalem was “playing with fire” and that Israel had to choose “between fire and peace” (al-Aqsa TV, February 19, 2022).
Demonstrators in Khan Yunis burn pictures of Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Knesset Member Itamar Ben-Gvir (Twitter account of journalist Hassan Aslih, February 17, 2022).   Friday prayer held in Sheikh Jarrah in solidarity with the struggle of the local residents (Wafa Facebook page, February 18, 2022).
Right: Friday prayer held in Sheikh Jarrah in solidarity with the struggle of the local residents (Wafa Facebook page, February 18, 2022). Left: Demonstrators in Khan Yunis burn pictures of Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Knesset Member Itamar Ben-Gvir (Twitter account of journalist Hassan Aslih, February 17, 2022).
  • Judea and Samaria: Palestinians continued rioting and clashing with Israeli security forces. Abu Ahmed, spokesman for the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades’ Shaheed Nidal al-‘Amoudi Brigades, called on operatives to kill IDF soldiers. He said all the “resistance fronts” [i.e., terrorist organizations] were in coordination to kill and abduct IDF soldiers. He claimed the intifada [sic] would only end when the “[Israeli] occupation” ended (al-Mayadeen, February 17, 2022). The joint operations room of the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades and the PIJ’s military terrorist wing continued to claim responsibility for attacks on IDF forces in the Jenin region. Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades spokesman Abu Jihad claimed a general mobilization was in progress and there was an continuous presence of operatives in the joint operations room in Jenin to find an appropriate response on the ground (Radio Namaa, February 16, 2022).
Rioter in the village of Bayta (Wafa Facebook page, February 18, 2022).     Rioters in the village of Qadoum joined by Fatah activists.
Right: Rioters in the village of Qadoum joined by Fatah activists. Left: Rioter in the village of Bayta (Wafa Facebook page, February 18, 2022).
  • On February 15, 2022, a Palestinian was killed during a riot in Nabi Saleh, north of Ramallah. The Palestinian media reported the death of Nihad Amin al-Barghouti, 20, from Kafr Ayn, during clashes with IDF forces in Nabi Saleh (Ma’an, February 15, 2022). According to reports, he was a released prisoner and his father is a former officer in Palestinian general intelligence. His brother is an officer in the Palestinian preventive security forces (Twitter account of journalist Hassan Aslih, February 15, 2022). His mother said he always wanted to be a shaheed. His body was wrapped in the Palestinian flag and Fatah flags were carried during his funeral (Wafa, February 15, 2022).
The funeral in Kafr Ayn (Wafa, February 16, 2022).    Nihad Amin al-Barghouti (Muneir al-Jaghoub's Twitter account, February 15, 2022).
Right: Nihad Amin al-Barghouti (Muneir al-Jaghoub’s Twitter account, February 15, 2022). Left: The funeral in Kafr Ayn (Wafa, February 16, 2022).
Counterterrorism activities
  •  Israeli security forces, operating near the Jordanian border and guided by surveillance, located two suitcases containing 50 guns of various manufacture, worth approximately $620,000. The weapons were apparently consigned for distribution to terrorists and criminals (IDF spokesman, February 18, 2022).
The weapons seized (IDF spokesman, February 18, 2022).
The weapons seized (IDF spokesman, February 18, 2022).
  • IDF and Israeli police forces operating in Hebron seized four M-16 assault rifles and other weapons. Two suspects were detained (IDF spokesman, February 17, 2022).
Weapons seized in Hebron (IDF spokesman, February 17, 2022).
Weapons seized in Hebron (IDF spokesman, February 17, 2022).
Rocks, Molotov cocktails and other events
  • In Judea and Samaria Palestinians continued throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at Israeli vehicles driving on the roads, IDF posts and the security fences of Israeli communities.. The more prominent events were the following:[1]
    • February 21, 2022: Molotov cocktails were thrown at the guard post at the southern entrance of the Israeli community of Migdal Oz in Gush Etzion. No casualties or damage were reported.
    • February 21, 2022: A Molotov cocktail was thrown at an Israeli bus near Dir Astiya, northwest of Nablus. No casualties were reported; the bus was damaged.
    • February 21, 2022: Molotov cocktails were thrown at an IDF post near Psagot, west of Ramallah. No casualties or damage were reported.
    •  February 20, 2022: Cans of paint were thrown at an Israeli bus on the Gush Etzion-Hebron road. No casualties were reported; the bus was damaged.
    • February 20, 2022: A bottle of paint was thrown at a bus near Turmus Aya, northeast of Ramallah. No casualties were reported; the windshield was damaged.
    • February 20, 2022: Rocks were thrown from a passing car at an Israeli vehicle near Sinjil, northeast of Ramallah. No casualties were reported; the vehicle was damaged.
    • February 19, 2022: Molotov cocktails were thrown at the Israeli community of Migdal Oz in Gush Etzion. No casualties were reported.
    • February 18, 2022: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle near Luban al-Sharqia, northwest of Ramallah. A woman was injured; the front windshield of the vehicle was damaged.
    • February 18, 2022: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle near Aqraba, southeast of Nablus. No casualties were reported; the vehicle was damaged.
    • February 18, 2022: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle between Yitzhar and Havat Gilad, south of Nablus. No casualties were reported.
    • February 17, 2022: A Molotov cocktail was thrown at an Israeli vehicle south of Abud, northwest of Ramallah. No casualties were reported.
    • February 17, 2022: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli bus carrying children near Ma’aleh Lavona, southeast of Nablus. No casualties were reported; the bus was damaged.
    • February 17, 2022: Rocks were thrown at Israeli vehicles near Sinjil, northeast of Ramallah. No casualties were reported; several vehicles were damaged.
    • February 17, 2022: A Molotov cocktail was thrown at the road leading to the community of Karmei Tzur in Gush Etzion. No casualties or damage were reported.
    • February 17, 2022: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle near Yakir, southwest of Nablus. No casualties were reported; the vehicle was damaged.
    • February 16, 2022: Molotov cocktails were thrown at an IDF post on the Hebron-Tarqumiya road near the Halhul Bridge. No casualties or damage were reported.
    • February 16, 2022: Molotov cocktails were thrown at an IDF post near the Israeli community of Psagot, east of Ramallah. No casualties or damage were reported.
    • February 16, 2022: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle at the Gitai Avishar Junction, southwest of Nablus. No casualties were reported; the vehicle was damaged.
    • February 16, 2022: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle south of the Zif Junction in Hebron. No casualties were reported; the vehicle was damaged.
    • February 16, 2022: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli bus on route 55 near Qadumim, east of Qalqilya. No casualties were reported; the vehicle was damaged.
    • February 16, 2022: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli bus in Hizma, northeast of Jerusalem. No casualties were reported; the bus was damaged.
    • February 16, 2022: Rocks were thrown at an Israel vehicle on route 5 near Peduel, southwest of Nablus. No casualties were reported; the vehicle was damaged.
Significant Terrorist Attacks in Judea and Samaria since January 2020[2]

Significant Terrorist Attacks in Judea and Samaria since January 2020

Rocket and mortar shell fire into Israel
  • This past week no rocket or mortar shell hits were identified in Israeli territory.
  • Hamas fired ten rockets towards the sea as part of what it called “developing military capabilities” (Amad, February 17, 2022).
Monthly Distribution of Rocket and Mortar Shell Fire since January 2020

Monthly Distribution of Rocket and Mortar Shell Fire since January 2020

Annual Distribution of Rocket Hits

Annual Distribution of Rocket Hits

Detention of Hamas operative who used medical permit to collect information in Israel
  • The Israeli security forces detained Ahmed Abu al-Nur, 27, from Jabalia, who entered Israel for medical treatment and remained in the country illegally. During interrogation he said that in 2009 he was recruited by Hamas’ military wing. He was an operative in Hamas’ security forces and underwent training and participated in activities against Israel. He exploited his stay in Israel to send information to his commanders. He also tried to recruit operatives to Hamas but was unsuccessful. He said he provided his interrogators with information about Hamas, including the location of terrorist tunnels, weapons’ stockpiles and military sites in the Gaza Strip from which Hamas operated (Israeli Security Agency spokesman’s unit, February 18, 2022).
Ahmed Abu al-Nur (Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Facebook page, February 17, 2022)
Ahmed Abu al-Nur (Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Facebook page, February 17, 2022)
Distribution of financial aid from Qatar
  • On February 17, 2022, Mohammed al-Emadi, chairman of Qatar’s National Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza, announced the distribution of Qatari funds, $100 to each of 100,000 needy families for February 2022. The distribution is being carried out by the UN at 300 centers in the Gaza Strip (National Community Facebook page, February 17, 2022).
Statements regarding a prisoner-MIA exchange deal
  • Zaher Jabarin, who holds the prisoners’ portfolio in Hamas, said Hamas would not allow the prisoners to suffer in Israeli jails and that they had already proved Hamas stood with the prisoners. He said they were monitoring events and would exploit every political and legal means at their disposal (Hamas website, February 17, 2022). On another occasion he said Israel was procrastinating and not completing the prisoner exchange deal, and was betting on the time factor. However he claimed, Israel was wrong if it thought it could avoid paying a price for the release of its soldiers. He also said Hamas military wing was trying to abduct more soldiers to release all the “Palestinian prisoners” in Israeli jails (al-Aqsa TV, February 19, 2022).
  • Following publication in the Israeli media of reports that progress was being made in the prisoner-MIA exchange deal, Zaher Jabarin denied the reports, claiming that so far no progress had been made and Israel had not instituted serious measures. He claimed the objective of Israel’s occasional declarations was to prevent the families of the abducted soldiers from exerting pressure on the Israeli government (al-Risalah, February 20, 2022).
Hamas activity in the Philippines prevented
  • The Philippines police exposed a Hamas plot to establish itself in the country in order to attack Israeli targets. According to the head of Philippine police intelligence, the plot was exposed after information was received about contacts between a local resident and the person referred to as head of Hamas’ department of foreign relations. According to the Philippine police, between 2016 and 2018 the local resident went to Malaysia several times where he met with a Hamas operative identified as Fares al-Shiqli, aka Bashir, to discuss the possibility of attacking Israelis in the Philippines in return for funds he from Hamas. The operative underwent theoretical instruction in preparing explosives and was requested to recruit local operatives and groups. The eventual objective was to attack Israelis and Israeli targets and to distribute propaganda videos. It was not Hamas’ first attempt to operate in the Philippines. In January 2018 a chemist knowledgeable about preparing explosives was detained; he had close ties with Hamas, and was deported to Turkey (Philippine National Police, February 15, 2022).
  • During an interview Khalil al-Haya, deputy chairman of the Hamas political bureau in the Gaza Strip, denied the reports in the Philippine and Israeli media (al-Aqsa TV, February 19, 2022). A “source” in Hamas claimed the movement was committed to its stated policy of fighting Israel only in occupied Palestinian territory and did not “exist” in any Arab or other foreign country (Shehab, February 15, 2022).
Reactions to Australia’s decision to outlaw Hamas’ political wing
  • Karen Andrews, Minister for Home Affairs of Australia, announced the government’s decision to declare Hamas’ political wing a terrorist organization (Hamas’ military terrorist wing was declared terrorist and outlawed in 2003). According to Australian law, membership in an terrorist organization, raising money or funding terrorist activity is punishable by up to 25 years in prison. Minister Andrews said Hamas’ views were “deeply disturbing” and that there was “no place in Australia for their hateful ideologies.” She added that “It is vital that our laws target not only terrorist acts and terrorists, but also the organisations that plan, finance and carry out these acts.”[3] Israel welcomed the decision. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett thanked Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison for his efforts (Ynet, February 17, 2022).
  • Several hours later, Hamas officially condemned the decision and called on the government of Australia to change its mind. Hamas claimed Australia had violated international law which gave people the right to oppose occupation and ignored the measures taken by Israel against the Palestinian people. Hamas added that it was a “national liberation movement” chosen by the Palestinian people in democratic elections and the Australian government, as an institution that defended and respected human rights, had to revoke the decision, which “damaged its reputation” [sic]. During an interview Khalil al-Haya condemned the decision (al-Aqsa TV, February 19, 2022). Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem called the decision “illogical.” He said it would not prevent Hamas from continuing its “path of struggle” against the occupation (Quds Press, February 17, 2022).
  • Other Palestinians terrorist organizations, including the PIJ and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), joined Hamas in its condemnation. They said in a joint statement that the Australian decision reflected a bias towards Israel and a double standard at the expense of the Palestinian cause. In addition, it perpetuated the occupation, support it and attacked the holy sites of Islam (Hamas Telegram channel, February 17, 2022).
Palestinian political meetings
  • Mahmoud Abbas met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in his office in Ramallah. He updated her on recent developments and said an end had to be put to “the occupation, the settlements and the settler terrorism.” He also noted the need to stop Israel’s measures which undermine stability and to begin a political process. Pelosi noted the commitment of the United States to the two-state solution (Wafa, February 17, 2022).
  • Mai al-Kayla, PA minister of health, also met with Nancy Pelosi. In addition to a request for financial aid from the United States, Mai al-Kayla complained about the activity of the IDF forces at the roadblocks, which, she claimed, interfered with the passage of ambulances carrying patients between the districts in Judea and Samaria. She updated Pelosi on the medical condition of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, claiming that Israel prevented them from realizing the basic rights afforded by international law (Wafa, February 18, 2022).
Mai al-Kayla meets with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in her office in Ramallah (Wafa, February 18, 2022).    Mahmoud Abbas meets with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in his office in Ramallah (Wafa Facebook page, February 17, 2022).
Right: Mahmoud Abbas meets with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in his office in Ramallah (Wafa Facebook page, February 17, 2022). Left: Mai al-Kayla meets with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in her office in Ramallah (Wafa, February 18, 2022).
  • Mahmoud Abbas met with Ibrahim Kalin, Turkish presidential spokesman, and Sedat Önal, deputy Turkish foreign minister, who came to Israel to coordinate Israeli President Herzog’s visit to Turkey. According to reports, they discussed recent developments in the Palestinian cause, especially Jerusalem. The Turkish representatives noted Erdogan’s desire to strengthen relations, and Turkey’s position, which supports the Palestinian people (Wafa, February 16, 2022).
Mahmoud Abbas meets with the representatives of the Turkish president (Mahmoud Abbas' Facebook page, February 16, 2022).
Mahmoud Abbas meets with the representatives of the Turkish president
(Mahmoud Abbas’ Facebook page, February 16, 2022).
Muhammad Shtayyeh meets with a delegation of American congressmen
  • PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh met with a delegation of 30 Republican congressmen. He complained of a serious political vacuum which was liable to lead to an “explosion.” He alleged Israel had no interest in the two-state solution or in a one-state solution. The only thing Israel wanted, he alleged, was a continuation of its policy of “determining facts on the ground.” He called for the establishment of a Congressional committee to investigate Israel’s apartheid policies as “documented” in reports from Amnesty and Human Rights Watch. He also called on the American administration to keep its promises to the Palestinians and reopen the consulate in Jerusalem and make Israel stop holding back some of the funds it collects in taxes for the Palestinians (Wafa, February 21, 2022).
Muhammad Shtayyeh with the American delegation (Wafa, February 21, 2022)
Muhammad Shtayyeh with the American delegation (Wafa, February 21, 2022)
Meeting of the PLO’s Executive Committee
  • On February 17, 2022, the PLO’s Executive Committee met in Ramallah, attended by its newly-appointed members; the meeting was chaired by Mahmoud Abbas. He said the Committee would perform its role for the good of the Palestinian people because it was the only legal representative of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian cause (Mahmoud Abbas’ Facebook page, February 17, 2022). The London daily al-Quds al-Arabi reported that based on “knowledgeable sources,” the Committee decided to postpone the Central Council’s recommendation to end all agreements with Israel by March 2022. It also reported that Mahmoud Abbas presented the meeting with a “presidential edict” subordinating the PLO to the PA’s institutions, which led to a wave of harsh criticism from the “Palestinian organizations,” which claimed that Mahmoud Abbas and his cadre were taking control of the PLO’s institutions (al-Quds al-Arabi, February 18, 2022).
  •  Hussein al-Sheikh, who was recently appointed as a member of the Executive Committee, called on the Central Committee to hold a comprehensive national dialogue to end the internal Palestinian schism. He also rejected attempts made by a number of countries to defame the Palestinian “struggle” and accuse the Palestinian organizations of terrorism (Hussein al-Sheikh’s Twitter account, February 18, 2022).
Mahmoud Abbas and the PA take control of the PLO (Palestinian cartoonists' Facebook page, February 21, 2022)   The new PLO Executive Committee meets in Ramallah; the meeting was chaired by Mahmoud Abbas (Mahmoud Abbas' Facebook page, February 17, 2022).
Right: The new PLO Executive Committee meets in Ramallah; the meeting was chaired by Mahmoud Abbas (Mahmoud Abbas’ Facebook page, February 17, 2022). Left: Mahmoud Abbas and the PA take control of the PLO (Palestinian cartoonists’ Facebook page, February 21, 2022)
  • Following the announcement that the PLO would be subordinate to the PA and operate within its framework, Hamas spokesmen harshly criticized the PA because, they claimed, such a step kept Hamas from joining the PLO. Mahmoud al-Habash, Mahmoud Abbas’ advisor for religious matters, responded to Hamas criticism by saying Hamas would not represent anything in Palestine as long as it was beyond the bounds of national legitimacy, that is, not a member of the PLO, which was the only legal representative of the Palestinian people. He said no one who was not under the PLO umbrella had the right to speak for the Palestinian people (Sada al-Balad, February 19, 2022).
Right: Mahmoud al-Habash interviewed by Egyptian TV (Mahmoud al-Habash' Facebook page, February 19, 2022). Left: Al-Habash (originally from Gaza) gets kicked out of the Gaza Strip (Palestinian cartoonists' Facebook page, February 20, 2022)
Right: Mahmoud al-Habash interviewed by Egyptian TV (Mahmoud al-Habash’ Facebook page, February 19, 2022). Left: Al-Habash (originally from Gaza) gets kicked out of the Gaza Strip (Palestinian cartoonists’ Facebook page, February 20, 2022)
The internal Palestinian reconciliation
  • At the weekly PA government meeting, Muhammad Shtayyeh said that in the coming weeks representatives of some of the Palestinian organizations would arrive in Algeria. They were invited by Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune and Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra to discuss the internal Palestinian reconciliation. According to Muhammad Shtayyeh, Algeria’s invitation was the result of talks with Mahmoud Abbas (al-Quds al-Arabi, February 21, 2022).
The cost of living in the PA
  • PA Minister of the Economy Khaled Asili, meeting with members of the Palestinian Consumer Protections Council, said the government was not planning to impose new taxes and was rather investing efforts to reduce the influences of the coronavirus epidemic on the Palestinian economy. He said that there were sufficient supplies of basic commodities in the Palestinian markets and his ministry was monitoring and supervising the situation in the markets (Ma’an, February 16, 2022). Recently demonstrations have been held, mostly in the Hebron region, to protest the high cost of living and to blame the Palestinian government for the situation.
Judea and Samaria
  • According to data from the ministry of health in Ramallah, on February 21, 2022, there was a decrease in the number of active cases, 5,764, down from 10,835 on February 14, 2022. In the 24 hours between February 20 and February 21, 2022, 7,455 tests were administered, 524 new cases were detected, a positive rate of about 7%. There were 132 Palestinians in ICUs, 47 of them on ventilators. So far 3,266 Palestinians have died of coronavirus-related causes (ministry of health in Ramallah Facebook page, February 21, 2022).
The Gaza Strip
  • On February 22, 2022, the ministry of health in Gaza reported 23,642 active cases in the Gaza Strip, down from 36,031 on February 15, 2022. Of the 2,769 tests administered during the 24 hours between February 21 and 22, 808 new cases were detected, positive rate of about 29%. So far 1,888 Gazans have died of coronavirus-related causes, up from 1,847 on February 15, 2022. There are 173 hospitalized Gazans, 97 in serious or critical condition. So far 634,821 Gazans have been vaccinated, up from 612,190 on February 15, 2022 (ministry of health in Gaza Facebook page, February 22, 2022).
  • Egypt delivered half a million doses of Egyptian-manufactured Sinovac coronavirus vaccine to the PA embassy. The vaccines were a donation from China and Egypt for the Gazans. Diab al-Louh, PA ambassador to Egypt, and Nadaa al-Barghouti, his advisor, received the delivery, standing in for Mahmoud Abbas, and thanked Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (Wafa, February 20, 2022).
Vaccines from Egypt enter the Gaza Strip (Palestinian ministry of health Facebook page, February 21, 2022)
Vaccines from Egypt enter the Gaza Strip
(Palestinian ministry of health Facebook page, February 21, 2022)
Radio-controlled aircraft from Lebanon enters Israeli airspace
  • On February 18, 2022, a radio-controlled aircraft crossed into Israeli territory from Lebanon and was tracked by the Israeli Air Force. A number of sirens were sounded in the area in accordance with standard protocol. The IDF’s aerial defense systems identified and tracked the threat, helicopters and fighter jets were dispatched. The Iron Dome aerial defense system acted to intercept the aircraft. After a few minutes, the radio-controlled aircraft returned to Lebanon; civilian life in northern Israel has returned to routine. In response Israeli Air Force flew at a low altitude over Beirut and the Dahia, the Shi’ite suburb where Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah lives (IDF spokesman, February 18, 2022).
  • Hezbollah claimed responsibility for the flight. The organization’s combat information unit boasted that the UAV, called Hassan,[4] had penetrated Israel’s northern airspace. According to the Hezbollah, it flew a distance of 70 kilometers (about 44 miles) in 40 minutes and returned after successfully carrying out its mission, despite Israel’s attempts to intercept it (al-Manar, February 18, 2022).
  • Hezbollah boasted Israel had shown its weakness and could not intercept the UAV, thereby creating “a new equation with Israel.” An article in al-Ahad claimed Hezbollah had shown Israel it could respond to Israeli aircraft flights in Lebanese airspace and that Israeli airspace could become an arena for a “new equation” regarding Israel’s freedom of action in the air (al-Ahad, February 19, 2022).
  • Hashem Safi al-Din, chairman of Hezbollah’s operational council, claimed “the future belongs to the resistance” [i.e., terrorist organizations] and the “new equation” founded by Hassan Lakkis, based on the Hassan UAVs. Senior Hezbollah figure Nabil Qaouq claimed the “equations” between Israel and Lebanon had changed because of the “victories of the resistance.” In the past Israel had penetrated into Lebanon’s airspace, and today Lebanese aircraft were penetrating Israel’s airspace (Radio Nur, February 20, 2022).
  • Two days before the UAV’s flight, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah gave a speech for Shaheed Day, where he claimed that for years Hezbollah had the ability to exchange its thousands of rockets for precise rockets which it manufactured itself and did not have to bring them from Iran. He also claimed that at an unspecified time in the past the organization had begun manufacturing UAVs, so there was no longer any need to bring them from Iran. Nasrallah warned Israel not to try to find Hezbollah’s rockets (al-Mayadeen, February 16, 2022).
The path taken by the UAV (al-Akhbar, February 22, 2022)
The path taken by the UAV (al-Akhbar, February 22, 2022)

[1] All information, pictures and reports are from Rescue Without Borders in Judea and Samaria unless otherwise noted.
[2] 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
[3] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-02-17/hamas-palestinian-listed-as-terrorist-group-australia-government/100839262
[4] The UAV was named for Hassan Lakkis, a Hezbollah terrorist operative, responsible for the organization's UAVs. He was killed in 2013.