News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (September 25 – October 6, 2019)

The IDF jeep damaged by the Molotov cocktail (Facebook page of journalist Ahmed Bassam Abu Yazan, October 4, 2019).

The IDF jeep damaged by the Molotov cocktail (Facebook page of journalist Ahmed Bassam Abu Yazan, October 4, 2019).

Young Palestinians burn tires (Supreme National Authority of the Great Return March Facebook page, October 4, 2019).

Young Palestinians burn tires (Supreme National Authority of the Great Return March Facebook page, October 4, 2019).

The scene of the stabbing attack at the Maccabim Junction (Ultra Palestine website, September 25, 2019).

The scene of the stabbing attack at the Maccabim Junction (Ultra Palestine website, September 25, 2019).

Isma'il Haniyeh gives a speech at the rally. To the left is Alam Kaabi, a member of the PFLP's political bureau and responsible for the organization's prisoners committee.

Isma'il Haniyeh gives a speech at the rally. To the left is Alam Kaabi, a member of the PFLP's political bureau and responsible for the organization's prisoners committee.

Isma'il Haniyeh visits the offices of the PFLP leadership in the Gaza Strip (PFLP website, September 30, 2019; Hamas website, September 30, 2019).

Isma'il Haniyeh visits the offices of the PFLP leadership in the Gaza Strip (PFLP website, September 30, 2019; Hamas website, September 30, 2019).

The first day of the distribution of funds from Qatar (Facebook page of the communications and IT ministry in the Gaza Strip, September 26, 2019; Facebook page of the Qatari committee for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, September 26, 2019).

The first day of the distribution of funds from Qatar (Facebook page of the communications and IT ministry in the Gaza Strip, September 26, 2019; Facebook page of the Qatari committee for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, September 26, 2019).

Medical assistance arriving in the Gaza Strip (Twitter account of Issam Yusuf, October 4, 2019).

Medical assistance arriving in the Gaza Strip (Twitter account of Issam Yusuf, October 4, 2019).

Isma'il Haniyeh and the Hamas leadership meet with the heads of the other Palestinian terrorist organizations (Hamas website, September 26, 2019).

Isma'il Haniyeh and the Hamas leadership meet with the heads of the other Palestinian terrorist organizations (Hamas website, September 26, 2019).

Hezbollah flag carried at the march (Twitter account of Sa'ad al-Akhras, October 5, 2019).

Hezbollah flag carried at the march (Twitter account of Sa'ad al-Akhras, October 5, 2019).

Ziyad al-Nakhalah gives a speech at the rally (right: Paltoday, October 6, 2019; left: PIJ website, October 5, 2019).

Ziyad al-Nakhalah gives a speech at the rally (right: Paltoday, October 6, 2019; left: PIJ website, October 5, 2019).

The new rocket (Popular Resistance Movement website, September 28, 2019).

The new rocket (Popular Resistance Movement website, September 28, 2019).

Mahmoud Abbas gives a speech at the UN General Assembly (Mahmoud Abbas' Facebook page, September 26, 2019).

Mahmoud Abbas gives a speech at the UN General Assembly (Mahmoud Abbas' Facebook page, September 26, 2019).

  • The two most recent return marches (September 27 and October 4, 2019) were characterized by a high level of violence. IEDs and hand grenades were thrown at the security fence and IDF vehicles. Rioters also vandalized the security fence and tried to cross it into Israeli territory. On October 4, 2019, two rocket launches were identified. The rockets fell inside the Gaza Strip.

Rioters attack an IDF jeep at the October 4 return march

  • On September 25, 2019, a Palestinian boy stabbed and wounded a young Israeli woman waiting for a bus near Modi’in. He was apprehended. On September 26, 2019, a Palestinian boy tried to stab Border Policemen at the Chain Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem. A policewoman was slightly injured while the Palestinian was being detained.
  • The Israeli security forces apprehended the terrorist squad suspected of carrying out the IED attack at the Danny Spring, northwest of Ramallah, which killed an Israeli girl and wounded her father and brother. The terrorists are operatives of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), who in the past were detained by the Israeli security forces for involvement in terrorism. The members of the squad planned to carry out additional attacks, including shooting attacks and an abduction. Samer Arbid, who headed the squad, was hospitalized in serious condition. The reasons for his condition are under investigation.
The return march of September 27, 2019
  • On Friday, September 27, 2019, the return march was held with the theme, “The intifada of al-Aqsa and the prisoners.” About 7,600 Palestinians participated, most of them gathering at the five return camps. Several dozen rioters approached the security fence and clashed with IDF forces. The riots were characterized by a high level of violence, similar to that of return marches held in recent weeks. Rioters burned tires, threw hand grenades and tried to sabotage the security fence and also to cross it into Israeli territory.
  • According to reports from the ministry of health in the Gaza Strip, 63 Palestinians were injured, one of whom later died (Ashraf al-Qidra’s Twitter account, September 27, 2019). The Palestinian killed was apparently a Hamas operative; his body was wrapped in the Hamas flag for burial.
Palestinians throw a Molotov cocktail at an IDF jeep east of the al-Bureij refugee camp (Facebook page of journalist Walid Muslah, September 27, 2019).   Operatives of Hamas security forces direct traffic to the return march focal points (website of the ministry of the interior in the Gaza Strip, September 27, 2019).
Right: Operatives of Hamas security forces direct traffic to the return march focal points (website of the ministry of the interior in the Gaza Strip, September 27, 2019). Left: Palestinians throw a Molotov cocktail at an IDF jeep east of the al-Bureij refugee camp (Facebook page of journalist Walid Muslah, September 27, 2019).
  • Some of the speakers during the march related to the release of the Palestinian prisoners, and some of them called for the abduction of Israelis. Senior PIJ figure Khaled al-Batash said the “resistance” needed more captive soldiers and “settlers” to ensure the release of all the prisoners. Popular Resistance Committees spokesman Abu Mujahed called taking hostages the shortest road to the release of the prisoners (al-Aqsa TV, September 27, 2019).
The return march of October 4, 2019
  • On Friday, October 4, 2019, the return march was held with the theme, “Our people choose reconciliation [between Hamas and Fatah].” About 6,000 Palestinians participated, routinely gathering at the five return camps. Several dozen rioters reached the security fence and clashed with IDF soldiers. The events were characterized by a high level of violence, similar to that of recent weeks. That included burning tires, throwing IEDs and fragmentation grenades at the security fence and at IDF vehicles, and vandalizing the security fence and attempting to cross it into Israeli territorial. The ministry of health in the Gaza Strip reported one death in Jabalia (apparently of a Palestinian affiliated with Hamas) and the wounding of 54 (Ashraf al-Qidra’s Twitter account, October 4, 2019).
  • Ahmed Bahar, a Hamas member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, said the Gaza Strip would not disarm because the weapons of the “resistance” were its “soul, eyes and mind ” (al-Aqsa TV, October 4, 2019). Senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) figure Khaled al-Batash, summing up the day’s activities, said that the march this coming Friday, October 11, 2019, would have as its theme, “Child shaheeds” (al-Aqsa TV, October 4, 2019).
The IDF jeep damaged by the Molotov cocktail (Facebook page of journalist Ahmed Bassam Abu Yazan, October 4, 2019).   Explosion of IED thrown at an IDF jeep east of the al-Bureij refugee camp (Abu Wattan's Facebook page, October 5, 2019).
Right: Explosion of IED thrown at an IDF jeep east of the al-Bureij refugee camp (Abu Wattan’s Facebook page, October 5, 2019). Left: The IDF jeep damaged by the Molotov cocktail (Facebook page of journalist Ahmed Bassam Abu Yazan, October 4, 2019).
Young Palestinians burn tires (Supreme National Authority of the Great Return March Facebook page, October 4, 2019).   Police vehicle at the entrance to the return camp in eastern Gaza City (website of the ministry of the interior in the Gaza Strip, October 4, 2019).
Right: Police vehicle at the entrance to the return camp in eastern Gaza City (website of the ministry of the interior in the Gaza Strip, October 4, 2019). Left: Young Palestinians burn tires (Supreme National Authority of the Great Return March Facebook page, October 4, 2019).
Lull arrangement with Israel
  • It was recently reported that Egypt and Qatar send messages to the leadership of Hamas and the other terrorist organizations stating that Israel was interested in a lull and in implementing the understandings. According to the report, if the current measures are successful there will be a new stage in the understandings that may include larger plans to lift the [so-called] siege of the Gaza Strip and also make negotiations possible for a prisoner exchange deal (al-Quds, September 29, 2019). “Knowledgeable sources” revealed that private talks were recently held (with the aid of mediators) between Israel and persons in the Gaza Strip to prevent an escalation and to establish a lull. According to the sources, in the near future an Egyptian security delegation will attempt to schedule meetings in Israel and in the Gaza Strip to try to establish the understandings (al-Quds al-Arabi, September 29, 2019).
Rocket and Mortar Fire

Rocket and mortar shell fire into Israel

  • Close to midnight on October 4, 2019, two rockets were launched at Israel. An alert was sounded in the central Gaza Strip region. The rockets fell inside the Gaza Strip (IDF spokesman, October 4, 2019).
  • On September 28, 2019, it was reported that a locally-made rocket exploded before launching in eastern Rafah. No casualties were reported (Amad, September 28, 2019).
Monthly Distribution of Rocket and Mortar Shell Fire since January 2018

Monthly Distribution of Rocket and Mortar Shell Fire since January 2018

Annual Distribution of Rocket Hits

Annual Distribution of Rocket Hits

Other events
  • On the evening of October 2, 2019, IDF forces identified three Palestinians who crossed the security fence in the southern Gaza Strip and tried to enter Israeli territory. IDF reinforcements were rushed to the site and detained the Palestinians (IDF spokesman, October 2, 2019). In the meantime, the Palestinian media reported that a group of young Palestinians had crossed the security fence east of Khirbat Ikhza’a in the southern Gaza Strip, seized IDF equipment and returned to the Gaza Strip before IDF forces could reach the site (Amad, October 2, 2019). It is unclear if the Palestinian report referred to the same event.
Stabbing attack
  • On September 25, 2019, a young Palestinian stabbed and seriously wounded a young Israeli woman standing at a bus stop at the Maccabim Junction near Modi’in. The stabber, who was about 13 years old, tried to escape and was caught by Border Police fighters a few hundred yards from the scene of the attack. The young woman was taken to a hospital in serious condition (Israel Police Force spokesman’s unit, September 25, 2019). A Border Police fighter was slightly wounded while overcoming the stabber, who was taken for interrogation (Border Police Facebook page, September 25, 2019). The Palestinian media reported that the detainee was Ramez Alaa’ Abd al-Karim Hamouda, from the Ramallah region (Ultra Palestine website, September 25, 2019).
The knife used by the attacker (Israel Police Force, September 25, 2019)    The scene of the stabbing attack at the Maccabim Junction (Ultra Palestine website, September 25, 2019).
Right: The scene of the stabbing attack at the Maccabim Junction (Ultra Palestine website, September 25, 2019). Left: The knife used by the attacker (Israel Police Force, September 25, 2019)
  • On the afternoon of September 26, 2019, a young Palestinian, about 13 years old, went to the Chain gate in the Old City of Jerusalem and tried to stab policemen securing the site. The policemen fought him off and he ran towards the Temple Mount. The policemen fired shots in the air and stopped him. One policewoman was slightly injured while overcoming the Palestinian (Police spokesman’s unit, October 26, 2019). According to reports the stabber was Ashraf Hassan Adwan, 12 or 13 years old, from al-E’izariya (al-Quds, September 26, 2019; silwanic.net, September 26, 2019).

The scene of the event. The youth who was detained can be seen lying on the ground (red shirt) (Facebook page of the silwanic.net website, September 26, 2019).
The scene of the event. The youth who was detained can be seen lying on the ground (red shirt) (Facebook page of the silwanic.net website, September 26, 2019).

Other events on the ground
  • In Judea and Samaria Palestinians continued throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at Israeli security forces and civilian targets (mainly vehicles). Israeli security forces carried out counterterrorism activities throughout Judea and Samaria, detaining Palestinians suspected of terrorist activity, confiscating funds used to finance terrorist activities, and seizing military grade and improvised weapons. The more prominent events were the following:
    • October 6, 2019 – During searches for illegal weapons in Hebron the Israeli security forces found two handguns and ammunition (IDF spokesman, October 6, 2019).October 5, 2019 – Several dozen Palestinians who gathered at the Bitunia Crossing (a merchandise crossing near Ramallah) threw stones and Molotov cocktails at Border Police forces. They were dispersed (Border Police spokesman’s unit, October 5, 2019).
  • October 4, 2019 – Palestinians clashed with IDF forces during searches carried out in Bayt Umar (northwest of Hebron). An IDF soldier was wounded by a stone (IDF spokesman, October 4, 2019).
    • October 4, 2019 – An IED exploded near an IDF post in Bayt Umar. No casualties were reported; the post was damaged. Another IED was neutralized by the Israeli security forces (IDF spokesman, October 4, 2019).
    • October 2, 2019 – Border Police fighters detained a vehicle at the Abu Dis roadblock (east of Jerusalem) with two Palestinians from Jenin. A bag with a large sum of money was found in the vehicle. The IDF suspects the funds were intended for funding terrorist activities (Border Police spokesman’s unit, October 2, 2019).
    • October 1, 2019 – Molotov cocktails were thrown at a bus on the Gush Etzion-Hebron road. No casualties were reported (United Hatzalah, October 1, 2019).
    • September 30, 2019 – At a checkpoint near the Cave of the Patriarchs a 15-year-old Palestinian was detained. A search revealed a knife hidden in his school books (Border Police spokesman’s unit, September 30, 2019).
    • September 29, 2019 – Stones were thrown at an bus on the Gush Etzion road. No casualties were reported. The front windshield of the bus was damaged (Rescue Without Borders in Judea and Samaria, September 29, 2019)/
    • September 26, 2019 – A riot developed during an Israeli security force activity in the village of Shuweika (south of Mt. Hebron), during which Palestinians threw stones at the forces. About 30 Palestinians were detained. No casualties were reported (IDF spokesman, September 26, 2019).
    • September 26, 2019 – During searches carried out by IDF forces to locate illegal weapons in Bayt Umar a Palestinian was detained who was found to be in possession of an improvised Carlo gun (IDF spokesman, September 26, 2019).
    • September 24, 2019 – During and IDF forces patrol in Nablus an IED was found at the side of the road. Engineering forces neutralized the device. No casualties or damage were reported (IDF spokesman, September 24, 2019).
Significant terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria since June 2017[2]

Significant terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria since June 2017

Exposing the terrorist squad that carried out a deadly IED attack

Combined action of the Israeli security forces led to the exposure and detention of four operatives of the terrorist squad suspected of carrying out the terrorist attack at the Danny Spring, northwest of Ramallah (August 23, 2019). In the attack an Israeli girl was killed and her father and brother were wounded. The detainees are Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) operatives, all of whom were detained in the past by the Israeli security forces for involvement in terrorist activity. The squad operatives planned to carry out other terrorist attacks, including shooting attacks and an abduction. During interrogation another IED in the possession of the squad was handed over to the police. On October 3, 2019, another suspect was detained, bringing the number to five.

  • The first four operatives of the terrorist squad apprehended were the following (Israel Security Agency, September 28, 2019):
    • Samer Mina Salim Arbid, 44, from Ramallah, a senior PFLP operative in the Ramallah region. In the past he was detained by Israeli security forces a number of times for involvement in terrorist activities and was also on the wanted list for a number of years. He headed the squad, prepared the IED and activated it when he saw the family approach the spring. After his detention he was hospitalized in serious condition, the reasons for which are under investigation.
    • Qassam al-Barghouti, 25, from the village of Kobar. In the past he was detained for involvement in terrorist activities. He manufactured the explosives for the IED. He also helped construct it and took part in activating it on the ground.
    • Yazn Hussein Husni Maghamas, 25, from Ramallah. In the past he was detained for involvement in popular terrorism activities and was fully complicit in planning and carrying out the attack.
    • Nizam Sami Yusuf Muhammad, 21, from Hebron, an activist in the PFLP student call in Bir Zeit University.

Notice for the operatives of the PFLP squad (left to right: Nizam Muhammad, Yazn Maghamas, Qassam al-Barghouti, Samer Arbid (asramedia, September 29 2019).
Notice for the operatives of the PFLP squad (left to right: Nizam Muhammad, Yazn Maghamas, Qassam al-Barghouti, Samer Arbid (asramedia, September 29 2019).

  • The Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, the PFLP’s military-terrorist wing, issued a statement claiming Israel was responsible for the life of Samer Arbid and his companions. The PFLP threatened it would not remain silent if Israel harmed the detainees or exposed them to danger (Shabakat Quds, September 29, 2019). In Judea and Samaria rallies were held in support of Samer Arbid and a protest was held because of the deterioration of his condition (Amama, September 30, 2019).
  • On September 30, 2019, a rally was held in the Gaza Strip to show solidarity with Samer Arbid and the security prisoners(i.e., terrorists) in Israel in general. The rally was attended by Isma’il Haniyeh, head of Hamas’ political bureau, who praised the attack at Danny Spring and the operatives who carried it out. The rally was also attended by Alam Kaabi, a member of the PFLP’s political bureau and responsible for the organization’s prisoners committee. He was a convicted PFLP terrorist operative in Judea and Samaria who was released in the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal and exiled to the Gaza Strip (PFLP website, September 30, 2019). Isma’il Haniyeh also paid a visit to the offices of the PFLP leadership in the Gaza Strip. During the visit he praised the “resistance [i.e., terrorist] activities” carried out by PFLP operatives and stressed the need to unite the efforts to support the prisoners (PFLP website, September 30 2019).
Distributing funds in the Gaza Strip

Transfer of the funds from Qatar

  • On September 26, 2019, the Qatari committee for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip began the distribution of payments to an additional 50,000 needy families in the Gaza Strip. Each family received $100. According to reports the payments will be made through branches of the post office during the coming days to prevent crowding (Facebook page of the Qatari committee for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, September 24, 2019).
  • In addition, the ministry for social development in the Gaza Strip announced that on October 2, 2019, the allotment for September would be paid to the wounded and the families of those killed during the return marches. Payment will be made at the branches of the post office bank in the Gaza Strip (website of the ministry for social development in the Gaza Strip, October 1, 2019).
  • The Palestinian Authority (PA) ministry of social development in Ramallah criticized the involvement of the ministry of social development in the Gaza Strip in the distribution of funds. According to the ministry in Ramallah the ministry in the Gaza Strip represents Hamas, and cooperation with it means cooperation with the Hamas movement (Facebook page of the PA ministry, September 25, 2019). In response, Muhammad al-Amadi, chairman of the Qatari committee, said that all the aid Qatar gives to the Palestinians is coordinated with the PA. He referred to the statement from Muhammad Shtayyeh, PA prime minister, who said the Palestinian government was aware of everything Qatar was doing in the Gaza Strip and that Qatar coordinated with the PA and reported all its activities (Facebook page of the Qatari committee for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, September 25, 2019).
Humanitarian aid for the Gaza Strip
  • On October 4, 2019, a Miles of Smiles aid convoy entered the Gaza Strip through the Rafah Crossing. The convoy, the fourth since May 2019, included six ambulances, ten vehicles for transporting disabled people and fifty electric wheelchairs (Sawa, October 10, 2019).
Construction of an American field hospital in the Gaza Strip
  • On September 24, 2019, a number of international delegations entered the Gaza Strip through the Erez Crossing. They included an American delegation which came to supervise the projects initiated by the Qatari committee for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip and the construction of an American field hospital (Sawa, September 24, 2019).
  • In the meantime, a convoy of nine trucks entered the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom Crossing bringing medical equipment for the American field hospital (Palinfo, September 24, 2019). Khalil al-Haya, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, claimed the American field hospital had arrived in the Gaza Strip following, among other factors, the pressure exerted by Hamas through the return marches. He said the hospital would be erected at a distance of 200 to 300 yards from the Gaza Strip’s northern border and would be staffed by Americans who would be in contact with the ministry of health and hospital staffs in the Gaza Strip (Shehab, October 1, 2019).
Dismantling an Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades post in the northern Gaza Strip
  • On September 25, 2019, Hamas military wing, under the supervision of the Land Authority in the Gaza Strip, began dismantling one of its posts in the northern Gaza Strip, known as the “al-Jidar post,” near the Indonesian Hospital. The post was dismantled to make room for the expansion of the hospital. According to senior Hamas figure Abu Khaled Abu Ascar, a dialysis unit will be established on the area vacated by the post (Paltoday, September 25, 2019).
Dismantling the "al-Jidar post" in the Gaza Strip (Facebook page of the Land Authority in the Gaza Strip, September 25, 2019).   Dismantling the "al-Jidar post" in the Gaza Strip (Facebook page of the Land Authority in the Gaza Strip, September 25, 2019).
Dismantling the “al-Jidar post” in the Gaza Strip (Facebook page of the Land Authority in the Gaza Strip, September 25, 2019).
Continuing activity regarding an initiative for the internal Palestinian reconciliation
  • The Palestinian terrorist organizations headed by Hamas and the PIJ continue to try to advance the initiative for an internal Palestinian reconciliation. To that end a suggested initiative was sent to the chairman of Hamas’s political bureau, the secretary general of the PLO, the secretary general of the Arab League and the head of Egyptian General Intelligence, and included a request for support. Senior PIJ figure Khader Habib said that as part of the initiative the organizations were planning to hold a number of popular and public activities and meetings with many groups and individuals to exert pressure on Hamas and Fatah to agree to it (al-Araby al-Jadeed, September 24, 2019).
  • Hamas related to the initiative with skepticism. A Hamas source said that given the Egyptians’ record of failures on the issue, it was doubtful if the organizations had leverage they could use to resolve the controversies between the two sides (al-Sharq al-Awsat, September 24, 2019). Nevertheless, Isma’il Haniyeh met with the heads of the Palestinian terrorist organizations. During the meeting he said Hamas agreed unconditionally to the initiative formulated by eight organizations (Hamas website, September 26, 2019).
Events for the anniversary of the PIJ’s founding
  • On October 5, 2019, the PIJ celebrated its 32nd anniversary in the Gaza Strip. Thousands of Palestinians participated in a march that took place in Gaza City. After the march a rally was held, during which weapons and various types of vehicles were displayed. Senior Hamas figures also participated in the events, among them Khalil al-Haya and Saleh al-Bardawil, both members of Hamas’ political bureau, who expressed their support for the PIJ and the path of “resistance” [i.e., terrorism] (Ma’an, Paltoday, October 6, 2019). In addition to PIJ flags waved during the rally, there was also a Hezbollah flag (Twitter account of Sa’ad al-Akhras, October 5, 2019).
Hezbollah flag carried at the march (Twitter account of Sa'ad al-Akhras, October 5, 2019).     The march in the Gaza Strip (Twitter account of journalist Yasser Abu Ghazra, October 5, 2019).
Right: The march in the Gaza Strip (Twitter account of journalist Yasser Abu Ghazra,
October 5, 2019). Left: Hezbollah flag carried at the march
(Twitter account of Sa’ad al-Akhras, October 5, 2019).
  • The PIJ’s military wing announced it would continue strengthening itself and its capabilities in every military area to defend the Palestinian people (Jerusalem Brigades website, October 5, 2019). In a video-taped speech, PIJ secretary general Ziyad al-Nakhalah said the organization would not abandon the prisoners, and harm done to them would be considered “a declaration of war against the Palestinian people.” He also said the PIJ was committed to the principles guiding it since the day of its founding, especially the path of “resistance and jihad.” He boasted of the firm stance of the West Bank against Israel and the settlers, and of the achievements of the PIJ’s military wing which, he claimed, had forced Israel to accept “new equations” (PIJ website, October 5, 2019).
Ziyad al-Nakhalah gives a speech at the rally (right: Paltoday, October 6, 2019; left: PIJ website, October 5, 2019).   Ziyad al-Nakhalah gives a speech at the rally (right: Paltoday, October 6, 2019; left: PIJ website, October 5, 2019).
Ziyad al-Nakhalah gives a speech at the rally (right: Paltoday, October 6, 2019; left: PIJ website, October 5, 2019).
The Popular Resistance Movement exhibits a new rocket
  • The Salah al-Din Brigades, the military wing of the Popular Resistance Movement, headed by Zakaria Daghmush (Abu Qassem) announced on the eve of the organization’s 19th anniversary that a new rocket had become operational. The rocket is called the iq25. According to the announcement it has a very powerful warhead, has a precision hit capability and a range of 15.5 miles (Popular Resistance Movement website, September 28, 2019).
The new rocket (Popular Resistance Movement website, September 28, 2019).   The new rocket (Popular Resistance Movement website, September 28, 2019).
The new rocket (Popular Resistance Movement website, September 28, 2019).
Mahmoud Abbas’ speech at the UN General Assembly
  • On September 26, 2019, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas gave a speech to the UN General Assembly. It did not contain any new topic relating to Israel and repeated past statements. A number of issues referred to in the speech were the following (Palestinian TV, September 26, 2019):
    • Mahmoud Abbas expressed the Palestinians’ opposition to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s statement regarding extending Israeli sovereignty to Area C. According to Mahmoud Abbas, if Israel takes that step all Palestinian agreements with it will be cancelled.
    • Israel is waging “a racist war to the end” in Jerusalem against everything Palestinian, by expropriating lands, razing houses, harming religious figures, evicting people from their homes, and attempting to attack al-Aqsa mosque and the Church of the Sepulcher. Mahmoud Abbas claimed Israel’s policies are liable to lead to a religious war.
    • Mahmoud Abbas called for an international peace conference to convene and said he objected to negotiations mediated by the United States or any other individual state. He strongly criticized the measures taken by the American administration, claiming the PA would continue to object unconditionally to the “deal of the century”.
    • As to the “tax revenue crisis,” Mahmoud Abbas that the PA would continue to pay the families of the prisoners and shaheeds and would not surrender to Israel’s demands on the issue. “I will not surrender to what Israel demanded, I will not. Even if I only had one cent left I would pay it to the families of the shaheeds, the prisoners and the wounded, and would not keep it from them” (Wafa, September 26, 2019).
    • Mahmoud Abbas stressed that the Palestinians would resist the Israel occupation with all legitimate means, especially the “popular resistance” [i.e., popular terrorism].
    • As to the internal Palestinian situation, Mahmoud Abbas said he was planning to announce general elections.
Elections in the PA
  • Following Mahmoud Abbas’ announcement at the UN General Assembly of general elections, a number of preparations have been made on the ground. At the weekly government meeting in Ramallah, Palestinian Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh said that as soon as an edict had been issued for general elections the government would be prepared to provide everything needed to implement the decision (Wafa, September 30, 2019). Fatah announced the establishment of a committee headed by Mahmoud al-‘Alul, deputy Fatah chairman, to hold consultations before Mahmoud Abbas issues a presidential edit regarding elections (Wafa, October 1, 2019).
  • Hamas said that holding general presidential elections is a national necessity as part of efforts to deal with the challenges of the hour. Hamas stressed it supported general elections for a president, for the Palestinian Legislative Council and the Palestinian National Council (al-Risalah, September 26, 2019). “A senior source” in Hamas said that Hamas was discussing the issue with Egyptian General Intelligence and agreed to take part in the elections, on the condition that they included voting for the Palestinian Legislative Council and the head of the Palestinian Authority (al-Akhbar, October 5, 2019).
UNRWA’s financial situation
  • On the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, on September 16, 2019, a meeting was held of UNRWA’s donor countries. At the end of the meeting the countries agreed to give the agency $118 million, similar to the sum of donations given in past years. Among the donor countries were Saudi Arabia ($50 million), the EU (€20 million), France (€20 million), the UAE, Ireland, Turkey and Japan (Wafa, September 27, 2019). According to Abu Holi, a member of the PLO’s Executive Committee, UNRWA’s deficit is estimated at $120 million, and with the pledged funds it will be able to continue providing support during the coming year (Filastin al-Yawm, September 28, 2019). Some of the deficit is the result of the United States’ 2018 decision to decrease its funding for the agency, which was previously $365 million a year.
Payment of PA salaries
  • Abd al-Rahman Bayatna, spokesman for the PA ministry of the treasury, said that salaries for September 2019 would be paid on October 3 according to the following key (Wafa, October 1, 2019):
    • Salaries to the wounded, families of shaheeds and prisoners and released prisoners would be paid in full.
    • Civilian and military officials would be paid 60% of their salaries and retirees would receive 60% of their pensions.
  • All March salaries would be paid in full.
PA tax revenues
  • It was also reported that the Palestinians announced they would agree to receive the tax revenues Israel collects for them despite the fact that Israel continues to deduct the money for payments made by the PA to the families of shaheeds and imprisoned terrorists. The announcement was made after Hussein al-Sheikh, the minister for civilian affairs in the PA, met with Israeli Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon. It was reported that during the meeting they agreed to appoint a joint committee to deal with all aspects of the disagreement regarding the issue.
  • Hamas criticized the decision. Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said the meeting showed that the PA decision to stop acting in accord with agreements signed with Israel was not being implemented. He added that the personal interests of a number of senior PA figures prevented them from reaching a decision against Israel’s policies (Dunia al-Watan, October 5, 2019).
PA glorification of terrorists
  • On September 27, 2019, Israel transferred the body of Muhammad Fawzi Adawi, from the Balata refugee camp in Nablus, to the PA. He was shot to death on January 21, 2019, while attempting to stab an IDF soldier at a military checkpoint south of Nablus (Wafa, September 27, 2019). Upon his return to the PA Adawi was given a military funeral attended by operatives of the PA’s security forces (Facebook page of the information center of the PA’s security forces, September 29, 2019).
Operatives of the PA's national security forces participate in the funeral held for Muhammad Adawi (Facebook page of the information center of the PA's security forces, September 29, 2019).    Operatives of the PA's national security forces participate in the funeral held for Muhammad Adawi (Facebook page of the information center of the PA's security forces, September 29, 2019).
Operatives of the PA’s national security forces participate in the funeral held for Muhammad Adawi (Facebook page of the information center of the PA’s security forces, September 29, 2019).

[*] Due to the High Holidays, there will be changes in the dates of publication of the forthcoming bulletins. The ITIC wishes all our readers a Happy Jewish New Year.
[2] 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.