Violent clashes (Wafa, January 18, 2023).
Mahmoud Abbas at the summit meeting in Cairo (Mahmoud Abbas' Facebook page, January 17, 2023).
Muhammad Shtayyeh meets with a delegation of American senators (Muhammad Shtayyeh's Facebook page, January 19, 2023).
Mahmoud Abbas meets with Jake Sullivan (Wafa, January 19, 2023)
Muhammad Shtayyeh meets with David McAllister.
Maher Yunes meets with his mother and other relatives in 'Ar'ara.
The EU delegation visits al-Aqsa mosque (Shehab, January 18, 2023).
The EU delegation visits al-Aqsa mosque (Shehab, January 18, 2023).
Demonstration in support of al-Khan al-Ahmar's residents (Shehab Twitter account, January 23, 2023).
Azzam al-Ahmed expresses solidarity with the residents (Twitter account of the al-Qastel website, January 23, 2023).
- This past week Palestinians carried out two terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria; no Israeli casualties were reported. One was a stabbing attack in Havat Sde Ephraim (west of Ramallah): a Palestinian who ran towards an Israeli civilian while holding a knife was shot and killed. The other was a shooting attack targeting an IDF post near Herodion (southeast of Bethlehem). Two attempted stabbing attacks, one in the Old City of Jerusalem and the other near Alon Moreh (east of Nablus) were prevented by Israeli security forces. Two Palestinians were killed in clashes with Israeli security forces in the Jenin refugee camp. A report issued by the Israeli Border Crossing Authority for 2022 indicated a rise of 55% in the number of Palestinians who crossed the border between Israel and Judea and Samaria.
- The Gaza Strip remained relatively quiet. This past week experimental rockets were fired towards the sea. The UNRWA director in Gaza issued an alert regarding the agency’s financial situation and said they were trying to raise funding to renovate buildings destroyed in Operation Breaking Dawn (August 2022). On January 24, 2023, the distribution of funds from Qatar to 100,000 needy families began. The Russia Today TV channel exposed the cyber unit of Hamas’ military-terrorist wing and its successes, including hacking into the IDF Home Command’s alert system.
- Members of the Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership continue their diplomatic “struggle” [smear campaign] against the new Israeli government. Mahmoud Abbas met with Jake Sullivan, the American National Security Advisor, and demanded the United States take steps to prevent Israel from carrying out measures he claimed [allegedly] harmed the chances for regional peace and stability. He also demanded the United States keep its promises to the Palestinians. PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh, who began an official visit to the EU in Brussels, exploited diplomatic meetings to enlist financial and political support along with support for the delegitimization of Israel. In the meantime, the PA leadership congratulated Palestinian terrorist murderer Maher Yunes on his release for an Israeli jail, claiming that for them he symbolized the “struggle.”
- Palestinians widely condemned Israel’s intention to evacuate al-Khan al-Ahmar, following a decree issued by the Israeli Supreme Court in October 2018, according to which the structures are illegal. The Palestinians held a protest demonstration at the site and called for an escalation of the “struggle” [terrorist attacks].
Stabbing attack in Havat Sde Ephraim
- On January 21, 2023, a Palestinian drove to Havat Sde Ephraim (west of Ramallah). He exited the vehicle and tried to stab an Israeli civilian. The Israeli shot and killed him (IDF spokesman’s Twitter account, January 21, 2023).
- The ministry of health in Ramallah reported the death of Tareq Awda Yusuf M’ali, 42 years old, from the village of Na’ama (west of Ramallah), married and father of three. He spent two years in an Israeli prison (Wafa, January 21, 2023). His father is Awda Yusuf M’ali, a member of the Palestinian Democratic Union’s (PDU) Central Committee and PDU secretary for the Ramallah-al-Bireh district (Dunia al-Watan, January 21, 2023). The Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) said in a statement that M’ali was a “jihad fighter” [terrorist operative] in its ranks (PIJ website, January 21, 2023).
The PIJ mourning notice issued for the death of Tareq M’ali
(PIJ-affiliated Daffa_media Telegram channel, January 21, 2023).
Shooting attack targets an IDF post near Herodion
- On January 21, 2023, shots were fired close to an IDF post near Herodion (southeast of Bethlehem). IDF forces searched the area for the shooters. During the search a suspicious vehicle was sighted and a bag was thrown from one of its windows. The forces halted the vehicle with its driver and passenger and a search revealed a casing for an M-16 assault rifle bullet. The bag thrown from the vehicle was located and found to contain a handgun and three ammunition magazines. The vehicle was confiscated and its passengers were taken for interrogation (IDF spokesman’s Twitter account, January 21, 2023).
The weapons thrown from the Palestinian vehicle
(IDF spokesman’s Twitter account, January 21, 2023).
Terrorist attacks prevented
- This past week two stabbing attacks were prevented:
- On January 22, 2023, Israeli police stationed in the Old City of Jerusalem saw a young Palestinian who aroused their suspicions. A search revealed a knife. The boy, 13 years old, from Issawiya, was detained and taken for interrogation. According to the initial interrogation, he was suspected of planning to carry out a stabbing attack (Israel Police Force spokesman’s unit, January 22, 2023).
- On January 17, 2023, a Palestinian was identified arriving in Ein Kfir from Deir al-Hatab (east of Nablus). The Alon Moreh head of security arrived at the scene and detained him. A large knife and jackknife were found in his possession (Rescue Without Borders in Judea and Samaria, January 17, 2023).
Right: The knife found in the possession of the Palestinian boy in Old City of Jerusalem (Israel Police Force spokesman’s unit, January 22, 2023). Left: The knives found in the possession of the Palestinian near Alon Moreh (Samaria Regional Council, January 17, 2023).
Significant Terrorist Attacks in Judea and Samaria since November 2020
- This past week the Israeli security forces continued intensive counterterrorism activities in Judea and Samaria, detaining Palestinians suspected of involvement in terrorist activities and confiscating large quantities of weapons.
- Before dawn on January 19, 2023, IDF forces operated in the Jenin refugee camp and detained two sons of Khaled Abu Zina (Abu Saleh), a senior PIJ operative in Jenin. During the activity armed Palestinians rioted, throwing rocks and shooting at the IDF forces; weapons were also seized (Israeli media, January 19, 2023). The PIJ claimed the Israeli forces had not been able to detain their target, Khaled Abu Zina (Daffa_media Telegram channel, January 19, 2023). The Jenin Battalion claimed the IEDs its operatives threw at the IDF vehicle had disabled it (Jerusalem Brigades’ Jenin Battalion Telegram channel, January 19, 2023).
Right: Palestinians throw rocks at IDF forces during the activity in the Jenin refugee camp (Jenin.tv2022 Facebook page, January 19, 2023). Left: Disabled IDF vehicle (Jerusalem Brigades’ Jenin Battalion Telegram channel, January 19, 2023).
- The director of the government hospital in Jenin claimed that during the activity the IDF forces shot at the hospital and several bullets penetrated the children’s ward and the pediatricians’ meeting room. PA minister of health Mai al-Kayla condemned the “crime” and claimed it was not the first time hospitals and their medical teams had been attacked. She called on international and human rights organizations to intervene to protect Palestinian medical facilities (Wafa and the ministry of health in Ramallah Facebook page, January 19, 2023).
Bullet holes in the government hospital in Jenin
(ministry of health in Ramallah Facebook page, January 19, 2023).
- The ministry of health in Ramallah reported that two Palestinians had been killed in the IDF activity in the Jenin refugee camp (ministry of health in Ramallah Facebook page, January 19, 2023):
- Adhem Muhammad Bassem Jabarin, 28 years old, a former prisoner who was incarcerated in Israel jails for two years and eight months (Facebook page of the Palestinian prisoners’ club in the Jenin district, January 19, 2023). The PIJ issued a mourning notice claiming Jabarin had been one of the most prominent Jerusalem Brigades’ Jenin Battalion commanders (PIJ website, January 19, 2023). His father, Lieutenant Colonel Muhammad Bassem Jabarin (Abu al-Qassem) is a high-ranking officer in the Palestinian preventive security service, formerly wanted by Israel, who was active in the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades (AAMB) during the second intifada. His brother Yazen, who was killed, was a prominent AAMB terrorist operative in Jenin (AAMB Panthers’ Telegram channel, January 19, 2023).
Adhem Muhammad Bassem Jabarin (Right: @qudsfeed Telegram channel, January 19, 2023; left: @bader12000 Telegram channel, January 19, 2023).
- Jawad Farid Hussein Bawaqna (according to some media sources, Bawaqsa), 57 years old, father of six. Taught in the Farahat Hashad boys’ high school in Jenin. Atta Abu Armila, secretary of the Fatah branch in the Jenin district, reported Bawaqna was shot while trying to help Jabarin, who was wounded in front of his house (Wafa, January 19, 2023). issued a mourning notice stating Bawaqna was a Fatah operative (Facebook page of the Fatah media information and cultural commission, January 19, 2023).
Right: Jawad Farid Bawaqna (Filastin al-Yawm TV Twitter account, January 19, 2023). Left: The entrance to Bawaqna’s house in the Jenin refugee camp where the two were shot (Shatha Hanaysha’s Twitter account, January 19, 2023).
- PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh called on the world to intervene to stop “Israel’s crimes” against the Palestinians, the most recent of which, he alleged, was committed in the Jenin refugee camp. According to Shtayyeh, Israel (“the country of occupation”) was responsible for the ongoing “crimes” committed by IDF soldiers without consideration for international laws or norms. He also condemned the shooting at the hospital which “threatened patients’ lives.” He called on the W.H.O. and all the international human rights organizations to condemn the “crime” and intervene to prevent similar “crimes” (Wafa, January 19, 2023).
- Hussein al-Sheikh, general secretary of the PLO’s Executive Committee, claimed Israel’s [alleged] “unending escalation,” which since the beginning of 2023 had claimed the lives of 17 Palestinians, demanded vigorous and a more explicit Arab and international position to stop the “crimes.” He claimed it was necessary for the whole world and the UN to force Israel to obey international resolutions. Otherwise, he said, Israel would be beyond the law and not recognize international legitimacy [sic] (Wafa, January 19, 2023).
- Deputy Fatah chairman Mahmoud al-‘Aloul said that in light of the “occupation’s continuing crimes” against the Palestinians, the most recent of which was killing “civilians” in the Jenin refugee camp, it was unacceptable for the current situation to continue. He said the Palestinian leadership had discussed several scenarios for dealing with it, adding that besides the “resistance” [terrorist attacks] on the ground, diplomatic activity [slander, libel and false accusations] continued in the international arena to isolate Israel (Wafa, January 19, 2023).
Israeli worshippers enter the Tomb of Joseph in Nablus (January 17, 2023)
- On the evening of January 17, 2023, IDF forces secured Israeli worshippers entering the Tomb of Joseph in Nablus. Palestinians blocked the streets near the Tomb, threw rocks, IEDs and Molotov cocktails and shot at the forces (IDF spokesman’s Twitter account, January 18, 2023). The Palestinian Red Crescent reported that its medical teams treated 43 wounded Palestinians, six of them wounded by rubber bullets, one by a gas grenade, one who was [allegedly] run over and 35 who inhaled tear gas (Quds Press, January 18, 2023).
Right: Palestinians block the streets near the Tomb of Joseph in Nablus (Shehab Twitter account, January 17, 2023). Left: Violent clashes (Wafa, January 18, 2023).
- During the afternoon the Palestinian media reported on the early IDF deployment. Pictures were published showing the deployment of IDF special forces and snipers, and a concentration of heavy equipment for clearing the streets. When the forces entered in the evening, the Palestinian media reported exchanges of fire between armed Palestinians and IDF forces on al-Quds Street and at the entrance to the Balata refugee camp to the east of Nablus. The Lion’s Den network reported its operatives had exchanged fire with IDF forces and detonated IEDs they had manufactured themselves (Quds.net News Agency, January 17, 2023).
Poster issued before the IDF entered Nablus. The Arabic reads, “Enter, the rifles of the Battalions [the PIJ’s military-terrorist wing, the Jerusalem Brigades], the Brigades [the AAMB], the Nablus Battalion and the Lion’s Den are waiting for you” (Twitter account of media person Khaled Sultan, January 17, 2023).
Report from the Israeli Crossings Authority
- The Crossings Authority of Israel’s Ministry of Defense issued its report for 2022. According to the report, during the year there was a record amount of activity at the crossings, the highest figures since the Authority was established in 2006 (Israeli Ministry of Defense Telegram channel, January 22, 2023):
- During the year there were 21 million entrances of Palestinians into Israel for work, commerce, medical treatment and humanitarian assistance, an average of 94,000 per day. The total number is greater than that of 2021 by 7.5 million, an increase of 55%.
- The number of “security incidents” rose by 65%.there were 1,270 attempts of infiltration or impersonation, 385 incidents of weapons seizures, 265 attempts to forcefully break through the crossings and 55 events of shots fired at crossings. In 2022 the prevention of ammunition smugglings rose, including the seizure of tens of thousands of 5.56mm bullets, spare parts and electrooptic equipment.
Rocket and mortar shell fire into Israel
- This past week no rocket or mortar shell hits were identified in Israeli territory.
Monthly Distribution of Rocket and Mortar Shell Fire since January 2020
Annual Distribution of Rocket Hits
Rockets fired from the Gaza Strip towards the sea
- On the evening of January 19, 2023, experimental rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip towards the sea. The Shehab website reported that a number of rockets were fired from the central Gaza Strip towards the sea, part of developing and improving rocket capabilities (Shehab, January 19, 2023). No mention was made of the organization involved.
Distribution of the funds from Qatar for January 2023
- Mohammed al-Emadi, chairman of Qatar’s National Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza, reported that on January 24, 2023, distribution of the January funds began for 100,000 needy Gazan families, $100 per family. The funds are distributed by the UN at 300 centers in the Gaza Strip (website of Qatar’s National Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza, January 23, 2023).
Interview with Thomas White, UNRWA director in the Gaza Strip
- Thomas White, UNRWA director in the Gaza Strip, gave an interview in which he related to a number of issues, among them the financial situation in the Gaza Strip in general and UNRWA’s financial condition in particular. He said the following (al-Andalou News, January 13, 2023):
- UNRWA began 2023 with debts of $8 million from 2022, and the financial crisis influences its work in the Gaza Strip. It causes a shortage of manpower which in turn leads, he said, to pressure on the nurses working in health care, as well as on teachers, who have to cope with a large and growing number of students per class.
- Regarding the food UNRWA supplies to the refugees in the Gaza Strip, he said that in 2022 the number of refugees who receive food four times a year grew, and the number of beneficiaries grew by 1.1 million refugees. He also noted the difficulty in securing food for the refugees, especially flour, given 2022’s global rise in food prices, adding the Turkey gave UNRWA the flour as part of its food support for the refugees in the Gaza Strip.
- UNRWA is trying to find the funding necessary for repairing the houses destroyed during Operation Breaking Dawn and for new construction.
The Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades’ cyber unit
- The Russia Today TV team in the Gaza Strip revealed the cyber unit of the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades, Hamas, military-terrorist wing, for the first time. A program about the unit displayed its achievements, among them its hacking into the alert system of Israel’s Home Front Command. The unit’s engineer, interviewed for the program, talked about the organizations’ broad cyber attack on Israel during Operation Guardian of the Walls [May 2021], which led to an attack on the unit’s facility in the Gaza Strip (Russia Today, January 18, 2023).
The Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades’ cyber unit (Russia Today website, January 18, 2023).
Right: The cyber unit successfully hacked Israel’s siren warning system. Left: Cyber attack on 30,000 Israel targets, most of them security and military facilities (Russia Today website, January 18, 2023).
- This past week members of the PA leadership continued their “diplomatic” activity [slander, libel and false accusation campaign], mainly in response to the formation of the new Israeli government. Mahmoud Abbas participated in a tripartite summit meeting in Cairo and met with Jake Sullivan, the American National Security Advisor; Muhammad Shtayyeh met with American senators; and the PA foreign minister met with diplomats and foreign representatives in the PA:
- Mahmoud Abbas, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and King Abdallah of Jordan met for a summit conference in Cairo to discuss developments in the Middle East and the Palestinian cause. After the meeting they issued a joint declaration stating that they would continue their common efforts to reach a peace arrangement based on the two-state solution and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with the 1967 borders and east Jerusalem as its capital. They stressed the need for Israel to stop its unilateral, “illegal” measures which, they claimed, “destroy the two-state solution,” and the need to preserve Jerusalem’s “historical and legal” status quo [sic], claiming that the international community had to protect the Palestinian people and its rights (Wafa, January 17, 2023).
Mahmoud Abbas at the summit meeting in Cairo
(Mahmoud Abbas’ Facebook page, January 17, 2023).
- On January 19, 2023, Mahmoud Abbas met with Jake Sullivan, the American National Security Advisor. He briefed Sullivan on recent developments, including the new Israeli government’s “serious unilateral measures,” whose objective, he claimed, was to destroy the two-state solution, the signed agreements and the chance for regional peace and stability. He called on the American administration to intervene. He also said it was important for the American administration to meet its commitments, among them reopening its consulate in Jerusalem and the PLO’s office in Washington (Wafa, January 19, 2023).
- On January 19, 2023, Muhammad Shtayyeh met with a delegation of American senators. He told them the two-state solution had to be protected [sic] by preventing the measures Israel was taking and by recognizing a Palestinian state. He called for the reopening of the American consulate in Jerusalem and the restoration of American aid to the PA, especially given Israel’s deductions of Palestinian funds (Wafa, January 19, 2023).
Right: Mahmoud Abbas meets with Jake Sullivan (Wafa, January 19, 2023) Left: Muhammad Shtayyeh meets with a delegation of American senators (Muhammad Shtayyeh’s Facebook page, January 19, 2023).
- On January 19, 2023, Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki met with foreign ambassadors and representatives in the PA. He called on the international community, the UN and the Security Council to stop its calls [for action] and condemnations and begin practical steps to deter Israel and force it to obey international resolutions and law. He stressed that Palestinian “diplomacy” continued its policy of defending the Palestinians by “legal and diplomatic” means to enlist and expand the international front. He called on the international community to take responsibility and exert pressure on the Israeli prime minister to stop implementing the “racist laws” and “illegal unilateral” measures which threaten international and regional peace and security (Wafa, January 19, 2023).
Riyad al-Maliki meets with foreign representatives
(PA foreign ministry Facebook page, January 19, 2023).
- Mahmoud Abbas met with the president and members of the Turkish Constitutional Court. The Turkish consul to Jerusalem was also present. The Turkish delegation said relations between Turkey and the PA should be strengthened, adding that Turkey would continue supporting the Palestinian cause in every way. Mahmoud Abbas said Turkey had an important role in supporting the Palestinian cause at the international and Islamic levels. He thanked Turkey for standing with the Palestinians at every international forum and for defending the sites holy to Islam (Wafa, January 20, 2023).
Muhammad Shtayyeh visits the EU in Brussels
- On January 23, 2023, Muhammad Shtayyeh paid an official visit to the EU in Brussels. He met with David McAllister, who chairs the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs, and called on him not to permit the new Israeli government to cross red lines without deterrence or sanction. He also called on the EU to impose sanctions on the settlements and the products they manufacture (Muhammad Shtayyeh’s Facebook page, January 23, 2023). Meeting with foreign ministers of the EU countries, Shtayyeh said it was necessary to end the Israeli “occupation” an accordance with the Arab peace initiative, and said it was not enough to mark products made in the settlements, they had to be fully boycotted. The foreign ministers decided to donate $30 million to the Palestinians, some of which would be allotted to UNRWA and the rest to financing various projects. The agreement will be signed in Ramallah in the presence of Mahmoud Abbas (Muhammad Shtayyeh’s Facebook page, January 23, 2023).
Right: Muhammad Shtayyeh meets with David McAllister. Left: Muhammad Shtayyeh meets with the EU’s foreign ministers (Muhammad Shtayyeh’s Facebook page, January 23, 2023).
Appeal to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague
- Following the resolution of the UN General Assembly on December 20, 2022, on January 19, 2023, the ICC acceded to the request of the UN General Assembly’s secretary general to provide an advisory opinion regarding the legal implications of the Israeli “occupation” and its influence on the rights of the Palestinians in the territories, including east Jerusalem (ICC website, January 19, 2023). Hamas praised the decision. Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem called on the international community to complete all the steps relating to the UN request and condemn Israel’s “aggression” (Hamas Telegram channel, January 19, 2023).
Muhammad Shtayyeh meets with the heads of the Palestinian Businessmen’s Association
- On January 17, 2023, Muhammad Shtayyeh met with Muhammad al-‘Amour, chairman of the Palestinian Businessmen’s Association and with members of its directorate. Shtayyeh told them that despite the difficulties the Palestinians faced, in 2022 economic growth was recorded. He said the PA government’s strategy was to strengthen the local residents’ firm stance and to increase the Palestinian national product, and at the same time create an atmosphere that would encourage investments in the private sector by giving it preferential treatment. He praised the private sector’s contribution to the development and strengthening of the Palestinians’ firm stance in coping with the [so-called] “Israeli attack” against them (Wafa, January 17, 2023). The meeting may have been held to reduce concerns in the private sector following the steps Israel took to counter the PA.
Muhammad Shtayyeh meets with the heads of the Palestinian Businessmen’s Association
(Wafa, January 17, 2023).
Prisoner Maher Yunes released
- On January 19, 2023, the Israel Prison Service released Palestinian terrorist Maher Yunes, from the north-central Israeli village of ‘Ar’ara, who, along with his cousin, murdered an Israeli soldier in 1980. He was released after serving a 40-year sentence. His cousin, Karim Yunes, was released on January 5, 2023. Maher Yunes’ release was accompanied by more modest events than his cousin’s, apparently after warnings from Israeli security.
- Mahmoud Abbas praised Maher Yunes for his firm stance while in prison, claiming he had become a Palestinian symbol. Mahmoud Abbas said the issue of the prisoners would continue to top the Palestinian list of priorities, and they would make every effort to release them from Israeli jails (Wafa, January 19, 2023). During a telephone conversation with Maher Yunes, Mahmoud Abbas said he and his cousin Karim were a source of pride and symbols for the Palestinians. Maher Yunes replied that the 40 years he spent in Israeli jails were the “bride price” he paid to “Palestine” for its freedom and “liberation from the occupation” (Wafa, January 19, 2023).
- Fatah’s Central Committee praised Maher Yunes’ release, saying that the 40 years he spent in Israeli jails were a challenge for Israel and its attempt to overcome the will power of the Palestinian prisoners, male and female. According to the Central Committee statement, the release of Karim and Maher Yunes “proved” imprisonment was not a degree of fate and that the prisoners would be freed (Facebook page of Fatah’s commission for media information and culture, January 19, 2023).
- Zaher Jabarin, a member of Hamas’ political bureau and responsible for its office of shaheeds, wounded and prisoners, praised his release and said that as the years of oppression behind bars had passed, so would the “occupation” (Hamas website, January 19, 2023).
Right: Maher Yunes meets with his mother and other relatives in ‘Ar’ara. Left: Maher and Karim Yunes (Palestinian TV Twitter account, January 19, 2023).
- A delegation of 25 members of the Fatah branch in Jerusalem, residents of east Jerusalem, went to ‘Ar’ara to greet him. The Palestinian media alleged that the Israeli police “attacked” the delegation on its way back to Jerusalem (Wafa and Dunia al-Watan, January 10, 2023).
Delegation of the leaders of the Fatah branch in Jerusalem visits Maher Yunes in ‘Ar’ara (Fatah branch in Jerusalem Facebook page, January 19, 2023).
EU delegation visits the Temple Mount
- On January 19, 2023, a delegation of 35 EU representatives, headed by Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff, the EU representative in the PA, visited al-Aqsa mosque to personally examine developments at the site. The delegation was received by Azzam al-Khatib, director of the Jordanian waqf on the Temple Mount, and Omar al-Kaswani, director of al-Aqsa mosque, several members of the Endowments Council and directors and other senior Endowment figures. Azzam al-Khatib explained the importance of their visit to the mosque, which was under the guardianship of Abdallah the Second, King of Jordan. He showed the delegation around the mosque and explained its importance and Israel’s attempts to change its status quo. He also elaborated on building projects undertaken by the Hashemite royal house whose completion, he claimed, was prevented by Israel. He appealed to the EU representatives to exert pressure on the Israel government to stop its “violations” and restore the historical status quo (Wafa, January 18, 2023).
The EU delegation visits al-Aqsa mosque (Shehab, January 18, 2023).
- Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem related to recent events in Jerusalem, claiming that what was happening in Jerusalem and al-Aqsa mosque was “playing with fire.” He called for Arab and international action to “struggle” against Israel’s “attacks” on Jerusalem and al-Aqsa mosque. He also called on the public to go to the mosque to foil Israel’s plan to “Judaize” it (al-Aqsa TV, January 19, 2023).
Palestinian reactions to Israel’s intention to evacuate al-Khan al-Ahmar
- Israel’s intentions to evacuate al-Khan al-Ahmar led to Palestinian reactions. On January 23, 2023, the Commission for the Struggle against the Fence and the Settlements, in cooperation with Fatah branches and nationalist organizations, held a demonstration to show support for al-Khan al-Ahmar residents. Members of the Palestinian leadership also participated, among them Azzam al-Ahmed, a member of the PLO’s Executive Committee, and Mustafa Barghouti, secretary general of the National Palestinian Initiative (Wafa, January 23, 2023). Abdallah Abu Rahma, director of the Commission for the Struggle against the Fence’s “popular activity,” announced that in the coming days a sit-down strike would be held at the site (Shehab, January 23, 2023).
Right: Demonstration in support of al-Khan al-Ahmar’s residents (Shehab Twitter account, January 23, 2023). Left: Azzam al-Ahmed expresses solidarity with the residents (Twitter account of the al-Qastel website, January 23, 2023).
- Some of the reactions were the following:
- Amal Jadou Shuka, deputy PA foreign minister, said the evacuation, like the implementation of Israel’s building projects, effectively “killed the two-state solution.” She said Muhammad Shtayyeh intended to raise the issue during his meetings in Brussels, adding that Jake Sullivan, the American National Security Advisor, said during his visit in Ramallah last week that both sides had to avoid unilateral actions (Ramallah News website, January 23, 2023).
- The PA foreign ministry issued an announcement strongly condemning the “incitement campaign” of Israeli ministers, Knesset members and “extremist settlers” to destroy al-Khan al-Ahmar. According to the announcement, the new-old plot was “a racist colonial conspiracy” whose objective was to implement “giant settlement projects” in the area which would stretch from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea, what was known as E1, to completely isolate Jerusalem from its Palestinian surroundings and destroy all chance of implementing the principles of the two-state solution. The ministry called for a determined international, American and European position and for pressure to be exerted on the Israeli government (PA foreign ministry website, January 23, 2023).
- Azzam al-Ahmed said the PA and the Palestinian leadership were completely opposed to evacuating al-Khan al-Ahmar, and praised the “courage” of the village residents. He called on the American administration to take a united stand regarding all forms of settlement (palsawa, January 23, 2023).
- Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said the Israeli announcement regarding its intention to “expel” the residents of al-Khan al-Ahmar was nothing new, simply part of its [alleged] “policy of ethnic cleansing.” He claimed expelling residents who owned the land was an Israeli government racist policy implemented to expand the settlements (Hamas website, January 23, 2023).
- ‘Atef Adwan, a Hamas member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and chairman of the Council’s Committee for Refugee Affairs, warned of the consequences of expelling the residents of al-Khan al-Ahmar and called for an uprising against the “occupation” and to “resist” it in every way possible [terrorist attacks] (Palestine Online, January 23, 2023).
Reactions to the establishment of the Or Haim outpost
- On the night of January 20, 2023, a group of Israelis tried to establish an outpost southeast of Nablus. The outpost, called Or Haim (named for the late Rabbi Haim Drukman), was evacuated by Israeli security forces on orders from Defense Minister Yoav Galant.
- The PA foreign ministry condemned the outpost’s establishment, issuing a statement saying it was a “crime,” an Israeli response to the visit by a team of Americans and an offensive challenge to American and international demands to stop all illegal unilateral measures (Wafa, January 20, 2023).
- Hamas spokesman Abd al-Latif al-Qanua condemned the “theft of Palestinian lands.” He claimed it was a “crime and aggression” reflecting the policies of the “fascist occupation government,” which sought to take control of additional Palestinian lands in Judea and Samaria. He called to increase the “resistance” to Israel’s policies with every possible means [every possible form of terrorism] (Shehab, January 20, 2023).
Interview with Jibril al-Rajoub
- Jibril al-Rajoub, secretary of Fatah’s Central Committee, was interviewed by the RT network in Arabic, and harshly attacking the government of Israel. He claimed there was an “international consensus” that the government of Israel was fascist and racist, an ugly copy of 20th century fascism in its conduct and way of thinking. He said the Palestinians were the first victims of Israel’s conduct and therefore they had no choice but the option of confrontation and the firm stance of the “resistance” [terrorist organizations]. He said the appeal to the ICC was the first step and would be followed by others. He added that he hoped the world understood that the danger for it and its interests inherent in the “policies of the fascist, racist government which copies the Nazi’s Nuremberg laws and is an exact copy of ISIS” (Jibril al-Rajoub’s Facebook page, January 22, 2023).
Rocks, Molotov cocktails and other attacks
- This past week in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem Palestinians continued throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at Israeli vehicles driving on the roads. The more prominent events were the following:
- January 23, 2023: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli bus near the Yitzhar Junction (southwest of Nablus). No casualties or damage were reported.
- January 22, 2023: A Molotov cocktail was thrown at an Israeli vehicle between the al-Khader Junction and Beitar (west of Bethlehem). No casualties or damage were reported.
- January 20, 2023: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli security vehicle at the Baraqah Junction near Shavei Shomron (northwest of Nablus). No casualties were reported; the vehicle was damaged.
- January 20, 2023: A Molotov cocktail was thrown at an Israeli vehicle in Karmei Tzur (north of Hebron) No casualties or damage were reported.
- January 20, 2023: A Molotov cocktail was thrown at an Israeli vehicle near al-Khader (west of Bethlehem). No casualties or damage were reported.
- January 19, 2023: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle near the Yitzhar Junction (southwest of Nablus). No casualties were reported; the vehicle was damaged.
- January 18, 2023: Molotov cocktails were thrown at an IDF force at the Azzun Junction (east of Qalqilya). No casualties or damage were reported.
- January 17, 2023: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle near Sinjil (northeast of Ramallah). No casualties were reported; the vehicle was damaged.
- January 17, 2023: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli bus near Bayt Ummar (north of Hebron) No casualties were reported; the vehicle was damaged.
 A significant attack is defined by the ITIC as involving shooting, stabbing, a vehicular attack, the use of IEDs, or a combination of the above. Stones and Molotov cocktails thrown by Palestinians are not included ↑
 Al-Khan al-Ahmar is an area in east Jerusalem in Area C where several dozen Bedouin refugees live without water or electricity. In May 2018 the Israeli Supreme Court decreed the buildings illegal and authorized orders for their demolition several times. With the formation of the new government the pressure to evacuate the site has been renewed. ↑
 Information and pictures from Rescue Without Borders in Judea and Samaria unless otherwise noted. ↑