Confrontations between the IDF and Palestinians during the weekly riots in Kafr Qaddum, east of Qalqilya (Wafa, March 12, 2021).
Confrontations between the IDF and Palestinians during the weekly riots in Kafr Qaddum, east of Qalqilya (Wafa, March 12, 2021).
The elected Hamas leadership, headed by Yahya al-Sinwar. Marwan Issa, senior military-terrorist wing figures, fourth from the left in the second row (wearing a mask and circled in red) (Hamas website in English, March 14, 2021).
Palestinians demonstrate against Netanyahu's visit to Susiya (Wafa on YouTube, March 14, 2021).
Palestinians demonstrate against Netanyahu's visit to Susiya (Wafa on YouTube, March 14, 2021).
The Palestinian media covers the Israeli president and chief of staff's visit to Europe in an attempt to hinder the ICC's decision (al-Quds, March 16, 2021).
- Coronavirus: In the Gaza Strip there was a moderate increase in the number of active cases. Vaccines donated by the UAE and with the personal involvement of Muhammad Dahlan arrived and Gazans are being vaccinated. In Judea and Samaria the number of active cases continues rising. In light of the increase and the almost total occupancy of the hospitals, a five-day general lockdown was announced. The ministry of health in Ramallah is working to enlarge existing coronavirus wards and to open new ones. In the meantime, the PA continues its efforts to acquire vaccines. Israel continues vaccinating Palestinian day laborers working in its territory.
- Terrorist attacks: The Gaza Strip has been relatively quiet. In Judea and Samaria Palestinians continue throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at Israel vehicles and communities.
- The Gaza Strip: The ministry of the interior in Gaza announced that according to the results of the investigation into the explosion on the fishing boat off the Khan Yunis coast on March 7, 2021, which killed three fisherman, Israel was responsible for the deaths. During a press conference pieces of the boat and of a quadcopter which was claimed to have caused the explosion were exhibited.
- Yahya al-Sinwar won a close race in Hamas’ internal elections and will serve as head of Hamas’ political bureau for four more years. The difficulties accompanying the elections were reflected the dissatisfaction and internal tensions, which were unwillingly exposed by the Hamas movement. After the elections, for the first time, a woman was appointed to the bureau, and Hamas divulged the names of the political bureau members. That may have been done to show Hamas’ “democratic spirit” in preparation for the upcoming general Palestinian elections.
- The Palestinian Authority (PA): Preparations continue for holding the elections, and on March 16, 2021, representatives of the Palestinian organizations met again in Cairo. Mahmoud Abbas ordered that senior Fatah figure Nasser al-Qudwa be removed from his post after refusing to retract his intention to run on a separate ticket, funding for the Yasser Arafat Foundation, in whose administration al-Qudwa and Yasser Arafat’s widow are involved, was cut off. The Prisoners’ Affairs Commission is looking for ways to pay the terrorist prisoners and the families of the shaheeds.
The Gaza Strip
- Dr. Majdi Dheir, director of preventive medicine in the ministry of health in Gaza, said the slight rise in the number of hospitalized coronavirus patients shows they were infected in the second wave, which has a very slow infection rate (Palinfo Twitter account, March 16, 2021).
- Forty thousand doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine were delivered to the Gaza Strip through the Rafah Crossing. The vaccines were donated by the UAE, reportedly the result of the efforts of Muhammad Dahlan (Sawa, March 11, 2021). (Dahlan is a former senior Fatah figure and a rival of Mahmoud Abbas; he was expelled from Fatah in 2011.) Following the arrival of the vaccines the ministry of health called on all Gazans over the age of 75 to go to the vaccination centers open throughout the Gaza Strip to be vaccinated. Dr. Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesman for the ministry of health in Gaza, reported that on March 15, 2021 they began administering second shots of the vaccine (Sawa, March 15, 2021).
Right: Vaccines from the UAE arrive in the Gaza Strip (Twitter account of journalist Hassan Aslih, March 11, 2021). Left: Beginning the rounds of the second shot (Twitter account of journalist Hassan Aslih, March 16, 2021).
Judea and Samaria
The overall situation
- According to Dr. Kamal al-Shakhra, spokesman for the ministry of health in Ramallah, the situation is extremely serious, and the Palestinians are now facing a large, previously-unknown and aggressive outbreak of the virus (Facebook page of the ministry of health in Ramallah, March 13, 2021). On another occasion, he said the number of active cases was double the number reported by the ministry of health in Ramallah because many people refused, for personal reasons, to be tested despite the fact they were showing symptoms (Wafa, March 15, 2021).
- Anan Rashad, a senior figure in the ministry of health, said that many of the people with active cases suffered from very serious symptoms which necessitated urgent medical intervention and that many of the patients were young. According to Usama al-Najar, a member of the coronavirus emergency committee in the ministry of health, 90% of today’s cases were infected by the British and South African variants. He said they had recently received equipment to test for the mutations and the devices had been distributed to seven laboratories.
“The first wave, the second wave”
(al-Quds, March 12, 2021).
The increase in coronavirus infection in Judea and Samaria
(According to the ministry of health in Ramallah)
Number of coronavirus-related death
(According to the ministry of health in Ramallah)
Situation in the hospitals
- Mai al-Kayla, PA minister of health, said the hospitals in all the districts had reached between 90% and 100% capacity, and 48% of the ventilators were in use. Given the difficult situation in the hospitals, the ministry of health is currently working to enlarge the existing coronavirus wards and has demanded that all the private hospitals open coronavirus wards (Wafa, March 14, 2021). At the weekly government meeting PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh reported that existing coronavirus wards had been enlarged and the hospital medical staffs had been increased (Wafa, March 15, 2021).
- Dr. Kamal al-Shakhra said the Palestinian health system had not collapsed and was completely competent. He denied rumors of a shortage of oxygen in the hospitals (Wafa, March 15, 2021). The ministry of health in Ramallah reported that all the hospitals in the PA had backup from reserve oxygen stations, and not one coronavirus-related death had been reported as caused a shortage of oxygen. The ministry threated that legal action would be taken against anyone who spread false information on the social networks regarding a shortage of oxygen (Wafa, March 15, 2021). Note: That happened after seven coronavirus patients in Jordan died because of a shortage of oxygen.
The PA minister of health opens a new ICU in the Ishtarshi Arab Hospital in Ramallah (Facebook page of the ministry of health in Ramallah, March 14, 2021).
Renewal of the lockdown
- Given the rise in infection and the situation in the hospitals, PA spokesman Ibrahim Melhem announced a series of measures that would go into force on March 15, 2021 (Wafa, March 13, 2021):
- A five-day full general lockdown would be imposed on all the districts.
- Passage from district to district and movement within the districts was banned with the exception of medical staff.
- The entire education system would close down. The ministers would be responsible for how work was carried out in their ministries. Banks and courts would work with skeleton crews. Emergency services would continue operating.
- The various district governors had received the authority to decide about the opening of vital sectors.
- The private hospitals would have to allocate wards for coronavirus patients.
Roadblocks in Hebron (Wafa, March 15, 2021)
- Despite the promises received from various sources (among them Russia and China), the PA is apparently having problems acquiring vaccines and having them delivered. PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh said the delay in the vaccines’ arrival was due to international factors and the companies producing the vaccines, which were supposed to fulfill their commitments and supply the vaccines on the promised dates (Facebook page of Muhammad Shtayyeh, March 10, 2018).
- Muhammad Shtayyeh later told the weekly government meeting that significant progress had been made in obtaining vaccines, which, he said, would be donated through the COVAX initiative (Wafa, March 15, 2021). Yasser Bouzia, director of public health in the ministry of health in Ramallah, said that in the coming days they expected the delivery of the first 37,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine. He added that they also expected to receive two million doses from COVAX during the coming year (Wafa, March 14, 2021).
- In the meantime, as instructed by Muhammad Shtayyeh, the ministry of health launched an Internet campaign to register local residents to receive the vaccine. According to reports, so far 100,000 people have already signed up on the site (Facebook page of the ministry of health in Ramallah, March 15, 2021). The ministry of health also issued a video to counter the anti-vaxxers with the theme, “Not everything you hear about COVID-19 vaccines is the truth”) (Facebook page of the ministry of health in Ramallah, March 14, 2021).
Right: Campaign to register local residents for vaccination (Facebook page of the ministry of health in Ramallah, March 10, 2021). Left: Video countering anti-vaxxers (Facebook page of the ministry of health in Ramallah, March 14, 2021).
Israel continues vaccinating Palestinian day-laborers in Israel
- The Arabic Facebook page of the Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) reported that Israel continues to vaccinate Palestinian day laborers working in Israel. So far 50,000 Palestinians have been vaccinated. The first phase of vaccinations is expected to end on March 18, 2021. The second phase is expected to begin on April 4, 2021, and will continue for two weeks (Arabic Facebook page of the COGAT, March 14, 2021).
Rocket and mortar shell fire into Israel
- This past week no rocket hits were identified in Israeli territory.
Monthly Distribution of Rocket and Mortar Shell Fire
Annual Distribution of Rocket Hits
Hamas announces results of investigation of the three fishermen’s deaths
- On March 11, 2021, Iyad al-Buzum, spokesman for the ministry of the interior in Gaza, held a press conference where he summarized the results of the investigation of the explosion of a fishing boat off the Khan Yunis coast in the southern Gaza Strip on March 7, 2021. Three fishermen died in the explosion. He claimed the investigation revealed Israel was responsible for the deaths. The press conference was widely covered by the Palestinian media. Pieces of the fishing boat and of a quadcopter were exhibited, which Hamas claimed had been retrieved from the sea about half an hour after the explosion.
- Hamas spokesman Abd al-Latif al-Qanua said the fact that Israel “plant[ed] quadcopters carrying explosives” in the area around where the fishermen worked was “aggression and a crime against humanity” which demanded international action, including legal action. He said they would not remain silent (Sawa, March 11, 2021). The Jerusalem Brigades, the military-terrorist wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), said in a statement that Israel (“the enemy”) had carried out a “stupid crime.” It would certainly be answered by the “Palestinian resistance” [i.e., Palestinian terrorist organizations], which would not allow Israel to change the rules of engagement (Jerusalem Brigades website, March 11, 2021).
The throwing of rocks and Molotov cocktails, and other events
- This past week the Israeli security forces prevented a number of terrorist attacks and detained several suspects. On March 15, 2021, an IDF ambush caught two Palestinians who over the past two days had thrown rocks at Israel vehicles northwest of Ramallah from the back of a motorcycle. They were detained with rocks in their pockets (Ynet, March 15, 2021). An IDF ambush identified and shot at three Palestinians who had thrown Molotov cocktails at the community of Beit El. Two of the Palestinians were wounded (IDF spokesman, March 15, 2021). Israeli policemen and Border Police fighters detained a Palestinian in Ras al-Amoud in east Jerusalem on suspicion of throwing Molotov cocktails (Israel Police Force Jerusalem spokesman’s unit, March 10, 2021).
- In Judea and Samaria Palestinians continued throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at vehicles driving on the roads. The more prominent events were the following:
- March 16, 2021: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle southwest of Bethlehem. No casualties were reported. The windshield was damaged.
- March 15, 2021: Rocks were thrown at a bus south of Hebron. No casualties were reported. The windshield was damaged.
- March 14, 2021: Rocks were thrown at a police car northeast of Jerusalem. No casualties were reported. The police car was damaged. Stones were also thrown at a bus northeast of Jerusalem. No casualties were reported. The windshield was damaged.
- March 14, 2021: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle northeast of Jerusalem. No casualties were reported. The vehicle was damaged.
- March 13, 2021: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle that mistakenly entered the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya. One civilian was slightly injured. The vehicle was damaged.
- March 13, 2021: An IED exploded northeast of Ramallah. No casualties were reported.
- March 11, 2021: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle north of Hebron. No casualties were reported. The vehicle was damaged.
- March 11, 2021: A Molotov cocktail was thrown at an Israeli vehicle north of Hebron. No casualties were reported.
- March 11, 2021: Rocks were thrown at a bus south of Nablus. No casualties were reported. The bus was damaged.
- March 10, 2021: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle south of Jerusalem. No casualties were reported. The windshield was damaged.
- March 10, 2021: A Molotov cocktail was thrown at an Israeli bus north of Hebron. No casualties were reported.
- March 10, 2021: Rocks were thrown at a bus northeast of Jerusalem. No casualties were reported. The windshield was damaged.
- March 10, 2021: Rocks were thrown at a bus on a bypass road southwest of Jerusalem. No casualties were reported. The windshield was damaged.
- March 9, 2021: Rocks and Molotov cocktails were thrown at Israeli vehicles southwest of Nablus. No casualties were reported. Two vehicles were damaged.
- March 9, 2021: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle northeast of Ramallah. No casualties were reported.
- March 9, 2021: Rocks were thrown at a bus southeast of Nablus. No casualties were reported. The bus was damaged.
- March 9, 2021: Rocks were thrown at a bus northeast of Ramallah. No casualties were reported. The bus was damaged.
- March 9, 2021: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle in western Samaria. No casualties were reported. The vehicle was damaged.
Significant terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria since January 2019
- The World Bank announced it had transferred an Italian donation of eight million euros to support the Palestinian government’s efforts to improve the supply of drinking water in the Gaza Strip (Wafa, March 11, 2021).
- Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff, the EU representative in the PA, arrived in the Gaza Strip heading an EU delegation. According to Shadi Othman, EU spokesman in the PA, during the visit an agreement was signed for EU support for a number of agricultural projects at a cost of four million euros (Dunia al-Watan, March 10, 2021).
- The ministry of welfare in the Gaza Strip announced that on March 16, 2021, the financial support for the wounded and families of those killed during the return marches would be distributed through the branches of the post office bank (alresala.net, March 14, 2021).
Internal Hamas elections
- After four rounds of elections and a close race in the secret internal elections for the Hamas leadership in the Gaza Strip, Yahya al-Sinwar defeated Nizar Awadallah and was chosen for a second term to head of the Hamas political bureau in the Gaza Strip, a position he has held since 2017. The rounds of elections provided Hamas spokesmen with an opportunity to state they had been held, as claimed, transparently, competitively and democratically. The difficulties accompanying the elections were reflected the dissatisfaction and internal tensions, which were unwillingly exposed by the Hamas movement.
- After the election results had been officially announced, Yahya al-Sinwar said he would continue to serve the Palestinian people and invest all his efforts towards realizing their goals. He added that Hamas would use all its power to stop Israel from taking control of the land of the Palestinians in the West Bank, and he promised the prisoners in Israeli jails that Hamas would work to liberate them (Shehab, March 10, 2021).
- Immediately after he was elected, Yahya al-Sinwar initiated talks for forming the political bureau and Hamas leadership in the Gaza Strip (Shehab, March 13, 2021). The Hamas political bureau has 17 members and there are three leadership positions in Hamas institutions. Until now Hamas election results were kept secret. It is the first time Hamas publicly reported the names of its political bureau members. That might be to indicate the Hamas’ democratic spirit in preparation for the Palestinian general elections.
- An examination of the list of names indicates that no significant changes were made in the political bureau’s composition, and most of the members had previously served on the bureau. However:
- For the first time a woman was elected. She is Jemilla al-Shanti, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council in the northern Gaza Strip district (Hamas website, March 14, 2021).
- Marwan Issa, one of the heads of Hamas’ military-terrorist wing in Gaza, was elected to the political bureau.
- Nizar Awadallah, who almost defeated Yahya al-Sinwar in the first round of elections, was also appointed to the bureau, after not having served in the previous one. Ghazi Hamad, a Hamas media and information figure, returned to the bureau.
Right: The elected Hamas leadership, headed by Yahya al-Sinwar. Marwan Issa, senior military-terrorist wing figures, fourth from the left in the second row (wearing a mask and circled in red) (Hamas website in English, March 14, 2021). Left: Yahya al-Sinwar, head of the Hamas political bureau in the Gaza Strip, at a press conference held immediately after the election results were announced. Nizar Awadallah is at the left (Hamas website in Arabic, March 10, 2021).
Responses to the election of al-Sinwar
- Isma’il Haniyeh, head of Hamas’ political bureau, congratulated al-Sinwar, noting that the election stressed the institutionalization of the movement and the need for geographic deployment “inside and outside” [the Gaza Strip]. He said the elections established Hamas’ status as a partner in the leadership of the national endeavor. Hamas’ commitment to hold elections every four years stressed, he claimed, its faith in the principle of change in leadership, which proved how serious Hamas was in preparation for elections to the Palestinian Legislative Council, the presidency and the Palestinian National Council (Hamas website, March 10, 2021).
- Senior PIJ figure Muhammad al-Hindi congratulated al-Sinwar on his election and wished him success. He said al-Sinwar had experience and was capable of preserving the strength of Hamas and the Gaza Strip (al-Aqsa, March 12, 2021). Senior PIJ figure Nafez Azzam congratulated Hamas and Yahya al-Sinwar on his election, noting that Hamas’ democratic process proved the accusations made against Islamists were false. He also noted that relations between the Palestinian organizations had developed greatly under al-Sinwar’s leadership, and they would continue to develop and grow (Filastin al-Yawm, March 10, 2021).
- The Hamas newspaper Felesteen elaborated on the issues al-Sinwar will have to deal with immediately, including the PA elections (especially Israel’s attempts to interfere), easing the hardships in the Gaza Strip, strengthening internal support by establishing ties to the clans, dealing with the issue of the prisoners in Israeli jails and strengthening relations with Egypt and Iran (Felesteen, March 11, 2021).
Isma’il Haniyeh visits wounded Palestinians in Turkey
- On the occasion of Palestinian Wounded Day, Isma’il Haniyeh, head of Hamas’ political bureau, visited wounded Palestinians hospitalized in Turkey. He thanked the Turkish White Hands organization, which treats wounded people in the country’s hospitals, and also thanked Turkey for opening its gates to wounded [Palestinians]. He thanked Iran, Qatar and Egypt for their efforts to ease the suffering of the Gaza Strip (White House, March 13, 2021).
Isma’il Haniyeh visits wounded Palestinians hospitalized in Turkey
(Hamas website in Arabic, March 13, 2021).
Statements by Muhammad al-Hindi
- During an interview, senior PIJ figure Muhammad al-Hindi called for the continuation of the “popular resistance” [i.e., popular terrorism] in Judea and Samaria. He said the Fatah movement had a history of struggle, and the PIJ expected Fatah to return to being the “hub of popular resistance in the West Bank.” He added that in his opinion Fatah was in greater danger than Hamas and the PIJ because in the West Bank “[Palestinian] lands were being stolen and given to the [Israeli] settlers.” He also said that the “resistance in Palestine” spearheaded the confrontation with Israel. He said the West Bank had been abandoned and there was no one there who would stand against Israel. He claimed the PIJ was helping the Palestinian people oppose armed soldiers with simple weapons and by making immediate decisions when necessary. As for the PIJ’s relations with Hamas, he said they coordinated at all levels through a committee. As to whether there was also military coordination, he said they coordinated at all levels and had as well in 2014 [the year of Operation Protective Edge]. However, he said, he level of connection had to be raised and a unified strategic position had to be formulated that would pave the resistance’s way to confronting Israel (al-Aqsa, March 12, 2021).
- Preparations for elections in the PA continue. This past week a delegation of the Palestinian organizations went to Egypt for another round of Egyptian-mediated meetings. The Fatah delegation was headed by Jibril Rajoub, secretary of Fatah’s Central Committee, and the Hamas delegation by Saleh al-‘Arouri, deputy head of Hamas’ political bureau. A PIJ delegation also left for Egypt (Shehab, Dunia al-Watan, March 15, 2021), despite the fact that so far the organization has announced it will not participate in the elections.
Al-Quds cartoon about the disputes and rivalries before the organizations meet in Cairo. The Arabic reads, “The factions and the elections…” (al-Quds, March 15, 2021).
- Jibril Rajoub said in an interview that was meeting and in contact daily with senior Hamas figures, and in continuous contact with Saleh al-‘Arouri. He said the Palestinian organizations had reached understandings regarding the composition of a national unity government without having to depend on the results of the election (al-Andalou News, March 8, 2021).
- Nabil Sha’ath, advisor to Mahmoud Abbas, said the residents of east Jerusalem would vote in the upcoming elections through Israel’s postal service. That had been achieved by international agreement because it was the same system used in the previous elections, so Israel had no objections (al-Andalou News, March 12, 2021).
Disputes in Fatah over party slates
- On instructions from Mahmoud Abbas, Fatah’s Central Committee expelled Nasser al-Qudwa from the movement. He had been given 48 hours to retract his decision to run election to the Palestinian Legislative Council on a separate ticket, which Mahmoud Abbas claimed was in violation of the movement’s bylaws and decisions (Wafa, March 11, 2021). Al-Qudwa’s first response was to tweet “Palestine…first and foremost” (Nasser al-Qudwa’s Twitter account, March 11, 2021). He later said the decision against him revealed the movement’s sad state, and he would remain a member of the [Fatah] movement to the end (Sawa, March 11, 2021).
- Mahmoud Abbas then instructed Shukri Bishara, PA minister of the treasury, as of March 11, 2021, to stop the funding for the Yasser Arafat Foundation, headed by Nasser al-Qudwa, who is Yasser Arafat’s nephew. Al-Qudwa confirmed that measures had been instituted against him, one of which was cutting off funding for the Yasser Arafat Foundation (al-Quds, March 15, 2021).
- The QudsN website, quoting a “source,” reported that Fatah’s Revolutionary Council had given the Central Committee the recommendation to put Marwan Barghouti, a member of Fatah’s Central Committee imprisoned in Israel, at the head to the Fatah slate for the Palestinian Legislative Council. That was done to prevent Barghouti from running against Mahmoud Abbas for the presidency (QudsN, March 15, 2021).
Reinstating payments to prisoners and the families of shaheeds
- Qudri Abu Bakr, chairman of the commission for prisoners and released prisoners’ affairs, said the Palestinian leadership was in contact with the American administration, the Europeans and the authorities in Israel to find a way to renew payments to the prisoners, released prisoners and the families of shaheeds. He said he hoped bank payments could be reinstituted in April 2021 (al-Quds, March 11, 2021). On March 16, 2021, Fatah-affiliated released prisoners held a demonstration in front of the prime minister’s office in Ramallah, calling for the immediate renewal of their payments (QudsN, March 16, 2021).
The PA prime minister promotes his plan to end PA dependence on Israel
- On March 7, 2021, PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh met with Tarek Tayil, the Egyptian representative in the PA, to discuss a way to solve the electricity supply problems in the Gaza Strip. He suggested a project to develop the gas field in Gaza and pipe the gas in to run the power plant in Gaza. Shtayyeh said they wanted gas for the Gaza Strip to be supplied directly from Egypt and not from Israel, which would allow them to be released from their dependence on Israel (Muhammad Shtayyeh’s Facebook page, March 7, 2021).
Harsh criticism of the opening of the Kosovo embassy and an office of the Czech embassy in Jerusalem
- Kosovo, which instituted diplomatic relations with Israel a month ago, officially opened its embassy in Jerusalem with a festive ceremony. It joined the United States and Guatemala, which also have their embassies in Jerusalem. In the PA Kosovo was harshly criticized. At the weekly government meeting PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh called it a violation of European consensus and international law. He added that such decisions would influence the future of the political process (Wafa, March 15, 2021). Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem called it a violation of international resolutions and a continuation of the normalization measures taken by several Arab states.
- The Palestinian foreign ministry harshly criticized the opening of the Czech embassy’s office in Jerusalem. According to the ministry, it was a blow to the Palestinian people, a violation of international law and an attack on the EU regarding Jerusalem. The Palestinian foreign ministry called on the Czech Republic to reverse the decision, noting the Palestinians were working with the EU to overturn the Czech move (website of the PA foreign ministry, March 13, 2021).
Criticism of the Israeli prime minister’s visit to Susiya, south of Hebron
- On March 14, 2021, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Susiya, south of Hebron. Before his arrival Palestinians called on the general public to demonstrate against the visit. The PA foreign ministry strongly criticized Netanyahu’s visit (Wafa, March 14, 2021). The Palestinians held a protest demonstration at the site.
Palestinians demonstrate against Netanyahu’s visit to Susiya (Wafa on YouTube, March 14, 2021).
Palestinian reactions to Israeli President Rivlin and Chief of Staff Kokhavi’s visit to Europe
- The Palestinian media gave extensive coverage, including quotes from Israeli sources, to the round of visits made by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and the IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kokhavi to European countries. According to the Palestinian reports, they will discuss the Iranian nuclear issue, Hezbollah, and the ICC’s decision [to investigate Israel] (al-Quds, March 16, 2021)
The Palestinian media covers the Israeli president and chief of staff’s visit to Europe in an attempt to hinder the ICC’s decision (al-Quds, March 16, 2021).
Palestinians accuse Israel of razing buildings, construction in the settlements and the takeover of Jerusalem
- The official Palestinian media continue covering Israel’s construction in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem:
- For the 12th consecutive week, the official Palestinian TV network held an open program about construction in the settlements. Palestinian TV reporters deployed throughout Judea and Samaria report on the enlargement of the settlements. This past week a Palestinian reporter interviewed the deputy governor of the Jenin district, who related to the increase in the number of Israel settlements in the district during recent years. Later, a reporter gave information about IDF activity in the Old City of Hebron preventing Palestinians from entering their homes in Tel Rumeida (Facebook page of Palestinian TV, March 15, 2021).
Right: Open broadcast on Palestinian TV condemning Israel’s construction in the settlements and the IDF’s activity in the Old City of Hebron (Facebook page of Palestinian TV, March 15, 2021). Left: Picture on the Palestinian TV Facebook page showing the razing of Palestinian buildings in Judea and Samaria. The Arabic reads, “Acts of destruction” (Palestinian TV Facebook page, March 15, 2021).
Ahmed al-Ruweidi, advisor to Mahmoud Abbas for Jerusalem affairs, strongly criticized the “construction activities of Israel in east Jerusalem.” He said Israel’s plans for the coming years could lead to the destruction of twenty thousand Palestinian buildings, and Israel’s plans for the areas around Jerusalem could cancel the resident ID cards of 140,000 Palestinians who live beyond the security fence (Wafa, March 15, 2021).
Palestinian TV posted data reported by Ahmed al-Ruweidi in a Wafa interview
(Palestinian TV Facebook page, March 15, 2021).
 COVAX (COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access) is a global initiative, including UNICEF and the W.H.O., aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. Its objective is to provide two billion doses to countries with low incomes at a nominal price by the end of 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, a vehicular attack, the use of IEDs, or a combination of the above. Stones and Molotov cocktails thrown by Palestinians are not included. ↑
 Marwan Issa (Abu al-Baraa) is a senior figure in Hamas' military-terrorist wing in Gaza. He apparently inherited the position as head of the military-terrorist wing from Ahmed al-Jaabari, who was killed in a targeted attack in 2012. In the past he was head of Hamas' military-terrorist wing in the refugee camps in the central Gaza Strip. He was deeply involved in the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal. Issa spend five years in prison in Israel. He speaks fluent Hebrew (Wikipedia in Arabic, March 16, 2021). ↑