The prayer on the Temple Mount on the last Friday of Ramadan (official Fatah Facebook page, June 8, 2018).
Flying an incendiary kite (Facebook page of "the supreme authority of the great return march," June 8, 2018).
The Huriya sails from Brighton (Facebook page of Zaher Birawi, June 8, 2018).
Mahmoud Abbas signs documents for joining seven more international conventions. At the right is Riyadh al-Maliki, PA foreign minister (Wafa, June 7, 2018).
Jibril Rajoub holds a press conference after the Israel-Argentina friendship match is cancelled (Wafa, June 6, 2018).
Mahmoud Abbas hosts Jibril Rajoub in his office, and thanks him for his actions (Mahmoud Abbas' Facebook page, June 8, 2018).
- The demonstrations and riots last Friday, June 8, 2018, which marked Global Quds Day and Naksa Day, were attended by more than 10,000 Gazans (far fewer than what Hamas expected). The events continue to be characterized by Hamas-led violence. During the riots attempts were made to attack IDF soldiers with gunfire from light arms and by throwing IEDs, and damage Israeli territory by flying incendiary kites and kites and balloons with IEDs attached to their tails. Four Palestinian rioters were killed (two of whom were affiliated with Hamas) and about 600 were wounded.
- This past week there was a stabbing attack in Afula in northern Israel in which an 18-year-old girl was wounded. The attack was carried out by a Palestinian from Jenin who was staying in Israel illegally. An examination of his Facebook posts shows he was religious and customarily referred to Jerusalem.
- Senior Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) figures publicly expressed satisfaction with the achievements of the “return marches,” which put the Palestinian cause on the international agenda. They stressed that the activities along the border fence would continue and that they did not rule out the use of arms. In view of their statements, and in the absence of practical achievements for Hamas, it can be assumed that the “return marches” along the border fence and their accompanying violence and terrorism will continue.
Stabbing attack in Afula
- On the afternoon of June 11, 2018, an 18-year-old Israeli girl waiting for a bus in Afula was stabbed and critically wounded. A search was conducted for the stabber. After about an hour the Israeli security forces located him. He was shot and wounded, and detained by the security forces. He was from Jenin and staying in Israel illegally. A knife was found in his possession (Israeli media, June 11, 2018).
- The Palestinian media reported he was Nur al-Din al-Shenawi, 22, from Jenin, a student at the al-Quds Open University. Friends and relatives said he was religious (although he does not appear religious in current pictures of him posted to Facebook), and supported and preached the “resistance” [i.e., terrorism]. They claimed he carried out the attack in retaliation for Israeli activity in Jerusalem and on the Temple Mount (Palinfo, June 11, 2018).
- Nur al-Din al-Shenawi had a Facebook page where he posted pictures and notices of a religious nature. He called for Muslims to pray in Jerusalem, saying “Jerusalem [is] a red line.” He also called for them to kneel and pray to Allah, and posted pictures of the Qur’an and pictures taken with friends on the Temple Mount. He also posted a notice glorifying the “heroes of the resistance” in Jenin (Facebook page of Nur al-Din al- Shenawi).
Right: The scene of the stabbing attack in Afula (QudsN Facebook page, June 11, 2018). Left: Nur al-Din al-Shenawi, who carried out the attack (Facebook page of Jenin al-Hadath, June 11, 2018).
Right: Notice posted by Nur al-Shenawi to his Facebook page. He wrote, “If you can’t do something big, do small things in big ways.” Left: Nur al-Din al-Shenawi and two friends with a notice reading “Jerusalem [is] a red line, #Jerusalem_OurCapital” (Facebook page of Nur al-Din al-Shenawi, December 6, 2017).
- This past Friday, June 8, 2018, was the last Friday of the Muslim religious month of Ramadan. Thousands of Muslims came to pray on the Temple Mount. No unusual events took place. In Judea and Samaria Palestinians continued throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at the Israeli security forces and civilian targets. The Israeli security forces carried out counterterrorism activities in Judea and Samaria, detaining Palestinians suspected of terrorist activity.
- During a clash with IDF forces in the village of Nabi Saleh, a Palestinian was shot and killed after the threw a stone at soldiers. The stone hit a soldier in the head and in response he shot and killed the Palestinian who threw it. The IDF military police are investigating the circumstances of the man’s death (Twitter account of the IDF spokesman, June 6, 2018).
- The Palestinian media reported the Palestinian was Izz al-Din al-Hafiz al-Tamimi, 21. The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) issued a death notice for him which claimed al-Tamimi joined the organization in 2014. He was imprisoned in Israel twice, once for six months and once for a year, on the grounds of membership in the DFLP’s youth organization and participating in “resistance” [i.e., terrorist] activities. For the last few months he was wanted for activity in the “popular resistance” [i.e., popular terrorism] (Facebook page of the Jenin branch of the DFLP, June 6, 2018; al-Ayam, June 7, 2018).
- The Palestinian national consensus government accused Israel of “executing” al-Tamimi. Yusuf al-Mahmoud, national consensus government spokesman, said the incident showed the [high] level of training of Israeli soldiers and their experience in killing Palestinians. According to Saeb Erekat, secretary of the PLO’s Executive Committee, Palestinians will not remain silent in the face of the incident and intend to appeal to the International Criminal Court (ICC) (Palestinian TV, June 7, 2018).
The death notice issued by the DFLP for Izz al-Din al-Tamimi
(Facebook page of the Jenin branch of the DFLP, June 6, 2018).
- Other prominent events were the following:
- June 10, 2018 – Border Policemen at one of the posts near the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron identified a suspicious object. It was an IED attached to two gas bottles. The device was neutralized. (Facebook page of Red Alert, June 10, 2018).
- June 7, 2018 –Palestinians threw stones, chairs and other objects at tourists visiting the Temple Mount compound. Several tourists were wounded. During police activity at the scene a policeman was wounded by a stone. Two suspects were detained. (Facebook page of Red Alert, June 7, 2018).
- June 7, 2018 – During searches carried out by IDF forces in the village of Husan (southwest of Bethlehem) thousands of shekels were seized. The funds were intended for the financing of Hamas activities (Facebook page of Red Alert, June 10, 2018).
- June 7, 2018 – During Israeli security force activity in Nablus a riot broke out. Hundreds of Palestinians threw stones and cinder blocks at the forces, who responded with riot control measures. One soldier was injured (Facebook page of Red Alert, June 7, 2018).
Significant terrorist attacks during the past year 
The “return march,” June 8, 2018
- The events of Friday, June 8, 2018, along the Israel-Gaza Strip border were intended to mark annual Global Quds Day (initiated by Iran) and Naksa Day (the defeat of the Arab states in the Six Day War). The events continue to be characterized by Hamas-led violence. They were attended by more than 10,000 Gazans, similar to the number on Friday, June 1 and far fewer than what Hamas expected. The rioters gathered at five main locations along the security fence, where they threw stones, burned tires and tried to sabotage the fence.
- Under cover of the riots there were a number of attempts to attack IDF soldiers by shooting light arms and throwing IEDs. Gazans also flew incendiary kites and kites and balloons with IEDs attached to their tails. Four rioters were killed (two of them affiliated with Hamas and two whose organizational identity is not known to the ITIC), and about 600 were wounded. The Friday demonstrations and riots were encouraged by Iran both practically and with propaganda: the day before, a speech was given by Ali Akbar Velayati, advisor to Ali Khamenei, supreme leader of Iran, and broadcast via video to a ceremony held in Gaza City. Iran also gave $500 to the families of every Gazan killed in the marches.
Incendiary kite terrorism
- This past week the use of incendiary kites increased. Many were flown into Israel both during the week and during the “return marches” on June 8, 2018. They caused fires in dozens of locations and a great deal of property damage (45 fires were caused on Friday).
- Hamas and the other terrorist organizations are fully aware of the economic and moral damage to Israel and its image resulting from the kites, leading them to encourage their use. The operatives flying the kites call themselves the “al-Zouari units,” or the “sons of al-Zouari units,” after the Tunisian aeronautics engineer Muhammad al-Zouari, who worked for Hamas and was killed in Tunisia. The “achievements” of the incendiary kites led the Palestinians to also fly kites and helium balloons with IEDs attached to their tails.
- On June 9, 2018, Israeli Air Force aircraft shot warning fire at a squad engaged in preparing IED balloons in the region of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip. On June 10, 2018, Israeli police demolitions experts were called to deal with an accelerant attached to a kite which had been located by children in one of the Israeli communities near the Gaza Strip. According to the police, the objective was apparently to harm Israelis. The residents of the Israeli communities near the Gaza Strip have been warned not to approach or touch the kites.
Flying an incendiary kite (Facebook page of “the supreme authority of the great return march,” June 8, 2018).
Attempts to cross the fence
- Even on days where there are no “return marches” attempts are made by Gazans to cross the security fence into Israeli territory. The Palestinian media reported that Palestinian boys broke through the Karni crossing and burned an IDF observation post and military equipment (al-Jazeera, June 9, 2018). On June 10, 2018, IDF forces caught three Palestinians who tried to cross the security fence in the western Negev in two locations. The Palestinians were unarmed and were taken for interrogation (Facebook page of Red Alert, June 10, 2018).
- This past week no rocket hits were identified in Israeli territory.
Monthly Distribution of Rocket and Mortar Shell Fire since January 2018
* The minimal number of rockets and mortar shells. At this point the ITIC cannot differentiate between rocket and mortar shell fire.
Annual Distribution of Rocket Hits
* The estimated number of rockets and mortar shells fired during the two rounds of escalation.
The IDF attacks undersea Hamas tunnel penetrating into Israeli territory
- It is now possible to report that on June 3, 2018, for the first time Israeli Air Force aircraft attacked an undersea tunnel in the northern Gaza Strip penetrating Into Israeli territory. It was used by commandos of Hamas’ elite force to enter the sea without exposing themselves. The tunnel was similar to those constructed for the sewage system. It extended from a structure used as a Hamas post located about three kilometers (a little less than two miles) south of the Israeli border. The tunnel extended underground several dozen yards to the sea and from there followed a hidden channel at a depth of two or three meters underwater. From there Hamas naval commandos could enter the water without being identified by IDF observation posts (IDF spokesman, June 10, 2018).
- According to Israeli Navy sources, Hamas operatives trained in the area of the tunnel a number of times. They planned to use it to send operatives to the Israeli shore near the Gaza Strip to attack an Israeli community or a nearby strategic site (such as the oil pipeline or the power plant in Ashqelon). A high-ranking Israeli naval officer said the IDF knew of the tunnel’s existence for several months and the timing of the attack was based on operational considerations. The officer also said Hamas might have other, similar tunnels (Ynet, June 10, 2018). Hamas’ naval commando force was exposed for the first time during Operation Protective Edge (July 2014) when they tried to carry out an attack on the (Zikim) beach near the Gaza Strip border.
Hamas’ undersea tunnel in the northern Gaza Strip attacked
by the IDF (IDF spokesman’s website, June 10, 2018).
The humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip
- The electric company in the Gaza Strip announced that electricity was currently being supplied in cycles of four hours with power and 16 hours without (Filistin al-Youm, June 10, 2018). Reportedly, as a result of the shut-down of the pumps caused by the electricity crisis, 150,000 cubic meters (about 39.5 million gallons) of sewage are dumped into the sea every day (Twitter account of Amama, June 10, 2018).
- This past week a number of delegations arrived, bringing humanitarian aid for the Gaza Strip; donations and packages of food also arrived. The main humanitarian activities were the following:
- On June 9, 2018, a delegation arrived from Malaysia (Ma’an, June 9, 2018).
- A delegation from Morocco, headed by the Moroccan ambassador to Egypt, entered the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing. The 165-man delegation brought 13 trucks of equipment for setting up a field hospital (Palinfo, June 8, 2018). Ahmed Bounaim, head of the delegation from Morocco, said the medical team included 13 doctors and 21 nurses as well as technicians and administrative and logistic personnel. He said the hospital would have 30 beds and in an emergency could expand to 60 beds (Radio al-Watania, June 10, 2018).
- The office of the EU announced the transfer of €15 million for families in the Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria (Wafa, June 11, 2018).
- The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency TIKA announced the transfer of 15,000 packages of food for the Gaza Strip. The agency continues sending shipments of medicine and cleaning materials to the hospitals operating through the PA ministry of health, and launched a new initiative to provide medical equipment and medicines for the 15,000 Palestinians wounded during the “return marches” (al-Andalou News, June 10, 2018).
Statements from senior figures In the Gaza Strip
- Senior Hamas and PIJ figures have expressed satisfaction with the “return marches,” which allegedly had many achievements for the Palestinians, especially returning the Palestinian cause to the international agenda. The leadership of Hamas and the other terrorist organizations have stressed that the activities along the fence will continue until the “liberation of Palestine,” and that they do not rule out the use of weapons. Some of their statements were the following:
- Isma’il Haniyeh, head of Hamas’ political bureau, speaking at the funeral of one of the Palestinians killed on June 8, 2018, called the “return march” a “victory for the Palestinian people, a strategic victory in the battle for hearts and minds and a victory for the strategy of stability and firm stance.” He called the marches a political and media breakthrough which had made the Palestinian cause the top priority of international organizations. He added that so far the UN Security Council had met four times to discuss the issue (al-Jazeera, June 9, 2018).
- Isma’il Haniyeh also spoke at a ceremony in Gaza City held to mark Global Quds Day and to pay tribute to the families of shaheeds killed during the marches. He said that despite the fact that the Palestinians sacrificed their sons in the marches, it was “the most appropriate form of struggle at the current time. He said the marches had led to a political and media breakthrough in everything relating to conducting the struggle against Israel, the liberation of Palestine and recognition of the “right of return.” They proved, he claimed, that despite the “siege,” the Palestinian people had the ability to take the initiative, make breakthroughs and put the Palestinian cause at the head of the public agenda (al-Aqsa, June 9, 2018).
- Khalil al-Haya, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, at a meeting held by religious leaders and preachers in Gaza City, said the role of religious leaders and preachers was to spread the idea of jihad among the march participants. He said that it was the best time to turn true believers against the occupation and inculcate the idea of “resistance” [i.e., terrorism]. He said the “weapons of the resistance” were the “armor of the marches.” He said that if it became necessary to use [their] weapons, they would do so (al-Aqsa, June 6, 2018).
- Senior PIJ figure Khaled al-Batash said that the “return marches” would continue. He said the marches had returned the Palestinian cause to the agenda of public opinion. He also said that alongside the marches, the Palestinians reserved the right to respond to any Israeli aggression, and that the two paths of resistance would continue to exist without one cancelling the other (al-Aqsa, June 7, 2018).
The flotilla to the Gaza Strip
- Their routes are the following:
- The al-Awda (“the return”), the largest of the four boats, with 20 passengers on board, anchored at the Isle of Jersey and from there sailed to the port of La Rochelle in southern France. It left La Rochelle on June 20, 2018 (Twitter account of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition, June 10, 2018). The boat was joined by Cristina Honorato, a member of the Seville city council (Twitter account of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition, June 9, 2018). In addition Awny Farhat, the former coordinator of the Gaza Ark project, also joined the boat (Facebook page of Awny Farhat, June 7, 2018).
- The al-Huriya, with 12 passengers on board, anchored in the port of Brighton and left port on June 8, 2018 (Facebook page of Zaher Birawi, June 8, 2018).
- Two sailboats, the Mairead and the Palestine, each with eight activists on board, left the port of Rotterdam. It will later set sail for Belgium, to sail from there to France. Reportedly, the boats are delayed in Belgium for repairs and expect to reach Paris between June 17 and 19, 2018 (Facebook page of Plateforme Palestine [a network of French NGOs for Palestine], June 11, 2018).
Right: Awny Farhat with Charlie Andreasson, a Swedish activist, on the deck of the al-Awda (Facebook page of Awny Farhat, June 10, 2018). Left: The Huriya sails from Brighton (Facebook page of Zaher Birawi, June 8, 2018).
The Palestinians in the international arena
- On June 13, 2018, an emergency session of the UN General Assembly is supposed to be held to discuss the Palestinian issue. The session is being held at the request of Algeria, representing the Arab League, and Turkey, representing the Organization for Islamic Cooperation. It will deal with Israel’s activity in the Gaza Strip and the killing of demonstrators along the fence beginning on March 30, 2018. Apparently a resolution will be proposed to provide the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip with international protection. Riyadh Mansour, PA representative to the UN, said it is reasonable to assume the resolution will be passed (Dunia al-Watan, June 11, 2018). Note: The resolution is similar to the one proposed in the UN Security Council and vetoed by the United States.
The PA joins international conventions
- Mahmoud Abbas signed documents for joining seven more international conventions, among them the protocol for abolishing the death penalty (Wafa, June 6, 2018). Saeb Erekat, secretary of the PLO’s Executive Committee, said in an interview that joining conventions and protocols has to be coordinated with the PA’s laws so that the PA could meet its commitments regarding them. He said by signing the conventions Mahmoud Abbas was implementing the decisions of the Palestinian National Council. He added that the final stage would be lodging an appeal with the International Criminal Court in The Hague (Voice of Palestine Radio, June 7, 2018). On another occasion Erekat said that by joining the most recent accords, the PA was an integral part of 117 international accords and organizations. He said the most important accord Mahmoud Abbas signed was the protocol abolishing the death penalty (Palestinian TV, June 7, 2018).
Mahmoud Abbas signs documents for joining seven more international conventions. At the right is Riyadh al-Maliki, PA foreign minister (Wafa, June 7, 2018).
PA reactions to the Israeli law allowing for deductions from funds for the PA
- On June 11, 2018, the Foreign Affairs and Security Committee of the Israeli Knesset unanimously passed a law making it possible for Israel to deduct funds from the taxes collected and transferred to the PA. The deducted funds are money the PA uses to pay the salaries of prisoners and allotments to the families of shaheeds. The law also makes it possible to divert the money to pay Israeli farmers in the western Negev for the damages caused by the fires set by the incendiary kites.
- The PA strongly condemned the law, calling it a violation of every international standard. The PA also emphasized it would not stop the payments to the families of prisoners and shaheeds. Some of the statements were the following:
- Yusuf al-Mahmoudi, spokesman for the national consensus government, condemned what he called “Israeli piracy and the theft of Palestinian money” under cover of a law proposed in the Knesset. He said that there was no force in the world that could make the PA leadership abandon the prisoners and the shaheeds who had sacrificed their lives for the sake of their people’s freedom and independence. He added that all the measures taken by the “occupation regime” against the Palestinians and their assets were null and void and could not be called laws (Wafa, June 11, 2018).
- Usama al-Qawasmeh, Fatah spokesman and member of the Revolutionary Council, said the law passed by the Knesset was an act of “piracy” and violated every international agreement and convention, and was the armed robbery of Palestinian resources. He also said the law contributed to regional escalation and tension (Wafa, June 11, 2018).
- Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said the funds of the Palestinians were their own property and Israel’s stealing them was unacceptable. He called for action to be taken against what he called Israel’s “racist laws and policy of oppression” through a united, effective, strong national strategy. He called for the PA to continue paying the allotments to the prisoners and families of shaheeds and the wounded as a first step against Israel’s policy.
PA responses to the cancellation of the Israel-Argentina friendship soccer match
- The cancellation of the Israel-Argentinean friendship match in Jerusalem was represented by the Palestinians as a significant achievement in their political struggle against Israel. Mahmoud Abbas hosted Jibril Rajoub in his office in Ramallah (Jibril Rajoub is a senior Fatah figure who is also chairman of the Palestinian soccer association). Mahmoud Abbas thanked him for the measures he led to cancel the match (Facebook page of Mahmoud Abbas, June 8, 2018).
- Jibril Rajoub held a press conference where he praised the Argentinean decision to cancel the match, saying it was a “slap in the face for the government of Israel.” Saeb Erekat also praised the decision and claimed it was a failure for Israel’s “political terrorism” (Facebook page of Saeb Erekat, June 6, 2018).
Right: Mahmoud Abbas hosts Jibril Rajoub in his office, and thanks him for his actions (Mahmoud Abbas’ Facebook page, June 8, 2018). Left: Jibril Rajoub holds a press conference after the Israel-Argentina friendship match is cancelled (Wafa, June 6, 2018).
- The Palestinian foreign ministry praised Argentina’s decision. It announced that cancelling the match sent the strong, clear message to Israeli society that the attempt of Israeli politicians to rehabilitate “the image of the occupation” by bringing politics into sports and culture had not succeeded. The foreign ministry thanked Argentina’s soccer association and the players who pressed for the match to be cancelled (Emad, June 6, 2018).
Cartoon appearing in the daily al-Hayat al-Jadeeda represents the
Palestinian “achievement” after the cancellation of the Israel-Argentina
friendship match (al-Hayat al-Jadeeda, June 10, 2018).
Demonstration in Ramallah against PA sanctions imposed on the Gaza Strip
- A demonstration was held in Ramallah to protest the sanctions the PA imposed on the Gaza Strip and to demand they be lifted. The event was initiated by political activists, among them Muhammad al-Qiq, a journalist affiliated with Hamas (and detained by both Israel and the PA a number of times) and Azzam ‘Abadin, the legal counsel of the al-Haqq organization. The march began at al-Manara Square and passed through the main streets of the city
- The Palestinians who attended the demonstration declared that their protests would continue until the sanctions were lifted (al-Aqsa, June 11, 2018). Another march was planned for June 12 in Ramallah, and after it a rally was held in front of the PLO headquarters (Twitter account of Ahmed al-Biqawi, June 10, 2018).
- Palestinians affiliated with Fatah and the PA mechanisms objected to the demonstration (Shabakat Quds, June 10, 2018). Fatah signs were hung on a number of buildings in the center of Ramallah, saying that the Hamas revolution in the Gaza Strip was the source of all the catastrophes. They said that since the revolution the PA spent $17 million on the Gaza Strip (Ma’an, June 10, 2018; Reuters in Arabic, June 11, 2018; and alresala.net, June 9, 2018).
Signs hung on buildings in the al-Manara Square area, apparently by Fatah members. The sign on the left reads, “During the years of the revolution the PA spent $17 billion on the Gaza Strip.” The sign on the right reads, “The Hamas revolution is the source of all catastrophes.” The sign in the bottom picture the sign also reads, “The Hamas revolution is the source of all catastrophes.” Another sign reads, “Gaza will not forget and not forgive June 14, 2007, the killing, destruction, detentions and starvation” (official Fatah Facebook page, June 11, 2018; Twitter account of 48news, June 10 2018).
 A significant attack is defined by the ITIC as involving shooting, a vehicular attack, the use of IEDs, or a combination of the above. Stones and Molotov cocktails thrown by Palestinians are not included. ↑
 On December 15, 2016, the killing of Muhammad al-Zouari in a drive-by shooting was reported. He was 49 years old, an engineer, and came from a religious family in Sfax, eastern Tunisia. After he finished his studies and served in the army, he earned a civilian pilot's license and was employed as a pilot by Tunisair. He was fired because of his activity in the Tunisian Islamist al-Nahda party and fled to Sudan. In 1991 he went to Syria and joined Hamas military-terrorist wing, where he developed unmanned aerial vehicles and hang-gliders for Hamas. ↑
 The statistics do not include mortar shell fire or rockets which misfired and fell inside the Gaza Strip. ↑