Palestinians attack Israeli security forces with stones and Molotov cocktails in the village of Shuweika, home of the terrorist who carried out the attack (Palinfo Twitter account, October 7, 2018).
Israeli security forces conduct a search for the terrorist (IDF spokesperson, October 8, 2018).
Masked Gazan hands out cookies after the attack (QudsN Twitter account, October 7, 2018). Palestinian Tweets after the attack.
Palestinian videos of Gazans breaking through the security fence and setting fire to an abandoned IDF post north of the Gaza Strip (Palestinian Live Facebook page, October 8, 2018).
Senior terrorist organization figures watch the boats: Fathi Hamad and Isma'il Radwan from Hamas; and Jamil Mizher, from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (Facebook page of Isma'il Radwan, October 8, 2018).
Hamad al-Masri (Twitter account of Hamas' military wing, October 6, 2018).
PIJ weapons displayed in Gaza City. Left: New rocket models on display (al-Watania YouTube channel, October 4, 2018).
Ziyad al-Nakhalah, recently elected PIJ secretary general, gives his first speech, broadcast live from Lebanon to the Gazans at the "return camp" in eastern Gaza City (Paltoday, October 5, 2018). The Palestinian Authority (PA)
Abu Hamza, PIJ military wing spokesman, during the military display in the Gaza Strip (al-Mayadeen YouTube channel, October 5, 2018).
- On October 7, 2018, two Israeli civilians were murdered in a shooting attack carried out by a Palestinian terrorist in the Barkan industrial zone in Samaria. The murderer was a 23-year-old from the village of Shuweika (near Tulkarm), one of thousands of Palestinians who work at the site. He fled the scene and the Israeli security forces are still pursuing him. The terrorist organizations, especially Hamas, praised the attack and the attacker.
- In the Gaza Strip, “return march” events continue on Fridays and protests are held during the week. On October 8, 2018, a mass riot was held near the border in the northern Gaza Strip when 32 small boats (according to the Palestinians) set sail towards the Israel’s naval border. In the meantime, arson terrorism continues, with Palestinians launching incendiary kites and balloons, and balloons with explosives attached to them into Israeli territory.
- Yahya al-Sinwar, head of Hamas’ political bureau in the Gaza Strip, was interviewed at length by a reporter from the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, who had been sent by the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth. He talked about the situation in the Gaza Strip and a possible arrangement with Israel. He said the situation in Gaza was “on the brink of an explosion” and that in return for an arrangement with Israel Hamas demanded the easing of the “siege.” He said he supported holding “popular activities” [launching incendiary kites and balloons, holding riots] near the border to reach an arrangement with Israel on Hamas’ terms.
- The military-terrorist wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) held a mass military display in Gaza City, where it exhibited its weapons, including “a new type of rocket” whose specifications were not given. Spokesmen for the organizations stressed their commitment to “jihad and resistance” [i.e., terrorism].
Deadly terrorist attack in the Barkan industrial zone
- On the morning of October 7, 2018, two Israeli civilians were murdered in a shooting attack in the Barkan industrial zone (where about 3,000 Palestinians work alongside 3,000 Israelis). A Palestinian armed with an improvised Carlo machine gun entered a factory where he had worked as an electrician. He asked a worker in the supply room for plastic ties, having been asked to fix the electricity and mounted the stairs to the offices. The gun was hidden in his backpack. He forced one of the workers to secure the hands of the secretary with the ties he had received in the supply room, and then shot and killed her. He continued through the offices and shot another worker. On his way out of the building he shot and wounded a female worker. He then ran down the stairs and fled.
Right: The scene of the attack. Left: The terrorist seen fleeing the scene of the attack, captured by a security camera (YouTube, October 7, 2018).
- Israeli security forces initiated a search for the killer, who is presumed to be still armed. Additional forces were deployed to the area. During the search a number of suspects were detained, including members of his family (IDF spokesperson, October 8, 2018). So far he has not been apprehended.
Right: Israeli security forces conduct a search for the terrorist (IDF spokesperson, October 8, 2018). Left: Palestinians attack Israeli security forces with stones and Molotov cocktails in the village of Shuweika, home of the terrorist who carried out the attack (Palinfo Twitter account, October 7, 2018).
- The terrorist who committed the murder was Ashraf Walid Suleiman Na’alwa, 23, from the village of Shuweika, near Tulkarm. He had a permit to work in Israel and for the past four months had worked as an electrician at the factory where he carried out the attack. He had recently been absent from work because of what he claimed were “family problems.” In Israeli security assessment he carried out the attack alone. In the Palestinian media he was also called Ashraf Abu Sheikha, the name he used for his Facebook page (which was deleted after the attack). Before the attack he wrote on his Facebook page, “Oh Allah, grant me the message I desire from you, for you are the best messenger” (Twitter account of Muhammad Sayid Nashwan, October 7, 2018).
Right: Terrorist operative Ashraf Na’alwa (Voice of Tulkarm Twitter account, October 7, 2018). Left: Facebook post from the terrorist (Twitter account of Muhammad Sayid Nashwan, October 7, 2018).
- The Wafa news agency (subordinate to the office of Palestinian Authority) chairman Mahmoud Abbas, issued a short report, saying that the IDF had set up road blocks at the entrances to the villages in the western Salfit district after “settlers were killed in a shooting incident in the Barkan industrial zone” (Wafa, October 7, 2018). Zakaria Zbaidi, a Fatah activist from Jenin, used his Facebook page to show support from himself and the Shuweika residents, writing, “Shuweika is a fork stuck in the throat of the occupation and a volcano that will erupt over your oppressiveness. Have a morning of resistance of a different flavor” (Facebook page of Zakaria Zbaidi, October 8, 2018).
Support for the terrorist attack from Fatah terrorist operative Zakaria Zbaidi and the residents of the village of Shuweika, home of the terrorist who carried out the attack (Facebook page of Zakaria Zbaidi, October 8, 2018).
- The social networks of the terrorist organizations, especially Hamas, welcomed the shooting attack and praised the terrorist who committed it. Cookies and candy were distributed to passersby in the Gaza Strip. Hamas called the attack “a natural response to Israel’s crimes” against the Palestinians (Hamas website, October 7, 2018). Musa Abu Marzouq, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, said the attack showed the path of “resistance” was the correct path, revealed the weakness of the [PA] security coordination with Israel and [stressed the Palestinians’] adherence to Jerusalem (Twitter account Musa Abu Marzouq, October 7, 2018). Fathi Hamad, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, said a “representative of the West Bank” had taken revenge in the name of “the shaheeds of Palestine,” and called for more [deadly] attacks (al-Aqsa, October 8, 2018). PIJ spokesman Da’ud Shehab said the timing was important and he hoped similar attacks would be carried out in the West Bank and Jerusalem (Filastin al-Yawm, October 7, 2018).
Right: The Arabic reads, “The fire in the West Bank will continue to be a volcano that isn’t extinguished. #the resistance_continues #Barkan_action” (Nables24 Facebook page, October 7, 2018). Left: The Arabic reads, “Let everyone [else] be quiet and the gun will have the last word. #the resistance_continues #Barkan_action” (Voice of Gaza Twitter account, October 7, 2018).
Events on the ground
- In Judea and Samaria there was an increase in the number of stones thrown at Israeli 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:
- On October 7, 2018 – Israeli security forces operating in the Jalazone refugee camp (near Ramallah) detained a number of Palestinians suspected of shooting and throwing IEDs at the community of Beit El and at IDF posts nearby (Red Alert Facebook page, October 7, 2018).
- On October 7, 2018 – Israeli security forces operating in Bayt Umar (between Hebron and Gush Etzion) detained 13 Palestinians wanted for involvement in terrorist activities. An improvised Carlo machine gun was seized during a search (Red Alert Facebook page, October 7, 2018).
- On October 7, 2018 – Israeli security forces operating in the village of Yabed (in northwestern Samaria) detained four suspects. The forces were attacked by hundreds of local residents who threw stones at them. Vehicles and houses were searched, and weapons and military equipment were seized (Red Alert Facebook page, October 7, 2018).
- On October 4, 2018 – A boy about eight years old carrying a knife went to one of the roadblocks on route 433 (between Modi’in and Jerusalem), and when he saw a soldier and he threw the knife on the ground. The soldier was not injured and the child, who came from the nearby village of Bayt Ur al-Tahta, ran away (Red Alert Facebook page, October 4, 2018).
- On October 4, 2018 – During an Israeli security force activity in Qalqilya a Palestinian threw a Molotov cocktail at the soldiers. He was shot and wounded. A search of his person revealed an IED an other Molotov cocktails (Red Alert Facebook page, October 4, 2018).
Significant terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria during the past year 
The “return marches”
- As on every Friday since March 30, 2018, on October 5, 2018, “return marches” were held along the border with Israel. About 20 thousand Gazans participated. Rioters threw stones, burned tires, and threw hand grenades and IEDs at the Israeli security forces. Several rioters tried to cross the fence into Israeli territory.
- In view of the increase in the number of rioters and in the level of violence of the “return marches,” including the use of hand grenades and IEDs, and given the riots held daily along the border, the IDF increased the number of its forces along the border. The Israeli defense minister said that fishing waters off the Gazan coast would be limited, and that other measures would be taken if necessary.
- Riyad Mansour, PA representative to the UN, presented the identical communiqué to the president of the Security Council, the UN Secretary General, and the president of the General Assembly. They dealt with Israel’s “offenses” against the Palestinian people during the “return marches.” According to Mansour, “Israel’s cruelty” towards the Palestinians was “an act of terrorism and a violation of international law.” He claimed the situation was serious, especially regarding the health of the Gazan population, and there had to be a response (Wafa, October 4, 2018).
Flotillas and demonstrations
- Between the Friday “return march” events, Gazans continue rioting dat and night near the security fence, and continue trying to cross the fence into Israeli territory. On Monday, October 8, 2018, boats set sail (for the 11th time) as a protest. According to the Palestinians, 32 boats, most of them small, set out from the port of Gaza toward the Israeli coast north of the Gaza Strip border. As they sailed Gazans burned tires on rafts. At the same time about 5,000 Gazans went to the shore. They burned tires, threw hand grenades, IEDs and Molotov cocktails at IDF forces near the security fence in the northern Gaza Strip close to the shore. The rioters claimed some of them had crossed the fence, gone to an IDF post and set fire to it (Supreme National Authority of the Great Return March Facebook page, October 8, 2018).
Right: The boats set sail. Left: During a riot women climb the fence to vandalize it (Supreme National Authority of the Great Return March Facebook page, October 8, 2018)
Clashes in the Northern Gaza Strip – Click for Video
- After the events Fathi Hamad, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, said the Palestinians had “liberated a several meters of the land of Palestine,” and that had to be written down in Palestinian history. He claimed the event had been witnessed by commanders of the ranks of the “resistance” who had come from Rafah, Beit Hanoun and the West Bank. He said the Israeli community of Zikim [which is about two miles from the Gaza Strip border] had to be the point where Gazans would continue to gather (al-Aqsa, October 8, 2018).
- According to the ministry of health in the Gaza Strip, 29 Gazans were wounded. A spokesman for the ministry of health reported that they had begun using an “ambulance boat” to help the medical teams operating in the flotillas (Palinfo, quds.net and Ma’an, October 8, 2018).
- In addition to the escalation in violence along the border, there has been an increase in the number of incendiary kites and balloons launched into Israeli territory. This past week a number of incendiary balloons caused fires in communities in the western Negev. On October 7, 2018, firefighters put out five fires in the western Negev. Some of the balloons had IEDs attached to them (Western Negev spokesman’s unit, October 7, 2018). In response to the balloons carrying explosives Israeli Air Force aircraft attacked a squad that had launched incendiary balloons into Israeli territory. The Palestinian media reported an attack on a squad of balloon-launchers east of Rafah, and that no one had been injured (Paldf Twitter account, October 7, 2018).
IED attached to incendiary balloon lands in Israeli territory (Western Negev spokesman’s unit, October 7, 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
Monthly Distribution of Rocket and Mortar Shell Fire since January 2018
Minimum number of rockets and mortar shells fired in May, June and July. At this stage the ITIC cannot distinguish between rocket and mortar shell fire.
Annual Distribution of Rocket Hits
[Fourth from left] Operation Cast Lead [Eighth from right] Operation Pillar of Defense [Fifth from right] Operation Protective Edge [Far right] 2018
Supply of electricity
- Essam Aldalis, chairman of Hamas’ political department, reported that Qatar had paid for fuel for the Gaza Strip and that Israel now agreed to transfer fuel to its power plant. According to Aldalis, the PA threatened the company delivering the fuel and warned the employees of the Gaza Strip electric company not to accept the fuel and not to operate the power plant more than four hours a day (Twitter account of Essam Aldalis, October 6, 2018).
Fuel for the Gaza Strip power plant, bought with funds from Qatar, enters the Gaza Strip under UN supervision (Gaza Now Facebook page, October 9, 2018).
- Zafer Melhem, chairman of the PA’s authority for energy and natural resources, said the energy authority was carrying out a program to renovate the power plants providing electricity to the Gaza Strip. He said on October 10, 2018, a project for solar energy would begin. It will cost $2.5 million and increase the amount electricity available to the residents of the Gaza Strip (Dunia al-Watan, October 5, 2018).
Talks for an arrangement
- A delegation of senior Hamas figures, headed by Khalil al-Haya, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, returned to the Gaza Strip from Egypt on October 4, 2018. A round of meetings with members of Egyptian General Intelligence had ended on October 3, 2018 (Shehab Twitter account, October 3, 2018). “Sources” said that during the meetings in Cairo the Egyptians proposed a partial arrangement and a temporary easing of the “siege” (al-Araby al-Jadeed, October 2, 2018). The Egyptian authorities also agreed to release four Gazans imprisoned in Egypt (Shehab, October 4, 2018). The Palestinian media unofficially reported that another delegation, headed by Yahya al-Sinwar, head of Hamas’ political bureau in the Gaza Strip, was expected to leave for Egypt in the near future. “Reliable sources” reported that Egypt was waiting for responses from Fatah and Hamas to its proposals (al-Quds al-Arabi, October 8, 2018).
Yahya al-Sinwar interviewed by Western media
- Yahya al-Sinwar, head of Hamas’ political bureau in the Gaza Strip, was interviewed at length by a reporter from the Italian paper La Repubblica, who had been sent by the Israeli paper Yedioth Ahronoth. He answered questions about the situation in the Gaza Strip and a possible arrangement with Israel. He said the situation in the Gaza Strip was “on the brink of an explosion” and that in return for an arrangement with Israel Hamas demanded an easing of the “siege.” He claimed he supported the continued use of “popular measures” [incendiary kites and balloons and “protests”].
- Among others, he related to the following important issues (Yedioth Ahronoth, October 5, 2018):
- Confrontation with Israel: According to Yahya al-Sinwar, “armed resistance” is the right of the Palestinians under international law. He said no one on either side wanted a war, especially not the Palestinians, who were expected to fight a “nuclear power [i.e., Israel] with slingshots.” However, he said, if Hamas is attacked it will defend itself. He said that while they knew that some of its rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome aerial defense system, Hamas had many other weapons.
- An arrangement with Israel: He said that if what was meant by a ceasefire was that they would not be attacked but would continue to live without water and electricity under a “siege,” there was no point because the “siege” was a kind of war. He said that currently there was no agreement with Israel because, he claimed, despite the fact that most of the [terrorist] organizations had agreed on the principles and demands, Israel had caused every attempt to fail. He said, however, that even if a ceasefire were achieved, Hamas would retain the weapons of the “resistance” [i.e., the terrorist organizations would not disarm].
- Tunnel construction in the Gaza Strip: According to it Yahya al-Sinwar, the claim that Hamas built tunnels instead of helping the residents of the Gaza Strip was Israeli propaganda. He claimed Hamas had never used public or international funds for its own needs. He added the tunnels were not the cause of the “humanitarian catastrophe” in the Gaza Strip, but rather whoever had imposed the “siege.” Moreover, he claimed also that in the past the tunnels had been used to import basic goods and medicines into the Gaza Strip.
- Arson terrorism: He claimed the kites were not weapons, but rather “a message.” They were, he claimed, only rags dipped in fuel which at the most could only set a forest on fire and could be put out with a fire extinguisher.
- In view of the criticism Yahya al-Sinwar received for being interviewed by the Israeli media, Hamas’ political bureau issued a statement of clarification. It said the reporter had formally asked to conduct the interview for the Italian La Repubblica and the British Guardian, and according to an investigation, the reporter was not an Israeli. The statement also said it had not been a fact-to-face interview, but rather the reporter had sent her questions and had received answers. The reporter’s office claimed she had apparently sold the interview to Yedioth Ahronoth, which had distorted some of its contents to make it seem as though it had been with an Israeli paper. The office claimed it would take legal steps against the reporter (Hamas website, October 4, 2018).
Operative of Hamas’ military-terrorist wing killed in tunnel collapse
- Hamas’ military wing announced the death of Hamad Abd al-Khalaq Ahmed al-Masri, 31, from Beit Hanoun. According to the announcement, he died after having been wounded in a tunnel collapse several days ago (Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades website, October 6, 2018). A spokesman for the ministry of health in the Gaza Strip reported that al-Masri died in the Indonesian Hospital after being wounded in an “accident” on October 1, 2018 (Facebook page of Ashraf al-Qidra, October 6, 2018).
Hamad al-Masri (Twitter account of Hamas’ military wing, October 6, 2018).
PIJ military display
- To celebrate the election of Ziyad al-Nakhalah as the new PIJ secretary general and the 31st anniversary of the organization’s founding, PIJ military wing operatives held a military display in Gaza City. During the display Ziyad al-Nakhalah was sworn in as secretary general in the presence of a large number of military wing operatives. The display was used to show many of the weapons in the PIJ’s arsenal. That included, according to organization claims, a new model rocket, whose specifications were kept secret (Jerusalem Battalions website and the al-Mayadeen YouTube channel, October 5, 2018).
Military Parade in the Gaza Strip – Click for Video
- Khaled al-Batsh, a senior PIJ figure in the Gaza Strip, said in a short interview held during the display that it was a message telling Israel that the PIJ’s military wing was prepared for a confrontation with Israel and that they would continue their strategy of jihad and “resistance” (al-Mayadeen YouTube channel, October 5, 2018). Abu Hamza, spokesman for the PIJ’s military wing, gave a speech in which he said that the military wing had sworn allegiance to the new secretary general, and they would be present on every battlefield to defend the Palestinian people. He also said the military wing’s weapons were the source of its pride, and they were not subject to negotiation (al-Mayadeen, October 4, 2018).
- Ziyad al-Nakhalah, the secretary general-elect, gave a long speech broadcast live to the “return camp” in eastern Gaza City. He praised their participation in the “return marches,” saying Israel was in trouble because of the “marches” and that the killings during them had to stop. He said the”resistance” had the capability to turn the region of the Gaza Strip and the “settlements” around it into a place where no one could live. He also said that the military wings of the PIJ and Hamas would not remain silent and would act at a time of their own choosing (Filastin al-Yawm, October 5, 2018)
American measures taken against the PA
- The Palestinian media reported that the American president had signed a bill “for the struggle against terrorism” which gave American courts the power to cut funds paid in economic aid to bodies such as the Palestinian security forces. Sources in the Palestinian security forces expressed concern that the bill would expose them to lawsuits accusing them of supporting terrorism, and cut the funding they received. PA foreign minister Riyadh al-Maliki condemned the American decision, saying it proved the United States had no respect for international law or world order based on law (Wafa, October 4, 2018).
- Following the legal action the PA took against the United States in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for relocating its embassy in Jerusalem, the United States announced it was withdrawing from the “optional protocol” in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which makes an appeal to the court possible. According to John Bolton, advisor for national security, the president decided the United States would withdraw from the optional protocol. He said that the United States was examining all the international agreements liable to expose the country to legal action in the ICJ (White House website, October 3, 2018). By doing so, in effect the United States revoked the authority of the ICJ to deliberate issues between the United States and the PA.
Demonstrations continue over the evacuation of Khan al-Ahmar
- Preparations continue for the evacuation of Khan al-Ahmar. On October 5, 2018, about 200 people marched to the road linking Jerusalem and Jericho. The march was led by Mu’astasem Tim, Mahmoud Abbas’ advisor for Jerusalem issues. The National Islamic Forces declared the coming week as the week of a showdown for Khan al-Ahmar and called for an increased presence of Palestinians at the village.
- After two days of a general strike of employees in the offices and institutions of UNRWA, protesting budget cuts and layoffs, on October 4, 2018, the union of UNRWA staff workers announced that it would suspend its protest for ten days so talks with the agency directorate could begin on October 6, 2018 (Shabakat Quds Twitter account, October 4, 2018).
- One hundred and twelve Democratic members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to Mike Pompeo, the American Secretary of State, calling on the president to revoke his decision for cutting the funding for UNRWA. They demanded a new program, which would provide aid for Judea, Samaria, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip (Foreign Affair, October 3, 2018). The PA ministry of foreign affairs and emigrants reported it had examined the letter and found it to be positive and a step towards correcting the situation. The ministry said it hoped many others would join the request (Dunia al-Watan, October 3, 2018).
- Nabil Shaath, advisor to Mahmoud Abbas for foreign and international relations, said the letter showed that many Americans opposed the president’s policies and that the Palestinians should exploit the opposition (Palestinian TV, October 4, 2018).
 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. ↑
 For further information, see the October 7, 2018 bulletin, "Summary of Events Along the Gaza Strip Border, October 5, 2018." ↑
 The statistics do not include rockets that fell inside the Gaza Strip. ↑