The attack on a vehicle near Mevo Dotan.
AAMB mourning notice issued for the "confrontational shaheed" Colonel Ashraf al-Sheikh Ibrahim, an AAMB commander in Jenin and high-ranking officer in Palestinian general intelligence.
The funeral held in Jenin for Ashraf Ibrahim. Mourners hold yellow Fatah flags (New Press Twitter account, May 29, 2023).
Maher Turkman (left) (al-Araby al-Jadeed, May 27, 2023).
Muhammad Shtayyeh meets with the Egyptian prime minister (Muhammad Shtayyeh's Facebook page, May 29, 2023).
Demonstration in honor of Erdogan's victory (Turkish Yeni Safak website, May 29, 2023).
Distribution of pastries in Khan Yunis (Alam24 website, May 28, 2023).
March held near the town of Burqa held by the commission for the support of the "struggle" against the [border security] fence and the settlements, protesting the return of Jews to Homesh (commission for the support of the "struggle" against the [border security] fence and the settlements Facebook page, May 27, 2023).
PFLP demonstration in the central Gaza Strip (PFLP website, May 23, 2023).
- This past week there were four terrorist attacks: a shooting attack in Hermesh in which an Israeli civilian was killed; two shooting attacks, one in Gan Ner and the other in Mevo Dotan, no casualties reported; and a Palestinian armed with a knife infiltrated the settlement of Teneh Omarim south of Hebron and was killed. Israeli security forces continued counterterrorism activities, focusing on Nablus, Jenin, Jericho and Hebron. A colonel in Palestinian general intelligence, who was also a senior al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades (AAMB) operative, was killed in an exchange of fire with Israeli security forces in Jenin. Maher Asayid Turkman was detained in the village of al-Yamoun (northern Samaria); with his son and nephew he carried out the shooting attack and attempted arson of a bus of IDF soldiers in the Jordan Valley on September 4, 2022.
- The Gaza Strip remained relatively calm. Mohammed al-Emadi, chairman of Qatar’s National Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza, visited Gaza and left without announcing when the monthly funds from Qatar would be distributed, surprising and worrying local residents. No reason for the delay was forthcoming. Hamas claimed there were technical problems.
- Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh visited Egypt accompanied by government ministers, ostensibly to form closer ties and sign various agreements. The Palestinian campaign for the release of prisoner Walid Daqa continued. Palestinian leftists visiting Canada promoted sanctions and a boycott of Israel. Hamas’ Islamic Bloc won its second straight victory in Birzeit University student council elections.
Shots fired at an Israeli civilian vehicle at the entrance to Hermesh
- On the morning of May 30, 2023, a Palestinian vehicle with a driver and one passenger passed an Israel car at the entrance to the settlement of Hermesh (northwest of Jenin). Both fired shots at the Israeli car and then drove away. The Israeli drove to the entrance of the settlement, where he was given first aid and evacuated to a hospital, dying shortly after arrival. He was 32 years old and lived in Hermesh. IDF forces initiated a search for the shooters (MADA spokesman’s unit and the Israeli media, May 30, 2023).
The Israeli car after the attack (Rescue Without Borders in Judea and Samaria, May 30, 2023).
- The “rapid response unit” of the Tulkarm Battalion, a terrorist network affiliated with the AAMB, claimed responsibility for the attack, stating it was “an insufficient response” for the killing of their “martyrs.” They also called on local people to erase recordings in the CCTVs in their areas to keep Israeli security forces from apprehending the shooters. Hamas spokesman Abd al-Latif al-Qanua boasted Israel had failed to subdue the “resistance” [Palestinian terrorism], which proved the determination of the Palestinian people to continue “defending its land” (al-Aqsa, May 30, 2023). Ahmed al-Mudallal, a member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s (PIJ) political bureau, claimed the attack was the “natural reaction” to the ongoing “Zionist crimes.” He claimed it “proved” yet again the speed of the “resistance’s” [terrorist organizations] reaction and the collapse of the deterrence of which Israel was so proud (Filastin al-Yawm, May 30, 2023).
Shots fired at Gan Ner
- On the afternoon of May 28,2023, shots were fired at Gan Ner, a community northeast of Jenin on the Israeli side. Initial searches proved fruitless but a short time later a local resident reported a bullet had pierced a shutter and window in his house. In Israeli security assessment the shot was fired from PA territory (Israeli media, May 28, 2023).
Bullet hole in a window in Gan Ner (QudsN Twitter account, May 28, 2023).
Shots fired at Mevo Dotan
- On the afternoon of May 28, 2023, shots were fired at the settlement of Mevo Dotan (southwest of Jenin). Bullet holes were found in a Palestinian vehicle parked at the entrance to the settlement. No casualties were reported. IDF forces initiated a search for the shooter (IDF spokesman’s Twitter account, May 28, 2023).
- The Jenin Battalion of the Jerusalem Brigades, the PIJ’s military-terrorist wing, said operatives of the Commander Tareq Izz al-Din Squads had shot at Gan Ner and Mevo Dotan and successfully withdrawn (Jenin Battalion Telegram channel, May 28, 2023). The Palestinian media later issued videos documenting the attacks. The video of the attack on Mevo Dotan noted that shots had also been fired at a vehicle near the settlement (Jenin Battalion Telegram channel, May 28, 2023).
Right: The attack on a vehicle near Mevo Dotan. Left: A distant shot of Gan Ner; gunshots can be heard in the background (Jenin Battalion Telegram channel, May 28, 2023).
Attempted stabbing attack at Teneh Omarim
- On the morning of May 26, 2023, a Palestinian armed with a knife crawled under the main gate of the settlement of Teneh Omarim (south of Hebron). He walked past a playground full of women and children and went directly to the settlement’s synagogue. Local residents were alerted to the presence of a terrorist; he was shot and killed by members of the settlement’s rapid-response squad (Israeli media and the IDF Twitter account, May 26, 2023).
Right: CCTV shot of the terrorist crawling under the gate (Shehab, May 26, 2023).
Left: The knife found in the terrorist’s possession (Hassan the Shaheed’s Twitter account, May 26, 2023).
- The ministry of health in Ramallah announced the death of Alaa Khalil Qaysia, 28 years old, from the village of al-Zahariya, south of Hebron (Wafa, May 26, 2023). His brother said Alaa was single and had recently built a house because he was planning to get married (QudsN, May 26, 2023). Qaysia posted Islamic notices to his Facebook page, such as the benefits of the five prayers of Islam and their influence on the human soul, and a picture of the Qur’an’s second Surah, al-Baqarah. Other information on his Facebook page included the fact that his brother Murad was a released prisoner who spent 17 years in an Israeli jail and was released in November 2022.
Alaa Qaysia (Alaa Qaysia’s Facebook page, February 1, 2023).
- Following his death Hamas issued a press release claiming the “escalating crimes of the occupation” would only increase the Palestinians’ determination to continue the path of “resistance and revolution” [anti-Israel terrorism] (Hamas website, May 26, 2023). The PIJ in Judea and Samaria said that “the occupation’s heinous crimes” against the Palestinians would raise the price of reprisal against the “enemy entity,” its soldiers and settlers, and increase the “resistance” (PIJ website, May 26, 2023).
Critical Terrorist Attacks in Judea and Samaria since May 2021
- This past week the Israeli security forces continued intensive counterterrorism activities in Judea and Samaria, focusing on Jenin, Nablus, Jericho and Hebron. They detained Palestinians suspected of involvement in terrorism and confiscated large quantities of weapons:
- On the evening of May 28, 2023, an IDF force identified a Palestinian placing an IED on the road near al-Mugheir (northeast of Ramallah). The force carried out procedure for detaining a suspect, which includes firing live ammunition. The Palestinian was wounded and received first aid at the site (IDF spokesman’s Twitter account, May 28, 2023). Given the increase in rock-throwing near Ramallah, for the past ten days IDF forces have been carrying out security activities in the region.
- On the evening of May 29, 2023, shots were fired at an IDF force near Qiryat Arba (east of Hebron). The force returned fire. No Israeli casualties were reported. An IDF vehicle was damaged. IDF forces initiated a search for the shooters (IDF spokesman’s Twitter account, May 30, 2023).
- Following the attack on Gan Ner, on May 29, 2023, IDF forces operated in Jenin. During the activity armed Palestinians shot at the soldiers, who returned fire (Israeli media and the IDF spokesman’s Twitter account, May 29, 2023).
- According to Palestinian reports, on the night of May 28, 2023, IDF forces entered several neighborhoods in Jenin. Snipers situated themselves on the roofs of several buildings, especially near the governmental hospital. Palestinians rioted and clashed with the forces in various locations; eight Palestinians were reported injured and six were detained (Wafa, May 29, 2023). The Jerusalem Brigades’ Jenin Battalion claimed the IDF forces entered Jenin to “detonate explosions in the refugee camp,” but their operatives prevented them by “waging armed combats” in several locations in the city. Allegedly, operatives of the Jenin Battalion and the AAMB’s “martyrs’ battalion” also lay in ambush near the Jenin refugee camp, shooting at the IDF forces and throwing IEDs at them (Jenin Battalion’s alternate Telegram channel, May 29, 2023).
- The director of the Alrazi Hospital in Jenin reported that one of the operatives wounded in the “clashes” had died. He was Ashraf Muhammad Amin Ibrahim, 38 years old (Wafa, May 29, 2023). He was a colonel in Palestinian general intelligence (Palestinian TV Facebook page, May 29, 2023). The AAMB reported he was a fighter in the network in Jenin (AAMB Telegram channel, May 29, 2023). He lived in Jenin but was originally from Kafr Ra’i in the Jenin district; he was unmarried. The prisoners’ club reported he had spent a total of 11 years in Israeli jails (Ultra Palestine website, May 29, 2023).
Right: AAMB mourning notice issued for the “confrontational shaheed” Colonel Ashraf al-Sheikh Ibrahim, an AAMB commander in Jenin and high-ranking officer in Palestinian general intelligence. Left: Ibrahim’s body wrapped for burial in a Palestinian general intelligence flag (with his weapon) (Fedayeen Twitter account, May 29, 2023).
The funeral held in Jenin for Ashraf Ibrahim. Mourners hold yellow Fatah flags
(New Press Twitter account, May 29, 2023).
- Fatah’s media information and cultural commission issued a mourning notice for Ashraf Ibrahim, claiming him as a Fatah operative. According to the notice, the “occupation’s continuing crimes” exposed Israel’s intention to escalate its activities against the Palestinians, and its “policies of killing, ‘terrorism,’ detentions and daily invasions” demanded an ongoing confrontation from the Palestinians. It referred to the operatives of the Palestinian security services as the “iron shield” of the Palestinian national project, proved by their sacrifices and role in defending the Palestinians and the national issue (Fatah’s media information and cultural commission Facebook page, May 29, 2023).
- Hamas called on the operatives of the [PA] security services to follow in Hamas’ footsteps (Hamas website, May 29, 2023). The PIJ in Judea and Samaria said the Palestinians would not surrender but would adhere to their duty of “resistance” [terrorist attacks] in “response to the call of the holy sites and to avenge the blood of the shaheeds” (PIJ website, May 29, 2023).
- Before dawn on May 25, 2023, Israeli security forces operating in the village of al-Yamoun (west of Jenin) detained Maher Asayid Turkman. Turkman, with his son (who was killed) and a nephew, planned and carried out the shooting attack and attempt to set fire to a bus carrying IDF soldiers in the Jordan Valley on September 4, 2022. Six IDF soldiers were injured in the attack (IDF spokesman’s Twitter account, May 25, 2023).
- Palestinian sources reported Israeli security forces surrounded an abandoned building located between al-Yamoun and Silat al-Harithiya (northwest of Jenin) and detained Maher Ahmed Asayid Turkman, a released prisoner (Wafa and al-Araby al-Jadeed, May 25, 2023). According to Maher’s brother Walid, he was a Fatah operative, detained the first time in 1990 in the Jordan Valley when IEDs were found in his possession. He was accused of planning a terrorist attack and spent four years in an Israeli jail. He joined Hamas in 1992. In 2000 he tried to murder an Israeli intelligence officer, for which he spent an additional two years in jail in Israel; QudsN Twitter account, May 26, 2023).
Right: Maher Turkman (left) (al-Araby al-Jadeed, May 27, 2023).
Left: Maher Turkman at a funeral while a wanted man (Fathi Hazem’s Twitter account, October 14, 2022).
- On the night of May 23, 2023, Israeli security forces operated in Hebron to locate weapons. During the activity three wanted Palestinians were detained and a large quantity of weapons, ammunition and money for funding terrorist activities were seized (IDF spokesman’s Twitter account, May 24, 2023).
Weapons and money seized in Hebron (IDF spokesman’s Twitter account, May 24, 2023).
The Aqabat Jabr refugee camp
- On the night of May 24, 2023, IDF forces operated in the Aqabat Jabr refugee camp (north of Jericho) to detain wanted Palestinians and locate weapons (Israeli media, May 25, 2023). According to Palestinian reports, an IDF force of approximately 100 vehicles entered the camp from different directions. The forces deployed on the roofs of buildings and raided more than 50 houses, including those of Jericho district governor Jihad Abu al-Assal and his sons. During the activity local residents clashed with the forces; 13 Palestinians were reported wounded, one of them critically (al-Araby al-Jadeed and Wafa, May 25, 2023).
- Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem condemned Israel’s activity in the Aqabat Jabr refugee camp and claimed it would not frighten the Palestinians, who would continue the path of “resistance.” He called for the “resistance against the occupation” to continue and escalate (Hamas Telegram channel, May 25, 2023).
Palestinians clash with IDF forces during the activity in the Aqabat Jabr refugee camp (Wafa Facebook page, May 25, 2023).
- With the entrance of Jews on the Temple Mount during the Shavuot holiday (May 25-26, 2023), Hamas issued a call to the Palestinian public to go to Jerusalem to “protect” al-Aqsa mosque (Hamas Telegram channel, May 25, 2023). Hamas leader Sami Abu Zuhri condemned the entrance of Jews to the Temple Mount during Shavuot and Israel’s intention to hold the Pride March in the streets of Jerusalem. He called on Muslims to go to the Temple Mount en masse and remain there to “protect” it (Hamas website, May 29, 2023).
- Fadi al-Hadmi, the PA minister for Jerusalem affairs, claimed that according to international resolutions the Western Wall was a Muslim temple [sic] and an integral part of al-Aqsa mosque, but since the “occupation of Jerusalem in 1967” the governments of Israel had continually violated the “understandings,” constructing tunnels, conducting dubious excavations, destroying the Mughrabi Gate road and destroying the Umayyad palaces.
- Al-Hadmi warned of the dangers of Israel’s preoccupation with al-Aqsa and its environs, claiming the Israeli government meeting held in one of the tunnels under the Western Wall was a gross, dangerous violation of the “historical” and legal status quo. He said the “violations” required UNESCO to take an active role in exposing the truth about the activities in the tunnels and examine their regional influence, especially because more than once UNESCO had cited al-Aqsa as an exclusive Islamic holy site, and the Mughrabi Gate was part the mosque. He reiterated his call for the excavations under the walls to stop. He claimed UNESCO had to send a commission immediately to investigate the damage done by Israel to the holy sites in Jerusalem in general and the al-Aqsa region in particular (al-Sharq, Qatar, May 24, 2023).
Cartoon claiming Israel’s excavations undermine al-Aqsa mosque’s foundations
(al-Quds, May 24, 2023).
Price Tag attack in al-Mugheir
- Marzuq Abu Na’im, a member of the local council in al-Mugheir (northeast of Ramallah), reported that on May 26, 2023, settlers from Adei Ad attacked farmers in the area between Turmus Aya and al-Mugheir, northeast or Ramallah, injuring 40 who were taken to the local hospital. He added that the settlers burned five vehicles belonging to local farmers and 270 bales of hay. He claimed IDF soldiers “stormed the area to protect the settlers” which led to clashes between the forces and the Palestinians, during which the Israeli soldiers shot and wounded a Palestinian (Wafa, May 26, 2023). The Palestinian social networks reported that the Palestinian who was wounded was Shadi Tareq Abu Awad, an officer in the Palestinian police and the bodyguard of Palestinian police commander Zakariya Muslah, and an AAMB operative who went to help the farmers (Twitter account of the Awda channel of Fatah’s media information and cultural commission, May 26, 2023; Marwan Zaloum’s Twitter account, May 27, 2023).
Right: Shadi Tareq standing in front of the Palestinian military intelligence logo (Twitter account of the Awda channel of Fatah’s media information and cultural commission, May 26, 2023). Left: Burned-out vehicle (al-Saharah Twitter account, May 26, 2023).
- Hamas said the “crimes” committed by the “occupation army” [allegedly] and the settlers, and their ongoing aggression against the Palestinians, required an active Arab-international position to support the Palestinians and the “justice of their affairs,” condemn Israel and prosecute its leaders for their crimes and violations of all international norms and conventions which threaten the peace and security of the immediate area and the entire Middle East (Hamas website, May 27, 2023).
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 July 2021
Annual Distribution of Rocket Hits since 2006
Rebuilding the Gaza Strip
- On May 27, 2023, Mohammed al-Emadi, chairman of Qatar’s National Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza, ended his visit and left the Gaza Strip through the Erez Crossing without announcing the date for the distribution of Qatar’s monthly cash donation, which the residents of Gaza were waiting for last week (al-Quds, May 27, 2023). The issue topped the Gazan agenda on the Palestinian social networks during the past few days, with everyone asking when the money would arrive and what was causing the delay.
- Salama Maarouf, head of the Hamas information bureau in the Gaza Strip, claimed Qatar’s payments would not stop and “technical procedures” were behind the delay (Sawa, May 29, 2023). “Gazan government sources” said the delay had been caused by the disagreement between Israel and Qatar over the addition of 26,000 needy families requested by the Gazan ministry of welfare. The sources denied the report in al-Akhbar stating that Qatar would no longer donate funds to the Gaza Strip, adding that Hamas was waiting to hear from Qatar regarding donations for another year (al-Akhbar, May 28, 2023).
Muhammad Shtayyeh visits Egypt
- On May 29, 2023, PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh and several government ministers paid an official visit to Egypt. He was received in Cairo by Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly. Shtayyeh said the objective of the visit was to further bilateral cooperation and sign various agreements (Muhammad Shtayyeh’s Facebook page, May 29, 2023).
Right: Reception for Muhammad Shtayyeh in Cairo.
Left: Muhammad Shtayyeh meets with the Egyptian prime minister (Muhammad Shtayyeh’s Facebook page, May 29, 2023).
Erdogan wins election
- Mahmoud Abbas congratulated Turkish President Erdogan on his victory in the recent presidential elections and said he hoped for the continuation of cooperation and Turkish support for the Palestinian issue (Wafa, May 29, 2023). Even before the final election results were posted Hamas sent its congratulations to Erdogan for his victory and the support of the Turkish people. Hamas said it hoped the “historic win” would be a new beginning for Turkey in preparation for strengthening Arab-Islamic relations and reinforcing its regional and global status. Hamas also said it hoped the victory would lead to Turkish support for global issues, especially the Palestinian issue and the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to establish an independent state with Jerusalem [sic] as its capital (Hamas Telegram channel, May 29, 2023).
- Palestinians in the Gaza Strip celebrated Erdogan’s victory with a rally held in front of the memorial on the Gaza shore for the “martyrs of the freedom flotilla” [the Mavi Marmara]. Participants waved Hamas and Turkish flags; pastries was distributed in Khan Yunis (Turkish Yeni Safak website, May 29, 2023).
Right: Demonstration in honor of Erdogan’s victory (Turkish Yeni Safak website, May 29, 2023).
Left: Distribution of pastries in Khan Yunis (Alam24 website, May 28, 2023).
Reactions to the establishment of a yeshiva in the settlement of Homesh
- On the night of May 28, 2023 a yeshiva was established in Homesh on Israeli government land to replace the current yeshiva on Palestinian land. The establishment was preceded by an Israeli government decision to cancel the disengagement law in northern Samaria. However, the yeshiva was established in the dead of night without the necessary legal procedures and against Israeli Security Agency recommendations.
- The PA foreign ministry strongly condemned the establishment of the yeshiva in Homesh and all forms of settlement, which it claimed was part of the “quiet annexation” of territories in Judea and Samaria under the supervision and with the support of the Israeli government. Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for Mahmoud Abbas, said all the settlements built on Palestinian land, including Homesh, were illegal and violated international law. He said the current situation challenged the international community, especially the United States administration, adding that condemnations were insufficient to cope with the acts of Israel’s extremist right-wing government (Wafa, May 29, 2023).
- Hamas spokesman Jihad Tahe claimed the support of the Israeli defense minister for the decision enabling settlers to rebuild Homesh on “occupied land” in northern Samaria was a new “Zionist crime” against the Palestinians and their land, and a gross violation of international norms and resolutions (Hamas website, May 28, 2023).
March held near the town of Burqa held by the commission for the support of the “struggle” against the [border security] fence and the settlements, protesting the return of Jews to Homesh (commission for the support of the “struggle” against the [border security] fence and the settlements Facebook page, May 27, 2023).
Muhammad Shtayyeh pays a condolence call to the Balata refugee camp
- On May 24, 2023, PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh paid a condolence call to the mourning tent erected in the Balata refugee camp in Nablus for the three AAMB terrorist operatives killed on May 22, 2023 in an exchange of fire with Israeli security forces. He praised the three and the residents of the refugee camp for their “struggle” (Muhammad Shtayyeh’s Facebook page, May 24, ye).
Muhammad Shtayyeh pays a condolence call at the mourning tent erected in the Balata refugee camp in Nablus (Muhammad Shtayyeh’s Facebook page, May 24, 2023)
Promoting sanctions and a boycott of Israel in Canada
- Dr. Mustafa al-Barghouti, secretary general of the Palestinian National Initiative, participated in a Quebec labor union conference held Montreal, Canada, and gave a speech. He called on Canadian labor unions to impose sanctions on Israel. The participants voted unanimously to boycott Israel and all the companies having relations with or investing in the settlements.
- During his visit he met with officials of the Global Affairs Canada, the Canadian foreign ministry, and members of the parliament of various political parties to discuss an assessment of the situation in the Palestinian territories. He also participated in a conference for the strengthening of the BDS movement, and said it was important to expand its activities because of its critical role in tipping the balance of power towards the Palestinians (Mustafa al-Barghouti’s Facebook page, May 23, 2023).
Mustafa al-Barghouti delivers a speech in Canada
(Mustafa al-Barghouti’s Facebook page, May 23, 2023).
The ongoing Palestinian campaign for the release of Walid Daqa
- The lawyer of Israeli Arab terrorist prisoner Walid Daqa recently asked the Israeli authorities for an early release because his condition had worsened and his days were numbered. The committee which discussed his request voted to hold another hearing on May 31, 2023 to decide who has authority over the issue (Israeli media May 25, 2023). The PA foreign ministry reported it would continue its political and diplomatic activity with international agencies, including the UN and the Red Cross, to condemn Israel’s conduct, its disregard for international conventions and its attacks on Palestinian prisoners. The foreign ministry also asked its representatives around the globe to act quickly with the relevant authorities to present the “suffering of prisoner Daqa and other ill prisoners” and to demand international pressure be exerted on Israel for his immediate release (Wafa, May 22, 2023).
- Daqa’s request led to reactions from the heads of the Palestinian terrorist organizations, who claimed Israel was responsible for his condition:
- Isma’il Haniyeh, head of Hamas’ political bureau, called Walid Daqa’s wife to ask about his condition. Haniyeh told her Israel was responsible for his life and the lives of all the prisoners in Israeli jails, and said he would be in contact with the countries around the globe to fight for his release (Hamas website, May 25, 2023).
- Hamas spokesman Abd al-Latif al-Qanua claimed Israel and its prison service were responsible for Walid Daqa’s fate and for its “deliberate medical neglect and delay in transferring him to a hospital for medical treatment. He called on the international community, human rights organizations and humanitarian organizations to exert pressure on Israel (Hamas website, May 25, 2023).
- The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) organized support demonstrations in the Gaza Strip with the participation of the leaders of other Palestinian organizations. Members of the PFLP leadership gave speeches claiming Israel and its prison service were responsible for his life. They claimed the consequences of his suffering would be dire, called it “murder,” and stated that the Palestinians had the right to take measures on the ground to react. They called on the Palestinian public to continue its “activity” on the ground and to escalate the clashes with Israel at the friction points (PFLP website, May 23, 2023).
Right: PFLP demonstration in the central Gaza Strip (PFLP website, May 23, 2023).
Left: A call for Daqa’s release before it is too late (commission for prisoners and released prisoners’ Facebook page, May 25, 2023).
Hamas wins the student council elections in Birzeit University
- The Islamic Bloc, Hamas’ student faction, won the majority of seats in the student council elections in Birzeit University for the 2023-2024 academic year. It won 25 of the 51 seats of the council’s the economic committee. The Shabiba, Fatah’s student faction, won ten seats, and the PFLP’s faction won six. Seventy-seven percent of eligible voters (9,121 of 12,163) participated (Birzeit University website, May 24, 2023). It was the Islamic Bloc’s second consecutive student council win in Birzeit University, although in the previous election it had won two seats more. Both Hamas and Fatah expressed satisfaction, Hamas at the win and Fatah at the narrowing of the gap between them. Some of the reactions were the following:
- Hamas issued formal congratulations for the win (Hamas website, May 24, 2023). At the victory demonstration Isma’il Haniyeh, head of Hamas’ political bureau, noted Hamas’ adherence to general elections for the presidency, for the Palestinian Legislative Council and the Palestinian National Council, and its willingness to hold student council elections in all the universities in the Gaza Strip (Hamas website, May 25, 2023).
- Yahya Qarout, Islamic Bloc representative and previous student council chairman, claimed they had been victorious despite the attacks and persecution suffered by the Islamic Bloc at the hands of the Israeli security forces and the PA security services, which had detained and/or summoned many students for interrogation. He dedicated the victory to the family of Musab Shtayyeh, saying he had been elected honorary student council president (al-Araby al-Jadeed, May 24, 2023; Islamic Bloc in the West Bank website, May 23, 2023).
- Fatah deputy chairman Mahmoud al-‘Aloul praised the Fatah student faction for receiving two votes more this year than last (Telegram channel of the Awda channel of Fatah’s media information and cultural commission, May 24, 2023). The Fatah media outlets noted that the disparity in seats had been reduced from ten to five (Facebook page of Fatah’s media information and cultural commission, May 24, 2023).
- On the eve of the elections, the Islamic Bloc held an event called “Our path is the resistance and our promise is liberation,” where a recorded speech by Saleh al-‘Arouri, deputy chairman of Hamas’ political bureau, was played. He said the Islamic Bloc expressed the spirit of the “resistance” and young people’s hope for freedom, and had won their trust by its long history of sacrifice and martyrs (Hamas website, May 17, 2023). The Islamic Bloc members also held a march with the participation of dozens of masked members wearing uniforms and Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades headbands (Filastin al-A’an, May 22, 2023).
Right: Saleh al-‘Arouri’s recorded speech at the Islamic Bloc’s election event (QudsN Facebook page, May 17, 2023).
Left: The Islamic Bloc’s march (Shehab, May 22, 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:
- May 28, 2023: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle in Hizma (north of Jerusalem). No casualties or damage were reported.
- May 28, 2023: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli bus near al-Khader (west of Bethlehem). No casualties or damage were reported.
- May 27, 2023: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle near Na’aleh (northeast of Ramallah). No casualties or damage were reported.
- May 27, 2023: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle near Bayt Ummar (north of Hebron). No casualties or damage were reported.
- May 27, 2023: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle near the Laqef Junction (east of Qalqilya). No casualties or damage were reported.
- May 27, 2023: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle near Ni’lin (northwest of Ramallah). No casualties or damage were reported.
- May 26, 2023: Molotov cocktails were thrown at an Israeli vehicle near Kharsa (northwest of Hebron). No casualties or damage were reported.
- May 26, 2023: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle near Teqoa (south of Bethlehem). No casualties were reported; the vehicle was damaged.
- May 26, 2023: Rocks were thrown at Israeli civilians near the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. No casualties or damage were reported.
- May 26, 2023: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle near al-Khader (west of Bethlehem). No casualties or damage were reported.
- May 25, 2023: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle near Qadumim (east of Qalqilya) No casualties were reported; the vehicle was damaged.
- May 24, 2023: A Molotov cocktail was thrown at an Israeli vehicle between al-Khader and Ofra (southwest of Bethlehem). No casualties or damage were reported.
- May 24, 2023: Rocks were thrown and fireworks were shot at civilian near the settlement of Shavei Shomron (northwest of Nablus). One Israeli was injured; no damage was reported.
- May 23, 2023: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli bus near Jericho. No casualties or damage were reported.
- May 23, 2023: A Molotov cocktail was thrown at an Israeli vehicle near al-Khader (west of Bethlehem). No casualties or damage were reported.
- May 23, 2023: Rocks were thrown at an Israeli vehicle near Hawwara (south of Nablus). One Israeli civilian was injured; no damage was reported.
 One of the Jerusalem Brigades' commanders responsible for terrorist activities in Judea and Samaria, who was killed in the initial strike of Operation Shield and Arrow in the Gaza Strip. ↑
 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. ↑
 Dr. Mustafa al-Barghouti is a medical doctor and Palestinian politician, and secretary general of the Palestinian National Initiative party. In 1991 he was one of the members of the Palestinian delegation at the Madrid conference and a member of the steering committee for multilateral negotiations until he resigned in April 1993 because he objected to the negotiations. In 1996 he was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council but gave up his seat. In 2002 he left the Palestinian People's party and with Heider Abd al-Shafi, Edward Sayid and others established the Palestinian National Initiative, of which he is currently the secretary general. He ran in the 2005 elections for PA chairman, losing to Mahmoud Abbas and coming in second with 19.8% of the vote. Since 2006 he has been a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. He preaches "popular resistance" [popular terrorism] against the "occupation," helped found the BDS movement, and is politically active. ↑
 Walid Nimr Daqa is an Israeli Arab from Baqa al-Gharbia who was directly involved in the abduction and murder of an Israeli soldier in 1984. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1986. In 2012 Shimon Peres, at the time president of Israel, shortened his term to 37 years. Two years were added to his sentence when he was found to have an illegal cell phone which had been smuggled to him by former Israeli Knesset member Bassel Ghattas. In December 2022 he was diagnosed with cancer. On May 23, 2023, his lawyer requested an early release on grounds of failing health (commission for prisoners and released prisoners' Facebook page, May 22, 2023; Israeli media, May 23, 2023). ↑
 An Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades operative and one of the heads of the Lion's Den network in Nablus who was detained by the Palestinian security services on September 19, 2022, and is still in custody. ↑
 After its victory in the student council elections the Islamic Bloc in al-Najah University also announced that a prisoner named Abd al-Nasser Issa, a leader of Hamas' military-terrorist wing in Nablus who has been service a life sentence since 1991, had been elected as honorary president of the student council (Safa, May 18, 2023). ↑
 Information and pictures from Rescue Without Borders in Judea and Samaria unless otherwise noted. ↑