The weekly riot between Palestinians and the Israeli security forces at Jabal Sabih to protest the Israeli community of Eviatar (Wafa, June 11, 2021)
Protest of Gazan fishermen (Twitter account of journalist Hassan Aslih, June 13, 2021).
Hamas' military-terrorist wing announces the beginning of registration for its summer camps (Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades Twitter account, June 13, 2021).
Isma'il Haniyeh (right) and Ziyad al-Nakhalah (Hamas website, June 10, 2021).
Mahmoud Abbas still dreams of peace. The Arabic reads, "The occupation [is hatching] a new government" (Alaa' al-Laqta's Facebook page, June 14, 2021).
- Tension at an all-time high before the flag march: Fatah and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have warned Israel not to “play with fire” while calling for a general mobilization and confrontations near the Damascus Gate. Hamas threatened to renew rocket fire at Israel and called for confrontations in east Jerusalem. In the meantime, Egypt is trying to prevent Hamas from attacking southern Israel.
- Tensions unabated in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem: A stabbing attack was prevented at the Qalandia Crossing. On the night of June 9, 2021, two officers in the PA’s security forces and a Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorist operative were killed in Jenin during an Israeli security force action to detain Palestinians wanted for terrorist activities. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas called the families of the Palestinians who were killed, including the family of the operative from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad to offer his condolences
- Following the swearing-in of the new Israeli government, both Hamas and the PA condemned the support given by Naftali Bennett, the new Israeli prime minister, to Israeli settlements in Area C, claiming there is no difference between Bennett and Netanyahu.
- Addenda to Operation Guardian of the Walls: A terrorist tunnel was exposed in the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City under an UNRWA boys’ elementary school. It passed under the school yard at a depth of between 7 and 8 meters. UNRWA condemned the tunnels dug under its schools by the “armed groups” in the Gaza Strip. The Hamas and PIJ leadership continue promoting a narrative of victory, threatening new hostilities with Israel.
- Rebuilding the Gaza Strip: Differences of opinion have surfaced between Egypt, the PA and Hamas regarding responsibility for rebuilding the Gaza Strip. To settle the differences, a delegation headed by Ziad Abu Amru, deputy PA prime minister, left for Egypt. Internal disagreement and disputes between the Palestinian factions caused the cancelling of the meeting that was supposed to be held by the Palestinian terrorist organization representatives in Egypt and they left without holding the meeting.
- After a series of postponements, Israel decided to hold its flag march on June 15, 2021. Its planned route passes through Sultan Suleiman Street to the Damascus Gate, where the Israeli marchers will dance. They will then enter the Old City through the Jaffa Gate and from there march to the Western [Wailing] Wall, some through the Jewish Quarter and some through the Muslim Quarter.
- The PA warned Israel not to hold the march, claiming Israel was “playing with fire.” Fatah called for a general mobilization to confront the marchers. The PLO’s Jerusalem Department warned of the possible consequences, including a new outbreak of violence in Jerusalem which could spread and become a new “wave of rage.” The PA also called on the international community and the American administration to defend the Palestinian people and east Jerusalem from Israel (Wafa, June 12, 2021).
- Muhammad Hamada, Hamas spokesman in east Jerusalem, called on the residents of east Jerusalem to go to al-Aqsa mosque and the streets of the Old City. He said the day of the flag march would be a day of “mobilization and rage” against Israel (Hamas website, June 13, 2021).
- Khalil al-Haya, Musheir al-Masri and Salah al-Bardawil, all members of the Hamas leadership, protested the flag march. Al-Masri said that if Israel wanted to hold the march, Hamas’ rockets would “protect Jerusalem.” Al-Haya said Hamas was liable to become angry if the march was held and would return to the status quo ante (al-Aqsa TV, June 11, 2021). Ghazi Hamad, also of the Hamas leadership, said Hamas was prepared for every scenario regardless of location, whether in Jerusalem, the West Bank or elsewhere. He said there was a real need to open more fronts against Israel and that recent events had generated a reservoir of energy for a new intifada (al-Jazeera, June 11, 2021).
- Hamas called for a general mobilization and a mass gathering in front of al-Aqsa mosque and in the streets of the Old City to prevent Jews from entering the Temple Mount and to sabotage the flag march (QudsN Facebook page, June 14, 2021). The Palestinian social media posted a call to the Palestinian public to go to the Damascus Gate at 16:00 on June 15, 2021, to “resist” the Israeli flag marchers (QudsN Facebook page, June 14, 2021).
- In the meantime, the night harassment units of the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip announced the renewal of their activities near the border fence on June 15, 2021, in response to and in condemnation of the flag march in Jerusalem. According to the units, they will use “strong measures,” such as launching incendiary balloons, burning tires and using loudspeakers [to disturb the sleep of the Israelis living in communities near the Gaza Strip] (Ma’an, June 15, 2021).
Right: Calls for Palestinians to gather at the Damascus Gate to “resist” flag march participants. Left: Hamas calls for a general mobilization “for the sake of al-Aqsa mosque” and for a massive gathering of Palestinians in front of al-Aqsa mosque and in the streets of the Old City in east Jerusalem to keep Jews from entering the Temple Mount compound and to sabotage the flag march (QudsN Facebook page, June 14, 2021).
Right: The flag march could ignite Jerusalem (al-Hayat al-Jadeeda, June 14, 2021). Left: Former Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu rolls the flag march bomb to the door of the new Israeli government (al-Quds, June 12, 2021).
The flag march is a match that could lead to an explosion (al-Quds, June 15, 2021).
Attempted stabbing attack
On the afternoon of June 12, 2021, a stabbing attack was prevented at the Qalandiya Crossing, north of Jerusalem. A Palestinian woman went to the crossing, and holding a knife ran towards the Border Police fighters and civilian security guards stationed there. A security guard shouted for her to halt but she did not obey. One of the civilian guards shot her and she died a short time later. The Palestinian media reported she was Ibtisam al-Kaabana, 27, married and mother of one, from the Aqabat Jaber refugee camp in Jericho. In 2016 she was detained and sentenced to a year and a half in an Israeli jail (Ma’an, June 12, 2021).
Right: Ibtisam al-Kaabana (QudsN website, June 12, 2021). Left: The knife found in her possession (Israel Police Force spokesman’s unit, June 12, 2021).
Arms smuggling prevented
- The Israeli security forces prevented arms from being smuggled into the northern Jordan Valley. IDF surveillance identified two suspicious figures, and forces went to their location, preventing the deal. The weapons included nine hand guns and Kalashnikov and M16 assault rifles (IDF spokesman, June 12, 2021).
Confiscated weapons (IDF spokesman, June 12, 2021).
Two PA security force officers and a PIJ terrorist operative killed by IDF forces in Jenin
- Two PA security force officers and a PIJ terrorist operative were killed during an operation in Jenin on the night of June 9, 2021. Israeli security forces entered Jenin to detain two wanted Palestinians, one a PIJ terrorist operative who had been involved in recent shooting attacks. The terrorists hid in a building near the headquarters of PA military intelligence. The Palestinians began shooting, which led to an exchange of fire with the Israeli security forces, during which one of the terrorist operatives was killed and the other was wounded. Two PA security force operatives were also killed and a third was critically wounded.
- According to Taleb Salahat, director of Palestinian military intelligence in Jenin, Israeli special forces entered Jenin, surprising the Palestinian forces. He claimed the Israelis shot at them deliberately and without warning, killing two and critically injuring a third (Wafa, June 10, 2021). A general strike was called in Jenin (Palinfo, June 12, 2021).
- The Palestinian media reported that the operatives who had been killed were Taysir al-Issa, from the village of Sanur, south of Jenin, and Adhem Aliwi from Zawata, northwest of Nablus (Wafa, June 10, 2021). The PIJ terrorist operative who was killed was Jamil al-Amouri, from Jenin.
Right: The funeral held for Taysir al-Issa in Sanur, south of Jenin (Wafa, June 10, 2021. Left: Mourning notice posted by Palestinian military intelligence (Twitter account of journalist Hassan Aslih, June 10, 2021).
PIJ operative Jamil al-Amouri, killed in Jenin (QudsN Facebook page, June 10, 2021).
- The deaths of the two military intelligence operatives and the wounding of a third during a firefight with Israeli forces was widely covered by the Palestinian media. Most of the reactions were extreme, including praise for the intelligence operatives who had opened fire at the Israeli soldiers.
- Mahmoud Abbas’ office issued a condemnation of Israel’s “dangerous escalation,” which had led to the deaths of the two military intelligence officers and a released prisoner, warning of consequences. Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for Mahmoud Abbas, claimed that the “daily ongoing Israeli violations, attacks and killings” had led to tension and a dangerous “escalation.” He said Israel was fully responsible for the situation and called on the international community to protect the Palestinian people. Mahmoud Abbas also telephoned the families of the officers and the uncle of the PIJ terrorist operative to express his condolences (Dunia al-Watan, June 11, 2021).
- PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh called the event “organized Israeli political terrorism” and called on the international community to protect the Palestinians. He claimed the killing had been deliberate and caused by the changes expected to take place in the Israeli government. Fatah also claimed the outgoing Israeli government planned to flood the Palestinian territories with blood before it left office (Wafa, June 10, 2021).
- Hussein al-Sheikh, a member of Fatah’s Central Committee, condemned the “Israeli invasions of Palestinian cities” and the damage he claimed they caused to Palestinian security facilities. He said an international condemnation of Israel’s actions was necessary (QudsN Facebook page, June 10, 2021).
- Talal Dweikat, spokesman for the Palestinian security forces, called the event in Jenin a “crime.” He claimed the Palestinian people needed international protection from Israel (QudsN Facebook page, June 10, 2021).
- Akram Rajoub, governor of the Jenin district, called the event a “dangerous precedent,” claiming the objective of Israel (“the army of occupation”) was to attack the internal Palestinian front (Palestinian TV, June 10, 2021).
- Hamas praised the PA military intelligence officers in Jenin who opened fire on the “assaulting forces” and were killed. According to Hamas, what happened in Jenin was an act of “great patriotism, brave and heroic,” and that the security forces had acted correctly. According to Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum, the fighting national spirit seen during the confrontation in Jenin showed that the Palestinian people were free and did not surrender to the status quo or accept the “occupation’s” policies. He claimed nothing could prevent the Palestinian people from doing its national duty and “resisting” the “invasion of the IDF and the settlers,” adding that the events in Jenin were courageous and the security forces had acted properly (Dunia al-Watan, June 10, 2021).
- The PIJ expressed sorrow at the deaths, especially the death of its operative, and issued an announcement praising those who had died while “resisting” an “attempted IDF invasion” of the Jenin refugee camp, stressing that the path of “resistance” was the Palestinian people’s original path (Filastin al-Yawm, June 10, 2021). Fatah’s al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades called on the Palestinian security forces to come into direct confrontation with “enemy soldiers” wherever they found them and to aim their weapons at the enemy and the settlers, and defend the Palestinian people (RT, June 10, 2021).
A Palestinian adolescent from Bayta killed in a riot with the Israeli security forces
- On June 11, 2021, a Palestinian adolescent was killed by IDF security force fire in the region of Jabal Sabih, south of Nablus, during the weekly riot to protest the Israeli community of Eviatar. Several rioters were injured. The Palestinian media reported that the Palestinian killed was Muhammad Sayid Hamayal, 15, from the village of Bayta, south of Nablus (Ma’an, June 11, 2021). The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine issued a mourning notice for him saying he was a PFLP operative and that his father, a released prisoner, was also a PFLP operative (Ma’an, June 11, 2021).
Right: Muhammad Hamayal (Ma’an, June 11, 2021). Left: The weekly riot between Palestinians and the Israeli security forces at Jabal Sabih to protest the Israeli community of Eviatar
(Wafa, June 11, 2021)
Rocks, Molotov cocktails and other events
- In Judea and Samaria Palestinians continued throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at vehicles driving on the roads. The more prominent events were the following:
- June 14, 2021: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle on the Gush Etzion-Hebron road southwest of Bethlehem. No casualties or damage were reported.
- June 14, 2021: Molotov cocktails were thrown northeast of Ramallah. No casualties were reported.
- June 14, 2021: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle southwest of Nablus. No casualties were reported; the vehicle was damaged.
- June 14, 2021: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle southwest of Ramallah. No casualties were reported; the vehicle was damaged.
- June 14, 2021: A bottle of paint was thrown at an Israeli bus south of Bethlehem. The driver was injured by flying glass and the bus was damaged.
- June 11, 2021:As worshippers dispersed after the midday prayers on the Temple Mount Palestinians threw rocks from the Mount at the road below. A riot began as suspects were detained as they left the Temple Mount compound. A policewoman was injured. The suspects were taken for questioning.
- June 11, 2021: Rocks and Molotov cocktails were thrown at an Israeli vehicle in the a-Tor neighborhood of east Jerusalem. A 16 year-old Palestinian was detained. No casualties were reported; the vehicle was damaged.
- June 10, 2021: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli bus south of Hebron. No casualties were reported; the bus was damaged.
- June 10, 2021: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli bus on the Gush Etzion-Hebron road northeast of Hebron. No casualties or damage were reported.
- June 9, 2021: A Molotov cocktail was thrown on the road northwest of Qalqilya, causing a fire. No casualties or damage were reported.
- June 9, 2021: Rocks were thrown at several Israeli vehicles southwest of Nablus. No casualties were reported; the vehicles were damaged.
- June 8, 2021: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle southeast of Jerusalem. No casualties were reported; the front windshield of the vehicle was damaged.
- June 8, 2021: A Molotov cocktail was thrown at the fence around the community of Kiryat Netafim, southwest of Nablus, causing a fire. No casualties were reported.
- June 8, 2021: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle northeast of Ramallah. A woman IDF soldier was wounded.
Significant Terrorist Attacks in Judea and Samaria since January 2020
Rocket and mortar shell fire into Israel
- Since the ceasefire was declared on May 22, 2021, no rocket hits have been identified in Israeli territory.
Monthly Distribution of Rocket and Mortar Shell Fire since January 2020
Annual Distribution of Rocket Hits
The overall situation in the Gaza Strip
- The UN’s OCHA-OPT (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – Occupied Palestinian Territory) issued a report on the current humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip. It noted the damage to property and the Palestinians killed by Israeli attacks. It also listed the donors contributing to the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip, headed by Japan and the UAE (LPHR Twitter account, June 13, 2021).
- The PFLP-affiliated PCHR (Palestinian Center for Human Rights) in Gaza, which is involved in the Palestinian suit against Israel in the International Criminal Court, sponsored a conference for “the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip after the Israeli attack.” PCHR Director Raji Sourani alleged Israel used excessive force and deliberately attacked civilians and the civilian infrastructure to increase civilian suffering. He alleged Israel did everything in its power to worsen the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, including attacking facilities which provide basic civilian services. He claimed PCHR operatives were documenting the [alleged] “crimes of the occupation” as part of the process of persecuting Israel war criminals (PCHR website, June 10, 2021).
Gazan fishermen stage a protest
- On June 13, 2021, at the Gaza port, Gazan fishermen protested Israel’s limiting of the fishing zone. They waved flags and signs calling on Israel to expand the zone. One sign read, “Break the closure or [there will be an] explosion” (Twitter account of journalist Hassan Aslih, June 13, 2021). The fishermen claimed Israel allowed them a fishing zone of only three nautical miles from the shore, and that Israeli navy boats shot at anyone who sailed past the limit (QudsN Facebook page, June 13, 2021).
Rebuilding the Gaza Strip
- Contacts continue for rebuilding the Gaza Strip. Hamas has urged Israel and others to accelerate the process, threatening to renew rocket fire into Israeli territory. Naji Sirhan, deputy minister for public works in Gaza, reported he had headed a delegation to Cairo and met with senior officers in the Egyptian General Intelligence to discuss rebuilding the Gaza Strip. He claimed a delegation of engineers would visit Gaza in the near future (alresala.net, June 10, 2021).
- According to Musa Abu Marzouq, deputy Hamas leader outside of the PA and Gaza, the United States has shown an interest in the Gaza Strip because in return for rebuilding it wants to revive its political activity. He said that if the United States, the PA or any other country wanted to help the Gaza Strip, they were invited to do so. He said Hamas had not imposed any limitation on participation in rebuilding, it was Israel that was impeding the rebuilding process, and attacking Israeli cities was still on the table. He also threatened that if Israel repeated its actions in Jerusalem, war was also still on the table (al-Ghad, June 11, 2021).
- Khalil al-Haya, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, threatened that Hamas would not continue to wait in the face of Israel’s lack of willingness. He said Hamas was aware of the political developments in Israel and was showing understanding for Israel’s political situation and the disagreements in forming a new government. However, he said, they would not wait forever and the rebuilding process had to be accelerated.
- Al-Haya added that Hamas had sent messages to Israel through intermediaries, stating that the situation had to return to the status quo ante of May 11, 2021. Currently, he claimed, fishing, the crossings, deliveries of fuel for the power station, the delivery of the money from Qatar, etc., were all at a standstill. He said the situation could not continue and they did not rule out the use of any measure, from incendiary balloons to an open conflict. Hamas, he said, would decide which measures they would use according to time and circumstance (al-Aqsa, June 10, 2021).
Threat from spokesman of the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military-terrorist wing
- Hamas military-terrorist wing spokesman Abu Obeida said the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades and the “resistance” leadership were closely following Israel’s provocative and aggressive actions in east Jerusalem and al-Aqsa mosque. His statement came after Israeli Knesset Member Itamar Ben-Gvir, banned from entering the Old City through the Damascus Gate, called the ban a “surrender to terror by the police chief, complete subservience,” and in light of the continuing tension in east Jerusalem. Abu Obeida said the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades warned Israel not to do anything stupid, such as damaging al-Aqsa, and praised the mourabitoun [the self-designated protectors of Jerusalem] in east Jerusalem for their firm stance and “resistance” (Telegram, June 10, 2021).
Operation Guardian of the Walls addenda
- A terrorist tunnel was exposed under an UNRWA boys’ elementary school in the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City. It was exposed when a missile or shrapnel from an Israeli attack led to a hole in the asphalt covering the shaft of the tunnel, which had been dug to a depth of seven or eight meters. The tunnel ran under the school yard, where sports and leisure activities were held and where the children met for morning line-up. UNRWA stated the tunnel had no connection with the school and there was no entrance to it on the school grounds. UNRWA condemned the use the “armed groups” in the Gaza Strip made of tunnels situated under its schools, endangering the students (Jerusalem Post, June 6, 2021).
- Praise for Al-Jazeera’s coverage of the hostilities: Khalil al-Haya, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, paid a visit to al-Jazeera’s temporary offices in the Gaza Strip, after its offices had been destroyed during the recent hostilities. He praised al-Jazeera, which, he said, had operated very professionally in its coverage of the hostilities and proved it was on the side of the Palestinian people. He also said they were proud of the al-Jazeera employees who had shown their willingness for sacrifice while covering the events despite the dangers and the attack on the station’s headquarters in Gaza City (Hamas website, June 8, 2021).
- Revealing capabilities: The Hezbollah-affiliated al-Mayadeen channel in Lebanon broadcast a program from the Gaza Strip revealing one of the sites for the manufacture of weapons operated by the Ansar al-Din Brigades, the military-terrorist wing of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC). A PRC operative said that during the recent hostilities they had manufactured more rockets. He also said the organization thanked Iran for helping the PRC and providing them with weapons, financing and military information. The al-Mayadeen correspondent, who toured the facilities with PRC operatives, documented the organization’s rocket-manufacturing process and showed a series of its multi-barreled rocket launchers.
- Victory over Israel: At a meeting held to honor the families of shaheeds in the Rimal neighborhood of Gaza City, Mushir al-Masri, spokesman for the Hamas faction in the Palestinian Legislative Council, claimed Hamas had enforced a new equation on Israel during the hostilities. He said the most important aspect of the confrontation was the closing of ranks of the Palestinian organizations and conducting the hostilities through the joint operations room (al-Aqsa, June 11, 2021). Mahmoud al-Zahar, a member of Hamas political bureau, said one confrontation would lead to another, and that the next confrontation would be broader and conducted with far greater force (al-Aqsa, June 13, 2021).
- Abu al-Bahaa, commander of the PIJ’s elite nukhba forces, said they were in the tunnels gathering strength and they aspired to surprise Israel when critical decisions were made. He claimed that during the hostilities they had monitored all the events on the surface. He also claimed they had successfully prevented Israel from carrying out its plans to kill operatives in the tunnels. He added that they could confront Israel on the battlefield and increase their military capabilities to the point where Israel would witness the entrance of their operatives into its territories (Filastin al-Yawm, June 13, 2021).
Hamas reactions to a statement by the UAE foreign minister
- UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan addressed an online worldwide audience participating in the 2021 American Jewish Committee virtual global forum. Regarding groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS, he said it was easy for most of the international community to define them as terrorist organizations. However, it was unfortunate that “countries don’t talk about Hamas, Hezbollah, Muslim Brotherhood in a clearer matter,” and that some governments designate a group’s military, not political, wing as terrorist, while that “same entity doesn’t make any distinction.”
- Hamas reacted very strongly to bin Zayed’s statement. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said by praising “the occupation” and attacking Hamas by calling it a terrorist organization proved he was an enemy of “Palestine.” Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said the “incitement” of the UAE foreign minister, who called on the international community to designate Hamas as a terrorist organization, violated the ideology of Arab brotherhood and pan-Arab principles. He also said the UAE foreign minister was marketing “Zionist propaganda” and clashing with the positions of the Arab public, which supported the “resistance in Palestine” (qudsnet.com, June 13, 2021).
Isma’il Haniyeh, head of Hamas’ political bureau, to visit Iran and Lebanon
- After leaving Cairo, Isma’il Haniyeh plans to visit several countries, including Iran and Lebanon. In Iran he is supposed to meet with the government leadership, including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, President Hassan Rouhani and others, and with operatives in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps. In Lebanon he is supposed to meet with government leaders and with Hezbollah secretary general Hassan Nasrallah (al-Akhbar, June 11, 2021).
Registration opens for Hamas military-terrorist wing summer camps
- Hamas’ military-terrorist wing announced the beginning of registration for its summer camps for children and adolescents. This summer the theme will be “Pioneers of liberation – the sword of Jerusalem.” Registration will be held between June 14 and 18, 2021, at the mosques or registration sites at major intersections. Last year no summer camps were held because of the coronavirus crisis.
Hamas’ military-terrorist wing announces the beginning of registration for its summer camps (Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades Twitter account, June 13, 2021).
Cairo talks fail
- Delegations from the Palestinian terrorist organizations arrived in Egypt for another round of talks, this time focusing on the ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and the internal Palestinian reconciliation. Mahmoud Abbas, who sponsored the talks, did not arrive and Fatah was represented by a delegation headed by Jibril Rajoub, Rawhi Fatouh and Ahmed Hilles. Isma’il Haniyeh arrived in Cairo heading the Hamas delegation, which included Saleh al-‘Arouri and, Musa Abu Marzouq. It was the first time had Isma’il Haniyeh arrived in Egypt since he left in 2019. His wife came from Gaza and joined him after receiving permission from the Egyptian authorities. In addition to “political” delegations there was also a delegation of operatives from Hamas’ military-terrorist wing headed by Marwan Issa, deputy head of the wing, to discuss a prisoner exchange deal (al-Araby al-Jadeed, June 9, 2021).
- The delegations were supposed to meet on June 12, 2021, for two days of talks dealing with the internal Palestinian reconciliation. After the delegations arrived in Cairo, Egypt unexpectedly announced that talks for a reconciliation would be postponed to a later date. The official reason for the postponement was “internal Egyptian matters.” Palestinian sources were of the opinion that the cause was the Palestinian organizations’ disagreement on a series of issues, leading Egypt to announce a postponement until agreement could be reached (Filastin al-Yawm, al-Hadath, June 9, 2021). Once it was announced that the talks had been postponed the delegations began leaving Cairo. According to the Palestinian media, the main issue between Fatah and Hamas is Hamas demands for reforms in the PLO, which is its condition for joining.
- Differences of opinion also remain regarding rebuilding the Gaza Strip. Egypt proposed taking upon itself to rebuild the Gaza Strip using groups already operating in the Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria along with representatives of the Palestinian private sector. The PA rejected the Egyptian proposal because it wants the rebuilding in PA hands. PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh, after having visited a number of countries, claimed the “countries of the world” had agreed that rebuilding the Gaza Strip should be conducted by the Palestinian government, and a forum should be established to monitor the progress. He also said he was angry with Egypt for having begun removing rubble and rebuilding without coordinating with the PA (al-Akhbar, June 12,2021). Given the situation, a delegation headed by Ziad Abu Amru, deputy PA prime minister, went to Cairo to convey the PA’s protest and discuss the rebuilding. He was joined by the PA ministers of the economy and of agriculture (Filastin al-Yawm, June 12, 2021).
- Hamas and the PIJ demanded the establishment of a national council to supervise the rebuilding, and rejected the repetition of the mechanisms put in place after Operation Protective Edge in 2014. Reportedly, the Hamas and PIJ leaderships told the Egyptian mediators that if contributors to the rebuilding of Gaza wanted an independent mechanism for supervising and overseeing the rebuilding process, the establishment of a national council for rebuilding would be welcomed. In addition, the organizations rejected linking the issue of rebuilding to other issues (al-Akhbar, June 11, 2021).
- Since the delegations of the Palestinians were in Egypt in any case, meetings were held among Palestinians and with Egyptian General Intelligence:
- Isma’il Haniyeh met with Abbas Kamel, head of Egyptian General Intelligence. Hamas said in a statement that the two had discussed many issues, including firmly establishing the results of the most recent hostilities, reinforcing the achievements of the “resistance” and the Palestinian people, ways to strengthen internal unity, ties with Egypt and rebuilding the Gaza Strip (Hamas website, June 10, 2021).
- A Hamas delegation headed by Isma’il Haniyeh and Saleh al-‘Arouri met with a delegation of the PIJ leadership headed by Ziyad al-Nakhalah and Muhammad al Hindi (Hamas website, June 10, 2021).
Isma’il Haniyeh (right) and Ziyad al-Nakhalah
(Hamas website, June 10, 2021).
- Isma’il Haniyeh met with Fadwa Barghouti, wife of Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, currently serving a term of life imprisonment in an Israeli jail (Sawa, June 10, 2021).
- A PIJ delegation met with the head of Egyptian General Intelligence, and with a Fatah delegation headed by Jibril Rajoub (PIJ website, June 12, 2021).
Reactions to the swearing-in of the new Israeli government
- At the weekly government meeting, Muhammad Shtayyeh said the PA did not regard the new Israeli government as less awful that the previous one. The PA condemned the support given by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to settlement in Area C, and the Palestinians would continue to resist as they had under the previous government. He also said the new Israeli government would have no future if it did not recognize the rights of the Palestinian people and end the “occupation” (Muhammad Shtayyeh’s Facebook page, June 14, 2021).
Mahmoud Abbas still dreams of peace. The Arabic reads, “The occupation [is hatching] a new government” (Alaa’ al-Laqta’s Facebook page, June 14, 2021).
- Muneir al-Jaghob, responsible for Fatah media outlets in the West Bank, called the new Israeli government “extremist and racist,” and claimed its objective was to expand the Jewish settlement in Area C. He said it was exactly like the Netanyahu government (al-Ghad TV, June 14, 2021).
- Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said it would not matter how the new government was different from the previous one, Hamas would relate to it as an occupier that had to be “resisted” (Hamas website, June 13, 2021). Hamas spokesman Abd al-Latif al-Qanua, regarding Bennett’s speech, said Israel’s threats did not frighten the Palestinian people and the “resistance” was capable of protecting the Palestinian people (Sawa, June 13, 2021).
Fatou Bensouda steps down as International Criminal Court (ICC) chief prosecutor in online ceremony
- Al-Haq said its representatives had participated in the online ceremony ending the term of Fatou Bensouda as the ICC’s chief prosecutor. Participants also included diplomats and leaders from around the world. Al-Haq praised Bensouda for her activities to achieve justice for the Palestinians, starting with her decision that an investigation could begin. Al-Haq also welcomed the incoming chief prosecutor, Karim Khan, adding that lifting the sanctions imposed by the American administration gave him the freedom to work to end [alleged] “Israeli oppression” (al-Haq website, June 9, 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. ↑