Spotlight on Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (September 14 – 20, 2022)

This past week Palestinians carried out five shooting attacks in Judea and Samaria.. The Israeli security forces increased their counterterrorism activities throughout Judea and Samaria. Members of a Hamas terrorist network were detained in Hebron and Nablus; they were planning mass-casualty attacks against Israeli civilians and security forces. The Palestinian security forces in Nablus detained a senior Hamas terrorist operative; his detention caused riots in Nablus. The Gaza Strip remains relatively quiet.

Spotlight on Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (September 7 – 13, 2022)

This past week Palestinians carried out three terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria: two shooting attacks (no Israeli casualties) and one attack with a hammer wounding an IDF soldier. A mass-casualty attack was prevented in Tel Aviv. A Palestinian terrorist from Nablus was detained with a submachine gun and two pipe bombs in his possession. A Hamas delegation led by the head of its political bureau arrived in Moscow and met with the Russian foreign minister and his deputy. Mahmoud Abbas will give a speech at the UN General Assembly where he will demand Israel immediately be prevented from continuing its "unilateral measures" and will relate to the Palestinian push for full UN membership.

Spotlight on Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (August 31 – September 6, 2022)

This past week Palestinian terrorists carried out three attacks: In the Jordan Valley, Palestinians shot at an Israeli bus carrying IDF soldiers. Near Nabi Saleh, northwest of Ramallah, an IED was thrown at an IDF post. North of Hebron, a Palestinian carried out a stabbing attack.The Israeli security forces intensified their counterterrorism activities throughout Judea and Samaria. The IDF investigation into the death of al-Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh found that who fired the bullet could not be determined with any degree of certainty, but it is likely she was mistakenly hit by IDF fire.

Fatah summer campers in the Nablus district undergo military training

The Nablus branch of Fatah recently held summer camps for children and adolescents in the village of Bayta, south of the city. Videos of camp activities posted to the Palestinian social media showed the youth, some of them armed with rifles, undergoing military training. Apparently, the Fatah camp in Bayta was held because of the increasing participation of Fatah and its military-terrorist wing in the recent violent clashes between the Israeli security forces and Palestinians. Bayta was apparently not randomly chosen as the venue for the summer camps.

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.

Palestinian Reactions to the Prevention of a Terrorist Attack at the Jalameh Crossing (September 14, 2022)

On the night of September 13, 2022, a terrorist attack was prevented at the Jalameh Crossing, north of Jenin. Two Palestinians, who were initially identified by IDF surveillance as unarmed, opened fire at IDF soldiers who carried out protocol for detaining suspects. An IDF major and the two terrorists were killed in the exchange of fire. Fatah's military-terrorist wing, issued a mourning notice stating that the two terrorists belonged to its ranks. Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) welcomed the attack and noted they would continue their "military struggle" against Israel.

Reactions to the opening of the Ramon International Airport, near Eilat, to Palestinian passengers from Judea and Samaria

On August 22, 2022, the first international flight with Palestinians as passengers left for Cyprus from the Ilan and Asaf Ramon International Airport, near Eilat. Despite the fact that the new arrangement could make life significantly easier for traveling Palestinians, the flight led to a wave of Palestinian and Jordanian protest. Palestinians were called on to boycott the flight from Ramon Airport, and Hamas criticized the PA on the grounds that Israel had coordinated the initiative with the Palestinians.

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.