News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (January 13 – 19, 2021)

In the Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria the decrease in coronavirus infection continues, although the number of active cases remains high (6,170 in the Gaza Strip, 4,292 in Judea and Samaria). There were two incidents from the Gaza Strip this past week: Palestinians shot at a bulldozer operating near the border security fence in the southern Gaza Strip. In response the IDF attacked three Hamas posts. Two rockets were fired at Israel from the northern Gaza Strip; both rockets fell into the sea. In Judea and Samaria a Palestinian tried to stab a security guard at the Qalqilya Crossing at the entrance to Jerusalem.

The Spread of Covid-19 in Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria (Updated to January 18, 2021)

The Gaza Strip: The number of new and active Covid-19 cases in Gaza continues declining. Spokesmen for the health system in the Gaza Strip have expressed satisfaction with the decline in the number of patients, calling it primarily the result of the preventive measures. Judea and Samaria: This past week the rate of infection continued to decline in Judea and Samaria. The number of active cases continues to decline in the east Jerusalem neighborhoods as well. PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh expressed satisfaction at public compliance with the government's instructions, which had significantly curbed the spread of infection.

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (January 6 – 12, 2021)

In the Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria the spread of coronavirus infection continues to decrease, although the number of active cases is still high. In the Gaza Strip relative calm continues. In Judea and Samaria there was a combined ramming and attempted shooting attack targeting IDF soldiers west of Jenin. Israeli vehicles on the roads in Judea and Samaria continue as targets for increasingly frequent stone- and Molotov cocktail-throwing attacks. The Palestinian Authority (PA) is making preparations to hold elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council, and later, for the "presidency" and the Palestinian National Council.

Initial Palestinian reactions to the “deal of the century” (Updated to February 2, 2020)

On January 28, 2020, Donald Trump, in the presence of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, revealed his plan to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, called "Peace to Prosperity" (i.e., the "deal of the century"). The plan met with strong opposition and (as expected) led to a wave of Palestinian condemnations. The Palestinian Authority (PA) began making preparations for a diplomatic and media campaign to place obstacles in the path of the plan and to undermine its legitimacy.

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (November 26 – December 3, 2019)

On November 29, 2019, for the third consecutive week, the return march in the Gaza Strip was postponed. The Supreme Authority called on the Palestinians to participate in the return march events this coming Friday (December 6, 2019), whose theme will be "The march continues." Despite the postponement of the march events, several young Palestinian rioters gathered in the southern Gaza Strip and threw Molotov cocktails, IEDs and stones at IDF forces. A field hospital is currently being constructed by an American NGO in the northern Gaza Strip near the Erez Crossing. Its construction has been severely criticized, especially by Fatah.

The Spread of Covid-19 in Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria (Updated to January 11, 2021)

The situation in the Gaza Strip: The Covid-19 numbers continue to decline. Between January 5 and 11, 2021, 2,936 new cases were detected. The number of active cases currently stands at 7,907, down from 9,784 a week ago. The situation in Judea and Samaria: The rate of infection continues to decline, but the number of active cases in the Palestinian Authority (PA) is still high. In the neighborhoods of east Jerusalem the decline continues.

Changes in Palestinian Monetary Authority senior personnel, apparently in view of the Palestinian Authority’s plans to circumvent the problem of making payments to terrorists and the families of shaheeds

On January 1, 2021 an order given by the IDF Commander of the Central Command went into effect banning the banks in Judea and Samaria from providing banking services to Palestinian prisoners, released prisoners and the families of shaheeds receiving payments from the Palestinian Authority (PA). Following the order, the Bank of Palestine, the largest Palestinian bank, began closing accounts of prisoners and shaheed families. (Filastin al-A'an, January 5, 2021).

Mahmoud Abbas’s address to the UN Security Council: Rhetoric versus reality

On February 11, 2020, Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas delivered an address before the UN Security Council as part of the PA’s diplomatic campaign against the Trump plan . Mahmoud Abbas’s address was softened and aimed mainly at Western ears: he avoided threatening to harm relations with Israel or dismantle the PA (threats that he and senior officials in the PA have made on several occasions).

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (July 31 – August 6, 2019)

On Friday, August 2, 2019, the return march in the Gaza Strip was held with about 6,000 participants (the average for the past weeks). Hamas security operatives were photographed removing young Palestinians from the region of the fence. On August 1, 2019, the day before the return march, a Palestinian crossed the security fence east of Khan Yunis. A committee met in the Palestinian Authority (PA) to implement Mahmoud Abbas's decision to stop acting in accordance with agreements signed with Israel.

The Palestinian Authority

The Palestinian Authority is a semi-autonomous entity which controls most of the Palestinian population in Judea and Samaria. The Palestinian Authority was established in 1994 by virtue of agreements signed as part of the Oslo process between Israel and the PLO. Formally, the Palestinian Authority also controls the Gaza Strip, but in reality it lost control of the Gaza Strip in June 2007 when Hamas violently took control. Since Yasser Arafat’s death, Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) has headed the Palestinian Authority.

The Palestinian Authority’s status under Yasser Arafat was severely damaged by the Palestinian terrorist campaign (the Al-Aqsa, or Second Intifada, 2000 until 2005). Israel asserted that it failed to function since it did not fight against terrorism and even played an active role in organizing and funding terrorist attacks against Israelis. Israel ended cooperation with it and most Palestinian Authority activities came to a standstill.

After the end of the Second Intifada, Arafat’s death and his succession by Abu Mazen, Israel changed its policy towards the Palestinian Authority and the relations between them improved. Today, the Palestinian Authority controls area A in Judea and Samaria and enjoys partial cooperation with Israel, mainly in terms of security and administration. In the territories under its control, the Palestinian Authority operates through its security services, in coordination with Israel, to maintain internal order and prevent terrorist attacks. At the same time, the Palestinian Authority supports “popular resistance” (popular terrorism), providing political and even practical backing to acts of violence taking place as part of this kind of terrorism.

Many countries around the world give the Palestinian Authority some sort of recognition as a political entity, although most of them do not recognize it as a sovereign state. Some of them formalized their diplomatic relations with the Palestinian Authority and promoted their representatives to the status of ambassadors. On November 29, 2012, the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 67/19 by a large majority. The resolution granted the Palestinian Authority a status of an observer state, which is not a full member.