News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (November 25 – December 1, 2020)

In the Gaza Strip, as well as in Judea and Samaria the sharp rise in the number of active Covid-19 cases continues. As of December 1, 2020, there were 9,627 active cases in the Gaza Strip and 11,692 in Judea and Samaria. This past week the Gaza Strip was quiet. In Judea and Samaria a ramming attack was carried out at the al-Za'im roadblock, east of Jerusalem. Following the renewal of civilian and security coordination between the PA and Israel, the PA has been looking for creative ways to circumvent Israel's objection to the transfer of salaries to Palestinian terrorist prisoners and the families of shaheeds.
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The Spread of Covid-19 in Judea and Samaria (Updated to November 30, 2020)

In the Gaza Strip the sharp rise in the number of active Covid-19 cases continues, standing at 9,226, up from 6,004 a week ago. Hamas administration spokesmen continue blaming Israel the Gaza Strip's medical crisis. In Judea and Samaria as well the sharp rise in the number of active Covid-19 cases continues. At the end of last week a full lockdown was imposed on the Palestinian Authority (PA) territories, but apparently it was enforced only in the large cities.
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The Palestinian Authority is looking for creative ways to continue transferring payments to terrorist prisoners and to families of shaheeds, circumventing Israeli opposition

On November 17, 2020, Hussein al-Sheikh, head of the PA General Authority of Civil Affairs and member of Fatah's Central Committee, as well as a close associate of Mahmoud Abbas, announced the resumption of ties between the PA and Israel in their previous format. From the PA’s perspective, one of the key issues in the resumption of ties with Israel is the renewal of the transfer of the tax revenue funds that Israel collects for the Palestinian Authority.
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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.
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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.
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Renewal of Israel-Palestinian Authority Civilian and Security Coordination

On November 17, 2020, Hussein al-Sheikh, a close associate of Mahmoud Abbas, announced that relations between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel would return to the status quo ante, i.e., the renewal of civilian and security coordination with Israel before May 19, 2020 (when Mahmoud Abbas announced the cessation of coordination). During a television interview he called the renewal of relations a victory for the Palestinian people because Israel, he claimed, recognized agreements signed with the PLO, meaning that [the Trump] "deal of the century" was no longer on the agenda.
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News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (November 18 – 24, 2020)

In the Gaza Strip the sharp rise in Covid-19 cases continues. In Judea and Samaria as well, the sharp rise in Covid-19 cases continues, with 7,843 active cases. This past week two rockets were fired at the southern Israeli coastal city of Ashqelon. In Judea and Samaria Palestinians continued throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at Israeli vehicles. The most prominent political event this past week was the announcement made by Hussein al-Sheikh, a close associate of Mahmoud Abbas, of the Palestinian Authority's renewal of civilian and security coordination with Israel, returning to the status quo ante of May 19, 2020.
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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).
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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.
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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.