Palestinians riot against Israeli security forces in the village of Luban al-Sharqia (Wafa, November 18, 2021).
Palestinians riot against Israeli security forces in the village of Luban al-Sharqia (Wafa, November 18, 2021).
Palestinian organizations in the Gaza Strip hold a press conference (Gaza Post, November 20, 2021).
PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh at the AHLC meeting in Oslo (Muhammad Shtayyeh's Facebook page, November 17, 2021).
Mahmoud Abbas meets with the United States ambassador to the UN in his office in Ramallah (Wafa, November 17, 2021).
- Terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria: This past week there were three terrorist attacks, two in the Old City of Jerusalem near the Temple Mount and one in Jaffa. On November 21, 2021 the worst attack was carried out, in which an Israeli civilian was killed and four Israelis were wounded in a shooting attack near the Chain Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem. The terrorist who carried out the attack was a Hamas operative from the Shuafat refugee camp. On November 21, 2021 In Jaffa a young Palestinian, in Israel illegally, stabbed two Israeli pedestrians. On November 17, 2021, a 16 year-old Palestinian stabbed two Border Police fighters patrolling in the Old City of Jerusalem. He was killed. Hamas issued a mourning notice for him. Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad praised the terrorist attacks. Palestinians continued throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at Israeli vehicles.
- Hamas network in Judea and Samaria: The Israeli security forces exposed a large network of Hamas terrorist operatives in Judea and Samaria planning to carry out attacks, including attacks inside Israeli territory. The network was financed and directed by Hamas operatives outside the Gaza Strip, particularly Saleh al-‘Arouri, deputy head of Hamas’ political bureau and in charge of Hamas activities in Judea and Samaria. The exposure of the network prevented terrorist attacks which included mass-casualty attacks.
- Britain moves to outlaw Hamas: British Home Secretary Priti Patel proposed outlawing Hamas’ political bureau, leading to a wave of angry Palestinian reactions, mainly from Hamas, which criticized British foreign policy and said the organization would continue its “resistance” activities [i.e., violence and terrorism], including armed “resistance.”
- Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) conference in Oslo: On November 17, 2021, PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh participated in the AHLC conference held in Oslo. He demanded the donor countries meet their financial obligations to the PA and also increase their aid.
- The coronavirus: There was an increase in the number of active cases in Judea and Samaria. In the Gaza Strip the decline in active cases continued.
Shooting attack in the Old City of Jerusalem
- On the morning of November 21, 2021, there was a shooting attack in the Old City of Jerusalem in which an Israeli civilian was killed and four Israelis were injured: one civilian critically, another seriously, and two policemen who sustained minor injuries. The shooter was a Palestinian armed with a rifle who went to the Chain Gate in east Jerusalem and shot indiscriminately at passersby. Police at the site shot and killed him. A knife was also found near his body.
Right: The rifle used in the attack. Left: The knife found near the terrorist’s body
(Israel Police Force spokesman’s unit, November 21, 2021)
- The Palestinian media reported the terrorist was Fadi Mahmoud Abu Shekhidam, 42, from the Shuafat refugee camp. He had an MA in Islamic law, taught Islamic religion at the al-Rashidiya school in Jerusalem, and delivered sermons in a number of mosques in east Jerusalem (alresala.net, November 21, 2021). The Israeli media reported he was known to the Israeli security forces as a Hamas operative from the Shuafat refugee camp, but had never been detained (Ynet, November 21, 2021).
Right: Fadi Mahmoud Abu Shekhidam a few minutes before the stabbing attack. Left: Fadi Mahmoud Abu Shekhidam (Twitter account of journalist Hassan Aslih, November 21, 2021).
- Abdallah Siam, deputy governor of the Palestinian Authority’s Jerusalem district, blamed Israel for the attack in east Jerusalem. He claimed it was Israel’s activities in east Jerusalem and on the Temple Mount that led to the hardships suffered by the Arabs in east Jerusalem (al-Mamlaka TV, November 21, 2021).
- Hamas issued a mourning notice praising “its son the shaheed,” calling him one of the Hamas leaders in the Shuafat refugee camp (Hamas website, November 21, 2021). Muhammad Hamada, Hamas spokesman in east Jerusalem, claimed the attack sent a message to Israel and was the response to Israel’s attempts to desecrate and Judaize al-Aqsa mosque; such attacks, he asserted, would continue (Shehab news website, November 21, 2021). Isma’il Haniyeh, head of Hamas’ political bureau, spoke on the phone with the family. He said they were proud of “resistance” operatives and of Abu Shekhidam for “defending al-Aqsa mosque” (SerajSat, November 22, 2021).
- Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) leader Ziyad al-Nakhalah also spoke on the phone with the family. He claimed the “deed” was “a turning point in the history of the Palestinian resistance.” He also claimed the objective of the attack was to defend al-Aqsa mosque and the sanctity of Jerusalem (Jerusalem Brigades website, November 22, 2021). PIJ spokesman Tareq Izz al-Din also praised the attack, calling it “a natural reaction to Israel’s ongoing crimes.” He also said Israel would not enjoy security as long as it destroyed Palestinian buildings and continued its activities (Telegram channel of the PIJ’s information bureau, November 21, 2021).
Palestinians in Rafah distribute candy to celebrate the lethal shooting attack in Jerusalem (Twitter account of journalist Hassan Aslih, November 21, 2021).
Stabbing attack in Jaffa
- On November 21, 2021, a young Palestinian stabbed two Israeli pedestrians walking together on Bat Yam Street in western Jaffa and then fled on foot. One was seriously wounded. After an hour of searching for the terrorist, the police found him in a building near the scene of the attack. He was an 18 year-old Palestinian from Jenin who was in Israel illegally. According to the initial investigation, the attack was nationalistically motivated (Ynet, November 21, 2021).
Stabbing attack in Old City of Jerusalem
- On the afternoon of November 17, 2021, a Palestinian carried out a stabbing attack near the Damascus Gate in east Jerusalem. He walked along Hagai Street, which leads from the Damascus Gate to the entrance to the Western Wall plaza. Two patrolling Border Police fighters were wounded, one seriously. The terrorist was shot and killed.
Right: CCTV documents the attacks. Left: The knife used by the terrorist
(Israel Police Force Facebook page, November 17, 2021).
- The Palestinian media reported the terrorist was Omar Ibrahim Abu Assab, 16, from Issawiya in east Jerusalem. He was in the 11th grade in a local school. In the past his father was detained by Israel (QudsN website, November 17 2021).
- Hamas and the PIJ praised the attack claiming it was a “natural reaction” to Israel’s activities in Jerusalem (al-Mayadeen, November 17, 2021). Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said the attack showed that the Palestinian people continued their revolt against the [Israeli] “occupation” (al-Jazeera, November 17, 2021). Hamas issued a notice mourning the death of “its son the shaheed” (Hariya Press, November 17, 2021).
Right: Omar Abu Assab (Twitter account of journalist Hassan Aslih, November 17, 2021). Left: Cartoon in the PA’s official newspaper after the attack (al-Hayat al-Jadeeda, November 18, 2021).
Hamas mourning notice (Hariya Press, November 17, 2021).
Rocks, Molotov cocktails and other events
- In Judea and Samaria Palestinians continued throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at Israeli vehicles driving on the roads. The more prominent events were the following:
- November 22, 2021: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle near Luban al-Sharqia, south of Nablus. No casualties were reported. The vehicle was damaged.
- November 22, 2021:Rocks were thrown at an Israeli police patrol car on the trans-Judean road. No casualties were reported. The patrol car was damaged.
- November 22, 2021: A Molotov cocktail was thrown at Israeli forces during an Israel security force activity in east Jerusalem. A Border Police fighter was injured. The Palestinian who threw the Molotov cocktail, an east Jerusalem resident, was detained.
- November 22, 2021: Molotov cocktails were thrown at the southern gate of the Israeli community of Migdal Oz, northeast of Bethlehem. No casualties were reported. The gate was damaged.
- November 21, 2021: Rocks ands bricks were thrown at an Israeli bus between Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim. The bus driver was injured. The bus was damaged.
- November 21, 2021: A Molotov cocktail was thrown at an Israeli bus near the Hizma roadblock, east of Jerusalem.
- November 21, 2021: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle near Dir Nizam, northwest of Ramallah. No casualties were reported. The vehicle was damaged.
- November 21, 2021: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli bus near Azun, east of Qalqilya. No casualties were reported. The bus was damaged.
- November 18, 2021: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle near the village of Turmus Aya, northeast of Ramallah, and a bottle of paint was thrown at an Israeli bus. No casualties were reported. The vehicles were damaged. The previous day rocks were thrown at the same location.
- November 18, 2021: Rocks were thrown at a pedestrian near the Beit Horon bridge, west of Ramallah. The pedestrian was injured.
- November 18, 2021: Molotov cocktails were thrown at an Israeli vehicle near Husan, west of Bethlehem, No casualties were reported. The vehicle was damaged.
- November 18, 2021: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle on the Gush Etzion-Hebron road. No casualties were reported. The vehicle was damaged
- November 17, 2021: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle on the access road to Ma’aleh Lavona, south of Nablus. No casualties were reported. The vehicle was damaged.
- November 17, 2021: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle near Abud, northwest of Ramallah. A passenger was injured. The vehicle was damaged.
- November 16, 2021: Molotov cocktails and rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle between Tapuah and Migdalim, southeast of Nablus. No casualties or damage were reported.
- November 16, 2021: Palestinians threw rocks at Israeli forces during a police activity in Beit Hanina in east Jerusalem. Two Palestinians from east Jerusalem were detained.
- November 16, 2021: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli minibus south of Ofra, northeast of Ramallah. A passenger was injured.
- November 16, 2021: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle near Izhar, south of Nablus. No casualties were reported. The vehicle was damaged.
Significant Terrorist Attacks in Judea and Samaria since January 2020
Large Hamas network exposed in Judea and Samaria
- In recent weeks the Israeli security forces exposed a large Hamas network in Judea and Samaria. It was directed by Hamas operatives outside the Gaza Strip and planned to carry out terrorist attacks in Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem and possibly a mass-casualty attack or attacks inside Israeli territory. In recent months Israeli security forces operated in several focal points in Judea and Samaria, detaining more than 50 Hamas operatives involved in establishing the network. The operatives had weapons, equipment for preparing IEDs and sufficient explosives for three or four explosive belts. Money was also confiscated.
- The network’s activities were funded and directed by senior Hamas figures headed by Saleh al-‘Arouri, deputy head of Hamas’ political bureau and responsible for Hamas activities in Judea and Samaria. Also involved was Zakaria Najib, who used to live in east Jerusalem, and was one of the terrorists who abducted Nahshon Waxman, murdered by his abductors. Najib was released in the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal.
- Operatives for the terrorist network were recruited from throughout Judea and Samaria, including from Ramallah, Hebron and Jenin. One of the head recruiters was Hijazi Qawasmeh, a Hamas operative from Hebron, who was detained by Israel several times in the past for planning terrorist attacks and membership in Hamas. Hijazi Qawasmeh recruited operatives in Judea and Samaria, and met with senior Hamas operatives abroad, receiving instructions and hundreds of thousands of shekels to fund terrorist activities. Saleh al-‘Arouri offered him a million dollars to carry out an abduction. Hijazi Qawasmeh is related to Mahmoud Qawasmeh, deported to the Gaza Strip in the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal and who operates from Gaza to organize terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria.
- Another terrorist operative in the network was Hamza Zahran, 40, from the village of Bidu near Ramallah. He was detained by Israel several times in the past because of his Hamas terrorist activities, including planning terrorist attacks. He recruited his brother, Ahmed Zahran, and other relatives to the network. They acquired weapons and manufactured explosives, and financed their activity with funds from Hamas operatives abroad. Ahmed Zahran and two other terrorist operatives were killed on September 26, 2021, in a counterterrorist activity in Bidu. Other operatives in the network were Muhammad Abu al-Hassan, from the village of Burqin, and Abd al-Ghani Khadour from the village of Bayt Sira, both of whom manufactured explosives. According to the Israeli Security Agency, the network was dangerous and planned a series of showcase attacks (IDF spokesman, Israeli Security Agency, November 22, 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 since January 2020
Annual Distribution of Rocket Hits
Israeli measures to ease daily life in the Gaza Strip
- On November 18, 2021, the Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) announced that seven tons of strawberries had been exported from the Gaza Strip to Judea and Samaria through the Kerem Shalom Crossing. The cultivation of strawberries supports thousands of Gazan families (COGAT website in Arabic, November 19, 2021).
Gazan strawberries exported to Gaza Strip
(Twitter account of journalist Hassan Aslih, November 18, 2021).
Palestinian reactions to Britain’s intention to designate Hamas’ political bureau as a terrorist organization
- UK Home Secretary Priti Patel announced the Britain would designate the Hamas political bureau as a terrorist organization, which means that anyone who supports Hamas, waves its flag or participates in meetings organized by Hamas in Britain will be breaking the law. Patel said she hopes the designation will be acted on in the next session of Parliament. She added that the decision to designate Hamas as a terrorist organization based on a large quantity of information and intelligence about the political bureau’s links to terrorism (The Guardian, November 19, 2021). She called Hamas “fundamentally and rabidly anti-Semitic”, adding the proscription was required to protect the Jewish community (al-Jazeera, November 21, 2021).
- Patel tweeted that she had made her decision to ban the entire Hamas movement, adding that the British government was committed to dealing with extremism and terrorism wherever they were found (Twitter account of Priti Patil, November 19, 2021). Until now only Hamas’ military-terrorist wing has been outlawed in the UK.
- Patel’s statement led to angry Palestinian reactions. Senior PA, Hamas and other organization figures were enraged by her decision. The PLO legation in Britain condemned the British intention, calling it extreme bias towards Israel (“the occupation”) and a gross violation of international law. The legation called on the British government to prevent the designation (Sawa, November 19, 2021).
- Hamas said in an announcement that Britain continued its treachery instead of apologizing and atoning for its historical sins. The Palestinian people, said Hamas, had the right to “resist” the “occupation” with every means at its disposal, including with arms, adding that the “occupation” was terrorism and committed war crimes against humanity [sic] (Shehab, November 19, 2021). Isma’il Haniyeh, head of Hamas’ political bureau, said the decision was a new attack on the Palestinian people and its rights (Dunia al-Watan, November 20, 2021). Musa Abu Marzouq, a member of the Hamas political bureau, said the decision had no future as the “occupation” had no future on Palestinian land, and they would continue “resisting.” He also said the decision proved Britain’s adherence to the Israeli narrative, and would limit Britain’s regional interests and role. Senior Hamas figure Isma’il Radwan called on the British people to object to the decision (al-Jazeera, November 19, 2021).
- The PIJ condemned Britain’s intention, calling it a mistake, because “resistance” was the legitimate right of the Palestinian people. Britain, said the PIJ, had to atone for its mistakes and not make declarations that harmed the Palestinian people’s legitimate struggle (PIJ Telegram channel, November 19, 2021).
- Other Palestinian organizations in the Gaza Strip held an emergency meeting and warned Britain of the consequences of its decision against Hamas. They said they regarded it as an attack on the Palestinian people and that Britain had to change its mind. They announced the launch of an international campaign and call on the UN and the Arab League to reject the decision (al-Aqsa, November 20, 2021).
Right: Palestinians express solidarity with Hamas by shredding the British designation along with the Balfour Declaration (Palestinian cartoonists’ Facebook page, November 21, 2021). Left: Palestinian cartoon criticizing the British designation
(Alaa’ al-Laqta’s Facebook page, November 20, 2018).
- The foreign ministers of Iran, the Houthis in Yemen and Hezbollah in Lebanon all condemned Britain’s decision.
The PA’s financial situation
- On November 17, 2021, PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh participated in the meeting of the AHLC, whose primary function is to coordinate the delivery of international [financial] aid to Palestinians. The meeting has held in Oslo, and was attended by about 150 people representing 27 countries. Muhammad Shtayyeh demanded the donor countries meet their financial obligations to the PA and even increase their aid. He claimed the source of the PA’s financial crisis was the [Israeli] “occupation.” Small financial gestures, he complained, were insufficient (Muhammad Shtayyeh’s Facebook page, November 17, 2021). Providing an update at the weekly PA government meeting on November 22, 2021, he said the PA had received promises of renewed financial aid and that pressure would be exerted on Israel to stop deducting funds from the tax revenues it collects for the PA (Muhammad Shtayyeh’s Facebook page, November 22, 2021).
- Shtayyeh exploited his time in Oslo to meet with senior government officials, where he complained about the PA’s financial hardships and difficulties, accusing Israel of activities against the Palestinians (Muhammad Shtayyeh’s Facebook page, November 22, 2021).
- Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki told an interviewer that he had been disappointed by the meeting of the countries that donate to UNRWA, held in Brussels on November 16, 2021. He called the meeting a failure because the Palestinians had expected $100 million would be raised for the agency but in reality only $38 million was forthcoming (al-Andalou News, November 17, 2021)..
The PA again calls on the United States to keep its promises
- PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas met in his office in Ramallah with Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the American ambassador to the UN. He updated her about the [alleged] “Israeli violations against the Palestinian people and Israel’s measures which destroy the two-state solution.” He said they supported a peace process with Israel, and thanked the Biden administration for its stance on the two-state solution (Wafa, November 17, 2021).
The PA criticizes the government of Israel
- Interviewed by official PA newspaper al-Hayat al-Jadeeda, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for Mahmoud Abbas, criticized the current Israeli government. He claimed it had gone further than its predecessor in “killing, committing war crimes and [implementing] racist policies against the Palestinians.” He said the Palestinian leadership had a variety of legal avenues which could be used to appeal to international courts to make Israel responsible for its activities and violations of international law. He demanded the United States government speed up the implementation of its promises and open the American consulate in Jerusalem (al-Hayat al-Jadeeda, November 20, 2021).
UN Economic and Financial Committee (Second Committee) draft resolution
- The UN Economic and Financial Committee (Second Committee) passed a draft resolution (157 for, 7 against, 14 abstentions) entitled “Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources.” The proposed resolution demands Israel stop exploiting and endangering Palestinian natural resources (UN website, November 18, 2021).
PA security operation in the Jenin district
- Ikram al-Rajoub, governor of the Jenin district, announced the PA had launched a security operation in Jenin which included the arrest of wanted criminals. He said only the Palestinian security forces would be legally permitted to hold weapons, and that the security coordination with Israel would continue (alresala.net, November 21, 2021).
- The Palestinian media reported on violent clashes between local residents of the Jenin refugee camp and PA security forces, including exchanges of fire and the throwing of rocks at armored security force vehicles (QudsN website, November 19, 2021). At the same time, local residents of the Jenin refugee camp criticized the PA for what they claimed were attacks on the refugee camp, which had been a stronghold of Palestinian pride and “resistance” during the second intifada.
- Khaled al-Hajj, a senior Hamas figure in Jenin, claimed there was no justification for the PA’s security operation in Jenin. He said “everyone knew” instructions for the operation had come from Israel. Senior PIJ figure Sheikh Hader Adnan also condemned the PA’s operation, claiming the Palestinian security forces had not entered the refugee camp to arrest wanted criminals but rather to put an end to a “resistance” stronghold (Palestinian refugees’ portal, November 23, 2021).
Right: PA security forces deploy to deal with the security situation in Jenin (alislama.net, November 2, 2021). Left: Violent clashes between local residents and the PA security forces (Safa, November 19, 2021).
Rocks and other heavy objects thrown at a PA security force vehicle in Jenin
(Sama News, November 19, 2021).
Judea and Samaria
- According to data from the ministry of health in Ramallah on November 22, 2021, there were 1,086 active cases in the PA, up from 965 on November 16. There were 40 patients in ICUs, nine of them on ventilators; so far, 2,880 Palestinians have died from coronavirus-related conditions. There were 1,024,151 fully vaccinated (two shots) Palestinians, up from 1,013,777 on November 16, 2021 (ministry of health in Ramallah Facebook page, November 22, 2021).
The Gaza Strip
- On November 23, 2021, the ministry of health in Gaza reported there were 1,475 active cases, down from 1,981 on November 16, 2021. Of 671 tests administered in the 24 hours between November 22 and 23, 2021, 118 were positive (a positive rate of 17.5%). So far 1,635 Gazans have died of coronavirus-related causes, up from 1,624 on November 16, 2021. There were 54 patients in hospitals in the Gaza Strip, 42 in serious or critical condition. A total of 498,349 Gazans have been vaccinated, up from 490,258 on November 16, 2021 (ministry of health in Gaza Facebook page, November 23, 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.