Spotlight on the Israel-Palestinian Conflict (May 21-28, 2024)

The al-Shaboura refugee camp in Rafah (Wafa YouTube channel, May 23, 2024)

The al-Shaboura refugee camp in Rafah (Wafa YouTube channel, May 23, 2024)

An al-Jazeera presenter describes the IDF's activities in Rafah (al-Jazeera YouTube channel, May 25, 2024).

An al-Jazeera presenter describes the IDF's activities in Rafah (al-Jazeera YouTube channel, May 25, 2024).

A rocket launch pit in Jebalya (IDF spokesperson, May 22, 2024)

A rocket launch pit in Jebalya (IDF spokesperson, May 22, 2024)

Residents leave Jebalya (Wafa YouTube channel, May 23, 2024)

Residents leave Jebalya (Wafa YouTube channel, May 23, 2024)

The rocket launchers situated near two mosques in Rafah (IDF Telegram channel, May 26, 2024)

The rocket launchers situated near two mosques in Rafah (IDF Telegram channel, May 26, 2024)

Haniyeh meets with Khamenei and Mokhber (IRNA in Arabic, May 22, 2024).

Haniyeh meets with Khamenei and Mokhber (IRNA in Arabic, May 22, 2024).

Haniyeh meets with senior

Haniyeh meets with senior "resistance axis" figures and Revolutionary Guard commanders (al-Mayadeen TV website, May 23, 2024)

Young people throw rocks at the Israeli security forces in the Jenin refugee camp.

Young people throw rocks at the Israeli security forces in the Jenin refugee camp.

The Jenin refugee camp after the withdrawal of the IDF forces (Wafa YouTube channel, Vafa, May 21, 2024)

The Jenin refugee camp after the withdrawal of the IDF forces (Wafa YouTube channel, Vafa, May 21, 2024)

  • The southern arena: The IDF forces continued to expand their activities in the Gaza Strip, focusing on eastern and central Rafah in the south and the region of the Jebalya refugee camp in the north. Meanwhile, the Palestinian organizations continued firing rockets at Israel; for the first time in four months, rockets were launched at the center of the country. An IDF operation rescued the bodies of three Israeli civilians murdered on October 7, 2023, and abducted to the Gaza Strip. Five IDF soldiers were killed in combat in the northern Gaza Strip.
  • The issue of the hostages: Efforts for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and a hostage deal continued. According to reports, senior officials from Israel, the United States and Qatar met in Paris for an intensive round of talks. In practice, Hamas continued reiterating its demands: the withdrawal of IDF forces, an end to the war and the return of the displace persons to the previous places of residence to their homes, adding the implementation of the International Court of Justice ruling.
  • Aid for the Gaza Strip: The IDF spokesperson in Arabic reported that the amount of humanitarian aid entering the Gaza Strip had recently doubled. Activity at the Kerem Shalom Crossing has been resumed for the first time since the military operation in Rafah began in May.
  • Israel, Judea and Samaria: This past week there was an attempted stabbing north of Hebron. The security forces continued their counterterrorism activities on Judea and Samaria, focusing on the Jenin refugee camp, where an extensive operation was conducted for more than 40 hours, during which approximately 30 terrorist operatives were injured, large quantities of weapons were located and IEDs were destroyed.
  • The Palestinian Authority: The Palestinians welcomed the announcements of Norway, Ireland and Spain, of their intention to recognize a “Palestinian state.” The Palestinian Authority prime minister continued his efforts to raise financial aid and warned of financial hardships.
IDF activity in the Gaza Strip
  • This past week the IDF forces continued expanding their activities in the Gaza Strip, focusing on eastern and central Rafah in the south and the region of the Jebalya refugee camp in the north. In an operation conducted in the Jebalya refugee camp on the night of May 23, 2024, IDF forces and the Israeli Security Agency rescued the bodies of three Israeli civilians murdered on October 7, 2023, and abducted to the Gaza Strip (IDF spokesperson, May 24, 2024). Five IDF soldiers were killed fighting in the northern Gaza Strip.
  • Rafah: IDF forces continued to expand their activities in Rafah towards the west of the city and conducted face-to-face battles with terrorist operatives. According to reports, the IDF controls 60% of the Philadelphia axis along the Gaza Strip-Egypt border. During the operation, the forces located and destroyed tunnel shafts, terrorist facilities, large quantities of weapons and IEDs (IDF spokesperson, May 23-26, 2024).
 Weapons found by IDF forces in a house in Rafah (IDF spokesperson, May 26, 2024)     Weapons found by IDF forces in a house in Rafah (IDF spokesperson, May 26, 2024)
Weapons found by IDF forces in a house in Rafah (IDF spokesperson, May 26, 2024)
  • Correspondents reported that the IDF forces had expanded their activities in Rafah and were operating in the Brazil neighborhood, the al-Shaboura refugee camp and the Yibna refugee camp (al-Jazeera YouTube channel, May 23, 2024). The Palestinian media reported that the al-Shaboura refugee camp had been emptied of its residents as a result of the IDF’s activities. According to UN data, about one million people were evacuated from Rafah (Wafa YouTube channel, May 23, 2024; UNRWA X account, May 28, 2024).
  • Dr. Suhaib al-Hams, director of Kuwaiti Hospital in Rafah, announced the hospital would close because of the expansion of the IDF’s operation in Rafah and repeated attacks near the hospital, in which two staff members were killed. He said medical services would be provided  at a field hospital located in the al-Mawasi region (Palinfo, May 27, 2024).
The al-Shaboura refugee camp in Rafah (Wafa YouTube channel, May 23, 2024)    An al-Jazeera presenter describes the IDF's activities in Rafah (al-Jazeera YouTube channel, May 25, 2024).
Right: An al-Jazeera presenter describes the IDF’s activities in Rafah (al-Jazeera YouTube channel, May 25, 2024). Left: The al-Shaboura refugee camp in Rafah (Wafa YouTube channel, May 23, 2024)
  • The Jebalya refugee camp: IDF forces continued their activity in the heart of the refugee camp, expanding towards the east. The forces destroyed terrorist facilities, raided dozens of Hamas combat compounds, located large quantities of weapons, located and destroyed a number of ready-for-use launchers and dozens of rockets, some of them stored by Hamas inside schools. According to reports, 100 terrorist targets were attacked from the air (IDF spokesperson, May 23 to 25, 2024). In a combined operation during combat, IDF forces and the Israeli Security Agency rescued the bodies of three Israeli civilians who were murdered on October 7, 2023 and abducted to the Gaza Strip; the bodies were found inside a tunnel (IDF spokesperson, May 24, 2024).
A rocket launch pit in Jebalya (IDF spokesperson, May 22, 2024)      Shoulder-fired, surface-to-air missile launchers found in a school in Jebalya (IDF spokesperson, May 26, 2024).
Right: Shoulder-fired, surface-to-air missile launchers found in a school in Jebalya (IDF spokesperson, May 26, 2024). Left: A rocket launch pit in Jebalya (IDF spokesperson, May 22, 2024)
  • Correspondents reported on Israeli Air Force and tank attacks in the center of the Jebalya refugee camp, and IDF trials to enter the heart of the refugee camp from the north and east during heavy exchanges of fire with terrorist operatives. According to reports, because of the IDF activity, al-Awda Hospital in Jebalya and Kamal Adwan Hospital are inoperative (al-Jazeera YouTube channel, May 25, 2024). Meanwhile, according to reports, residents continue to leave  the combat zone because of the heavy fighting (Wafa YouTube channel, May 23, 2024).
Residents leave Jebalya (Wafa YouTube channel, May 23, 2024)    Al-Jazeera description of IDF activity in Jebalya (al-Jazeera YouTube channel, May 25, 2024).
Right: Al-Jazeera description of IDF activity in Jebalya (al-Jazeera YouTube channel, May 25, 2024). Left: Residents leave Jebalya (Wafa YouTube channel, May 23, 2024)
  • On May 26, 2024, Abu Obeida, spokesman for Hamas’ military wing, claimed Hamas operatives had killed and captured IDF soldiers on May 25 during an ambush in a tunnel, and pictures of an allegedly kidnapped soldier were published (Hamas Telegram channel in Judea and Samaria, May 26, 2024; aljazeera.net, May 26, 2024). The IDF spokesperson was quick to announce that no such incident had occurred and no IDF soldier had been abducted (IDF spokesperson’s Telegram channel, May 26, 2024).
Untoward incidents in Rafah
  • This past week two untoward incidents occurred in Rafah: on the evening of May 26, 2024, Israeli Air Force aircraft attacked terrorist targets in Rafah, including senior terrorists in Hamas’ Judea and Samaria headquarters. Before the attack steps were taken to reduce harm to uninvolved civilians, however, the Palestinians reported that dozens of people had been killed in a fire that broke out in the area of the attack. The IDF stated that an investigation had been initiated (IDF spokesperson’s Telegram channel, May 27, 2024). According to the Palestinians, the Israeli attack hit a tent camp of displaced residents from Rafah in the humanitarian zone in al-Mawasi, and more than 40 people had been killed in the fire that broke out. Senior figures of the Palestinian Authority (PA), Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) condemned Israel and accused it of a “deliberate massacre” and a violation of the order of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague (Ma’an, May 27, 2024). “Sources” in Hamas said that the movement would not participate in negotiations with Israel due to the [alleged] “massacre” in Rafah (al-Sharq, May 27, 2024). There was international condemnation of Israel and demands of compliance with the ICJ ruling.
  • On the afternoon of May 27, 2024, there was an exchange of fire between IDF and Egyptian soldiers near the Rafah Crossing, and two Egyptian soldiers were killed. The IDF is investigating the incident (IDF spokesperson’s Telegram channel, May 27, 2024). Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Egyptian Army said that they were conducting an investigation (Egyptian Army spokesman’s Facebook page, 27, 2024). An Egyptian official said that the incident was “minor, of no political significance” (Financial Times, May 28, 2024).
Rocket fire from the Gaza Strip
  • The Palestinian organizations in the Gaza Strip continue firing rockets at Israel, although fewer than during the last few weeks. For the first time in four months rockets were fired at the center of the country:
    • During the afternoon of May 26, 2024, eight rockets were fired from the Rafah region at the center of Israel for the first time since January. Some of the rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome aerial defense system and some fell in open areas. Two women were slightly injured and a house in Herzliya was damaged (Israeli media, May 26, 2024). Shortly thereafter, the source of the rocket fire was identified and warplanes destroyed the launcher, which was situated near two mosques in Rafah (IDF spokesperson’s Telegram channel, May 26, 2024). Hamas’ military-terrorist wing claimed responsibility for the rocket fire, which it said was in response to IDF operations in the Gaza Strip (Hamas Telegram channel, May 26, 2024). Sami Abu Zuhri, a senior Hamas member, claimed that firing rockets “proved” the “resistance” was in good shape, its capabilities had not been damaged, and it was capable of attacking deep inside Israel (al-Araby TV May 26, 2024).
The rocket launchers situated near two mosques in Rafah (IDF Telegram channel, May 26, 2024)     Hamas fires rockets at the center of Israel from near the Rafah Crossing (Ahmed Wa'el Hamdan's X account, May 26, 2024).
Right: Hamas fires rockets at the center of Israel from near the Rafah Crossing (Ahmed Wa’el Hamdan’s X account, May 26, 2024). Left: The rocket launchers situated near two mosques in Rafah (IDF Telegram channel, May 26, 2024)
 Rocket hit in Bnei Brak (Shehab X account, May 26, 2024)
Rocket hit in Bnei Brak (Shehab X account, May 26, 2024)
    • On May 23, 2024, three rockets were fired at Kerem Shalom. No casualties or damage were reported (Israeli media, May 23, 2024).
    • On May 21, 2024, a rocket was fired at Ashqelon and intercepted by the Iron Dome aerial defense system (Israeli media, May 21, 2024). The Shaheed Omar al-Qassam Forces, the military wing of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), claimed it had launched a barrage of rockets at Ashqelon along with the Jerusalem Brigades, the PIJ’s military wing (DFLP central information bureau Telegram channel, May 21, 2024).
Monthly Distribution of Rocket and Mortar Shell Fire since February 2022

Monthly Distribution of Rocket and Mortar Shell Fire since February 2022

Annual Distribution of Rocket Hits
Annual Distribution of Rocket Hits
* Distribution for 2024 begins in May
  • On May 26, 2024, a rocket fell in Kibbutz Sa’ad and hit a vehicle near a school. It was later reported that it was a Strella anti-aircraft missile launched from the Beit Hanoun area. There were no casualties (Israeli media, May 26, 2024).
The hostages and a ceasefire agreement
  • This past week there were reports of an accelerated round of talks recently held in Paris, attended by senior officials from Israel, the United States and Qatar, in an attempt to reach a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and formulate a deal for the release of the hostages. According to “informed Egyptian sources,” a new round of talks would contribute to increasing humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip (al-Akhbar, 25 May 2024).
  • Senior Hamas members continued to dig their heels in and condition a renewal of the negotiations on a ceasefire:
    • Usama Hamdan, a senior Hamas member, claimed they had not received notification about the resumption of negotiations. He said Hamas’ position had not changed since January 2024 and reiterated, yet again, that they would not return to talks until the withdrawal of IDF forces from the Gaza Strip and the return of the displaced Gazans to their previous places of residence Palestinian evacuees to their homes, adding a demand for implementing the ICJ’s ruling (al-Quds, May 26, 2024).
    • Basem Na’im, a member of the Hamas political bureau in the Gaza Strip, said Hamas did not believe that Israel was serious about negotiations for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, adding that the Israeli War Cabinet’s decision to grant a mandate to the negotiating team were nothing more than a new exercise to continue the war and expand the ground operation (al-Araby al-Jadeed, May 25, 2024).
    • Ali Baraka, head of “external” Hamas’ national relations department, told al-Mayadeen TV that Hamas had informed the mediators of the need to declare a permanent ceasefire and that it would not accept any new proposal which did meet the demand. He added that in addition to a ceasefire, any new proposal had to include the return of the displaced Gazans and the withdrawal of Israeli forces (al-Sharq al-Awsat, May 26, 2024).
Palestinian casualties
  • The Hamas-controlled ministry of health in the Gaza Strip reported at 1:55 p.m., May 27, 2024, that since the beginning of the war 36,050 Palestinians had been killed and 81,026 injured (ministry of health in Gaza Facebook page, May 27, 2024).
  • On May 26, 2024, Yassin Rabi’, the head of the Hamas West Bank headquarters,[2] and Khaled Najjar, a senior member of the Hamas West Bank headquarters, were killed in a targeted airstrike in the Tel al-Sultan neighborhood in northwest Rafah. Rabi’ managed all the military affairs of the Hamas West Bank headquarters, was involved in the transfer of funds for terrorist purposes and directed attacks by Hamas operatives in Judea and Samaria. He was involved in several attacks, including during the second intifada in 2001 and 2002 in which IDF soldiers were killed. He served two life sentences until he was released as part of the Gilad Shalit exchange deal in 2011 and deported to the Gaza Strip. Khaled Najjar was involved in planning and carrying out attacks in Judea and Samaria and in the transfer of funds to finance Hamas’s terrorist activities in the Gaza Strip. Between 2001 and 2003 he carried out several attacks in which Israeli civilians and soldiers were murdered. He was sentenced to a number of consecutive life sentences, released in the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal and deported to the Gaza Strip (IDF spokesman Telegram channel, May 27,2024).
  • According to the social media, the attack in Rafah also killed Khaled Isma’il Abd al-Jalil Ramadan (Abu Bakr), a Hamas operative from the village of Tel, who was an operative in the terrorist squad that carried out an attack in Yitzhar in 1998 and murdered two Israeli civilians. He served a prison sentence, was released in the Gilad Shalit exchange deal and deported to the Gaza Strip (Fahmi Cnaan’s X account, May 27, 2024; Palinfo, October 23, 2011).
  Right to left: Yassin Rabi', Khaled al-Najjar (@NewsroomAR's X account, May 27, 2024; pdnps Facebook page, May 27, 2024), Khaled Ramadan (Fahmi Cnaan's X account, May 27, 2024)
Right to left: Yassin Rabi’, Khaled al-Najjar (@NewsroomAR’s X account, May 27, 2024; pdnps Facebook page, May 27, 2024), Khaled Ramadan (Fahmi Cnaan’s X account, May 27, 2024)
  • On May 23, 2024 Diaa al-Din al-Sharafa, deputy commander of national security in the Gaza Strip, was killed in a targeted airstrike (IDF Telegram channel, May 24, 2024). The Hamas ministry of the interior in the Gaza Strip reported that General Diaa al-Din al-Sharafa, aide to the commander of the national security forces in the Gaza Strip, was killed in the al-Saraya region in the center of Gaza City and that four officers who were with him were wounded (ministry of the interior in Gaza Facebook page, May 23, 2024). Al-Sharafa was a Hamas operative who was detentions while trying to detonate a car bomb at the Civilian Administration headquarters in Gaza on August 25, 1993, and was released after 17 years of imprisonment in Israel (Paldf, June 8, 2010).
Diaa al-Din al-Sharafa (Yusuf Shubat's X account, April 16, 2024)
Diaa al-Din al-Sharafa (Yusuf Shubat’s X account, April 16, 2024)
  • The following Hamas operatives were also killed in targeted strikes:
    • On May 24, Yusuf al-Shubaki, an operative in the industrial equipment department of the Hamas munitions production headquarters in Gaza City, was killed (IDF spokesperson’s Telegram channel, May 24, 2024).
    • On May 23, Hussein Fayyad, commander of Hamas’ Beit Hanoun Battalion, was killed in an attack on a tunnel. He was responsible for launching anti-aircraft missiles into Israeli territory during the war, as well as for firing mortar shells at the cities, towns and villages to the north of the Gaza Strip (IDF Telegram channel, May 23, 2024).
    • On May 22, Ahmed Yasser al-Qara, an important anti-tank Hamas operative who attacked IDF forces during the war, was killed in Khan Yunis. He participated in the terrorist attack and massacre on October 7, 2023. Two other terrorist operatives were killed with him, Suheib Ra’ed Abu Riba, a nukhba operative, and PIJ operative Anas Muhammad Abu Rjella (IDF spokesperson’s Telegram channel, 22 May 2024; Shehab X account, May 22, 2024).
  • It was also reported that Mahmoud Shakoura, a Hamas military wing operative who participated breaking through the Erez Crossing in the October 7 attack and massacre, was killed in the fighting in the Jebalya refugee camp (X account of the Khaberni website, May 25, 2024; Amira al-Nahal X account).
Aid for the Gaza Strip
  • The IDF spokesperson in Arabic reported that since the beginning of the operation of the floating pier on May 17, 2024, using 127 trucks, 1,806 palettes of food were transferred to the international community’s logistics centers in the Gaza Strip. Trucks loaded with food, water, medical equipment and supplies continued to enter the various shelter facilities in the Gaza Strip. This past week, 2,065 trucks were transported and inspected at the Kerem Shalom and Erez Crossings, almost twice as many as the previous week. In addition, during the week 232 trucks carrying sacks of flour entered the Gaza Strip, coordinated by the World Food Program, and were transported to bakeries in the Gaza Strip, in addition 132 trucks of humanitarian aid from Jordan. In addition, 352,000 liters of diesel and fuel were delivered to essential centers, hospitals and shelters operated by international organizations (IDF spokesperson’s X account in Arabic, May 26, 2024).[3]
  • On May 26, 2024, the Palestinian media reported the resumption of activity at the Kerem Shalom Crossing, about 20 days after it was closed following IDF activity in Rafah. According to reports, trucks carrying humanitarian aid had moved from the Egyptian side of the Rafah Crossing to the Kerem Shalom Crossing. The entrance of 200 trucks is planned for the Gaza Strip (Wafa, May 26, 2024).
  •   On May 25, 2024, it was reported that medical aid and fuel had been delivered to al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza. The aid was delivered under UN security and supervision (Wafa YouTube channel, May 25, 2024).
Trucks entering from the Kerem Shalom Crossing (al-Jazeera Mubasher, May 26, 2024)     Trucks carrying humanitarian aid unloaded at the sea pier (CENTCOM X account, May 25, 2024).
Right: Trucks carrying humanitarian aid unloaded at the sea pier (CENTCOM X account, May 25, 2024). Left: Trucks entering from the Kerem Shalom Crossing (al-Jazeera Mubasher, May 26, 2024)
  • Despite increased amounts of humanitarian aid entering the Gaza Strip, Hamas continued to claim that the humanitarian crisis had worsened following the closure of the Rafah Crossing and that the quantities of aid were lower than reported by Israel. The Hamas government information office issued a press briefing calling for the media to focus on the threat of famine in the northern Gaza Strip; to make it clear that reports about the introduction of the aid trucks were “meant to fool the public and distort the situation” because the trucks brought less than the necessary amount and most of them were loaded with flour for the bakeries; to emphasize the lack of basic products such as meat, eggs, oils, sugar fruits and vegetables, and the increase in prices which made it difficult for residents to buy them (Hamas government information office in the Gaza Strip Telegram channel, May 22, 2024).
The situation in the Gaza Strip
  • The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that 16 of the 36 hospitals in the Gaza Strip were partially operational after Shifa Hospital resumed its operations. The Palestinian Red Crescent announced that the surgical department and the operating room at al-Amal Hospital in Khan Yunis were currently functional (OCHA website, May 27, 2024). OCHA had previously reported that only al-Awda Hospital in the northern Gaza Strip was functioning partially but could not be reached. It was also reported that the situation at Shuhadaa al-Aqsa hospital in Deir al-Balah remained critical since most of the electricity was cut off and fuel for the generators had run out. The hospital management reported that humanitarian organizations had delivered 15,000 liters of fuel to the hospital, an amount sufficient for only three days (OCHA website, May 24, 2024; Hamas government information office in the Gaza Strip Telegram channel, May 24, 2024).
  • The World Food Program, a humanitarian aid organization active in the Gaza Strip, reported that all the bakeries in Rafah were closed, and of the 16 bakeries the organization helps operate in the Gaza Strip, only 11 were open, six in the central Gaza Strip, four in Gaza City and one in the Jebalya refugee camp (World Food Program website, May 22, 2024).
Isma’il Haniyeh visits Iran
  • Isma’il Haniyeh, head of Hamas’ political bureau, arrived in Tehran heading a delegation of the movement’s leadership, to attend the funeral of the president of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi, and the minister of foreign affairs, Hossein-Amir Abdollahian, who were killed in a helicopter accident (Hamas website, May 22, 2024).
  • Haniyeh eulogized Raisi at the funeral service held at the University of Tehran, noting the basic principles that Raisi emphasized in their last meeting: that the issue of “Palestine” was the central issue of the Muslim nation which had to meet its obligations to allow the Palestinian people to liberate “their” land and holy places; that the “resistance” [anti-Israeli terrorism and violence] was a strategic option for implementing the “liberation project;” that Operation al-Aqsa Flood was “an earthquake that struck the heart of Israel the “Zionist entity,” covered all of “Palestine” and extended to all the “resistance fronts.”[4] He said he was confident Iran would continue the strategy and basic principles of supporting the Palestinian issue and supporting the resistance “until the flags of victory and Islam wave over the domes and minarets of al-Aqsa Mosque” (Hamas website, May 22, 2024).
  • On the sidelines of the funeral, Haniyeh and the Hamas delegation met with Iranian leader Ali Khamenei, and with the interim Iranian president, Mohammad Mokhber. Khamenei said he hoped the say would come when Israel would be erased and the “State of Palestine” would be established from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River (IRNA in Arabic, May 22, 2024; al-Alam TV website, May 22, 2024). Haniyeh also participated in a meeting of senior “resistance” organization figures[5] with the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, Hossein Salami, and the commander of the Qods Force, Esmail Qaani (al-Mayadeen TV website, May 23, 2024). Haniyeh also met with a delegation of high-ranking Taliban members, led by Afghanistan’s deputy prime minister for economic affairs, Abd al-Ghani Baradar (journalist Faizullah Khan’s X account, May 23, 2024).
Haniyeh meets with senior "resistance axis" figures and Revolutionary Guard commanders (al-Mayadeen TV website, May 23, 2024)     Haniyeh meets with Khamenei and Mokhber (IRNA in Arabic, May 22, 2024).
Right: Haniyeh meets with Khamenei and Mokhber (IRNA in Arabic, May 22, 2024). Left: Haniyeh meets with senior “resistance axis” figures and Revolutionary Guard commanders (al-Mayadeen TV website, May 23, 2024)
Terrorist attacks
Stabbing at the Beit A’innon Junction
  • On the evening of May 26, 2024, a Palestinian went to the Beit A’innon Junction (north of Hebron) and tried to stab IDF soldiers who were engaged in routine activities; he was shot and killed. There were no IDF casualties (IDF spokesperson, 26 May 2024). Palestinian media reported that the attacker was Majed Shaher Aramin, 14 years old (Ma’an, May 26, 2024).
Video of Hamas shooting at Bat Hefer
  • The Hamas military wing’s network in the Tulkarm refugee camp issued a video which allegedly recorded two of its operatives shooting at the village Bat Hefer in response to an IDF attack in Rafah. The video is dated May 27, 2024, and in terms of its visual characteristics it appears to be an official Hamas military wing video (Telegram channel of the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades in the Tulkarm refugee camp, May 27, 2024). Residents of Bat Hefer reported gunshots; no casualties or damage were reported (Israeli media, May 27, 2024).
 Video of Hamas operatives shooting at Bat Hefer (Telegram channel of the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades in the Tulkarm refugee camp, May 27, 2024)      Video of Hamas operatives shooting at Bat Hefer (Telegram channel of the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades in the Tulkarm refugee camp, May 27, 2024)
Video of Hamas operatives shooting at Bat Hefer (Telegram channel of the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades in the Tulkarm refugee camp, May 27, 2024)
Critical terrorist attacks, 2024[6]

Critical terrorist attacks, 2024

Annual distribution of critical terrorist attacks

Annual distribution of critical terrorist attacks

Counterterrorism activities
  • The Israeli security forces continued their counterterrorism activities in Judea and Samaria, focusing on the Jenin refugee camp, where an extensive operation was carried out which lasted about 40 hours. The forces also operated in Nablus, Bethlehem and Ramallah. Since the beginning of the war, approximately 4,000 wanted Palestinians have detained arrested, of which more than 1,700 are Hamas operatives (IDF spokesperson’s Telegram channel, May 28, 2024).
  • On May 23, 2024, the Israeli security forces withdrew from the Jenin refugee camp after about 40 hours. During the operation they seized weapons and military equipment, and exposed IEDs buried under roads for attacks. According to reports, approximately 30 terrorist operatives were wounded. Terrorist operatives were seen fleeing to the government hospital compound to seek shelter (IDF spokesperson, May 22, 23, 2024).
Right to left: The Palestinian terrorists use a vehicle with an EU license plate. M-16 rifles were seized in their vehicle (IDF spokesperson, May 23, 2024)
Right to left: The Palestinian terrorists use a vehicle with an EU license plate. M-16 rifles were seized in their vehicle (IDF spokesperson, May 23, 2024)  
  • Palestinian media reported that Palestinian operatives exchanged fire with the Israeli forces and threw explosive charges at them. Palestinian medical officials reported 12 dead and 25 wounded. The director of the hospital in Jenin, Dr. Wisam Baker, claimed that all the dead were “innocent civilians.”[7] A general strike was announced in Jenin on May 23. The Jenin municipality estimated the damage at NIS 30 million (about $8.1 million). Muhammad Mustafa, PA prime minister, told the governor of the Jenin Province, that he had instructed the government to provide Jenin with all the necessary assistance (al-Quds, May 23, 2024, Wafa YouTube channel, May 22, 2024).
 The Jenin refugee camp after the withdrawal of the IDF forces (Wafa YouTube channel, Vafa, May 21, 2024)     Young people throw rocks at the Israeli security forces in the Jenin refugee camp.
Right: Young people throw rocks at the Israeli security forces in the Jenin refugee camp. Left: The Jenin refugee camp after the withdrawal of the IDF forces (Wafa YouTube channel, Vafa, May 21, 2024)
Norway, Ireland and Spain recognize a “Palestinian state”
  • The Palestinians welcomed the announcement of Norway, Ireland and Spain on their recognition of a Palestinian state. Mahmoud Abbas spoke with the prime ministers of Ireland and Spain, thanked them and called their recognition “a big step on the way to establishing a Palestinian state.” He claimed Israel’s actions against “the Palestinians” in the Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria had to be stopped, and more aid had to be delivered to the Gaza Strip. He called on other countries to recognize a Palestinian state (Wafa, May 22, 2024).
  • Hussein al-Sheikh, secretary of the PLO’s Executive Committee, thanked the countries which had recognized a Palestinian state and those who would recognize it in the future [sic]. He called it “a historic moment” for them and the “only way” to achieve regional stability, security and peace (Hussein al-Sheikh’s X account, May 22, 2024). Fatah spokesman Munir al-Jaghoub, claimed that the pressure exerted by Saudi Arabia in recent months had influenced the decisions of Ireland, Norway and Spain. He said they were waiting for recognition from other countries (al-Sharq al-Awsat, May 23, 2024). Hamas also welcomed the recognition and called on other countries to support their “struggle” (Hamas Telegram channel, May 22, 2024).
Palestinian cartoon after the recognition of Norway, Ireland and Spain (al-Quds, May 23, 2024)
Palestinian cartoon after the recognition of Norway, Ireland and Spain (al-Quds, May 23, 2024)
Muhammad Mustafa’s diplomatic activity
  • On May 26, 2024, Muhammad Mustafa, PA prime minister, visited Brussels to participate in the meeting of the PA donor countries. He called for emergency financial aid to the PA and demanded pressure be exerted on Israel to stop deducting Palestinian revenue funds. He claimed Israel’s actions against the Palestinian banking system could lead to a financial and economic collapse which would have serious consequences. He also met with the Spanish foreign minister, and in a joint press conference called on other countries to recognize a Palestinian state (Wafa, May 27, 2024).
  • On May 25, 2024, Mustafa began an official visit to Italy, where he met in Rome with the Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni. He asked her to join the other countries and recognize a Palestinian state; Maloney emphasized her country’s support for the two-state solution (Wafa, May 25, 2024).
  •   On May 22, 2024, Mustafa met in Ramallah with about 50 diplomatic representatives and representatives of international organizations, and discussed the PA’s difficult financial situation. He warned of the danger of “military escalation” because of Israel’s actions in Judea and Samaria and its plans to “punish” the PA (Wafa, May 22, 2024).
Mustafa with foreign representatives in Ramallah (Wafa, May 22, 2024)    Mustafa meets with the prime minister of Italy (Wafa, May 25, 2024).
Right: Mustafa meets with the prime minister of Italy (Wafa, May 25, 2024). Left: Mustafa with foreign representatives in Ramallah (Wafa, May 22, 2024)
Delegation of Palestinian ministers visits Cairo
  • A delegation of PA ministers, among them Ziad Hab al-Reeh, the minister of the interior; and Farseen Shaheen, foreign minister, began meetings with Egyptian officials in Cairo to discuss measures to support Palestinians who moved from the Gaza Strip to Egypt. In a meeting with Mahmoud Tawfiq, the Egyptian minister of the interior, Hab al-Reeh emphasized the Palestinian willingness to strengthen relations and cooperation between the security mechanisms of the PA and Egypt. Tawfiq said the Egyptian ministry of the interior was committed to providing support for the Palestinian mechanisms and was prepared to train their teams (Wafa, May 27, 2024).
International Court of Justice Ruling[8]
  • On May 24, 2024, the ICJ published temporary orders regarding the IDF’s activity in Rafah and the humanitarian demands from Israel within the framework of the Genocide Convention. The Palestinians welcomed the ICJ ruling and the request of Karim Khan, the chief prosecutor of the ICC, to issue arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Gallant. At the same time, they criticized his request to also issue arrest warrants for three senior Hamas members: Yahya al-Sinwar, head of the Hamas political bureau in the Gaza Strip; Muhammed Deif, the commander of Hamas’ military wing; and Isma’il Haniyeh, head of Hamas’ political bureau.
Palestinian cartoon commenting on the ICJ's ruling (al-Quds, May 25, 2024)
Palestinian cartoon commenting on the ICJ’s ruling (al-Quds, May 25, 2024)

[1] Click https://www.terrorism-info.org.il/en to subscribe and receive the ITIC's daily updates as well as its other publications.
[2] The Hamas West Bank headquarters is responsible for planning, financing and carrying out terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria and inside Israeli territory.
[3] On May 25, the United States Army CENTCOM reported that a number of vessels were swept away from the floating dock by weather conditions and that efforts were being made to recover them with the assistance of the Israeli Navy (Reuters, May 25, 2024).
[4] Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, the Palestinian terrorist organizations, the Shi'ite Houthis in Yemen and the pro-Iranian militias in Iraq.
[5] PIJ deputy secretary general Muhammad al-Hindi, Hezbollah deputy secretary general Na'im Qassem, PFLP deputy secretary general Jamil Mazhar, the spokesman for the Houthi movement in Yemen, Muhammad Abdel Salam, and representatives of the pro-Iranian militias in Iraq.
[6] 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. Rocks and Molotov cocktails thrown by Palestinians are not included. Shots fired at IDF forces during counterterrorism activities in Judea and Samaria are included.
[7] One of the dead was Wisam Jaradat, 15 years old, from the Jenin refugee camp. Examination revealed he was an operative in the PIJ's military-terrorist wing and was photographed in the past with a rifle and IEDs.
[8] For further information see the May 26, 2024 ITIC report, "The International Judicial System vs. Israel – Reactions and Significance."