Palestinians throwing stones during the riot at Kafr Qadum (Wafa, 8 September 2017).
Clashes at Ni’lin (PALINFO Twitter account, 8 September 2017).
Jalal Al-Suity(Jalal Al-Suity Facebook page, 13 January 2015)
Festive reception at the Rafah Crossing for the returning pilgrims to Mecca (website of the Interior Ministry in Gaza, 8 September 2017).
- This week there were no significant attacks in Judea and Samaria, however in three different incidents Palestinians were arrested at the security checkpoints near the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron after they were found to be carrying knives. Neither were there any Rockets Fired in Israel’s South
- A large delegation of senior Hamas officials exited the Gaza Strip bound for Egypt. The delegation consisted of “external” Hamas operatives, who had arrived from Istanbul in Turkey. The members of the delegation met with the head of the general Egyptian intelligence and discussed mainly issues related to the humanitarian and security situation in the Gaza Strip.
- With the upcoming convening of the United Nations’ General Assembly session in New York (19 September 2017), the Palestinians are planning to file twenty resolutions. Abu Mazen is expected to speak at the plenum. At the moment the Palestinians deny there is a possibility of a three-way meeting between the President of the United States, the Israeli Prime Minister and Abu Mazen on the sidelines of the session.
Riots and Clashes
- Riots continued throughout the week in Judea and Samaria. In three separate incidents this week Palestinians were arrested at the security checkpoints near the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron after they were found to be carrying knives. Stone throwing and the throwing of Molotov cocktails also continued. In a thwart and prevent action by the Israeli security forces throughout Judea and Samaria, terror suspects were arrested and weapons and materials were seized. Following are the prominent incidents:
- 12 September 2017 – a Palestinian youth of about 15 arrived at one of the security checkpoints at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. After having aroused the suspicion of the security forces, his clothes were searched and a knife was found concealed under his shirt. The youth was arrested (police spokesman’s office, 11 September 2017).
- 8 September 2017 – Israeli security forces stationed at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron arrested a Palestinian who arrived at one of the security checkpoints. After having aroused their suspicion they requested him to show them all of his belongings. A body search produced a knife. The Palestinian was arrested (police spokesman’s office, 8 September 2017).
Knives found in the possession of Palestinians at the security checkpoint near the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron (Israel Police, 8, 11 September 2017).
- 8 September 2017 – a Palestinian, who was in Israel illegally, was arrested near Arad in possession of a knife. The Palestinian is a resident of Yatta (south of Hebron) and was taken for questioning (Red Alert Facebook page, 8 September 2017).
- 7 September 2017 – following several incidents in which stones were thrown at vehicles near Tekoa, the Israeli security forces took action and arrested several suspects. 17 indictments were handed down against the suspects (police spokesman’s office, 7 September 2017).
- 7 September 2017 – stones were thrown at a light railway car as it passed near the Anatot junction. There were no injuries. The rail car was damaged (Red Alert Facebook page, 8 September 2017).
- 6 September 2017 – Border Police officers stationed at one of the security checkpoints at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron noticed a Palestinian who aroused their suspicion. A body search produced a knife. The Palestinian was arrested (police spokesman’s office, 6 September 2017).
Attacks in August 2017
- According to data from the Israel Security Agency, during August 2017 there was a reduction in the number of attacks in Judea and Samaria, Jerusalem and Israel. In total this month there were 108 attacks. This is in contrast with 220 attacks carried out in July 2017. There were 83 attacks in Judea and Samaria, 24 in Jerusalem and one stabbing attack in Yavne. Most of the attacks (82) were Molotov cocktail attacks. 21 attacks were IEDs, two shooting attacks, two stabbing attacks and one arson attack. Two Israelis were injured in the attacks – an Israeli civilian in the stabbing attack in Yavne and another Israeli civilian in a stabbing attack in Jerusalem (Israel Security Agency website, 10 September 2017).
Significant Attacks in Judea and Samaria since October 2015
Arrest of an Operative of the Palestinian Security Service on Suspicion of Incitement
- The Israeli security forces arrested Jalal Naji Mohammed Al-Suity in August 2017, resident of Beit Awwa (in the Hebron area) on suspicion of incitement and supporting a hostile organization. Al-Suity is a senior official in the office of the Head of the Palestinian Preventive security in Jenin. He recently posted content on his Facebook page calling for acts of violence against Jews and even praise, sympathy and support for terrorist activities. He also posted portraits of Adolf Hitler and Adolf Eichmann beside texts expressing longing for the two (Israel Security Agency, 5 September 2017).
Posts Jalal Al-Suity made on his Facebook page. Right: a poster with a portrait of Adolf Hitler saying: “if you attack me, I will raise my hat in light of your courage. But I won’t set it down anywhere but on your grave”. Al-Suity’s response: We need Hitler… And we don’t need an Arab knight (treachery is the Arabs’ trait) keep well” (Jalal Al-Suity Facebook page, 19 April 2017). Left: a post with Adolf Eichmann’s portrait on it, on which he wrote: Who knows him… Where are you, Eichmann Abu Atouan (unclear to whom this refers)” (Jalal Al-Suity Facebook page, 8 July 2017).
Rocket Fire Attacking Israel
- No rocket impacts were recorded in Israeli territory this week.
Monthly Distribution of Rocket Fire since January 2016
*Six of the rockets fired in February 2017 were launched from the Sinai Peninsula at Israeli territory, apparently by ISIS’s Sinai Province.
** The rocket fired in April was launched from the Sinai Peninsula by ISIS’s Sinai Province.
Annual Distribution of Rocket Hits in Israel’s South
Humanitarian Situation in the Gaza Strip
- On 8 September 2017 the Rafah Crossing opened for 500 pilgrims returning to the Gaza Strip after having left for the Hajj to Meccah, Saudi Arabia. Egypt also allowed 1,200 tons of cement and twenty trucks of sugar through the open crossing. It has been reported that the crossing will be opened next week for two more days to enable the rest of the pilgrims to re-enter the Strip (Ma’an, 7 September 2017).
- The Gaza Strip Electricity Company announced on 7 September 2017 that it was extending the hours in which the electricity supply would be available in cycles of six hours followed by 12 hours of black-out ( as opposed to four hours). This change was made following activation of all three electricity lines to the Strip from the El Arish power station (Quds Net, 7 September 2017). The Hamas Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip warned that the state of medicines at the hospitals had reached critical levels. According to them, the shortage today stands at 40% of the inventory (Al Aqsa, 10 September 2017).
- Adnan Abu Hasna, UNRWA spokesman in the Gaza Strip, rejected claims, heard among others from Asem Adawan, head of the department of refugee affairs in Hamas, according to which UNRWA was planning to alter the criteria for eligibility for aid, which would cause many refugee families to stop receiving the aid. According to him, UNRWA assesses the state of the families in need once every two years and despite its budget deficit, which stands at 125 million dollars, the agency provides aid to one million Palestinian refugees and continues to deliver services to all the Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip (Elresala.net, 10 September 2017).
Hamas Delegation Visit to Egypt
- Ismail Haniyeh, head of the Hamas political bureau, departed on 9 September 2017 at the head of a delegation of senior Hamas officials from the Gaza Strip to Egypt. This is Haniyeh’s first visit outside the Strip since being elected chairman of the political bureau in May 2017. With him were another about twenty senior Hamas officials, including Yahya Al-Sinwar, head of the Hamas political bureau in the Gaza Strip, his deputy Khalil Al-Khiya and Rawhi Mushtaha, members of the political bureau. The delegation was joined in Egypt by six Hamas operatives who arrived from Turkey, including Mousa Abu Marzouk and Saleh Al-Arouri (Ma’an, 10 September 2017).
- In an official Hamas communique they said the delegation would be discussing relations with Egypt and ways of strengthening them, consolidating the understandings reached during the previous Hamas delegation visits, on ways to ease the so-called siege of the Gaza Strip and ways to achieving an intra-Palestinian reconciliation (Hamas website, 9 September 2017). Usama Hamdan, who is responsible for Hamas’ foreign relations, said the delegation’s visit to Cairo is a part of Hamas’ policy of fostering good, stable relations with its Arab and Islamic neighbors. He said the visit represents an important development in the Hamas-Egypt relations. At the same time Hamdan pointed out that despite the fact that relations with Egypt had advanced considerably, they had not yet reached the required level (Quds.Press, 10 September 2017).
- The members of the delegation met with the head of the general Egyptian intelligence, Louaa Khaled Fawzy. According to Mousa Abu Marzouk, deputy head of the Hamas political bureau, the issue of the Rafah Crossing was top of the agenda in the talks and Hamas was promised by Egypt that the crossing would be opened after completing the renovations, and that there would also be an easing of the passage for civilians, for the entry of goods and electricity supply. Mousa Abu Marzouk said that there has been progress in the relations with Egypt and also substantial progress on the security issue. According to him, Hamas is committed to whatever concerns the security needs along the border, highlighting the measures Hamas has taken to monitor it (Al Hayat, 12 September 2017).
- The communique Hamas issued after the meeting said that during the meeting the Hamas delegates stressed their concern for Egypt’s stability and security and that they would not allow the Gaza Strip to be used to harm Egypt’s security. The delegates also expressed Hamas’ willingness to disband the administrative committee they had set up in the Strip, to allow the Government of National Accord to fulfill its duties and hold elections. This would be on condition that following that a multi-delegate conference would be held in Cairo, with participation of the Palestinian organizations, and that a national unity government would be set up to assume responsibility for the Palestinian people in Judea and Samaria, the Gaza Strip, and Jerusalem (Hamas website, 11 September 2017).
Cartoon by Alaa Al-Lakta warning against the high hopes from the Hamas meeting with Egyptian authorities: “High hopes!…” (Alaa Al-Lakta Facebook page, 11 September 2017)
- According to several reports, following the visit in Egypt, the Hamas delegation will be visiting several more Arab countries (Anadolu, 9 September 2017), Fauzi Barhum, Hamas spokesman, said that Haniyeh’s visit arrangements are at the moment confined to Egypt and they include meetings with the Egyptian leadership. If there will be any intention to visit other countries, a separate announcement would be issued later on. Yahya Moussa, a Hamas member of the legislative council, also said that it was still premature do talk of this, but that if the visit fails to achieve its goals, part of the delegation would be leaving to visit Qatar, Turkey, and Iran. Sources within Hamas said in this context that Hamas had asked Egypt to enable its leaders to continue after their visit to several other countries. But that they had not received a clear answer (TV news channel Al-Ghad website, 9 September 2017; Arabi21, 11 September 2017; Lebanese Al-Akhbar, 11 September 2017).
Construction of the defensive wall between Israel and the Gaza Strip
- In an article published by the official website of the Hamas military wing, the author casts doubt on the effectiveness of the wall Israel is building along its border with the Gaza Strip, which is intended to prevent tunneling into Israeli territory. In the article, the wall is described as an “illusion”, while many quarters, including in Israel, doubt its effectiveness, or it is regarded as a “government media bubble” intended to placate the Israeli public. Abdul Latif Qanou, Hamas spokesman, said in this context that the acceleration by Israel of the wall construction was a “tightening of the siege” on the Gaza Strip, choking its inhabitants. He said the tunnels were regarded as one of the weapons of the “resistance” for protecting the Palestinian people and stressed that the “resistance” was a right given them under international law. Al-Qanou threatened Israel that it would continue to suffer insecurity and instability so long as it imposes a “siege” on the Strip, persists with its aggression and denies the rights of the Palestinians (Al-Quds, 8 September 2017).
UN General Assembly
- On the eve of the UN General Assembly session in New York, Riadh Mansour, Palestinian Authority representative to the UN, said the Palestinians intended to file twenty resolutions on the following issues, among others: Jerusalem, the refugee issue, resolution 194, the “siege” on the Gaza Strip, the political settlement, and the settlements. He said Abu Mazen would refer in his speech at the UN to the political situation in the coming year, the possibility of reviving an effective peace process, and the state of the Palestinian people (Wafa, 10 September 2017).
- Salah Rafat, member of the PLO executive committee, said that Abu Mazen’s speech would include mainly a presentation of the history of the Palestinian question. In his words, the Palestinian leadership would at the same time continue to work in all international arenas and in the Security Council to achieve resolutions requiring Israel to freeze its settlement building (Alwatanvoice, 7 September 2017).
- Dalal Salameh, member of the Fatah Central Committee, said Abu Mazen’s speech would include data on the current situation and that he would be calling on the participants to accept Palestine as a full member of the UN and to define clear borders for the Palestinian state. Salameh stressed that the Palestinians hope the UN will adopt an explicit resolution condemning the Israeli settlements (Alwatanvoice, 6 September 2017).
- According to several reports, a three-way meeting is supposed to take place on the session’s sidelines between US President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Abu Mazen. Nabil Shaath’, Abu Mazen’s advisor on foreign affairs and international relations, ruled out the possibility of such a meeting taking place (Alwatan voice, 10 September 2017). Ahmed Majdalani, member of the PLO executive committee, also said no such meeting was being scheduled. According to him, talk about a three-way meeting between President Trump, the Israeli Prime Minister and Abu Mazen was mere speculation in Israeli media. He stressed that the Palestinian side had not announced it (Alwatan voice, 7 September 2017).
Abu Mazen’s activities against the Prisoner Club
- According to sources in the Palestinian Prisoners Club, Abu Mazen had recently ordered a freeze on support for the club. Among the sanctions Abu Mazen had decided on, are the blocking of the budget, cessation of allocation of state employees, appropriation of the College Martyr Abu Jihad for vocational training and placing it under the Ministry of Transport. He also called for a re-definition of the club and its roles (Firas, 9 September 2017). With this, Abu Mazen was actually acting on his threat from the conference of the Fatah Central Committee (QUDSN website, 8 September 2017).
- The daily Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, which is published in London, reported that the Palestinian Authority leadership was waging a covert, unprecedented war against the Palestinian Prisoners Club, which peaked with the decision to freeze the budget allocated to the organization. According to those sources, the reasons are primarily the desire to send a statement of intent to the United States administration, which had demanded the Authority discontinue its annuities for the Palestinian prisoners, as well as punitive actions against the organization, which led the recent prisoner strike in the Israeli jails (Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, 9 September 2017).
Togo Postpones the Planned Summit with Israeli Prime Minister
- The summit between Israel’s Prime Minister and the heads of African states, which was planned to take place in October 2017 in Togo, has been postponed to an unknown future date. The decision on the postponement was made following a request from the Togolese President due to internal issues within Togo, which prevented them from preparing to hold the summit on time (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 11 September 2017). Sources close to the organization of the summit said the reason for the postponement was the pressure, applied by Arab states and by the Palestinians on Togo to cancel the meeting (Nana 10, 11 September 2017).
- The Palestinians, who exerted efforts to disrupt the summit, regard this decision to postpone to be a coup for them. The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued an announcement crediting the achievement to the policy led by Abu Mazen, and the instructions he gave Riadh Al-Maliki, Palestinian Authority Minister of Foreign Affairs, to use whichever means available to prevent this summit. The end of the announcement emphasized that the battle was not yet won and that this was merely a postponement, not an outright cancellation, necessitating further efforts to bring about its cancellation (Wafa, 11 September 2017).
- Mustafa Al-Barghouti, Secretary-General of the Palestinian National Initiative movement, noted that the postponement of the conference in Togo was a victory for Palestine and of the BDS campaign against Israel, and a defeat for Israeli diplomacy and for Prime Minister Netanyahu. He said work must now be focused on the total cancellation of the summit and on thwarting any normalization of the relations between the African states and Israel (Ma’an, 11 September 2017). Izzat Al-Rishq, a senior Hamas official, also welcomed the decision saying this was a victory for the African struggles over the years against the regimes of “racism, fascism and apartheid”, which Israel represents (Izzat Al-Rishq Twitter account, 11 September 2017).
“Postponement of the Israeli-African summit to an undisclosed date..” (Arabi21, 11 September 2017)
Preparations for a Conference in Europe against Settlement Construction
- Tayseer Khaled, the PLO head of expatriate affairs, announced that preparations were being made, together with the National Bureau to Defend the Land and Resist Colonial Settlements within the PLO (of which he is also head), to convene a first European conference on the settlements issue. The conference is scheduled to take place on 6 November 2017 in Brussels and it will be sponsored by several European institutions and organizations supportive of the Palestinian issue. According to Khaled, the conference is intended to press civil society institutions in Europe, members of parliament, the media, academics and the BDS organizations, to internationalize the settlement issue based on UN resolutions and the European resolutions on the issue. It is also intended to set up a European lobby to apply pressure on European governments to move from condemnations of Israel on the settlement issue to taking active measures against them. Khaled called on the Palestinian communities and the Palestinian institutions in Europe to make the effort to persuade activists in Europe to take part in the conference (Quds Press, 10 September 2017; fatehmedia.eu website, operating from Denmark, 10 September 2017).
 The report does not include several dozen stone throwing attacks. ↑
 “Significant attacks” are defined by the ICT as involving shooting, stabbing, vehicular attack, the use of IEDs or a combination of the above. Stones and Molotov cocktails thrown by Palestinians are not included. ↑
 The Palestinian Prisoners Club is one of the largest Palestinian prisoner organizations. The Prisoners Club was founded in 1993 , before the Palestinian Authority was established. It is presently headed by Qadura Fares, a Fatah member belonging to the Marwan Al-Barghouti camp. The organization led the recent hunger strike in Israeli jails, which lasted 41 days. ↑