Clashes in Jenin, from the Twitter account of Ultra Palestine, August 3, 2021
Palestinians riot in Bayt Ummar after the funeral of Shukat Awad (Twitter account of TRTARabi, July 30, 2021).
Palestinians riot in Bayt Ummar after the funeral of Shukat Awad (Twitter account of TRTARabi, July 30, 2021).
Majid Faraj, head of Palestinian general intelligence (seated, third from right) heads a delegation from the Hebron and Bethlehem districts in a condolence call to Bayt Ummar (al-Hayat Press, July 31, 2021).
- Judea and Samaria: This past week Palestinians clashed with the Israeli security forces at a number of locations in Judea and Samaria. Three Palestinians were killed in separate incidents. PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh noted the rise in the number of Palestinians killed by IDF forces, especially children. In the meantime, Palestinians continue throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at Israeli civilians, communities and vehicles on the roads. The Israeli Fire and Rescue Service reported a significant rise in the number of fires in Judea and Samaria, some of them the result of arson.
- Israel announced a series of measures to ease daily life for the Palestinians in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip: In Judea and Samaria The number of Palestinians who can work inside Israel will be increased and the conditions at the crossings will be improved. In the Gaza Strip the fishing zone was extended, and the delivery of merchandise and equipment was authorized; Gazans can also go abroad.
- The Gaza Strip: Attempts continue to conclude an arrangement with Israel and to rebuild the Gaza Strip. Attempts also continue to find a mechanism to deliver the money from Qatar to the Gaza Strip. After four months of internal elections, Isma’il Haniyeh was chosen to continue as the head of Hamas’ political bureau for another term.
- The Palestinian Authority (PA): The PA is facing a financial crisis, to the point where it cannot promise to be able to pay its employees’ salaries in the coming months. According to the Palestinians, one cause of the crisis is the decline in foreign aid. The funds promised by the American president have been delayed because of objections from Senators.
- Sheikh Jarrah: The Palestinian families living in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of east Jerusalem rejected a compromise offered by Israel’s Supreme Court. Deliberations will continue next week.
Demonstrations and riots
- This past week Palestinians rioted against the Israeli security forces at several locations in Judea and Samaria. Three Palestinians were killed in separate incidents. At the weekly government meeting PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh noted the rise in the number of Palestinians killed by IDF forces (“the occupation”), especially children. He called the killings “war crimes” which necessitated immediate action. They had to be stopped, he said, and those who had carried out them out had to be brought to trial (Wafa, August 2, 2021).
- On the night of August 2, 2021, Israeli security forces entered a village in the Jenin region to detain a terrorist operative. While the forces were in the village Palestinians rioted, throwing rocks and IEDs at the soldiers, and later firing shots. The soldiers returned fire and wounded six Palestinians. The Palestinians claimed two were mortally wounded and one seriously wounded. A number of IDF vehicles were damaged (Israeli media, August 3, 2021).
Clashes in Jenin. Right, from the Twitter account of Ultra Palestine, August 3, 2021; left, from the Facebook page of journalist Ali Samoudi, Jenin, August 3, 2021.
The village of Bayta
- For the past several months Palestinians have rioted to protest the outpost of Eviatar, located south of Nablus in the region of the village of Bayta. The outpost was evacuated a number of weeks ago but the riots continue. This past week Palestinian sources reported that several hundred Palestinians had been injured in the clashes.
- During an IDF action to stop Palestinians from throwing Molotov cocktails near Bayta, the soldiers identified a Palestinian running towards them holding what looked like an iron pipe. He did not obey orders to halt, and the forces shot at him, and he died as a result. The IDF is investigating the circumstances of his death (IDF spokesman, July 28, 2021). The Palestinian media reported the death of Shadi Omar Lutfi Salim, 41, from Bayta (Wafa, July 27, 2021; the Facebook page of the Bayta municipality, July 28, 2021). The deputy head of the Bayta municipality claimed Salim was a plumber who was in the area to repair the well that provides the village with water, and had been holding a monkey wrench (alresala.net, July 28, 2021). Fatah in Bayta issued a mourning notice for him, claiming he was a movement member (Facebook page of the Fatah branch in Nablus, July 28, 2021). Fatah also initiated a campaign for the return of his body, which had been taken by the IDF, and threatened to escalate the riots if it were not returned (al-Quds, July 30, 2021).
- Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) spokesman Tareq Salami said he was sorry for the death of Salim, adding that the blood of shaheeds was not shed in vain. It would, he claimed, motivate young Palestinians to escalate until they drove Israel out of all the Palestinian territories. A Hamas spokesman related to the event and made similar statements (PIJ and Hamas websites, July 28, 2018).
Mourning notice issued by Fatah for Shadi Salim
(Facebook page of the Fatah branch in Nablus, July 28, 2021).
The village of Bayt Ummar
- Riots were also held in the village of Bayt Ummar, north of Hebron. On July 28, 2021, Muhammad Muayyad Abu Sara al-Alami, 11, from Bayt Ummar, was shot and killed by IDF forces. According to the IDF spokesman, an IDF force identified a number of suspicious Palestinians exiting a vehicle near a military post at the entrance to the village and began digging in the ground. A short time later the force saw a vehicle nearby which looked like the same one that had previously brought the Palestinians to the site. They carried out standard procedure for detaining suspects, which included firing shots into the air. When the vehicle continued driving towards the soldiers they shot at its wheels. Apparently a Palestinian child was killed by the gunfire. The circumstances of the incident are under IDF investigation (IDF spokesman, July 28, 2021).
- Mahmoud Abbas telephoned Muhammad al-Alami’s uncle to express his condolences on the death of his nephew (Wafa, July 29, 2021). Hamas called the death a “war crime,” claiming that Israel’s [alleged] “repeated war crimes” prove it thinks it is above international law (Hamas website, July 29, 2021). The PIJ issued a similar statement (PIJ website, July 29, 2021). The Fatah branch in northern Hebron issued a mourning notice for Muhammad al-Alami (Facebook page of the Fatah branch in northern Hebron, July 29, 2021).
Right: Muhammad al-Alami (Wafa, July 28, 2021). Left: Body of Muhammad al-Alami wrapped for burial in a Fatah flag (Facebook page of the Fatah branch in northern Hebron, July 29, 2021).
- On July 29, 2021, a funeral was held in Bayt Ummar for Muhammad al-Alami. After the funeral Palestinians rioted, throwing rocks and iron pipes at IDF forces, who responded with crowd dispersal measures. During the riots ten Palestinians were wounded, including Shukat Khaled Awad, who was critically injured and later died (Wafa, July 29, 2021). The IDF forces stated he had been throwing rocks at them from a distance of a few yards.
Shukat Awad throwing rocks during a riot in Bayt Ummar on July 29, 2021
(Facebook page of photographer Hisham Abu Shaqrah, July 30, 2021).
- The Palestinian media claimed the Israeli forces had “attacked” the mourners at the funeral. Local sources promised the “uprising” against Israel would continue in the coming days. Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said he was sorry for Awad’s death and praised the residents of Bayt Ummar for their stance against the “army of occupation” (Dunia al-Watan, July 29, 2021). PIJ spokesman Tareq Salami also said he was sorry for Awad’s death and called on the residents of Bayt Ummar to escalate the riots against the “occupation and settlements” in response to the crimes committed against the Palestinian people and their lands (Filastin al-Yawm, July 29, 2021). The Fatah branch in northern Hebron issued a mourning notice for his death, claiming he was a Fatah member (Facebook page of the Fatah branch in northern Hebron, July 29, 2021). Mahmoud Abbas called Awad’s father and offered his condolences (Wafa, July 31, 2021).
Shukat Awad (Wafa, July 29, 2021).
Palestinians riot in Bayt Ummar after the funeral of Shukat Awad (Twitter account of TRTARabi, July 30, 2021).
- Mahmoud al-‘Alul, deputy Fatah chairman, paid a condolence call to Bayt Ummar. He sent his prayers to its residents, who “stand firmly against the aggression of the occupation and settlers, and bravely resist their plots.” He claimed the Palestinians, who made all the great, painful sacrifices of shaheeds, the wounded and the imprisoned, would never agree to accept anything less that full freedom, and they would continue fighting until they achieved it (Wafa, August 1, 2021).
Right: Mahmoud al-‘Alul visits Bayt Ummar (official Fatah Facebook page, August 1, 2021). Left: Majid Faraj, head of Palestinian general intelligence (seated, third from right) heads a delegation from the Hebron and Bethlehem districts in a condolence call to Bayt Ummar (al-Hayat Press, July 31, 2021).
Rocks, Molotov cocktails and other events
- In Judea and Samaria Palestinians continued throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at Israeli civilians, communities and vehicles driving on the roads. According to the Israeli Fire and Rescue Service, there has been an increase in the number of fires in Judea and Samaria, some of them the result of arson (Ynet, August 3, 2021). The more prominent events were the following:
- August 2, 2021: Molotov cocktails were thrown at an Israeli vehicle near the al-Arroub refugee camp, south of Bethlehem. No casualties or damage were reported.
- August 2, 2021: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli bus near the Damascus Gate in east Jerusalem. No casualties were reported. The bus was damaged.
- August 2, 2021: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle southwest of Nablus. No casualties were reported. The vehicle was damaged.
- August 2, 2021: Border Police fighters stopped a vehicle with two passengers near a post in Hebron. A search of the vehicle revealed a Carlo improvised machine gun, an ammunition magazine and bullets for the gun, for an M-16 assault rifle and for a handgun.
- August 1, 2021: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle southwest of Jerusalem. No casualties were reported. The vehicle was damaged.
- August 1, 2021: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli bus and other vehicles south of Nablus. A woman was injured by flying glass and the front windshield of the bus was damaged.
- August 1, 2021: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle northeast of Ramallah. No casualties were reported. The front windshield was damaged.
- August 1, 2021: An Israeli bus carrying IDF soldiers mistakenly entered the Palestinian part of Hebron and Palestinians threw rocks at it. Its exit was accompanied by a Palestinian police escort. No casualties were reported. The bus was damaged.
- August 1, 2021: Bottles of paint and rocks were thrown at an Israeli bus northeast of Ramallah. No casualties or damage were reported.
- August 1, 2021: A Molotov cocktail was thrown at an Israeli vehicle south of Jerusalem. No casualties or damage were reported. A bottle of paint was thrown at an Israeli vehicle in a drive-by attack; No casualties or damage were reported.
- July 30, 2021: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli bus northeast of Jerusalem. No casualties were reported. The vehicle was damaged
- July 30, 2021: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle northwest of Hebron. No casualties or damage were reported.
- July 30, 2021: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle north of Jerusalem. No casualties or damage were reported.
- July 28, 2021: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle south of Nablus. One injury was reported.
- July 28, 2021: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle southwest of Bethlehem. No casualties or damage were reported.
- July 28, 2021: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle south of Nablus. An Israeli man was injured. The vehicle was damaged.
- July 27, 2021: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli bus northeast of Jerusalem. An Israeli man was injured. The front windshield of the bus was damaged.
Significant Terrorist Attacks in Judea and Samaria since January 2020
Increasing the number of Palestinians who work in Israel
- Following a conversation between Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Mahmoud Abbas, and after deliberations of the IDF leadership, the Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) announced that Israel would increase the number of work permits for Palestinian construction workers from Judea and Samaria by 15,000, and for Palestinian hotel-industry workers by 1,000. Israel would enlarge the crossings to accommodate the increased number of workers entering and leaving the country (COGAT spokesman’s unit, July 28, 2021). Enlarging the Qalandiya Crossing has already begun, and will include opening another underpass, paving roads, renewing facilities and improving arrangements (al-Munsaq Facebook page, August 3, 2021).
- In response, Saher Sa’ad, secretary general of the Association of Palestinian Workers’ Unions, claimed Israel was attempting to engage in political exploitation by presenting itself as helping the Palestinians, while in reality it needed manpower after having lost many foreign workers to the coronavirus. He claimed that today there were 75,000 Palestinians working in Israel, and after the decision had been implemented there would be 91,000. He said by the end of the year 120,000 Palestinians would be working in Israel (Agence France-Presse, July 28, 2021; Reuters, July 28, 2021).
Rocket and mortar shell fire into Israel
- Since the ceasefire that ended Operation Guardian of the Walls on May 22, 2021, no rocket or mortar shell hits have been identified in Israeli territory.
Monthly Distribution of Rocket and Mortar Shell Fire since January 2020
Annual Distribution of Rocket Hits
Infiltration into Israeli territory prevented
- On the morning of August 2, 2021, IDF fighters prevented two attempts by Palestinians to infiltrate Israel from the southern Gaza Strip. The first Gazan was detained while in possession of wire cutters and a knife. Three others were detained with two knives in their possession. They were all taken for interrogation (IDF spokesman, August 2, 2021).
Easing the civilian situation in the Gaza Strip
- After four days of sanctions imposed on the Gaza Strip following the launching of incendiary balloons into Israeli territory, and after an assessment of the situation had been carried out, Israel announced it was reextending the fishing zone off the Gaza coast to 12 nautical miles. In addition, beginning on August 1, 2021, the import of equipment and merchandise would be permitted to allow for the operations of international organizations, including food, water, medicine and fishing equipment. It would also be permitted to import electrical and agricultural equipment. In addition, Gazans may leave for abroad through the Allenby Crossing, and may visit celebrations held by first-degree family members (al-Munsaq Facebook page, August 2, 2021; Dunia al-Watan, July 31, 2021).
Cargoes of electrical equipment enter the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom Crossing for the first time since Operation Guardian of the Walls (Palinfo Twitter account, August 2, 2021).
- Hamas spokesman Abd al-Latif al-Qanua claimed the measures for lifting the [so-called] “siege” of the Gaza Strip were not a gesture from Israel (“the occupation”) but rather rights achieved by the Palestinians through their struggle and sacrifice. He said the Palestinian would continue their struggle until all their demands had been met and the “siege” of the Gaza Strip had ended (Arabi21, July 30, 2021).
- Senior PIJ figure Khader Habib claimed the measures announced by Israel were “marginal” and not worthy of mention, and the Palestinians’ demands were far greater. He also said the “siege and aggression” had reached a stage where silence was no longer possible, and that Israel would be fully responsible for the resulting escalation (Dunia al-Watan, August 2, 2021).
Rebuilding the Gaza Strip
- On July 28, 2021, the UN Security Council met to discuss the Israel-Palestinian issue and the current situation in the Gaza Strip. According to the data presented, during Operation Guardian of the Walls 2,173 buildings in the Gaza Strip were completely destroyed or severely damaged, 331 educational facilities were damaged and 8,220 persons were displaced. Lynn Hastings, deputy special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, said the international community had to put aid for the Gaza Strip at the top of its priority list, without abandoning the extended goal of ending the Israeli occupation [sic] and implementing the two-state solution. She said what the Gaza Strip needed now was short-term humanitarian assistance, but in the future political solutions were necessary. She said the most recent assessment of the damages in the Gaza Strip, conducted by UN, the EU and the World Bank, was between $290 and $380 million dollars. Other losses amounted to about $200 million. She called on Israel to allow humanitarian assistance to reach the Gaza Strip and on Hamas and the other organizations in the Gaza Strip to stop launching incendiary balloons, rockets and mortar shells, and to stop their military buildup (UN website, July 28, 2021).
- The Hamas-affiliated Lebanese newspaper al-Akhbar published an op-ed piece entitled “Messages from the resistance on the Gaza border: the rockets are coming.” According to the article, by launching incendiary balloons from the Gaza Strip to attack the Israeli communities near the border, Hamas is signaling the Egyptian mediators that they are dissatisfied with the current situation and are warning of a coming escalation. Reasons include Israel’s attempt to enforce a “new equation” on the Gaza Strip and its insistence on linking humanitarian and general issues to the issue of the Israeli MIAs and prisoners held in the Gaza Strip. Palestinian sources reported that Israel’s attacks on the Gaza Strip in response to incendiary balloon launchings are liable to lead some of the organizations to launch rockets to increase the pressure on Israel. The organizations, claimed the article, gave Israel a breathing space until the end of the week to arrange for the delivery of construction materials for rebuilding the Gaza Strip. Sources in the Gaza Strip stressed that if the materials were not delivered there would be a serious escalation along the border (al-Akhbar, July 29, 2018).
- Salameh Maarouf, head of the Hamas administration media information bureau, reported on progress after a delegation from the Gaza Strip had been formed to visit Egypt in the near future to discuss rebuilding after the rubble had been cleared. The delegation would include representatives of the private sector and a number of administrative bodies (Palestine Online, July 28, 2021; palsawa, July 29, 2021). On another occasion Maarouf said the date for the delegation’s visit had not yet been determined. He said the Palestinians would discuss reciprocal trade issues with the Egyptians, and the possibility of finding ways to improve the economic situation in the Gaza Strip instead of relying on the crossings with Israel (Dunia al-Watan, August 1, 2021).
- Usama Kahil, chairman of the contractors’ union in Gaza, said that the private sector delegation’s visit to Egypt had been postponed for technical reasons, including internal contractors’ union elections. He said the delegation would leave for Cairo after the elections had been held, and would include businessmen and importers of iron, concrete, food, clothing, etc. The delegation will discuss four issues, most importantly the rise in the price of transportation demanded by Egyptian companies and the need to import additional items into the Gaza Strip, beyond what Israel agrees can enter through the Rafah Crossing (Ma’an, August 2, 2018).
Delivering the funds from Qatar to the Gaza Strip
- Attempts are still being made to find a generally agreed-on mechanism for delivering the money from Qatar to needy families in the Gaza Strip. “Palestinian sources” reported that Mohammed al-Emadi, chairman of Qatar’s National Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza, was continuing his efforts to resolve the crisis. According to the sources, the Palestinian [terrorist] organizations are angry because of the obstacles to the delivery of the funds and the delay in rebuilding, which Egypt promised to renew after [the Muslim religious holiday of] Eid al-Adha (Ma’an, July 28, 2021).
- Isma’il Haniyeh, head of Hamas’ political bureau, who lives in Qatar, met with Muhammad bin Abd al-Rahman al-Thani, the foreign minister of Qatar, to discuss the Qatar’s efforts invested in rebuilding the Gaza Strip. The money Qatar pays the Gaza Strip was also discussed. Al-Thani assured Haniyeh that progress had been made towards delivering the funds. Khalil al-Haya, deputy chairman of the Hamas political bureau, and Taher al-Nunu, Haniyeh’s media advisor, were also present at the meeting (Sawa, July 28, 2021).
- At the weekly government meeting PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh said the PA was prepared to be responsible for delivering the funds to the Gazan needy families through the PA ministry of social development, according to a list of names sent by the Qatari committee.
- “Palestinian sources” reported that the distribution of magnetic cards to the recipients could be a possible mechanism: Qatar would transfer the money, about $20 million, to the UN, and the UN would transfer it to the banks controlled by the PA located in the Gaza Strip. The banks would issue the cards which would be preloaded with $100, after the deduction of a commission (Israel’s Kan 11 TV station, July 28, 2021).
- Al-Akhbar reported that Israel again proposed delivering the funds through the UN’s World Food Program using coupons. Hamas rejected the idea and demanded the funds be paid in cash (al-Akhbar, Lebanon, July 29, 2021).
Isma’il Haniyeh will head Hamas’ political bureau for another term
- Hamas’ central elections committee announced that on August 2, 2021, it had completed the oversight of all stages of its internal elections in all regions. Isma’il Haniyeh will remain head of the political bureau (Hamas website, August 2, 2018). A “knowledgeable Hamas source” said Haniyeh had been elected to serve as head of the bureau for a second term, from 2021 to 2025, because there were no other candidates after Khaled Mashaal withdrew his candidacy. Saleh al-‘Arouri was elected deputy head, in addition to his role as chairman of Hamas in the West Bank (al-Andalou News, August 1, 2021). The announcement of Haniyeh’s victory ended the process of electing the Hamas leadership, which had lasted for four months. In addition to Haniyeh, the leadership includes Saleh al-‘Arouri in Judea and Samaria, Yahya al-Sinwar in the Gaza Strip and Khaled Mashaal abroad (al-Quds, August 1, 2021).
Human Rights Watch report on Operation Guardian of the Walls
- Human Rights Watch issued a report about events during Operation Guardian of the Walls, according to which war crimes were allegedly committed by both the Palestinian organizations and the IDF. The organization investigated three Israeli attacks carried out in areas which, according to the report, no proof of the existence of military targets had been found. The report claimed that 62 Palestinians were killed in the attacks. In the meantime, the Palestinian terrorist organizations fired more than 4,360 rockets and mortar shells, indiscriminately attacking Israeli population centers. Gerry Simpson, a leading figure in the organization, claimed that during May 2021 Israeli forces carried out attacks that killed entire families in Gaza with no “clear” military target in the area. He also claimed Israel’s [alleged] lack of willingness to conduct an investigation showed the importance of an International Criminal Court investigation (Human Rights Watch website, August 28, 2021).
- The Palestinian media discussed only the claims that Israel had committed war crimes. Senior Hamas figure Bassem Na’im claimed the report documented Israel’s activities which were war crimes according to international law, which exposed again that what dozens of international and legal institutions had documented for decades, that Israel acted as though it were above the law and enjoyed immunity resulting from total American support.
The economic situation in the PA
- A high-ranking PA figure, who chose to remain anonymous, revealed that the PA had found it extremely difficult to pay its salaries for June 2021 and would find it equally difficult to pay them for July 2021. Even if they succeeded, he said, the government did not know if it would be successful the following month. There were three main reasons for the situation, he said. One was the decline in the payment of local taxes because of the coronavirus, another was the decline in foreign aid, and the third was the increase in loans taken from local banks. The PA, he said, was in dire need of aid from the donor countries, but aid had declined sharply. It would also be very difficult, he said, to convince the banks to keep lending the PA money without the promise of foreign aid on the horizon (al-Ayn, the UAE website, July 31, 2021).
- According to official data from the PA’s ministry of the treasury, the PA will have a deficit of $1 billion by the end of 2021. The government estimated that during 2021 it would spend $5.6 billion while its income was only $4.6 billion. The PA suffered a sharp decline in foreign aid, expecting $210 million during the first half of 2021 but receiving only $30 million. So far it has amassed a debt of $2.3 billion (al-Ayn, the UAE website, July 31, 2021).
- In the meantime, according to reports, despite United States President Joe Biden’s declaration about American financial aid for the PA, Jim Risch (R-ID), who chairs the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, continues delaying the transfer of the funds. A spokesman for the Senator said that as long is there an American concern the funds will reach terrorists, he will continue to exercise his right to delay their transfer. However, the delay will not pertain to funds used for emergency humanitarian purposes, such as medical assistance. In addition to the delay, 11 Republican Senators proposed a bill that would condition American aid to UNRWA on confirmation from the United States Secretary of State that UNRWA employees had no links to terrorist organizations or anti-Israeli, anti-American or BDS propaganda (al-Monitor, July 31, 2021).
- Muhammad Shtayyeh met with Sven Koopmans, the EU’s special representative for the Middle East. He called on Koopmans to exert pressure on Israel to stop deducting funds from the tax revenues it collects for the PA. Shtayyeh told him the PA government’s financial situation was particularly bad because of the new decline in international aid (Wafa, July 28, 2021).
Eviction of Sheikh Jarrah families delayed
- Israel’s Supreme Court, which deliberated the case of the four families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in east Jerusalem who are facing eviction, proposed a compromise: the families would be permitted to remain in their houses for decades to come as protected tenants, and could not be evicted. In return the families would pay rent to the Israeli NGO that purchased the land. Both sides rejected the compromise, the families because they would have to recognize that Israeli settlers owned the land. The Court decided to continue its deliberations and so far the families’ eviction has been postponed.
- The PA’s foreign ministry claimed the Israeli Supreme Court was racist. According to the foreign ministry, there are documents from the Jordanian foreign ministry confirming the residents of Sheikh Jarrah own their houses. Nevertheless, the Israeli Supreme Court and its three judges refused to accept the facts on the pretext that they were waiting for an answer from the residents to the proposed deal, which nullified their right to their houses and would exert pressure on them to recognize the settlers’ ownership of their land and houses. According to the foreign ministry’s announcement, the courts in Israel played a “racist role” in every aspect of evicting Palestinian families from their houses, using political measures unrelated to any relevant law. That was proof, said the ministry, that the Israeli legal system was an integral part of the “occupation,” and a tool in the hands of its colonial settlement programs. The PA foreign minister praised the position of the international community which stressed the right of the residents to remain in the houses, especially the position of the American State Department and the UN (Wafa, August 3, 2021).
- Before the Israeli Supreme Court had rendered its decision, the Palestinian terrorist organizations announced they were monitoring the developments in Jerusalem in general and Sheikh Jarrah in particular, and if a decision were made to evict the families the organizations in the Gaza Strip would launch rockets at Israel again (al-Akhbar, August 3, 2021). The Palestinian media reported that the eviction of the families was being delayed because Israel was concerned about a deterioration of the security situation in the south near the Gaza Strip border.
Palestinian objection to Israel’s having observer status in the African Union
- Israel officially received observer status in the African Union, an organization of 46 states. Status was received after Aleligne Admasu, the Israeli ambassador to Addis Ababa, presented his credentials on July 22, 2021 (Israeli foreign ministry website, July 22, 2021). Since 2002 Israel had tried to receive observer status, which could establish an Israeli presence on the African continent and help realize the potential of Israeli-African cooperation (Globes, July 29, 2021).
- The Palestinians protested. At the PA government meeting of July 26, 2021, a report was made of the efforts to enlist the support of African Union member states to revoke the decision giving Israel observer status. Saleh Rafat, a member of the PLO’s Executive Committee, called on the Arab states in the African Union to act with “friendly states,” led by South Africa, to force the Union’s leadership to change its decision.
- PIJ spokesman Tareq Salami strongly condemned the decision (PIJ website, July 24, 2021). Isma’il Haniyeh, head of Hamas’ political bureau, sent a protest to the head of the African Union and called on him to revoke the decision (Hamas website, July 30, 2021).
- According to reports from Algeria, the Algerian government was leading a diplomatic effort to expel Israel from the African Union and already had agreement from 13 states (al-Quds al-Arabi, August 1, 2021). Hamas and the PIJ praised Algeria and its “support for the Palestinians” (Hamas website, August 1, 2021; PIJ website, August 1, 2021).
 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 June 22, 2021 bulletin, "An analysis of the names of Gazans killed during Operation Guardian of the Walls indicates that about half of those killed as a result of Israeli attacks were terrorist operatives." ↑