Saleh al-'Arouri, deputy chairman of Hamas' political bureau, interviewed by the London-based al-Khabar TV (al-Khabar YouTube channel, November 25, 2020).
Mahmoud Abbas meets with King Abdallah of Jordan in Aqaba on November 29, 2020 (Wafa, November 29, 2020).
Mahmoud Abbas meets with Egyptian President el-Sisi in Cairo (Wafa, November 30, 2020).
PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh at the weekly government meeting in Ramallah
PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh (third from left) at the signing of the agreement with Norway for the receipt of $7.5 million in aid (Muhammad Shtayyeh's Facebook page, November 24, 2020).
- In the Gaza Strip, as well as in Judea and Samaria the sharp rise in the number of active Covid-19 cases continues. As of December 1, 2020, there were 9,627 active cases in the Gaza Strip and 11,692 in Judea and Samaria. While Hamas continues implementing local and regional preventive measures, the Palestinian Authority (PA) announced it would again impose a full lockdown throughout its territories over the coming weekend. So far the preventive measures taken by Hamas and the PA do not appear to be effective, mainly because the local populations violate them extensively.
- This past week the Gaza Strip was quiet. In Judea and Samaria a ramming attack was carried out at the al-Za’im roadblock, east of Jerusalem. The terrorist was shot and killed. On the roads in Judea and Samaria there has been a considerable increase in the number of stones, rocks and Molotov cocktails thrown at civilian vehicles, including civilian buses.
- Following the renewal of civilian and security coordination between the PA and Israel, the PA has been looking for creative ways to circumvent Israel’s objection to the transfer of salaries to Palestinian terrorist prisoners and the families of shaheeds. In the meantime the Israeli media reported that on November 29, 2020, Israel’s political-security cabinet authorized the transfer of 2.5 billion shekels (about $760 million) to the PA. According to the reports, 600 million shekels (about $180 million) a year will be deducted from the payments made to the PA (Kan Hadashot, November 30, 2020).
- On November 29,2020, Mahmoud Abbas left for a round of visits to regional countries, leaving the PA for the fist time since civilian and security coordination with Israel was ended (May 19, 2020). So far he has gone to Jordan and Egypt, where he met with King Abdallah and President el-Sisi. Apparently the objective of the visits is to coordinate positions in view of the transition to the new American administration.
Right: The ICU for patients on ventilators in the European Gaza Hospital in Khan Yunis (Palinfo Twitter account, December 1, 2020). Left: The streets of Gaza City, empty because of the limitations placed on afternoon movement (Twitter account of journalist Hassan Aslih, November 30, 2020).
Judea and Samaria
- On November 30, 2020, PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh told the weekly Palestinian government meeting that the nightly curfew in the PA territories would continue and that a full lockdown would be imposed on the coming Friday and Saturday (Muhammad Shtayyeh’s Facebook page, November 30, 2018).
Rocket fire into Israel
- This past week there was relative quiet in the Gaza Strip.
Monthly Distribution of Rocket and Mortar Shell Fire
Annual Distribution of Rocket Hits
- On the afternoon of November 25, 2020, a Palestinian from east Jerusalem drove his vehicle to the al-Za’im roadblock (east of Jerusalem). An examination of his license and registration at the roadblock showed they belonged to someone else. As the documents were being examined the Palestinian drove into a Border Policeman who was located at the site, wounding him. The Border Policeman and other security personnel shot and mortally wounded the Palestinian (Israel Police Force spokesman’s unit, November 25, 2020). He was pronounced dead at the hospital (Hadassah Hospital spokesman’s unit, November 25, 2020).
- The Palestinian media reported that the Palestinian was Nour Shqeir, 33, from the Silwan neighborhood of east Jerusalem (Palinfo website, November 25, 2020). Hamas expressed their condolences at the death of Nour Jamal Shqeir, who carried out the ramming attack in Jerusalem, and called for an escalation of the “resistance” in all its forms (Dunia al-Watan, November 2, 2020).
Nour Shqeir, from Silwan in east Jerusalem, who carried out the ramming attack (Ma’an, November 25, 2020).
- In Judea and Samaria Palestinians continued throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at Israeli vehicles. The more prominent events were the following:
- November 30, 2020: Molotov cocktails and stones were thrown at an Israeli bus southeast of Ariel. A passenger was treated for shock and the front windshield of the bus was damaged.
- November 30, 2020: Stones were thrown at an Israeli vehicle in the region of Ariel. No casualties were reported.
- November 30, 2020: Stones were thrown at an Israeli vehicle east of Ariel. No casualties were reported; the vehicle was damaged.
- November 29, 2020: Stones and bottles of paint were thrown at an Israeli bus and other Israeli vehicles north of Hebron. A man was slightly injured; his vehicle was damaged.
- November 29, 2020: Molotov cocktails were thrown at an Israeli bus southeast of Ramallah. No casualties were reported.
- November 29, 2020: Stones were thrown at an Israeli bus west of Jenin. No casualties were reported.
- November 29, 2020: Stones were thrown at an IDF ambulance south of Hebron. No casualties were reported.
- November 29, 2020: Stones were thrown at Israeli vehicles northeast of Ramallah. No casualties were reported.
- November 29, 2020: Stones were thrown at Israeli vehicles northeast of Ramallah. No casualties were reported; vehicles were damaged.
- November 29, 2020: Stones, rocks and bottles of paint were thrown at an Israeli bus and other Israeli vehicles north of Hebron. Two people were slightly injured.
- November 28, 2020: Five Molotov cocktails were thrown at the IDF’s Anatot military camp (southeast of Ramallah). No casualties were reported.
- November 26, 2020: Stones were thrown from a passing vehicle at an Israeli vehicle south of Nablus. No casualties or damage were reported.
- November 26, 2020: Stones were thrown at an Israeli vehicle near Gush Etzion. No casualties or damage were reported.
- November 26, 2020: An Israel who worked in the Barkan industrial zone drove into the village of Biddya (southwest of Nablus). Armed Palestinians stopped his vehicle and took his keys and cell phone. They took him to the local police station and later turned him over to IDF forces.
- November 26, 2020: Israeli security forces identified two suspicious Palestinians near the fence of the community of Psagot (near Ramallah-al-Bireh). The two fled. A pipe bomb and Molotov cocktail ready for throwing were found at the site (United Hatzalah, November 26, 2020).
- November 25, 2020: Molotov cocktails and stones were thrown at Israeli vehicles southeast of Bethlehem. No casualties were reported; damage to the vehicles was reported.
Significant terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria since January 2019
Interview with Saleh al-‘Arouri
- Saleh al-‘Arouri, deputy chairman of Hamas’ political bureau, said during an interview that Hamas and Iran see eye-to-eye on many issues: Iran has not normalized relations with Israel, it opposes Israel and support all the anti-Israeli “resistance” movements, among them Hezbollah, Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). Regarding the United States, Saleh al-‘Arouri said there is a difference between the Trump and incoming Biden administrations. However, he added, that does not mean Hamas will rely on the Biden administration, because the common policy of all the United States administrations is support for Israel. Therefore Hamas does to believe the change of administration will lead to a fundamental practical change (al-Khabar, November 25, 2020).
Distribution of financial aid from Qatar in Gaza
- Mohammed al-Emadi, chairman of Qatar’s National Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza, announced that $100 from Qatar will be distributed to each of 100,000 needy Gazan families beginning on December 3, 2020. The money will be distributed at the post office branches in the Gaza Strip in accordance with Covid-19 guidelines and procedures (Facebook page of Qatar’s National Committee, November 29, 2020).
Reactions in the Gaza Strip to the killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh
- Hamas and the PIJ condemned the killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the Iranian nuclear scientist:
- Isma’il Haniyeh, head of Hamas’ political bureau, spoke on the phone with Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister, and told him the “resistance axis” would undermine the so-called “policy of assassinations” to fail (Filastin al-Yawm, November 27, 2020).
- Hamas said in a statement that the killing was carried alongside of threats from Israel and the United States, whose objective was to prevent the scientific progress of Iran and the Islamic nation (alresala.net, November 29, 2020).
- The PIJ said in a statement that the assassination harmed the scientific progress of the Islamic nation in general and of Iran in particular (Filastin al-Yawm, November 29, 2020).
Delivery to the Gaza Strip of medical equipment and food from Israel
- On November 26, 2020, General Kamil Abu Rukun, the Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), denied Hamas’ claims about Israel’s alleged refusal to deliver medical equipment to the Gaza Strip. Israel, he said, had recently delivered dozens of ventilators and PRC machines to Gaza, in addition to 600 tons of food and other medical equipment (Arabic Facebook page of the COGAT, November 26, 2020).
- General Abu Rukun also reported on the extent of import and export of goods from Gaza (Arabic Facebook page of the COGAT, November 26-30, 2020):
- Between November 22 and 28, 2020, Israel delivered 63,555 tons of food and merchandise to the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom Crossing, and 3.46 million liters (about 915,000 gallons) of various types of fuels.
- On November 29, 2020, Israel enabled the export of 2.8 tons of strawberries from the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom Crossing, and their transport to the Bitunia Crossing, from where they would delivered to the markets in Judea and Samaria.
- On November 26, 2020, Israel enabled, for the first time, the export of 27 tons of olive oil from the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom Crossing. It was tranferred to the Allenby Crossing and from there was marketed to Saudi Arabia
Right: The Kerem Shalom Crossing on the morning of December 1, 2020. Left: Eggs delivered to the Gaza Strip from Israel (Arabic Facebook page of the COGAT, December 1, 2020)
Mahmoud Abbas leaves for visits to regional countries
- On November 29, 2020, Mahmoud Abbas left for visits to regional countries. He met with King Abdallah of Jordan, discussed regional developments and thanked him for Jordan’s support of the Palestinians. From Jordan Mahmoud Abbas went to Egypt, where he met with Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri and Ahmed Abu al-Ghait, the secretary general of the Arab League. On November 30, 2020, Mahmoud Abbas met in Cairo with Egyptian President el-Sisi to discuss recent developments in the Middle East, especially in the Palestinian arena. El-Sisi said Egypt stood by the Palestinians.
- Mahmoud Abbas was accompanied by Majed Faraj, head of Palestinian general intelligence, and Hassan al-Sheikh, a senior Fatah figure and chairman of the Civil Affairs Authority. It was the first time Mahmoud Abbas left the PA since he ended civilian and security coordination with Israel on May 19, 2020. Apparently, the meetings were for coordinating positions before America transitions to the Biden administration.
The tax revenues
- The Israeli media reported that the Israeli government decided to deduct ₪600 million (about $180 million) from the tax revenues for the PA (the sum of the salaries paid to the prisoners and families of shaheeds in 2019). The funds will not be deducted in one payment but will be spread out over the coming year, i.e., ₪ 50 million a month for 12 months (Gal Berger, Kan Corporation, November 29, 2018).
- In response, at the weekly Palestinian government meeting on November 30, 2020, PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh said that the funds were the right of the Palestinian people. He said he would not relate to media reports and that they had a team of professionals from the ministry of the treasury monitoring the issue with the Israeli side (Muhammad Shtayyeh’s Facebook page, November 30, 2020).
Calls for the renewal of negotiations with Israel
- Riyad al-Maliki, Palestinian foreign minister, said the Palestinians were sending a message to Israel, the newly elected American administration, Europe and several other countries that the Palestinians are prepared to renew direct negotiations with Israel without preconditions. That would be on condition that the negotiations are based on previously recognized terms such as UN resolutions, the Arab Peace Plan and international law (Sputnik, November 27, 2020). On another occasion he said that the Palestinians would be prepared to cooperate if they receive positive signs from the new administration, even before the new president is sworn in (Sawa, November 27, 2020).
International Covid-19 financial aid to the PA continues
- On November 24, 2020, PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh participated at the signing of an agreement with Norway for the receipt of $7.5 million in aid. The funds are for supporting schools in east Jerusalem and financing employment projects through the UNDP in agriculture, health, education, and in the local municipalities (Muhammad Shtayyeh’s Facebook page, November 24, 2020).
- In addition, Steven Salameh, advisor to Muhammad Shtayyeh, said that the German government had committed itself to financing projects in a variety of fields in Judea, Samaria, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip in 2021, at a cost of $66.2 million. He said the commitment was the result of a series of consultations between the Palestinian and German governments. Moreover, he said, the German government had promised to increase its annual support for UNRWA from the €161 million it gave in 2020 to €170 million in 2021 (Ma’an, November 26, 2020).
Payment of November 2020 salaries to UNRWA employees
- On the morning of December 1, 2020, Ahmed Abu Houli, head of the PLO’s refugee department, was interviewed by the Voice of Palestine radio station. He said that on December 6, 2020, UNRWA would pay the November salaries of all of its 28,000 employees in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. He said UNRWA had received funding for the salaries from Sweden and had taken a $40 million loan from a UN fund (Ma’an, December 1, 2020).
 For further information, see the November 30, 2020, bulletin, "The Spread of Covid-19 in Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria (Updated to November 30, 2020)" ↑
 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. ↑