Written by The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center
After two weeks of increased rocket and mortar shell fire from the Gaza Strip, this past week was relatively quiet. One rocket hit was identified in the western Negev. No casualties were reported and no damage was done.
On July 24-25 a conference was held in Egypt in support of the so-called "resistance" (i.e., terrorism). It was attended by representatives of Hamas, Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations, as well as representatives from the Arab-Muslim world (the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood). Its being held in Egypt was another manifestation of the changes which have been occurring in Egypt during the post-Mubarak era.
Important Terrorism Events Israel's South
This past week the western Negev was relatively quiet. After two weeks of increased rocket and mortar shell attacks from the Gaza Strip, one rocket hit was identified in Israeli territory. It fell in an open area in the western Negev. No casualties were reported and no damage was done.
Rockets and Mortar Shells Fired into Israeli Territory 1
Rocket Fire -- Monthly Distribution
Mortar Shell Fire -- Monthly Distribution
Judea and Samaria
Weapons Smuggling Attempt Foiled
The Israeli security forces foiled an attempt made by Palestinians to use a boat to smuggle weapons into Judea and Samaria via the Dead Sea. The Palestinians were found with Kalashnikov rifles and magazines. The smugglers were detained (IDF Spokesman's website, July 25, 2011).
Some of the rifles seized in the foiled smuggling attempt
(IDF Spokesman's website, July 25, 2011).
The Situation on the Ground
This past week the Israeli security forces continued their counterterrorism activities throughout Judea and Samaria, detaining Palestinians suspected of terrorist activities and confiscating weapons.
A number of stones were thrown at Israeli vehicles by Palestinians this past week. There were also a number of confrontations between Israeli settlers and Palestinians.
Developments in the Gaza Strip
This past week between 222 and 249 trucks carrying merchandise entered the Gaza Strip every day. In addition, medical equipment and drugs for the Jordanian hospital in the Gaza Strip were also brought in (Website of the Israeli government coordinator for the territories, July 26, 2011).
Egypt Hosts an Arab-Islamic Conference in Support of
the So-Called "Resistance" (i.e., Terrorism)
On July 24-25 Egypt hosted a conference called the "Founding Conference of the Arab-Islamic Gathering to Support the Option of Resistance" [i.e., terrorism] to support the so-called "resistance" (i.e., terrorism and violence). It was held at the Egyptian Press Syndicate in Cairo.2 The Palestinian media reported that the conference was attended by representatives from 14 Islamic countries, among them Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Turkey, Iran, Indonesia, Morocco, Sudan and Jordan. Also present were representatives from the Muslim Brotherhood and other Egyptian political establishment elements. In addition, there were representatives from Hezbollah, and Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist organizations. The Hezbollah representative gave a speech in the name of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah (Qudspress and Ma'an News Agency, July 24, 2011).
The conference attendees attempted to establish a link between the so-called "resistance" (i.e., the path of terrorism) and the popular protests in the Arab countries in recent months, stressing that the "resistance" was the only option for "liberating" Palestine. Osama Hamdan, responsible for Hamas' international relations, said in a speech that "the [Israeli-Palestinian] conflict will never end unless Israel ceased to exist,"and that Hamas would never recognize Israel (Al-Quds TV, July 24, 2011).
Israel and the Palestinian Authority
The Palestinian Authority Continues to Promote a UN Vote to Establish a Palestinian State
As part of the ongoing Palestinian campaign to appeal to the United Nations in September for recognition of a Palestinian state, Palestinian ambassadors from all over the world met in Istanbul this past week. Senior Palestinian figures continued making declarations regarding the issue of the appeal to the United Nations:
Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority chairman, again said that the objective of the Palestinians' appeal to the UN was to be accepted as a full member state in the organization. He claimed that 118 countries had already promised to support the Palestinian appeal and that it was almost certain to reach the necessary two-thirds vote. Nevertheless, he said that the Palestinian delegations were attempting to achieve wider recognition for "Palestine" (Wafa News Agency, July 22, 2011). Speaking in Istanbul he said "the UN Partition Plan of 1947 should have been implemented," but since it never was, the Palestinians would have to "make do" with the 1967 borders (Wafa News Agency, July 26, 2011).
Sa'eb Erekat, a member of the PLO's Central Committee, said that the Palestinian Authority should be dissolved if the United States remained in opposition to the Palestinian move in the UN. He said that if the United States did not accept the establishment of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, and used its veto in the Security Council while continuing to support Israel, "Mahmoud Abbas should throw the keys [to the Palestinian Authority] in their faces" (Haaretz, July 26, 2011).
The Flotilla to the Gaza Strip – Update
An Arab Boat Is Still Anchored near the Port of Antaly
On the fringes of the flotilla, the Arab boat Nur is still anchored near the port of Antalya. The boat, which can carry 250 passengers, was bought in Greece by Wa'el al-Saqa, head of the Jordanian LifeLine organization, close to the proposed departure date of the Freedom Flotilla 2 sailing. On July 14 it set sail from Greece with three Jordanians and a crew of five Bulgarians, and on July 16 approached the Turkish port of Antalya. It is currently anchored off the port in Turkish territorial waters. The organizers claim that it is supposed to depart from Antalya, possibly to one of the Arab states, where activists will board it on their way to the Gaza Strip.
Wa'el Akram Assad al-Saqa, chairman of the Jordanian LifeLine committee and the organizer of the Arab group, was born on 1956, is an engineer and a long-time Muslim Brotherhood activist. He sailed aboard the Mavi Marmara as leader of the Jordanian delegation. Since then he has been active in organizing convoys to the Gaza Strip. He was reported as planning to sail aboard the Nur to the Gaza Strip (Al-Dustour, July 19, 2011).
Wa'el al-Saqa at a press conference held after he returned to Jordan
from the Mavi Marmara flotilla in June 2010 (From the bokra.net website)
1 The statistics do not include the mortar shells fired at IDF soldiers patrolling the border fence which fell inside the Gaza Strip. As of July 26, 2011.