- This past week in Judea and Samaria Palestinian terrorists carried out two shooting attacks targeting Israeli security forces, one near Nablus and the other near Jenin. No Israeli casualties were reported. On February 8, 2022 in Nablus, Israeli security forces killed three Palestinian terrorists who belonged to Fatah’s al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, were responsible for a recent series of shooting attacks targeting IDF forces and Israeli civilians, and were planning more. IEDs were thrown and shots were fired at Israeli security forces operating in Tubas (northeast of Nablus) and detaining wanted terrorists. The forces responded with gunfire; one Palestinian was wounded.
- On February 7, 2022, security inspectors at the Kerem Shalom Crossing prevented the smuggling of more than 10,000 rifle and hand-gun bullets. The ammunition, which had been concealed in a shipment of household appliances, was apparently consigned to the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip (Israeli defense ministry Facebook page, February 8, 2022).
- At a demonstration held in the Gaza Strip in support of Syrian refugees, pictures of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah and Qassem Soleimani, late Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Qods Force commander, were burned. Hamas condemned the demonstrators, claiming they had broken faith with Palestinian ideology and stressing that Hezbollah and Iran should be thanked for what they did for the “resistance” and the Palestinian people, and should be esteemed for their actions.
- On February 6, 2022, the two-day PLO Revolutionary Council conference met in Ramallah. Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and other organizations continued their public opposition.
- In Addis Ababa the African Union summit meeting ended. One of the main issues discussed was the question of Israel’s position as an observer in the Union. The meeting ended with a vote to postpone discussions of the issue for a year. The Palestinians regarded the vote as a victory. According to the Palestinian media, the Union had decided to cancel or freeze the original decision to grant Israel observer status.
- The Palestinian Authority (PA) welcomed the Amnesty International report claiming the Israeli “regime” was apartheid. Mahmoud Abbas met with Agnes Callamard, Amnesty’s secretary general. PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh called on the International Criminal Court to examine Israel’s [alleged] “apartheid crimes” as part of its investigation into events in the PA territories.
- In Judea, Samaria there was a slight decrease in the number of active coronavirus cases, although the hospitals are operating at almost 100% capacity. In the Gaza Strip the number of active cases continued rising.
- On February 2, 2022, shots were fired from a passing vehicle at an IDF post at one of the entrances to Nablus. No casualties were reported. IDF forces searched the area to find the shooters (IDF spokesman, February 2, 2022).
- On February 5, 2022, during a routine Border Police security operation in the Jenin district, several Palestinians arrived riding an ATV. They shot at the Border Police fighters, who returned fire. No Israeli casualties were reported; the Border Police vehicle was damaged. Additional forces were deployed to find the shooters.
Three Palestinian terrorists killed
- On February 8, 2022, three Palestinian terrorists were killed during an Israeli security force activity in Nablus, reportedly by gunfire targeting their vehicle. According to the IDF, they were operatives in an al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades terrorist squad, responsible for a series of shooting attacks targeting IDF forces and civilians in recent weeks, and were planning additional attacks. Weapons were found in their vehicle (Israeli media, February 8, 2022).
The terrorists’ vehicle (Paltoday, February 8, 2022)
- The Palestinian media reported the three were Ashraf al-Mabslat, Adham Mabrouk and Muhammad al-Dakheil. The al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades announced that the Palestinians killed in Nablus were Brigades operatives, “their blood was not shed in vain and the response will come” (al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades Telegram channel, February 8, 2022). Muhammad Hamdan, Fatah secretary in Nablus, said the organization would respond to the killing (Ma’an, February 8, 2022).
Mourning notice issued by the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades in Nablus. Left to right: Muhammad al-Dakheil, Adham al-Mabrouk, Ashraf al-Mabslat (Ma’an, February 8, 2022)
- The PA foreign ministry condemned the killing and called on the international community, the UN secretary general and the International Criminal Court to take responsibility and begin an investigation of the [alleged] “crimes of the occupation” (PA foreign ministry website, February 8, 2022).
- On February 3, 2022, the Israeli security forces operated in the village of Tubas, northeast of Nablus, to detain a wanted terrorist. During the operation Palestinians rioted, throwing IEDs and shooting at the forces, who responded with gunfire. One Palestinian was wounded and evacuated to a hospital by local medical personnel. No Israeli casualties were reported (Israel Police Force spokesman’s unit, February 3, 2022).
Rocks, Molotov cocktails and other events
- In Judea and Samaria Palestinians continued throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails, mainly at vehicles driving on the roads, IDF posts and the fences of Israeli communities. The more prominent events were the following:
- February 7, 2022: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle between Azun and Karnei Shomron (east of Qalqilya). The rocks hit a Palestinian vehicle. No casualties or damage were reported.
- February 7, 2022: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli bus near Hizma (northeast of Jerusalem). No casualties were reported; the windshield of the bus was damaged.
- February 7, 2022: An IED was thrown from a passing car, exploding near the fence of the community of Beit El, north of Ramallah. No casualties or damage were reported.
- February 7, 2022: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli bus en route to the Jericho lookout on the Ma’aleh Adumim-Jordan Valley road. No casualties were reported; the windshield of the bus was damaged.
- February 7, 2022: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli bus near Issawiya in east Jerusalem. No casualties or damage were reported. Israel police detained a 15 year-old Palestinian on suspicion of throwing the rocks (Israel Police Force spokesman’s unit, February 7, 2022)
- February 7, 2022: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli bus near the Ma’aleh Amos Junction in eastern Gush Etzion. No casualties were reported; the bus was damaged.
- February 7, 2022: An IED was planted on route 465 west of Naveh Tsuf, northeast of Ramallah. No casualties were reported.
- February 6, 2022: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle between Hizma and Anatot, northeast of Jerusalem. The front windshield was damaged.
- February 6, 2022: Rocks were thrown from a passing car at a truck near Habla, south of Qalqilya, shattering the windshield. The driver was wounded by flying glass and taken to a hospital for treatment.
- February 6, 2022: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle in the village of Luban al-Sharqia, south of Nablus. No casualties were reported; the vehicle was damaged.
- February 6, 2022: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli bus on the Gush Etzion-Hebron road near the Halhul Junction, north of Hebron. No casualties or damage were reported.
- February 5, 2022: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli bus Hawwara, south of Nablus. No casualties or damage were reported.
- February 3, 2022: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle between Azun and Karnei Shomron, east of Qalqilya. No casualties or damage were reported.
- February 3, 2022: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle on the Gush Etzion-Hebron road near al-Aroub. No casualties or damage were reported.
- February 3, 2022: Rocks were thrown at a police patrol car near Alei Zahav, in southwestern Samaria. No casualties or damage were reported.
- February 3, 2022: Molotov cocktails were thrown at an Israeli bus on the Gush Etzion-Hebron road south of the Karmei Tsur Junction. No casualties or damage were reported.
- February 3, 2022: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle from a passing car between Adam and Hizma, northeast of Jerusalem. No casualties were reported; the vehicle was damaged.
Significant Terrorist Attacks in Judea and Samaria since January 2020
Terrorist’s house demolished
- IDF forces demolished the house of Fadi Mahmoud Iyad Abu Shekhidam in the Shuafat neighborhood of east Jerusalem. He was a terrorist operative who carried out a shooting attack near the Chain Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem on November 21, 2021. In the shooting attack killed Eliahu Kay was killed, and two civilians and two policemen were wounded. The house was demolished in accordance with an order from the commander of the Home Front after the family had appealed twice to the Israeli Supreme Court and the appeal were rejected on January 19 and 31, 2022 (IDF spokesman, February 1, 2022).
- After the house had been demolished Isma’il Haniyeh, head of Hamas’ political bureau, called the terrorist’s family. He condemned the destruction, expressed solidarity with the family and called Israel’s policy of demolishing houses a failure (al-Quds, February 1, 2022).
The demolished house of Palestinian terrorist Fadi Abu Shekhidam
(Twitter account of journalist Hassan Aslih, February 1, 2022).
|Palestinian determination to fight the demolishing of the terrorists’ houses despite financial hardship (al-Quds, February 8, 2022)
Rocket and mortar shell fire into Israel
- This past week no rocket or mortar shell hits were identified in Israeli territory.
Monthly Distribution of Rocket and Mortar Shell Fire since January 2020
Annual Distribution of Rocket Hits
Arms smuggling prevented
- On February 7, 2022, security inspectors at the Kerem Shalom Crossing prevented 10,000 rifle and hand-gun bullets from being smuggled into the Gaza Strip. The ammunition was apparently consigned to the terrorist organizations, and hidden in a shipment of household appliances. The bullets were transferred to Israeli security (Israeli defense ministry Facebook page, February 7, 2022).
Ammunition seized by security inspectors at the Kerem Shalom Crossing
(Israeli defense ministry Facebook page, February 7, 2022)
Pictures of Nasrallah and Soleimani burned at a demonstration in Rafah
- On February 3, 2022, a demonstration was held near Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip in solidarity with the Syrian refugees. Its theme was “Palestinian support for our Syrian brothers.” The demonstration was organized by the Ibn Baz Association, which is affiliated with Gazan Salafists. Demonstrators waved signs condemning Hezbollah and Iran’s intervention in Syria and burned pictures of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah and Qassem Soleimani, late commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Qods Force (Twitter account of journalist Hassan Aslih, February 3, 2022).
Salafists in Rafah demonstrate support for the Syrian refugees and burn pictures of Hassan Nasrallah and Qassem Soleimani (Twitter account of journalist Hassan Aslih, February 3, 2022)
- Hamas condemned the picture burning. Hamas said in an announcement that the conduct of the demonstrators was contrary to the ideology of the Palestinian people, and no person or entity had the right to exploit the “freedom in the Gaza Strip” to attacks Arabs or Muslims. Hamas stressed Hezbollah and Iran’s support for the “resistance” [i.e., the Palestinian terrorist organizations] and said they deserved thanks and esteem. Hamas, said the announcement, would remain faithful to all those who supported the Palestinian people (Hamas Telegram channel, February 3, 2022).
- This past week money and objects were donated for the Syrian refugees by Israeli Arabs and Palestinians in east Jerusalem. Aid worth about $93,000 and gold jewelry were donated by residents of Shuafat in east Jerusalem (Palinfo Twitter account, February 6, 2022).
Funds donated by residents of Shuafat for the Syrian refugees
(Palinfo Twitter account, February 6, 2022)
PLO Central Council conference
- On February 6, 2022, in the face of opposition and demonstrations, the 31st session of the PLO’s Central Council began in Ramallah, headed by Mahmoud Abbas. Its theme was “PLO development and activity, preserving the national project and the popular resistance.” Many organizations boycotted the conference, among them the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Marwan Barghouti’s National Palestinian Initiative, as well as leading independent Palestinians. At the last minute the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine changed its decision not to attend and announced its participation (al-Quds, February 6, 2022).
- Before and during the conference Hamas and the (PIJ), which are not PLO members, publicly expressed their objections. Hamas said the Council had not been chosen through elections or by national consensus and therefore was not legitimate [sic] (Hamas Telegram channel, February 4, 2022). At a rally held in Gaza City, senior Hamas figure Musheir al-Masri said “those who grabbed [power in] the PLO have to release the organization.” He said the Palestinian people deserved a leadership that supported greater Palestine, from north to south, and told Israel that explosion would be answered with explosion and destruction with destruction. The Palestinian people, he said, did not deserve a leadership that boasted of security coordination with Israel and called it “sacred” (Shehab, February 6, 2022). The PIJ said the Council conference was an attempt to perpetuate a policy that had been proven to be ineffective in dealing with Israel and that putting the Palestinian house in order demanded a national dialogue held far from Israel governance and intervention (Paltoday, February 6, 2022).
Demonstrations in the Gaza Strip (left) and Ramallah (right) protesting the PLO Central Council conference (Shehab Twitter account, February 6, 2022)
- At the conference Mahmoud Abbas related to the following:
- The peace process: He claimed the Palestinians had met all their commitments to finding a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. He stressed that no one could blame them for disrupting the peace process. The Palestinians, he claimed, could not remain silent in the face of the current situation and they had to make crucial decisions. They had to defend the land, the identity of Jerusalem and the holy sites, and find a way to end the [so-called Israeli] “occupation.” Despite the many difficulties, he claimed they would continue to work with the international community, extend a hand in peace and hold an international peace conference following international resolutions and under the aegis of the International Quartet.
- PA relations with the United States: Mahmoud Abbas said that since the election of President Joe Biden a new era of PA-United States relations had begun. The American administration had made promises and its positions on the Palestinian cause were positive, but a year had passed and they were still hoping for the promises to be kept.
- The “popular resistance:” Mahmoud Abbas called for an increase in the “peaceful popular resistance” [i.e., popular terrorism], which had become the Palestinians most important option. The “struggle” had to be broadened to oppose the “terrorist attacks of the settlers” and Israel’s [alleged] plan to take control of [Palestinian] lands.
- At the final session Mahmoud Abbas related to the following:
- Jerusalem: Jerusalem, he claimed, was the eternal capital of the Palestinian state and would not be abandoned. Nothing, he said, was more important or dear [to the hearts of the Palestinians] than Jerusalem, which would receive all the PA’s attention, including aid for the residents of east Jerusalem in their “firm stance” [against Israel].
- The Palestinian prisoners: The Palestinian prisoners had to be given full support at every level. He reiterated his slogan that even if only one penny remained [in the PA treasury] it would be spent on the prisoners.
Mahmoud Abbas opens the PLO Central Council conference
(Wafa Facebook page, February 6, 2022)
- Several new appointments were made at the conference. Ramzi Khouri was appointed to chair the Palestinian National Fund and to the PLO’s Executive Committee. Senior Fatah figure Hussein al-Sheikh was chosen to replace the late Saeb Erekat in the Executive Committee. Dr. Muhammad Mustafa was chosen to replace Hanan Ashrawi in the Executive Committee; Ashrawi resigned. Farid Saro’ (Ramzi Ribah) was chosen replace Salim Zaanoun as chairman of the Palestinian National Council (Wafa, February 6 and 7, 2022).
Cartoons mock the Central Council for being archaic
(Palestinian cartoonists’ Facebook page, February 6, 2022)
Mahmoud Abbas meets with Amnesty secretary general
- After the February I, 2022, publication of Amnesty International’s latest report, which claims Israel’s “regime” is completely apartheid, and which was rejected and condemned by Israel, Mahmoud Abbas met with Agnes Callamard, the secretary general of Amnesty International, for an elaboration on the contents of the report. Mahmoud Abbas expressed his appreciation of the effort the organization had invested over the years to “expose the truth” [sic]. Callamard said they had discussed the organization’s activities around the world to end separation based on race. She claimed Israel had refused to meet with them to discuss the report but nevertheless they would continue their activities to expose Israel’s [alleged] “crimes.” She also said that issuing the report was the first step in the organization’s activities to end the “apartheid regime” (Mahmoud Abbas’ Facebook page, February 2, 2022).
Right: Mahmoud Abbas meets with Amnesty International Secretary General Agnes Callamard (Mahmoud Abbas’ Facebook page, February 2, 2022). Left: Cartoon published after the Amnesty report (Alaa’ al-Laqta ‘s Facebook page, February 2, 2022)
- Muhammad Shtayyeh welcomed the Amnesty report which he claimed “exposed the barbaric [sic] apartheid regime and the [alleged] crimes against humanity” Israel perpetrated against the Palestinians. He also claimed the report was very important and one of the most professional, reliable and transparent reports illustrating Israel’s [alleged] activities. He called on the International Criminal Court to examine “apartheid crime” as part of its investigation in the PA territories. He also said they would defend Callamard against Israel’s campaign targeting her, which was intended to challenge the “reliability” of the report (Muhammad Shtayyeh’s Facebook page, February 1, 2022).
African Unity summit meeting
- On February 4, 2022, Muhammad Shtayyeh, representing Mahmoud Abbas, arrived in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, to attend the African Union summit meeting. On the sidelines of the meeting he met with leaders including Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Tunisian Foreign Minister Othman Jerandi, and Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, who is also the Russian president’s envoy to the Middle East and North Africa (Wafa, February 5, 2022).
- Muhammad Shtayyeh gave a speech at the meeting in which he called on the countries in the African Union to cancel Israel’s observer status. He called it a “gift which Israel did not deserve” because of the construction of the border security fence in Judea and Samaria, which the ICC called illegal, and because of its “crimes” against the Gaza Strip. He also claimed Israel committed “international crimes” because its “apartheid” violated international human rights law, as alleged by the Amnesty International report and Human Rights Watch (Muhammad Shtayyeh’s Facebook page, February 5, 2022).
- On February 6, 2022, the African Union voted to postpone the discussion of Israel’s observer status for a year. A committee of seven heads of state will be appointed to recommend cancelling Israel’s status, including the presidents Algeria, South Africa, the Congo, Nigeria, Cameroon and Senegal, who is currently the president of the African Union (al-Jazeera in English, Shehab, February 6, 2022).
- The reports issued by the Palestinian media about the decision regarding Israel’s status were inexact. They reported the African Union had voted to cancel or freeze the original decision giving Israel observer status. The PA foreign ministry claimed it as a victory for the Palestinian cause (Ma’an, February 7, 2022). The Fatah movement reported the decision as “a victory for the Palestinians and the Palestinian cause,” and praised the efforts of the Palestinian leadership in dealing with the relevant groups (Ma’an, February 7, 2022). Hamas and the PIJ issued statements welcoming the “Palestinian victory.” Hamas praised their position of the African states which worked against the decision [to allow Israel observer status] (al-Risalah, February 7, 2022).
Right: Muhammad Shtayyeh speaks at the African Union summit meeting (Wafa Facebook page, February 5, 2022). Left: Shtayyeh meets with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh al-Shoukry (Wafa Facebook page, February 5, 2022)
Palestinian cartoons applaud the African Union vote
(Alaa’ al-Laqta’s Facebook page, February 7, 2022)
Protesting the cost of living
- On February 6, 2022, Palestinians held a demonstration in the center of Hebron to protest the cost of living. They waved signs protesting the government and the high cost of living, and called for the Palestinian government to resign. Palestinian truck drivers formed a convoy in Hebron to protest the cost of gasoline (Shehab Twitter account, February 6, 2022). In response the Palestinian ministry of the treasury said it was not planning to impose new taxes of basic goods and was working in coordination with the Palestinian ministry of economy to halt the rise of prices the Palestinian markets (al-Hayat al-Jadeeda, February 7, 2022).
Right: Palestinians protest the cost of living in Hebron. Left: Truck drivers demonstrate in Hebron (Shehab Twitter account, February 6, 2022)
Display commemorating Yasser Arafat in Tulkarm
The al-Quds Open University in Tulkarm launched a display commemorating Yasser Arafat. It was organized by the Shabiba, Fatah’s student faction at the university. Tulkarm governor Issam Abu Bakr was present at the opening of the display. He thanked the Shabiba faction for organizing the display and praised Yasser Arafat’s path, followed, he said, by all the PA leaders (Wafa Facebook page, February 6, 2022).
Right: Tulkarm district governor opens the display. Left: A picture from the display
(Wafa Facebook page, February 6, 2022)
Judea and Samaria
- According to data from the ministry of health in Ramallah, on February 7, 2022, there were 27,097 active cases, down from 29,513 on January 31, 2022. Of the 17,245 tests administered during the 24 hours between February 6 and 7, 2,207 new cases were detected, a 13% positive rate. There were 106 Palestinians in ICUs, 26 of them on ventilators. So far 3,119 Palestinians have died of coronavirus-related causes (ministry of health in Ramallah Facebook page, February 7, 2022).
- Mai al-Kayla, PA minister of health, reported that the situation was complicated and the extent of infection was higher than expected. She said hospital occupancy was almost 100% and various departments had been closed and converted into coronavirus wards. The rate of positive test results for the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, she said, reached 46% and the schools were a source of infection. She said most of the active cases were of the omicron variant, adding that the ministry of health would use the school closure to increase the campaign for vaccination on school grounds. Despite the situation she said they had no intention of enforcing a general lockdown (ministry of health in Ramallah Facebook page, February 5, 2022).
- The ministry of health in Ramallah said in a statement that the vaccines were reliable and administered according to instructions. The ministry had received authorization from Pfizer International to extend the expiration date of the PA’s vaccines by three months. The Palestinian public was urged to get vaccinated to halt the spread of the disease (ministry of health in Ramallah Facebook page, February 8, 2022).
- On February 4, 2022, the ministry of health in Ramallah received medical supplies worth $330 from the King Salman Humanitarian Relief and Aid Center in Saudi Arabia. The supplies included 15 ventilators, three monitors and other equipment (ministry of health in Ramallah Facebook page, February 4, 2022).
Medical supplies sent by Kind Salman of Saudi Arabia
(ministry of health in Ramallah Facebook page, February 4, 2022)
The Gaza Strip
- On February 8, 2022, the ministry of health in Gaza reported 30,794 active cases in the Gaza Strip, up from 13,789 on February 1, 2022. Of the 7,195 tests administered during the 24 hours between February 7 and 8, 3,050 new cases were detected, a 42% positive rate. So far 1,795 Gazans have died of coronavirus-related causes, up from 1,765 on February 1, 2022. There are 208 hospitalized Gazans, 113 in serious or critical condition. So far 597,7370 Gazans have been vaccinated, up from 587,795 on February 1, 2022 (ministry of health in Gaza Facebook page, February 8, 2022). Majdi Zuheir, director of public health in the ministry of health in Gaza, said the current wave of coronavirus infection is expected to peak in the coming two weeks (Twitter account of journalist Hassan Aslih, February 6, 2022).
 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. ↑