Spotlight on Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (July 5 – 11, 2023)

Ahmed Yassin Halal Ghizan (Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades Telegram channel, July 6, 2023).

Ahmed Yassin Halal Ghizan (Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades Telegram channel, July 6, 2023).

Distributing pastry to celebrate the murder of an IDF soldier (Palinfo Twitter account, July 6, 2023).

Distributing pastry to celebrate the murder of an IDF soldier (Palinfo Twitter account, July 6, 2023).

Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades notice after Abu Obeida's statement. The pictures are of the

Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades notice after Abu Obeida's statement. The pictures are of the "heroes of the quick response to the aggression against Jenin" (Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades Telegram channel, July 6, 2023).

The scene of the terrorist attack in Tel Aviv (al-Fajr TV website, July 4, 2023).

The scene of the terrorist attack in Tel Aviv (al-Fajr TV website, July 4, 2023).

Salah's funeral. He has an Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades headband on his forehead (Palinfo, July 8, 2023).

Salah's funeral. He has an Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades headband on his forehead (Palinfo, July 8, 2023).

The press conference opening the summer camp season in the Gaza Strip.

The press conference opening the summer camp season in the Gaza Strip.

The first day of summer camp activities in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood in the western part of Gaza City.

The first day of summer camp activities in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood in the western part of Gaza City.

The Handala.

The Handala.

Repairing the damage in the Jenin refugee camp (Shehab Twitter account, July 9, 2023).

Repairing the damage in the Jenin refugee camp (Shehab Twitter account, July 9, 2023).

The PA minister of the interior visits the police in Jenin (PA police website, July 8, 2023).

The PA minister of the interior visits the police in Jenin (PA police website, July 8, 2023).

Delegation of senior Fatah figures visits the Jenin refugee camp (Wafa, July 8, 2023).

Delegation of senior Fatah figures visits the Jenin refugee camp (Wafa, July 8, 2023).

  • This past week Palestinians carried out five attacks: a stabbing in Dir Qadis and a shooting and hand-grenade attack in Dir Nidham (both northwest of Ramallah); a shooting in Qadumim (east of Qalqilya), in which an IDF soldier was killed; a shooting in Har Gerizim (Nablus); and a combined shooting and vehicular ramming attack in Tel Aviv; an attempted stabbing in Jerusalem was prevented. The al-Ayash Battalion in Jenin, apparently affiliated with Hamas, claimed responsibility for firing two rockets into Israeli territory.
  • Five rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip at the Israeli communities near the border about an hour before the last IDF forces left Jenin; the rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome aerial defense system. In response the Israeli Air Force attacked two Hamas terrorist targets. Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) launched this year’s summer camps for thousands of Gazan children and teenagers. A Freedom Flotilla Coalition boat, currently sailing between European ports, may try to reach the Gaza Strip.
  • Following the IDF activity in Jenin, the Palestinian Authority (PA) is working to repair the damages and restore governance. Mahmoud Abbas is expected to visit Jenin on July 12, 2023, tour the refugee camp and meet with local residents and officials. Algeria said it would donate $30 million and the UAE $15 million (through UNRWA) to repair damages. Mahmoud Abbas is trying to convene a meeting in Cairo of the heads of the terrorist organizations.
  • The Israeli Political-Security Cabinet’s decision to prevent the collapse of the PA was met with condemnation by Palestinians, who said Israel had to stop deducting money from the taxes it collected for the PA and return previously deducted funds. PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh said the Palestinians did not intend to stop their international actions and would continue paying “salaries” to the families of shaheeds and prisoners. The European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs called on the EU to aid the International Criminal Court (ICC) in prosecuting Israel for [alleged] “war crimes.”
Stabbing in Dir Qadis
  • On the afternoon of July 10, 2023, a group of Israeli civilians entered the village of Dir Qadis (northwest of Ramallah). While in the village a Palestinian attacked them with a knife, stabbing one. IDF forces instituted a search for the stabber (IDF Twitter account, July 10, 2023).
Shooting near Dir Nidham
  • On the afternoon of July 10, 2023, an IDF force at a checkpoint near Dir Nidham (northwest of Ramallah), became suspicious of a vehicle without license plates and ordered the driver to halt. He stopped, got out and threw a hand grenade at the force, and then shot at them with an improvised machine gun. He was shot and killed (IDF spokesman and the Israeli media, July 10, 2023).
The Carlo improvised machine gun used by the terrorist (IDF spokesman's Twitter account, July 10, 2023).
The Carlo improvised machine gun used by the terrorist
(IDF spokesman’s Twitter account, July 10, 2023).
  • The ministry of health in Ramallah reported the death of Bilal Ibrahim Qadah, 33 years old, from the village of Shuqba (northwest of Ramallah) (Wafa, July 10, 2023). The Fatah movement in Ramallah issued a mourning notice for him, claiming him as one of its operatives (Fatah’s media information and cultural commission Telegram channel, July 10, 2023). According to his Facebook page, he worked installing stylized handrails and window bars and was a body-builder. He often posted religious videos and short sermons. His last post read, “Allah! Grant us a good end” (Bilal Qadah’s Facebook page).
His last post (Bilal Qadah's Facebook page).    The mourning notice issued by Fatah for Bilal Qadah (Rasim Motawe's Facebook page, July 10, 2023).
Right: The mourning notice issued by Fatah for Bilal Qadah (Rasim Motawe’s Facebook page, July 10, 2023). Left: His last post (Bilal Qadah’s Facebook page).
Attempted stabbing in Jerusalem
  • On the afternoon of July 9, 2023, a Palestinian woman in her sixties went to the Ammunition Hill light railway station in Jerusalem. She took at knife out of her purse and threatened a security guard. He called on her to halt and drop the knife and fired into the air. When she did not obey he shot at her leg. The woman was an east Jerusalem resident and carried an Israeli ID card. Her wound was superficial and she was evacuated to a hospital (Israel Police Force spokesman’s unit, July 9, 2023). She was apparently cognitively challenged and had been detained at the same location two months previously.
The knife carried by the woman in Jerusalem (Israel Police Force spokesman's unit, July 9, 2023).
The knife carried by the woman in Jerusalem (Israel Police Force spokesman’s unit, July 9, 2023).
Shooting in the settlement of Qadumim
  • On the afternoon of July 6, 2023, the control center of the settlement of Qadumim (east of Qalqilya) reported the presence of a suspicious vehicle nearby, circling the settlement and apparently looking for a way to enter. The settlement went on alert and residents were asked to remain inside. An IDF force was deployed to examine the driver. He exited the vehicle with a gun, shot and killed a soldier, and then drove away. IDF forces pursued him, and shot and killed him (Israeli media, July 6, 2023).
The scene of the terrorist attack (@Hanzpal2 Twitter account, July 6, 2023).     The Palestinian terrorist's Carlo improvised machine gun.
Right: The Palestinian terrorist’s Carlo improvised machine gun. Left: The scene of the terrorist attack (@Hanzpal2 Twitter account, July 6, 2023).
  • The terrorist was Ahmed Yassin Halal Ghizan, 19 years old, from Qabatiya (west of Ramallah). His father, Sheikh Halal Ghizan, named him after Hamas founder Ahmed Yassin, who died in a targeted killing the year his son was born. Ghizan was the cousin of Hamas terrorist operative Mu’ataz Ballah al-Khawaja, the son of senior Hamas terrorist Salah al-Din al-Khawaja, who carried out the shooting on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv on March 9, 2023 (Palinfo and Shehab, July 6, 2023).
Distributing pastry to celebrate the murder of an IDF soldier (Palinfo Twitter account, July 6, 2023).    Ahmed Yassin Halal Ghizan (Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades Telegram channel, July 6, 2023).
Right: Ahmed Yassin Halal Ghizan (Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades Telegram channel, July 6, 2023).
Left: Distributing pastry to celebrate the murder of an IDF soldier (Palinfo Twitter account, July 6, 2023).
  • In an unusual move, Hamas and the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades, its military-terrorist wing, rushed to issue formal claims of responsibility for the “heroic action.” Until recently Hamas was careful not to claim formal responsibility for terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria. The notices, which also included claims of responsibility for previous terrorist attacks, were exceptional and may indicate a change in Hamas policy:
    • According to Hamas’ military-terrorist wing, the attack was a response to Israel’s “aggression” against the Palestinians in the Jenin refugee camp, the “desecration of the holy sites” and the vandalizing of the Qur’an in the village of Urif. The announcement stressed the attack “was meant to tell Zionist criminal minister [Bezalel] Smotrich that the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades had almost knocked on his door, and promised Israel more such actions, because whoever sowed killing and crime against the Palestinians would reap only death, terror and defeat” (Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades website, July 6, 2023).
    • Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades spokesman Abu Obeida, relating to the recent attacks, claimed that when the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades said Jenin was not alone, they were fully aware of what they were saying because the “reaction” [shooting] near [the settlement of] Eli was carried out by Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades operatives, an “reactions” continued in response to the events in the Jenin refugee camp with the action [terrorist attack] in the heart of Tel Aviv and with the action in Qadumim. They were all, claimed the announcement, intended to show the readiness of the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades and the “resistance” [terrorist organizations] to react to aggression against any part of the Palestinian land and its holy sites (Abu Obeida’s Telegram channel, July 6, 2023).
Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades notice after Abu Obeida's statement. The pictures are of the "heroes of the quick response to the aggression against Jenin" (Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades Telegram channel, July 6, 2023).
Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades notice after Abu Obeida’s statement. The pictures are of the “heroes of the quick response to the aggression against Jenin” (Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades Telegram channel, July 6, 2023).
    • Hamas claimed the attack was the “natural reaction to the crimes of the occupation army,” the most recent of which was the “slaughter” in Jenin. Ahmed Yassin [Ghizan], said the announcement, had avenged the deaths of the Palestinians [by attacking the IDF force] in the backyard of the settlement where [Israeli Finance Minister] Bezalel Smotrich, “the extremist Zionist minister” lived. He had continued the path of the descendants of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, Hamas’ founder, who attacked “deep inside Israel,” most recently the attack carried out by Abd al-Wahhab Khalayleh [who carried out the attack in Tel Aviv on July 4, 2023]. Hamas claimed Jenin was “dear to all Palestinians,” and the blood of its victims was not shed in vain. The Palestinians, Hamas continued, were capable to continuing and escalating the intifada despite all their shaheeds, and attempts to destroy the “resistance” and scare the Palestinians would fail (Hamas website, July 6, 2023).
  • Ali Abu Shahin, a member of the PIJ’s political bureau and head of the organization’s media information department, said the attack in Qadumim had showed that the statements made by Israel’s leadership, headed by Netanyahu, about having achieved the objectives of the “aggression” in Jenin, were false and misleading. The message for Israel was that no matter what Israel did, it would not weaken the Palestinians or break their spirit (Paltoday, July 6, 2023).
"The balance of honor." The weapon of the lone terrorist weighs more than all those of the PA security coordination (Issa al-Drimali's Twitter account, July 6, 2023).
“The balance of honor.” The weapon of the lone terrorist weighs more than all those of the PA security coordination (Issa al-Drimali’s Twitter account, July 6, 2023).
Shooting in Har Gerizim
  • On the afternoon of July 5, 2023, shots were fired from a moving vehicle at a patrol car and police station in the Samaritan neighborhood of Har Gerizim (south of Nablus). No casualties were reported. Bullet holes were found in the patrol car and police station. The terrorists escaped; IDF forces instituted a search (IDF spokesman’s Twitter account, July 5, 2023).
Stabbing and vehicular ramming attack in Tel Aviv
  • On the afternoon of July 4, 2023, a Palestinian drove against traffic on a street in north Tel Aviv, mounted the sidewalk near a bus station and rammed into people waiting for a bus. Armed with a knife he exited the vehicle and began stabbing people. He was shot and killed by an armed civilian. Nine people were injured, three of them critically. According to reported, he worked in Israel illegally and used his employer’s vehicle for the attack (Israeli media, July 4, 2023).
  • The terrorist was Abd al-Wahhab Issa Hussein Khalayleh, 20, from the village of Samu’ (south of Hebron). A network calling itself the Samu’ Battalion, which claimed it did not belong to any Palestinian organization, stated Khalayleh was one of its operatives (Samu’ Battalion Telegram channel, July 4, 2023). Hamas published a notice claiming him as one of its operatives, stating the attack was a “legitimate case of self-defense [sic] in view of the events in Jenin (Hamas website, July 4, 2023). His mother was interviewed and said her son did not belong to any organization, including Hamas (@AhmadHudaib13 terrorist, July 4, 2023).
Abd al-Wahhab Khalayleh (Imad al-Aqili's Facebook page, July 4, 2023.)    The scene of the terrorist attack in Tel Aviv (al-Fajr TV website, July 4, 2023).
Right: The scene of the terrorist attack in Tel Aviv (al-Fajr TV website, July 4, 2023). Left: Abd al-Wahhab Khalayleh (Imad al-Aqili’s Facebook page, July 4, 2023.)
Critical Terrorist Attacks in Judea and Samaria since July 2021[1]

Critical Terrorist Attacks in Judea and Samaria since July 2021

Rockets launched from the Jenin area
  • On July 10, 2023, an IDF force found two tripods and debris from two improvised rockets near the settlement of Shaked (west of Jenin). IDF security forces and demolitions experts found traces of explosives indicating the rockets did not pose a threat to local residents (IDF Twitter account, July 10, 2023). The rockets fell in Area A, which is under full PA control (Israeli media, July 10, 2023).
  • A network calling itself the al-Ayash Battalion of west Jenin, apparently affiliated with Hamas’ military-terrorist wing, said in an announcement that they had successfully launched two Qassam-1 rockets at the settlement of Shaked, west of Jenin. The rockets were launched, according to the announcement, as part of the network’s ongoing preparations and development to “change the equation” with Israel and in response to its “crimes” against the Palestinians. The network claimed that despite the complex, sensitive security circumstances, and despite the paucity of their means and equipment, they continued developing and making preparations that would cause Israel to understand that the rockets in Judea and Samaria were also powerful [like the rockets in the Gaza Strip] (the al-Ayash Battalion Telegram channel, July 10, 2023).
From a video documenting the rocket fire. The note reads, "Two Qassam-1 rockets were used to attack the settlement of Shaked west of Jenin; Monday, July 10, 2023; the next attack will be larger; #the [West] Bank defends Jerusalem" (the al-Ayash Battalion Telegram channel, July 10, 2023).
From a video documenting the rocket fire. The note reads, “Two Qassam-1 rockets were used to attack the settlement of Shaked west of Jenin; Monday, July 10, 2023; the next attack will be larger; #the [West] Bank defends Jerusalem” (the al-Ayash Battalion Telegram channel, July 10, 2023).
Counterterrorism activities in Nablus
  • On the morning of July 7, 2023, Israeli security forces entered the Old City of Nablus to detain Kheiri Shahin and Hamzeh Maqbul, suspected of shooting at the Samaritan neighborhood in Har Gerizim on July 5, 2023. They refused to surrender, shot at the forces and were killed in the exchange of fire. Two handguns were found which were apparently used to carry out the shooting attack (IDF spokesman’s Twitter account and the Israeli media, July 7, 2023).
  • The Palestinian media outlets reported they were:
  • Kheiri Muhammad Seri Shahin, 34 years old, from Nablus. He worked as a security guard at the al-Najah University hospital (al-Najah University hospital Facebook page, July 7, 2023). He was released prisoner who served a term of four years in an Israeli jail (Palestinian TV Facebook page, July 7, 2023), and a friend of Islam Saboh, who was killed with Ibrahim al-Nabulsi in August 2022 (Safa, July 9, 2023).
  • Hamzeh Muayid Muhammad Maqbul, 32 years old, from Nablus. According to his mother, when he was 13 he wanted to carry out a suicide bombing attack with an explosive belt, but he was stopped before he arrived at his target (Safa, July 9, 2023).
  •  The Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, the military-terrorist wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), claimed both as its operatives, members of the Tamer al-Kilani squad,[2] and as having carried out the shooting at Har Gerizim on July 5, 2023. According to the announcement, the reaction to the deaths of the two and to all Israel’s activities would not be delayed, adding that from the very beginning, the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades had participated with all the organizations in the “struggle” against the Zionist aggression in Jenin (Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades website, July 7, 2023). The al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades (AAMB) also issued a mourning notice for the two, claiming them as operatives in Nablus, and as having carried out a number of attacks on Israeli roadblocks and patrols in Nablus and its Old City, most recently the shooting at the IDF force in Har Gerizim (AAMB Telegram channel, July 7, 2023).
Hamzeh Maqbul (right) and Kheiri Shahin (Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades website, July 7, 2023).
Hamzeh Maqbul (right) and Kheiri Shahin (Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades website, July 7, 2023).
Maqbul (right) and Shahin. The caption reads, "They avoided natural deaths and [sought] only death by gunfire" (Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades Telegram channel, July 7, 2023).
Maqbul (right) and Shahin. The caption reads, “They avoided natural deaths and [sought] only death by gunfire” (Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades Telegram channel, July 7, 2023).
A banner hung on the Fatah branch in the Nablus district congratulating Kheiri Shahin on his release from prison in Israel (Ibrahim Shahin's Facebook page, July 7 2023).    Kheiri Shahin; Fatah logo at the right (Kheiri Shahin's Facebook page, May 1, 2022).
Kheiri Shahin; Fatah logo at the right (Kheiri Shahin’s Facebook page, May 1, 2022). Left: A banner hung on the Fatah branch in the Nablus district congratulating Kheiri Shahin on his release from prison in Israel (Ibrahim Shahin’s Facebook page, July 7 2023).
  • Fatah deputy chairman Mahmoud al-‘Aloul said the IDF consistently executed Palestinians, most recently Hamze Maqbul and Kheiri Shahin. He added that the mission of “Benjamin Netanyahu’s fascist government” was to commit crimes against the Palestinians in the belief that by committing them Israel would win the conflict. However, he claimed, Israel was mistaken and deluded because every young Palestinian who died left behind dozens who wanted to be shaheeds, as it was unthinkable that the Palestinians would surrender or waive their rights (Wafa, July 7, 2023).
  • Hamas issued a threat to “the occupation” and the settlers from “the men who had no fear of death” and would defend Jerusalem and al-Aqsa mosque, avenge the blood of the shaheeds and guard the Palestinians who stood firm (headquarters, July 7, 2023). The PIJ in Judea and Samaria said the blood shed in the confrontation arenas in the West Bank would “ignite more fuel for vengeance” [sic] and make the “resistance” fighters [terrorist operatives] continue their jihad role until liberation [had been achieved] (PIJ website, July 7, 2023).
Palestinian killed in Umm Safa
  • Palestinians threw rocks at Israeli security forces during a riot in Umm Safa (north of Ramallah). The ministry of health in Ramallah reported the death of Abd al-Jawad Hamdan Saleh from ‘Aroura (north of Ramallah) (Wafa, July 7, 2023; Palinfo, July 8, 2023).
  • Hamas said in a statement that “jihad fighter” [terrorist operative] Abd al-Jawad Hamdan Saleh was a Hamas operative. It added Israel should know that escalating acts of “slaughter” would not bring security or stability, but would increase the Palestinians’ determination to “resist” (Hamas website, July 7, 2023). A Hamas military-terrorist wing headband was placed on his forehead for burial (Palinfo, July 8, 2023).
Salah's funeral. He has an Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades headband on his forehead (Palinfo, July 8, 2023).    Abd al-Jawad Hamdan Saleh (Wafa, July 7, 2023).
Right: Abd al-Jawad Hamdan Saleh (Wafa, July 7, 2023). Left: Salah’s funeral. He has an Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades headband on his forehead (Palinfo, July 8, 2023).
Palestinian killed in Tulkarm while preparing an IED
  • On July 7, 2023, the death of Mahdi Assad al-Hali, 20 years old, from the Tulkarm refugee camp, was reported; he died in an explosion which occurred while he was preparing an IED (al-Quds and the @ Mo7ammadzayed4 Twitter account, July 7, 2023). The AAMB’s Tulkarm Battalion – Rapid Response squad claimed al-Hali as one of its field commanders (Tulkarm Battalion – Rapid Response squad Telegram channel, July 7, 2023). The Jerusalem Brigades’ Tulkarm Battalion also issued a mourning notice for him (Tulkarm Battalion Telegram channel, July 7, 2023).
The mourning notice issued by the Jerusalem Brigades' Tulkarm Battalion (Tulkarm Battalion Telegram     The mourning notice issued by the Tulkarm Battalion – Rapid Response squad (Tulkarm Battalion – Rapid Response squad Telegram channel, July 7, 2023).
Right: The mourning notice issued by the Tulkarm Battalion – Rapid Response squad (Tulkarm Battalion – Rapid Response squad Telegram channel, July 7, 2023). Left: The mourning notice issued by the Jerusalem Brigades’ Tulkarm Battalion (Tulkarm Battalion Telegram channel, July 7, 2023).
Right: Al-Hali's body wrapped for burial in a Palestinian flag with a Jerusalem Brigades' Tulkarm Battalion headband placed on it (@qudsfeed Telegram channel, July 7, 2023). Center: Armed Tulkarm Battalion operatives attend the funeral (Tulkarm Battalion Telegram channel, July 7, 2023). Left: Al-Hali's younger brother with a rifle and Tulkarm Battalion headband. The gun is real (Filastin al-Yawm TV Telegram channel, July 7, 2023).
Right: Al-Hali’s body wrapped for burial in a Palestinian flag with a Jerusalem Brigades’ Tulkarm Battalion headband placed on it (@qudsfeed Telegram channel, July 7, 2023). Center: Armed Tulkarm Battalion operatives attend the funeral (Tulkarm Battalion Telegram channel, July 7, 2023). Left: Al-Hali’s younger brother with a rifle and Tulkarm Battalion headband. The gun is real (Filastin al-Yawm TV Telegram channel, July 7, 2023).
Rocket and mortar shell fire into Israel
  • Before dawn on July 5, 2023, about an hour before the last of the Israeli security forces left Jenin, five rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip at the Israeli communities near the border. They were intercepted by the Iron Dome aerial defense system. Debris from a rocket hit a home in the southern Israeli city of Sderot. No casualties were reported (IDF Twitter account and the Israeli media, July 5, 2023). So far no organization has claimed responsibility for the rocket fire, which was apparently carried out to support Jenin and the Jenin refugee camp.
  • In response to the rocket fire Israeli Air Force aircraft attacked an underground facility for the manufacture of weapons belonging to Hamas’ chemical department and a site for the manufacture of raw materials for rockets (IDF spokesman’s Twitter account and the Israeli media, July 5, 2023). According to the Palestinian media, a post was attacked in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip (Twitter account of photojournalist Hassan Aslih, July 4, 2023).
 Israeli Air Force attacks in the Gaza Strip (Wafa, July 5, 2023).      Israeli Air Force attacks in the Gaza Strip (Wafa, July 5, 2023).
Israeli Air Force attacks in the Gaza Strip (Wafa, July 5, 2023).
Monthly Distribution of Rocket and Mortar Shell Fire since September 2021

Monthly Distribution of Rocket and Mortar Shell Fire since September 2021

Annual Distribution of Rocket Hits since 2006

Annual Distribution of Rocket Hits since 2006

Summer camp season begins in the Gaza Strip
Hamas
  • On July 8, 2023, Hamas summer camps opened throughout the Gaza Strip for more than 100,000 boys and girls. The Summer Camp Commission held a press conference to announce the opening of the 2023 camps. Commission chairman Muhammad Abu Askar said the Hamas camps would be called “Defender of Jerusalem” to tell the world that the city of Jerusalem, including its holy sites, was “the compass of every Palestinian.” He added that the name “Defender of Jerusalem” was meant to inculcate the importance of Jerusalem in the heart of every young Palestinian and the Palestinians’ right to it, and to awaken the national role [in the hearts] of the “generation of liberation.” He said Hamas had an interest in the younger generation and was working hard to foster it because Israel and its “collaborators” were investing enormous sums of money and a great effort “to draw the younger generation away from its religion and homeland” (Palestine Online, July 8, 2023).
 A poster referring to the Jenin refugee camp as part of the summer camps (Palestine Online, July 8, 2023)    The press conference opening the summer camp season in the Gaza Strip.
Right: The press conference opening the summer camp season in the Gaza Strip. Left: A poster referring to the Jenin refugee camp as part of the summer camps (Palestine Online, July 8, 2023)
Hamas military-terrorist wing operatives take an active part in the summer camps in Gaza City (Defender of Jerusalem summer camps Facebook page, July 9, 2023).    The first day of summer camp activities in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood in the western part of Gaza City.
Right: The first day of summer camp activities in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood in the western part of Gaza City. Left: Hamas military-terrorist wing operatives take an active part in the summer camps in Gaza City (Defender of Jerusalem summer camps Facebook page, July 9, 2023).
The PIJ
  • On July 8, 2023, the PIJ summer camp opened in Rafah, entitled “Free Men’s Revenge – the Elite [Force] of Liberation.” The organization’s leadership in Rafah and many of its operatives participated in the opening ceremony at the camp, held at the Jerusalem Brigades’ Khaled bin al-Walid post. A speech was given by Khaled al-Sheikh Eid,[3] who said the camps prepared the next generation to carry the flag after some of the current generation had been killed. He added that they were laying the foundations for the generation that which supports the path of jihad and “resistance” [terrorism], who believed in the option of “resistance,” that “Palestine” was the central issue, and that fighting the Jews was a religious act. He said jihad against Israel would continue in all the arenas, especially in “Palestine,” headed by Jenin, Nablus and all the arenas [sic] (Shams News, July 8, 2023).
 Teenagers receive military training in the PIJ summer camp (Filastin al-Yawm TV Telegram channel, July 9, 2023).      Teenagers receive military training in the PIJ summer camp (Filastin al-Yawm TV Telegram channel, July 9, 2023).
Teenagers receive military training in the PIJ summer camp
(Filastin al-Yawm TV Telegram channel, July 9, 2023).
Khaled Mashaal visits Algeria
  • On July 6, 2023, Khaled Mashaal, chairman of the Hamas movement “abroad,” arrived in Algeria to participate in the country’s Independence Day celebrations (Hamas website, July 7, 2023). He gave a speech during which the audience shouted, “With our souls and blood we will redeem al-Aqsa mosque.” He said the Arab-Muslim nation had to change its support for the Palestinian issue from passive support to active participation, and called it to take part in “the battle” (al-Araby al-Jadeed and al-Quds al-Arabi, July 8, 2023).
Khaled Mashaal gives a speech (Quds Press, July 8, 2023).    Khaled Mashaal visits the Great Mosque in Algiers accompanied by Sami Abu Zuhri, a member of Hamas' leadership "abroad" (Hamas party fpm July 7, 2023).
Right: Khaled Mashaal visits the Great Mosque in Algiers accompanied by Sami Abu Zuhri, a member of Hamas’ leadership “abroad” (Hamas party fpm July 7, 2023). Left: Khaled Mashaal gives a speech (Quds Press, July 8, 2023).
A new Freedom Flotilla Coalition boat sails from port to port in Europe
  • On July 7, 2023, it was reported that the Norwegian boat Handala,[4] a new Freedom Flotilla Coalition initiative for “breaking the siege on the Gaza Strip,” had left for ports in Europe. The voyage was organized by the Freedom Flotilla Coalition to raise awareness of the “siege” on the Gaza Strip, increase popular pressure in Israel and gain support in Europe for ending the “siege” (Twitter account of Issam Yussuf, chairman of the “popular and global authority for the support of the Gaza Strip” and the chairman of the Miles of Smiles flotilla campaign, July 7, 2023).
  • Zaher Birawi, chairman of the “international committee for breaking the siege on Gaza” which founded the Freedom Flotilla Coalition, said the boat would sail to a number of European ports until the end of August 2023. He added that at a later date they would announce if the boat was going to the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea to try to break the “siege” on the Gaza Strip again, but said it was likely they would make do with visiting ports in Europe. He said the decision would be made in accordance with political circumstances, logistical conditions and be influenced by other factors. He also claimed they were fully aware of the possible consequence and the difficult path they were treading (Palestine Online, July 10 2023,)
  • On May 18, 2023, the Ship to Gaza Norway website reported that after a successful voyage along the Norwegian coast in April and May 2023, the Handala was being prepared to sail to Europe, where from the middle of May to the middle of August 2023 it would visit ports in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Wales, England, Scotland, Ireland and France. On July 2, 2023, the website of the British Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) reported that after passing through Liverpool and Cardiff, the boat would drop anchor in Bristol between July 10 and 19, and Southampton between July 21 and 24, 2023.
Zaher Birawi on deck (Issam Yussuf's Twitter account, July 7, 2023).    The Handala.
Right: The Handala. Left: Zaher Birawi on deck (Issam Yussuf’s Twitter account, July 7, 2023).
After the IDF activity in Jenin and the Jenin refugee camp
  • After the IDF activity in Jenin, the Palestinian terrorist organizations in Jenin issued a joint summation and reported that they were “continuing to deploy and equip themselves to deal with the occupation’s invasion.” They also claimed their unity for the sake of “defeating the occupation” and promised that what would happen after the operation would be nothing like what went before. They issued a video showing armed operatives wearing Hamas, PIJ, AAMB and PFLP headbands (Filastin al-Yawm, Shehab and al-Aqsa, July 6, 2023).
  • Ziyad al-Nakhalah, PIJ secretary general, called the families of the Palestinians killed to offer his condolences and extol “the achievement.” He claimed that the battle in Jenin set an important example for the other cities in the West Bank and established a new phase in which the “resistance” would have the upper hand (al-Mayadeen, July 9, 2023).
  • Repairs and rebuilding began in the Jenin refugee camp. Crews from the Jenin municipality repaired the infrastructure, opened roads and removed hazards (Shehab Twitter account, July 9, 2023). Majdi Saleh, PA minister of local authorities, said the initial estimate of the damage was more than half a million dollars (Ma’an, July 6, 2023).
Repairing the damage in the Jenin refugee camp (Shehab Twitter account, July 9, 2023).    Repairing the damage in the Jenin refugee camp (Shehab Twitter account, July 9, 2023).
Repairing the damage in the Jenin refugee camp (Shehab Twitter account, July 9, 2023).
  • The president of Algeria said his country would donate $30 million to the Jenin refugee camp. The UAE also said it was prepared to donate $15 million. Residents of the Jenin refugee camp said they doubted the funds would in fact reach them. They said the money would most likely pay PA salaries and not be used for the refugee camp.
  • Ziad Hab al-Reeh, PA minister of the interior, visited police stations in the Jenin region, including the one in Jaba which had been attacked by an angry mob. He also visited the police special forces headquarters. He said the PA leadership admired the stance of the security establishment and praised the role of the police and security services in enforcing the law, instituting public order in the district and “combatting negative activities” (PA police website, July 8, 2023).
The PA minister of the interior visits the police in Jenin (PA police website, July 8, 2023).    The PA minister of the interior visits the police in Jenin (PA police website, July 8, 2023).
The PA minister of the interior visits the police in Jenin (PA police website, July 8, 2023).
  • On July 8, 2023, a delegation of about 30 EU and UNRWA representatives visited Jenin and the Jenin refugee camp. The EU representative in the PA said the IDF activity in Jenin had been “painful” and violated international law (Shehab Twitter account, July 9, 2023).
  • A delegation of senior Fatah figures also visited Jenin, sent there by Mahmoud Abbas. The delegation included Mahmoud al-‘Aloul, Abbas Zaki, Muhammad al-Hindi and Rawhi Fatouh. They toured the camp under the guidance of Akram al-Rajoub, the Jenin district governor (al-Hayat al-Jadeeda, July 9, 2023).
Delegation of senior Fatah figures visits the Jenin refugee camp (Wafa, July 8, 2023).    The EU delegation visits the Jenin refugee camp.
Right: The EU delegation visits the Jenin refugee camp. Left: Delegation of senior Fatah figures visits the Jenin refugee camp (Wafa, July 8, 2023).
"The failure of the military operation in Jenin" (al-Quds al-Arabi, July 6, 2023).
“The failure of the military operation in Jenin” (al-Quds al-Arabi, July 6, 2023).
  • A number of days after the Israeli forces left Jenin, Mahmoud Abbas reportedly ordered the PA security services to deploy in the region. During an internal discussion he warned Majdi Faraj, head of Palestinian general intelligence, and his operatives, that unless they acted quickly Hamas was liable to take control of Jenin the way it took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007. “Highly-placed sources” reported that Mahmoud Abbas took Faraj to task for losing control of Jenin and the Jenin refugee camp. He also stressed their failure to protect Mahmoud al-‘Aloul and Azzam al-Ahmed, two Fatah leaders who were forcibly removed from the funeral held for the Palestinians killed during the activity. It was agreed that a fundamental change would be made in the security services’ activities in the Jenin region, which was absolutely necessary if they wanted to receive the money for rebuilding Jenin which had been promised by Algeria and the UAE (Mako website, July 7, 2023).
  • Akram al-Rajoub, governor of the Jenin district, said in an interview that the reports were incorrect and baseless (al-Quds, July 7, 2023). However, a senior Palestinian security source confirmed that Mahmoud Abbas had instructed the security services to take control of the Jenin refugee camp, enforce law, order and security, remove all the ammunition and rebuild the camp under their direct supervision using the funds donated by Algeria and the UAE, and other Islamic and Arab donations (Ilaf website, July 8, 2023).
Heads of the Palestinian terrorist organizations to meet in Cairo
  • “Sources” reported that the heads of the Palestinian terrorist organizations had received invitations from Egypt to participate in a meeting planned for Cairo at the end of July 2023 to discuss “political developments in the Palestinian arena.” The invitations were issued after Mahmoud Abbas called for such a meeting at the emergency session he held during the IDF activity in Jenin. According to the “sources,” the head of the organizations accepted the invitation (al-Ghad, July 9, 2023).
  • The Arab daily Ra’i al-Youm, quoting “highly placed Palestinian sources,” reported that initially the heads of Hamas and the PIJ refused to participate in the meeting, regarding it as useless in light of the PA’s insistence on security coordination with Israel. Later however, they said in a joint statement that they believed reaching an agreement on a comprehensive national program was a patriotic duty, as was the need execute such a plan immediately, including holding a meeting of the secretaries general of all the Palestinian organizations (Ra’i al-Youm, July 9, 2023).
Visit of the foreign minister of Oman
  • Badr bin Hamad Albusaidi, the foreign minister of Oman, arrived in the PA for a visit. He met with Mahmoud Abbas, who briefed him on the events in Jenin. Albusaidi presented Mahmoud Abbas with a formal invitation from the Sultan of Oman, Haitham bin Tariq al-Said, to visit Oman (Wafa, July 7, 2023).
The PA foreign minister at a meeting of the unaligned nations
  • On the sidelines of a meeting of the unaligned nations,[5] Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki met with Iran foreign minister Hossein-Amir Abdollahian. Abdollahian strongly condemned “the most recent aerial and ground attack of the criminal Zionist entity’s forces against Jenin.” He called on the international community and the UN to take immediately steps against Israel. He also told al-Maliki that Iran had a long history of relations with Fatah, and stressed the seriousness of Iran’s support for the “resistance front” and the unity of the ranks of the Palestinian “resistance” to Israel (al-Alam, July 7, 2023).
Reactions to Israel’s measures to prevent the collapse of the PA
  • On July 9, 2023, Israel’s Political-Security Cabined voted in favor of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s proposal that in the absence of a change in national assessment, Israel would act to prevent the collapse of the PA while promoting the demand that it stop its activities against Israel in the international legal-political arena, end its anti-Israeli incitement in its education system, end the payments to the families of terrorists and end its illegal construction in Area C. If the PA acted accordingly, the prime minister and defense minister would present the Cabinet with measures to stabilize the civilian situation in the Palestinian arena (Facebook page of the office of the Israeli prime minister, July 9, 2023).
  • The Cabinet’s decision was condemned by the Palestinians, who called for the immediate return of the funds Israel deducts from the taxes it collects for the PA. They made it clear that they would not stop paying the families of the shaheeds and prisoners:
  • At the weekly government meeting, PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh said Israel had to stop its aggression against the Palestinians, the killing, the settlements and stealing money, and return to the path of ending the “occupation” based on international legitimacy and law. He added that they would not stop their international activities or the payments to the families of prisoners and shad (Wafa, July 10, 2023).
  • The PA foreign ministry said in an announcement that Israel’s objective was to weaken the Palestinian and hide the role of Israel’s right-wing government in destroying the PA. The foreign ministry said the steps Israel was planning for the PA were what international law, the Geneva Conventions and signed agreements committed it to implement (Wafa, July 10, 2023).
A call to the EU to help prosecute Israel
  • At a meeting in Brussels, the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs called on the EU to help the International Criminal Court prosecute Israel for [alleged] “war crimes.” The Committee said it regretted the ICC’s slow progress, adding it would help the Court and its chief prosecutor to move forward with the investigation and legal procedures. It added that in 2022 Israel destroyed or took control of 101 Palestinian structures whose construction was funded by the EU or member nations at a cost of €337,019 ($369,000), and Israel had to pay reparations (Wafa in Hebrew, June 28, 2023). The PLO’s anti-apartheid department welcomed the Committee’s call to help the ICC prosecute Israel, and called on the EU to cancel its agreement to cooperate with Israel (PLO anti-apartheid department Facebook page, June 30, 2023).
  • The Committee also appealed to the EU to issue a legal opinion on the political and economic implications of Israel’s decision to transfer broad authority on civilian issues in Judea and Samaria to Israeli Bezalel Smotrich (Wafa in Hebrew, June 28, 2023).
UN Human Rights Council report on companies operating in the settlements
  • On June 30, 2023, the UN Human Rights Council issued an updated list of companies and commercial entities operating in the settlements. The first list was published in February 2020 and included 112 companies, 94 in Israel and 18 in the United States and Western Europe. The new list includes 97 companies still operating in the settlements; since the list was published 14 Israeli companies and one American company stopped their operations. Among the corporations on the updated list are Motorola, Booking.com, Trip Advisor and AirBnB. Among the Israeli companies are banks, gas stations, supermarkets, cellphone companies, etc. (al-Quds al-Arabi, June 30, 2023. Khaled Asili, the PA minister of national economy, welcomed the updated list. He called on the UN Security Council to force member states to take the steps necessary to prevent companies from operating in the settlements and demand they be held accountable in accordance with the principles of international law and Security Council resolutions (Wafa, July 2, 2023).
Memorial for one of the Eli shooting terrorists
  •  On June 29, 2023, a memorial was unveiled in the village of Aqaba[6] for Khaled Sabah, who shot and killed four Israelis at the gas station near the settlement of Eli on June 20, 2023. It was erected at the site where he was killed, near the gas station, according to reports by local youth and the Fatah movement in Aqaba (aqqabaSweetestcountry Facebook page, June 24, 28 and 30, 2023).
The ceremony unveiling the memorial (aqqabaSweetestcountry Facebook page, June 24, 28 and 30, 2023).    The memorial.
Right: The memorial. Left: The ceremony unveiling the memorial (aqqabaSweetestcountry Facebook page, June 24, 28 and 30, 2023).
Rocks, Molotov cocktails and other attacks
  • 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:[7]
    • July 9, 2023: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle near Birzeit (north of Ramallah). No casualties were reported; the vehicle was damaged.
    • July 9, 2023: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli bus near Bayt Ummar (north of Hebron). No casualties were reported; the bus was damaged.
    • July 9, 2023: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle near the Neveh Daniel Junction (southwest of Bethlehem). No casualties were reported; the vehicle was damaged.
    • July 9, 2023: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle near Dir Dibwan (east of Ramallah). No casualties were reported; the vehicle was damaged.
    • July 8, 2023: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle at the Jinsafut Junction (east of Qalqilya. No casualties were reported; the vehicle was damaged.
    • July 7, 2023: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle and at IDF forces between Hizma and Anatot (northeast of Jerusalem). No casualties were reported; the vehicle was damaged.
    • July 7, 2023: Fireworks were shot and Molotov cocktails were thrown at the settlement of Psagot (east of Ramallah). No casualties or damage were reported.
    • July 7, 2023: Rocks were thrown near the fence of the settlement of Ofra (northeast of Ramallah). A family of five was injured and damage was reported.
    • July 7, 2023: Rocks were thrown at an IDF post in the settlement of Psagot (east of Ramallah). No casualties or damage were reported.
    • July 7, 2023: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle in al-Funduq near Qadumim (east of Qalqilya). No casualties were reported; the vehicle was damaged.
    • July 7, 2023: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli ambulance at the Yizhar Junction (south of Nablus). No casualties were reported; the ambulance was damaged.
    • July 7, 2023: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle near al-Aroub (northeast of Hebron). No casualties were reported; the vehicle was damaged.
    •  July 6, 2023: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle near the Halhul Junction (north of Hebron). No casualties were reported; the vehicle was damaged.

 The damage done to the vehicle near the Halhul Junction
The damage done to the vehicle near the Halhul Junction

    • July 5, 2023: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle near the village of Luban al-Sharqia (northeast of Ramallah). No casualties were reported; the vehicle was damaged.
    • July 4, 2023: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle near Havat Gilad (east of Qalqilya). No casualties were reported; the vehicle was damaged.
    • July 4, 2023: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle near Arab Teqoa (southeast of Bethlehem). No casualties were reported; the vehicle was damaged.
    • July 4, 2023: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle near Sinjil (northeast of Ramallah). No casualties were reported; the vehicle was damaged.
    • July 4, 2023: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle near the Ma’aleh Amos Junction (south of Bethlehem). No casualties were reported; the vehicle was damaged.

[1] A critical 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.
[2] Tamer al-Kilani was a Lion's Den network operative in Nablus and died in a targeted killing on October 23, 2022 when his motorcycle exploded. The Lion's Den network accused Israel of killing him. In the past he had been imprisoned in Israel for being an Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades terrorist operative.
[3] According to the PIJ website, he is a senior PIJ operative in Rafah.
[4] Handala is a cartoon character, a little boy drawn by Naji al-Ali, who became the personification of the Palestinian people and a national symbol.
[5] The unaligned nations are an international organization of 120 countries which do not regard themselves as belonging to any power's sphere of influence.
[6] Aqaba is a Palestinian village in the Tubas District, southeast of Jenin and north of Tubas.
[7] Information and pictures from Rescue Without Borders in Judea and Samaria unless otherwise noted.