Rioters try to sabotage the barbed wire fence near the security fence (Supreme National Authority of the Great Return March Facebook page, November 5, 2018).
Demonstrators near the security fence.
Isma’il Radwan gives a speech during the mini-flotilla in the northern Gaza Strip (Supreme National Authority of the Great Return March Facebook page, November 5, 2018).
The Egyptian delegation arrives in the Gaza Strip (Twitter account of newspaper correspondent Hassan Aslih, November 5, 2018).
Mahmoud Abbas meets with Egyptian President el-Sisi in Sharm el-Sheikh (Wafa, November 3, 2018).
- During the “return march” of November 2, 2018, there was a significant decrease in the level of violence. The weekly mini-flotilla and the riot near the northern Gaza Strip border were also held without exceptional violence. Behind the scenes, Egyptian-mediated efforts continue to promote a lull, and to that end an Egyptian delegation arrived In the Gaza Strip for another round of talks (the fifth during the past month).
- In Judea and Samaria two stabbing attacks were prevented: one at the entrance to Kiryat Arba (the stabber was shot and wounded) and one near the gas station in Kfar Adumim (the stabber was shot and wounded).
- Nadav Agmon, head of the Israel Security Agency, gave the Israeli Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee a survey of the situation, saying that Hamas continually tries to carry out terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria. The attacks are directed from the Gaza Strip, Turkey and Lebanon. According to Agmon, the Israel Security Agency prevented 480 terrorist attacks during the past year, an indication of what is going on under the surface (Ynet, November 6, 2018).
The “return march”
- On Friday, November 2, 2018, another “return march” was held in the Gaza Strip. It was relatively small, with a few thousand participants (compared with 16,000 the previous week). Most of the participants did not approach the security fence, and therefore the level of friction with IDF forces was relatively low. As a result the number of casualties was low (according to data from the ministry of health in the Gaza Strip, 32 wounded Palestinians were evacuated to hospitals). No incendiary kites or balloons were launched into Israeli territory and no attempts were made to break through the fence.
- The significant decrease in the level of violence was apparently the result of Egyptian pressure on Hamas and the other terrorist organizations, following progress in negotiations for an arrangement. The Egyptian delegation visited one of the demonstration sites to see first-hand if the Palestinians were implementing the what had been discussed. Members of the Supreme National Authority of the Great Return March met with the Egyptian security delegation and then held a press conference where they called for the marches to be held by peaceful means (al-Watania, November 1, 2018). However, senior figures in Hamas and the other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip made it clear the marches would continue.
Operatives of Hamas’ restraint force use clubs to keep rioters away from the security fence (Fatah Facebook page, November 2, 2018).
- The Supreme National Authority of the Great Return March called on the Palestinian public to participate in the November 9 “return march,” whose slogan will be “The march continues” (Supreme National Authority of the Great Return March Facebook page. November 5, 2018)/
Notice issued by the Supreme National Authority of the Great Return March calling for participation in the November 9 “return march” (Supreme National Authority of the Great Return March Facebook page, November 5, 2018).
- On November 5, 2018, the 15th weekly mini-flotilla was held. Fifteen boats participated, leaving from the port of Gaza and sailing northward. At the same time, Palestinians rioted near the border of the northern Gaza Strip. The Palestinian media reported that as opposed to events during the previous mini-flotillas, tires were not burned and the boats did not reach Israel’s naval border, but halted half a kilometer south of it (al-Andalou News, November 5, 2018).
- However, despite the decrease in the level of violence, the Palestinian media reported that during the riots participants cut through the security fence. The Palestinian Red Crescent reported that 21 Palestinians were injuring during the riots (Safa, November 5, 2018).
- During the events, senior Hamas figures and the organizers of the marches related to the continuation of the activities:
- Senior Hamas figure Isma’il Radwan said the marches near the border and the marches that accompany the mini-flotillas would continue until the “siege” on the Gaza Strip had been completely lifted (Sawt al-Aqsa Radio website, November 5, 2018).
- Adhem Abu Salmiya, spokesman for the Supreme National Authority of the Great Return March, said the nature of the marches was influenced by the degree of regional and international activity meeting the demands of the Palestinians and the perception of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip that their living conditions were improving; the most important condition was the number of hours of electricity (Sawt al-Aqsa Radio website, November 5, 2018).
- Talal Aby Zarifa, a member of the Supreme National Authority of the Great Return March, said the lull talks were proceeding well. He added that the marches continued, but with a decrease in the number of incendiary kites and balloons launched, and a hiatus in tire-burning and sabotaging the security fence. That, he said was so that Israel would not have an excuse to cause the failure of the Egyptian efforts to reach an agreement (al-Andalou News, November 5, 2018).
Rocket and mortar shell fire
- This past week no rocket hits were identified in Israeli territory.
Rocket and mortar shell fire during and between the recent rounds of escalation
A total of 653 rocket and mortar shell hits
Monthly Distribution of Rocket and Mortar Shell Fire since January 2018
Annual Distribution of Rocket Hits
Attempted stabbing attacks
- On November 5, 2018, a Palestinian attempted to carry out a stabbing attack at the Elias Junction (at the entrance to Kiryat Arba). He went to the junction and tried to open the doors of two vehicles and stab the passengers, civilians and an IDF officer. An IDF soldier who saw the attempted terrorist attack shot and wounded the Palestinian. No Israeli casualties were reported. The Palestinian, who was seriously wounded, was evacuated to a hospital (Israeli media, November 5, 2018). The Palestinian media reported that the stabber was Ahmed Abd al-Nasr Idi’is, 28, from Bani Na’im (Ma’an, November 5, 2018).
- A Palestinian woman tried to stab a Border Policeman near the gas station in Kfar Adumim (east of Jerusalem). She went to the gas station and hid in the convenience store. Border police forces arriving at the site identified her and she tried to flee. They ordered her to halt. She took out a pair of scissors and ran towards them. One of the policemen shot and wounded her. A search of her bag revealed a knife (Israel Police Force spokesman’s unit, November 6, 2018).
The knife and scissors found in the bag of the Palestinian woman who tried to carry out a stabbing attack (Israel Police Force, November 6, 2018).
Counterterrorism activities in Judea and Samaria
- Nadav Agmon, head of the Israel Security Agency, told members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that during the past year the situation in the Palestinian arena had not been stable. He called the relative quiet in Judea and Samaria “deceptive” and said that “Hamas is trying very hard to carry out terror attacks in and from Judea and Samaria.” He said the attacks were directed from the Gaza Strip, Turkey and Lebanon. He added that during the past year the Israel Security Agency had prevented 480 terrorist attacks and detained about 500 Palestinians who were planning lone-wolf attacks. He said the extent of the attacks that were prevented may indicate what was “bubbling under the surface” (Ynet, November 6, 2018).
Significant terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria during the past year 
The supply of electricity
- The Palestinian media reported a significant increase in the number of hours electricity is provided to the residents of the Gaza Strip. The increase came after diesel fuel from Qatar was delivered to the Gaza Strip power plant. The Gazan energy authority announced that a third turbine was now operative, thus electricity is now reportedly provided 16 hours a day, and in some areas even 20 or 24 hours a day (Raya, November 5, 2018; al-Khalij Online, November 4, 2018).
Strike at the Kerem Shalom Crossing
- Nahed Shehibar, head of the Private Transport Association in the Gaza Strip, said that on November 5, 2018, the administration of the Palestinian side of the Kerem Shalom Crossing (managed by the Palestinian Authority) told the Association it had decided to charge 30 shekels (about $8) for every truck that entered the Gaza Strip from Israel. In response, the Association shut down the passage of trucks at the Crossing until the decision is changed (al-Ayam, November 6, 2018). The Association posted notices to its Facebook page saying Nazmi Muhannah, head of the Palestinian Crossings Authority (subordinate to Mahmoud Abbas), would be responsible for the consequences of the strike (Private Transport Association Facebook page, November 5, 2018).
Palestinian truck drivers protest at the entrance to the Palestinian side of the Kerem Shalom Crossing in response to the PA’s decision to tax trucks entering the Gaza Strip (QudsN Facebook page, November 5, 2018).
The Arabic reads, “You can’t tax the dead” (Facebook page of Isma’il al-Bazam, November 5, 2018).
Contributions to the Gaza Strip from Qatar and Turkey
- The official Qatar TV channel reported that since the beginning of the campaign launched 24 days ago with the slogan “The Gaza Strip deserves to live,” $4,360,000 has been raised (Filastin al-Yawm, November 3, 2018).
- Mahmoud al-Shurafa, spokesman for the Turkish IHH organization in the Gaza Strip, said his organization had given $100,000 worth of aid to 565 residents of the Gaza Strip who were wounded by IDF fire while participating in “return marches” (al-Andalou News, November 2, 2018).
Continuation of Egyptian-mediated attempts to reach an arrangement
- Egyptian efforts continue in the Gaza Strip to achieve a lull between Israel and Hamas. As part of the efforts, on November 5, 2018, an Egyptian delegation headed by Ahmed Abdel Khaliq, who holds the Palestinian portfolio in Egyptian General Intelligence, arrived for the fifth visit in the current round of talks. According to reports, the delegation brought Israel’s response to the issue of an arrangement, following an Israeli Cabinet meeting held on November 4, 2018 (Ma’an, November 5, 2018; al-Andalou News, November 5, 2018).
Meeting of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) leaders
- On November 1, 2018, Hamas and the PIJ held a meeting in the office of Isma’il Haniyeh, head of Hamas’ political bureau. They discussed various issues, among them the “return marches” and efforts to lift the siege and achieve a lull. It is also possible they discussed the most recent rocket fire initiated by the PIJ as an independent act, apparently without Hamas’ knowledge. At the end of the meeting they announced they had agreed on several issues (Filastin al-Yawm, November 1, 2018):
- Establishing relations between Hamas and the PIJ, and continuing coordination between them in every sphere.
- Defending the “resistance” and opening a joint operations room for all the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip.
- Continuing the “return marches” until all their objectives had been reached, while holding them by “peaceful means.”
Emergency deployment exercise in the northern Gaza Strip
- On November 1, 2018, in the northern Gaza Strip an exercise was held to examine the preparedness of the home front and the readiness of government ministries and apparatuses for dealing with emergency situations, such as an Israeli attack. The exercise lasted for two hours and was held at a number of locations in the Gaza Strip. During the exercise explosions were heard and there was active movement of police vehicles and ambulances. In addition, many forces were deployed in the streets and at junctions.
- According to sources in the Gaza Strip, the preparedness of evacuation and medical teams was assessed in a number of scenarios, including the detonation of an IED in a police station, an attack on a vehicle, an attack on a school (al-Ra’i, October 31, 2018; al-Andalou News, November 1, 2018; the website of the Palestinian police in the Gaza Strip, November 1, 2018). A spokesman for the ministry of the interior in the Gaza Strip said the exercise was held to improve the functioning of the security forces, the government ministries and the services provided to the public during emergency situations, and was part of checking the readiness governmental systems for emergencies (website of the ministry of the interior in the Gaza Strip, November 1, 2018).
The scenario of response to an explosion at the police station in Jabalia (website of the Palestinian police in the Gaza Strip, November 1, 2018; the Facebook page of the ministry of the interior in the Gaza Strip, November 1, 2018).
Police dogs search for explosives (website of the Palestinian police in the Gaza Strip, November 1, 2018; the Facebook page of the ministry of the interior in the Gaza Strip, November 1, 2018).
Hamas terrorist operative killed in a “work accident”
- A spokesman for the ministry of health in the Gaza Strip reported the death of Da’ud Rizeq’ Eid Jneid, 37, in a “work accident” in the northern Gaza Strip (Ashraf al-Qidra’s Facebook page, November 1, 2018). The Palestinian media reported that he was killed in an explosion in the former civilian administration building in Jabalia (Facebook page of al-Quds TV, November 1, 2018; Emad, November 1, 2018). Hamas’s military wing issued a notice saying Jneid had been one of its operatives (Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades website, November 1, 2018).
Da’ud Jneid (Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades website, November 1, 2018).
Conference of the PLO’s Central Council
- After the PLO’s Central Council’s deliberations held in Ramallah on October 28 and 29, 2018, an announcement was issued summarizing the meetings. It dealt extensively with relations between the PA and Israel. The Council decided to end the commitment of the PLO and PA to agreements reached with Israel (“the occupying authority,” according to the announcement). Thus it was decided to suspend the PA’s recognition of the State of Israel until Israel recognized a Palestinian state with the June 4, 1967 borders and east Jerusalem as its capital. It was also decided to stop all forms of security cooperation with Israel and to separate the PA economically from Israel (thus cancelling the Paris Protocol). The Central Council will give Mahmoud Abbas and the Executive Committee the authority to monitor the implementation of the decisions (Wafa, October 29, 2018). So far no practical measures have been seen on the ground for implementing the decisions. A member of the PLO’s Revolutionary Council said the decisions of the Central Council would be implemented gradually (giving Mahmoud Abbas flexibility as to when, how, and at what speed they are implemented).
Mahmoud Abbas meets with Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, president of Egypt
- On November 3, 2018, Mahmoud Abbas met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on the sidelines of the Global Youth Forum held in Sharm el-Sheikh (Wafa, November 3, 2018). According to Azzam al-Hamed, a member of Fatah’s Executive Committee, el-Sisi promised Mahmoud Abbas that no suggestion for the Palestinian cause would be made without Palestinian agreement. He said Egypt would not compromise on less that the establishment of a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital and finding a solution for the problem of the refugees. Regarding the situation in the Gaza Strip, el-Sisi told Mahmoud Abbas that Egypt adhered to preserving quiet along the Israel-Gaza Strip border and working to stop the bloodshed. According to Izzat al-Ahmed, Mahmoud Abbas told el-Sisi that all agreements had to be signed by the legitimate Palestinian leadership, which was the PLO, and Israel (Palestinian TV, November 3, 2018).
- Note: no mention is made on President el-Sisi’s official Facebook page of his meeting with Mahmoud Abbas, and Mahmoud Abbas. Mahmoud Abbas does not appear in the pictures el-Sisi posted of his participation in the forum in Sharm el-Sheikh.
 For further information, see the November 4, 2018 bulletin "Summary of Events on the Gaza Strip Border." ↑
 The statistics do not include rockets that fell inside the Gaza Strip. ↑
 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. ↑