The three Palestinians. Left to right, Laith Abu Salah, Baraa Lahlouh, Yusuf Salah (Filastin al-Yawm, June 17, 2022).
The funeral held in Jenin for the three Palestinian terrorists (al-Quds al-Arabi, June 17, 2022).
Masked, armed Palestinians at the funeral (al-Araby al-Jadeed, June 17, 2022).
Attack on Hamas surveillance post (Paltoday, June 18, 2022).
Muhammad Shtayyeh meets with Ursula von der Leyen (Wafa, June 14, 2022).
- This past week the Israeli security forces continued counterterrorism activities in Judea and Samaria. During an IDF activity in Jenin three Palestinians who shot at the forces were killed. A Palestinian was also killed while trying to infiltrate into Israeli territory in the Qalqilya region.
- On June 18, 2022, after two months of relative quiet, a rocket was fired from the northern Gaza Strip at the southern coastal city of Ashqelon. In response Israeli aircraft attacked several Hamas military-terrorist sites, including a new Hamas surveillance post in the northern Gaza Strip near the Israeli community of Netiv HaAsara. Several hours after the attack the surveillance post had been repaired by Hamas. Additional measures to ease the daily lives of the Gazan population were frozen in response to the rocket attack.
- The military-terrorist wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) held a broad exercise in the Gaza Strip which included rocket fire. Pictures of the rockets as they were fired showed they came from within a populated area.
- The European Commission president confirmed the renewal of financial aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) after a hiatus of eight months (October 2021).
- According to al-Jazeera TV, Palestinian reporter Shireen Abu Akleh was allegedly shot with a bullet used by IDF soldiers. The bullet is being held by the PA, which refuses to allow Israel to examine it.
- This past week Israeli security forces continued counterterrorism activities in Judea and Samaria, confiscating weapons and detaining dozens of Palestinians suspected of involvement in terrorist activity.
The Palestinians killed in Jenin
- Before dawn on June 17, 2022, during an IDF activity to seize weapons in the houses of Palestinian suspects, three armed Palestinians were killed. The Israeli forces entered one of the houses and located weapons, and as they went to the next house they were shot at by three Palestinians inside a vehicle parked on the side of the road. The forces returned fire and killed the Palestinians. In the meantime, other Palestinians opened fire and threw IEDs at the Israeli forces. In the vehicle from which the shots were fired two M-16 assault rifles, an improvised Carlo machine gun and ammunition magazines were found. No Israeli casualties were reported (IDF spokesman, June 17, 2022).
The weapons found in the vehicle (IDF spokesman, June 17, 2022).
- The Palestinian media reported the three Palestinians who were killed were:
- Yusuf Nasser Salah, 23, from Jenin. His body was wrapped for burial in a PIJ flag.
- Baraa Kamal Lahlouh, 24, from the Jenin refugee camp. He was an operative in Hamas’ military-terrorist wing, and Hamas issued a mourning notice for him.
- Laith Salah Abu Srour, 24, from Jenin. He was an operative in Fatah’s military-terrorist wing. His brother said he always wanted to be a shaheed.
Right: The three Palestinians. Left to right, Laith Abu Salah, Baraa Lahlouh, Yusuf Salah (Filastin al-Yawm, June 17, 2022). Left: Yusuf Salah (Filastin al-Yawm Twitter account, June 17, 2022).
- A funeral was held for the three in Jenin, attended by dozens of masked, armed Palestinians who fired their weapons into the air. They chanted anti-Israel slogans and demanded revenge. Senior PIJ figure Maher al-Akhras, who attended the funeral, condemned their killing and said the “resistance” [i.e., Palestinian anti-Israeli terrorism] united them and that the mass turnout at the funeral was a kind of “oath of loyalty to the resistance” (al-Araby al-Jadeed, June 17, 2022).
Right: The funeral held in Jenin for the three Palestinian terrorists (al-Quds al-Arabi, June 17, 2022). Left: Masked, armed Palestinians at the funeral (al-Araby al-Jadeed, June 17, 2022).
- Mahmoud Abbas’ office issued a condemnation, claiming what the announcement referred to as the “execution” of the three Palestinians was Israel’s response to the American demand to stop the “escalation” before the arrival of President Joe Biden to the region. The Fatah movement also issued a condemnation of the “aggressive and cowardly crime of killing three heroes in Jenin” (Wafa, June 17, 2022).
- Hamas spokesman Abd al-Latif al-Qanua said “the pure blood [of the Palestinian shaheeds] fuels the intifada and the revolution of the Palestinian people against the ‘occupation’,” an “equation” for all the generations calling to permanently “resist” and confront the “occupation” (al-Quds, June 17, 2022).
Palestinian killed while trying to cross the border security fence into Israel
- On June 19, 2022, IDF fighters identified a suspicious figure vandalizing the border security fence near Qalqilya (across the Green Line from the center of the country) in an attempt to enter Israeli territory. The fighters shot and killed him (IDF spokesman, June 19, 2022). The Palestinian media reported the man was Nabil Ahmed Salim Ghanem, 53, from the village of Sara, west of Nablus (Arabs48, June 19, 2022). Local residents reported he was shot while trying to enter Israel along with other workers (qudsnet.com, June 19, 2022).
Nabil Ghanem (Arabs48, June 19, 2022).
- Rafi’ Rawajba, the governor of the Qalqilya district, condemned the IDF forces for shooting at Palestinian workers near the fence, killing Nabil Ghanem. He claimed it was “another Israeli crime against the Palestinians,” because “Ghanem was not a danger to the IDF” (Amad, June 19, 2022).
- After conducting a covert investigation of an arms-smuggling network, the Israeli security forces detained two smugglers at the Jordanian border. They had three duffle bags containing five M-16 assault rifles, a sniper rifle, seven hand guns and ammunition magazines. A third Palestinian was detained on suspicion of assisting them (Israel Police Force Twitter account, June 20, 2022).
The weapons confiscated (Israel Police Force Twitter account, June 20, 2022).
- On June 19, 2022, Israeli security forces operating in the Hebron detained four Palestinians suspected of Hamas activity (IDF spokesman, June 19, 2022).
- On June 19, 2022, during an Israeli security force activity in the Dheisheh refugee camp Palestinians rioted against the forces, throwing rocks, Molotov cocktails and IEDs (IDF spokesman, June 19, 2022).
- On June 16, 2022, during an IDF activity near the village of ‘Anin, northwest of Jenin, shots were heard. A search revealed four suspects with two handguns in their possession, who were detained (IDF spokesman, June 16, 2022).
Significant Terrorist Attacks in Judea and Samaria since January 2020
Rocket and mortar shell fire into Israel
- At 03:00 on the morning of June 18, 2022, a rocket was fired from the northern Gaza Strip at the southern Israeli coastal city of Ashqelon. It was intercepted by the Iron Dome aerial defense system. No casualties or damage were reported. The rocket was fired after about two months of relative quiet. No organization claimed responsibility for the rocket fire.
- In response to the rocket fire the Israeli Air Force attacked Hamas military-terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip for approximately one hour. After the attack Palestinians shot machineguns at the Israeli community of Netiv HaAsara, which lies about 200 yards from the Gaza Strip border, and the IDF requested residents to remain in their homes. According to the IDF spokesman, among the sites attacked in the Gaza Strip were facilities for the manufacture of weapons, three Hamas military positions and a military post (IDF spokesman, June 19, 2022). According to the Palestinians, the Salah al-Din post in the central Gaza Strip was attacked, as were military positions in the Zeitoun neighborhood in the southern part of Gaza City (Ma’an, June 18, 2022).
Attack on Hamas military-terrorist targets (IDF spokesman, June 18, 2022).
- Also attacked was a new surveillance post in the Beit Lahia region in the northern Gaza Strip, which looks out over the Israeli community of Netiv HaAsara. The post was damaged by not destroyed. Several hours after the attack Hamas’ military-terrorist wing reported they had begun repairs on the “al-Fateh” [“the victor”] post. After it had been repaired, flags and pictures of the three Palestinians killed in Jenin were hung on it (Shehab news agency, June 18, 2022).
Attack on Hamas surveillance post (Paltoday, June 18, 2022).
Surveillance post after repairs. Hamas and Palestinian flags, and a giant picture of the three Palestinians killed in Jenin (Paldf Twitter account, June 18, 2022).
- Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said the speed with which the military wing had repaired the observation post was a display of force and might (Quds Press, June 18, 2022). Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said the [Israeli] attacks in the Gaza Strip were an extension of Israel’s “aggression,” which attacks all Palestinian territory (aljazeera.net, June 18, 2022). Senior PIJ figure Ahmed Mudallal said the “occupation” was an “evil enemy” which understood only the language of “blood and resistance,” and threatened that the “escalation” against the Gaza Strip would not be a “picnic” (Filastin al-Yawm, June 18, 2022).
- “Palestinian organization sources” reported that the rocket fired from the Gaza Strip was meant to convey the “message” that the “equation” had not changed and that the organizations in the Gaza Strip would not sit by idly while Israel operated in Judea and Samaria and killed three Palestinians in Jenin. The sources claimed that if such activities continued, the situation in the Gaza Strip was “liable to explode” (al-Akhbar, June 20, 2022). It was also reported that through the mediators, the organizations “requested” Israel stop its “aggression” and “attempts to change the status quo” in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria (al-Araby al-Jadeed, June 20, 2022).
Monthly Distribution of Rocket and Mortar Shell Fire since January 2020
Annual Distribution of Rocket Hits
Detention of Palestinian who tried to infiltrate into Israeli territory
- IDF fighters detained a suspect who tried to cross the border security fence in the southern Gaza Strip and enter Israeli territory. The Gazan had no weapon; he was taken for interrogation by the Israeli security forces (IDF spokesman, June 20, 2022).
Israeli surveillance balloon falls inside the Gaza Strip
- On June 17, 2022, an Israeli surveillance balloon disengaged from its cable and fell inside the Gaza Strip. The initial investigation revealed that the strong winds prevalent at the time had snapped the cable. it fell in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip and was found by operatives of Hamas’ military-terrorist wing (al-Quds al-Arabi, June 17, 2022). The IDF spokesman reported that the fall of the balloon had not resulted in the loss of important information (IDF spokesman, June 17, 2022).
- The Palestinian and Arab media covered the event extensively, publishing pictures and videos of the balloon and the equipment it carried. They also published pictures of the IDF attack on the region where the balloon fell in the northern Gaza Strip (aljazeera.net, al-Araby al-Jadeed TV, Shehab Twitter account, June 17, 2022).
Right: The balloon a few minutes before it fell (al-Quds al-Arabi, June 17, 2022). Left: The balloon on the ground in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip (Twitter account of journalist Hassan Aslih, June 17, 2022).
IDF attack in Beit Hanoun, near where the balloon fell
(Ultra Palestine Twitter account, June 17, 2022).
Additional measures for Gazans frozen
- On June 15, 2022, the Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) announced that after a security assessment, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz had ordered the number of work and business permits for Gazans to be increased by 2,000, bringing the total number of 14,000. It was made clear that the permits would be given in accordance with the Gaza Strip’s maintaining the criteria set for them and depending on the security situation (COGAT’s spokesman’s unit, June 15, 2022). After the rocket was fired at Israel, the defense minister froze the permit increase. In response the Palestinian organizations said that move was useless and would not influence the “equation of response” (al-Akhbar, June 20, 2022).
PIJ’s military-terrorist wing holds military exercise
- Abu Hamza, spokesman for the Jerusalem Brigades, the PIJ’s military-terrorist wing, announced it had begun a military exercise that would be conducted over several days, called “The determination of the honest [truth tellers].” During the operation the operatives, especially the artillery and rocket launching units, engaged in various activities. According to Abu Hamza, the exercise was part of raising the PIJ’s alert level and a preparation for future combat (Jerusalem Brigades’ Telegram channel, June 19 and 20, 2022).
- On the eve of the exercise the Jerusalem Brigades issued a video for the residents of the Gaza Strip to clarify details about the upcoming military exercise (Paltoday, June 20, 2022). The naval police closed the Gaza Strip’s naval space and prevented fishermen from approaching the coast (Paldf Twitter account, June 19, 2022)
The logo of the military exercise, “The determination of the honest [truth tellers]”
(Jerusalem Brigades website, June 20, 2022).
- On June 20, 2022, the Palestinian media announced the exercise would begin by firing rockets towards the sea. Pictures showed the rockets were fired from within a populated civilian area. That evening Jerusalem Brigades spokesman Abu Hamza announced the exercise had ended and that “hundreds of military operatives” throughout the Gaza Strip had participated in variety of operations. He said they had made progress in preparing for combat and in the precision of their rocket fire, which reinforced their military capabilities on the ground (Jerusalem Brigades website, June 20, 2022). The Jerusalem Brigades issued another announcement thanking the public, the military operatives and the ministry of the interior in the Gaza Strip for their efforts towards the success of the exercise (Jerusalem Brigades website, June 20, 2022).
Rockets fired during the exercise. The picture at the right shows rockets launched from a populated civilian area (al-Hayat Press, June 20, 2022).
Right: Firing rockets off the coast. Left: Mortar shells displayed during the exercise
(al-Hayat Press, June 20, 2022).
- Hassan Lafi, a political commentator in the Gaza Strip, said the timing of the exercise revealed a new stage in the most important issues for the Palestinians, which were preserving their internal unity and integrating all the Palestinian fronts. He said the objective of the exercise was to convey to Israel the message that the “forces” were prepared to integrate all the Palestinian fronts and that the Jerusalem Brigades were prepared for military combat against Israel at any time (Paltoday, June 19, 2022). Dr. Mahmoud al-Ajarmi, Palestinian security and strategy expert, said the exercise was meant to show the Jerusalem Brigades’ operational preparedness for combat in the Gaza Strip, and to make it clear to Israel that they would not remain silent when activities were carried out “against the Palestinians,” as had been the case during the Flag March (Paltoday, June 19, 2022).
Isma’il Haniyeh reiterates the importance of Jerusalem and al-Aqsa mosque
- Isma’il Haniyeh, head of Hamas’ political bureau, gave an on-line video speech at Hamas’ “Palestinian sovereignty – strategic changes and future developments” conference held in Gaza City. He claimed Jerusalem and al-Aqsa mosque were the main focus of the Palestinian “struggle” against Israel. He criticized the Arab states for increasing normalization with Israel, integrating it into the region and signing military and security pacts with it. He said the spirit of intifada and “resistance” [i.e., terrorism] was strong in Judea and Samaria and it was their main combat zone with the “Zionist enemy” (Shehab news agency, June 19, 2022).
Right: The Hamas conference (alresala.net, June 19, 2022). Left: Isma’il Haniyeh gives a speech at the conference (Hamas website, June 19, 2022).
Initial Hamas reaction to the disbanding of the Israeli Knesset
- In response to Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s announcement to disband the Knesset, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum claimed the collapse of the Bennet government was proof of “the weakness of the Zionist entity” and of its internal structure. He claimed it was an indication that the “resistance” could embarrass the Israeli government, destroy its willpower and prevent it from realizing its objectives (Shehab Twitter account, June 21, 2022).
The EU renews financial aid to the PA
- Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission president, confirmed the renewal of financial aid to the PA after a hiatus of eight months, since October 2021. The PA will receive €244.8 million (about $257 million): €143 million for paying salaries and pensions, help for needy families and to pay for coronavirus vaccines, €13 million for hospitals in east Jerusalem, €10 million for the gas and desalination projects in the Gaza Strip, etc. (Wafa, the EU website, June 14, 2022).
- Meeting with the European Commission president, PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh thanked her for the renewal of the financial aid. She promised the aid for 2021 would be paid quickly. She noted the importance of EU aid for the PA, which was €600 million (a little more than $632 million) per year. She also expressed her condolences on the death of Shireen Abu Akleh, and called the investigation into her death “independent and transparent” [sic] (Wafa, June 4, 2022).
Muhammad Shtayyeh meets with Ursula von der Leyen (Wafa, June 14, 2022).
- Suleiman Basharat, director of the Yabous Center for Research in Ramallah, said the renewal of EU aid was the result of an agreement with United States President Biden before his visit to the region. He said the objective was to stabilize the Palestinian arena and was in addition to renewing USAID activity in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip. Other Palestinian commentators added the objective of the aid was to preserve the PA and prevent its collapse (al-Andalou News, June 15, 2022).
Muhammad Shtayyeh meets with the Italian prime minister
- On June 14, 2022, Muhammad Shtayyeh met in his office in Ramallah with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi. They discussed increased bilateral cooperation. Shtayyeh noted the long-time warm relations between Italy and the PA, and the aid provided by the Italian government. They two presided over the signing of six agreements for a total €17 million (about $18 million) in aid for the economy, the private sector, public health, employment and tourism (Wafa, June 14, 2022).
Muhammad Shtayyeh (right) with Mario Draghi, the prime minister of Italy (Wafa, June 14, 2022)
The death of Palestinian reporter Shireen Abu Akleh
- On June 16, 2022, al-Jazeera TV aired another program about the death of Palestinian reporter Shireen Abu Akleh, displaying for the first time the bullet that killed her, allegedly removed from her body during the autopsy conducted at the PA pathology institute. So far the PA had refused to display the bullet publicly and has denied Israel’s requests to be able to examine it. According to al-Jazeera, the 5.56mm bullet was developed by the United States and shot from an M4 rifle used by an IDF special unit. According to al-Jazeera, in the video issued by the IDF spokesman from the scene at the time of the reporter’s death, the IDF soldiers were armed with M4s (al-Jazeera, June 16, 2022).
- The PA ministry for women’s affairs, sponsored by Mahmoud Abbas, held an event in Ramallah to mark the 40th day after her death. It was attended by senior PA figures, including Muhammad Shtayyeh, members of Fatah’s Central Committee, members of the PLO’s Executive Committee and members of the reporter’s family (Wafa, June 19 2022). Muhammad Shtayyeh said he refused to give Israel the bullet, and called on Israel to provide the Palestinians with the gun used in the killing, saying the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh would be used as “proof” in the International Criminal Court of the “crimes of the occupation” (Sawa, June 19, 2022)
- Mahmoud al-‘Alul, Mahmoud Abbas’ deputy in Fatah, speaking for Mahmoud Abbas, said praised Shireen Abu Akleh’s activity and media work for the sake of Jerusalem and “Palestine.” He said her blood and the blood of all the shaheeds killed by Israel was not shed in vain and the “those crimes” would not go unpunished. He claimed the PA’s attorney general and the Palestinian security forces had been “transparent [sic] and professional” and had been referred to the relevant international agencies (Wafa, June 19, 2022).
Memorial service for Shireen Abu Akleh (Wafa, June 19, 2022).
Condemnation of Israel’s construction plan
- The PA foreign ministry condemned Israel’s plans for construction in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem on the grounds that their objective was to “Judaize” Jerusalem and the holy sites [i.e., the sites holy to Islam] and to expand the settlements. According to the ministry, Israeli Prime Minister Bennet was exploiting the visit of American President Joe Biden to establish facts on the ground that would be difficult to change. The ministry claimed it was cooperating with Jordan and the Muslim communities around the world to enlist the international community against Israel and its activities. The foreign ministry also called on the United States administration to reopen quickly the American consulate in Jerusalem and exert pressure on the Israeli government to stop constructing in the settlements (PA foreign minister website, June 14, 2022).
Rocks, Molotov cocktails and other attacks
- In Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem Palestinians continued throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at Israeli vehicles driving on the roads. The more prominent events were the following:
- June 20, 2022: Molotov cocktails were thrown at the fence of the settlement of Beit El, north of Ramallah. No casualties or damage were reported.
- June 20, 2022: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle in Hawwara, south of Nablus. No casualties or damage were reported.
- June 20, 2022: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle near al-Mazraa al-Sharqia, north of Ramallah. Two Israelis were wounded and the vehicle was damaged.
- June 20, 2022: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli bus near Burqa, northwest of Nablus. One Israeli was injured.
- June 19, 2022: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle near al-Aroub, north of Hebron. No casualties were reported; the vehicle was damaged.
- June 19, 2022: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli bus on the Gush Etzion-Hebron road near Bayt Ummar, north of Hebron. No casualties were reported; the but and two other vehicles were damaged.
- June 17, 2022: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle near Bayt Ummar. One Israel was injured, the vehicle was damaged.
- June 17, 2022: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle near al-Mugheir, northeast of Ramallah. No casualties were reported; the vehicle was damaged.
- June 16, 2022: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle near Halhul, north of Hebron. No casualties were reported; the vehicle was damaged.
- June 16, 2022: Rocks were thrown at Israeli vehicles in Hawwara, south of Nablus. No casualties were reported; the bus was damaged.
- June 15, 2022: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle near Sinjil, northeast of Ramallah. No casualties were reported; the vehicle was damaged.
- June 14, 2022: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle near Ayn Samiya, northeast of Ramallah. No casualties were reported; the vehicle was damaged.
- June 14, 2022: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle and bus southeast of Bethlehem. No casualties were reported; both vehicles were damaged.
 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 ↑
 Information and pictures from Rescue Without Borders in Judea and Samaria unless otherwise noted. ↑