Written by The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center
Sporadic rocket and mortar fire attacking the western Negev continues. In addition, an IED was used to attack an IDF force patrolling near the Gaza-Israel security fence. In the northern Gaza Strip the Israeli Air Force struck a terrorist squad preparing to fire rockets into Israeli territory.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel welcomed the International Quartet's announcement calling for negotiations without preconditions. The PLO's Executive Committee issued a press release containing implied reservations regarding the Quartet's announcement. Hamas warned Mahmoud Abbas and the PLO leadership against accepting the Quartet's proposal.
The International Conference in Support of Palestine currently being held in Tehran, attended by representatives of the terrorist organizations. The conference included declarations and calls for the destruction of Israel, support for terrorism (the intifadas) and opposition to the Palestinian appeal for UN membership (Mehr News Agency, October 1, 2011)
On September 27 one rocket hit was identified in an open area in the western Negev. There were no casualties and no damage was done. On September 29 one mortar shell hit was identified in an open area in the western Negev. There were no casualties but power lines were damaged.
On October 4 an IDF force patrolling along the security fence was attacked with an IED. There were no casualties and no damage was done. The force identified four other IEDs and neutralized them (IDF Spokesman's Website, October 4, 2011).
Rockets and Mortar Shells Fired into Israeli Territory 1
Rocket Fire -- Monthly Distribution
Mortar Shell Fire -- Monthly Distribution
Israeli Air Force Attacks
Israeli aircraft hit a terrorist squad in the northern Gaza Strip. The terrorist operatives were preparing to launch rockets into Israeli territory (IDF Spokesman's Website, October 1, 2011).
Judea and Samaria
The Situation on the Ground
This past week throughout Judea and Samaria several Israeli civilians, members of the security forces and vehicles were attacked by stone-throwing Palestinians. Confrontations between Israeli settlers and Palestinians also continued.
Throughout Judea and Samaria there were events intended to show solidarity with Palestinian terrorists in Israeli jails who are conducting a hunger strike. Demonstrations were held in the major cities in Judea and Samaria and attended by hundreds of people (Wafa News Agency, October 3, 2011).
Palestinians in Nablus demonstrate solidarity with the terrorists detained in Israel
(Wafa News Agency, October 3, 2011)
Developments in the Gaza Strip
The Islamization of the Gaza Strip Continues
On September 8 an article appeared in the Palestinian paper Al-Hayat describing the Islamization of high school children in the Gaza Strip.2 According to the article, female Muslim pupils are forced to wear jilbabs (long dresses) and hijabs (traditional head coverings). Those who refused were sent home. When their parents complained the teacher told them that those were the instructions they had received from the ministry of education of the de-facto Hamas administration. The school principal later denied that there were official instructions regarding female dress, as did Hamas administration spokesman Taher al-Nunu.
The Political Front
Israeli Prime Minister Accepts International Quartet Proposal
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israel welcomed the proposal of the International Quartet calling for direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority without preconditions. Netanyahu added that Israel had a number of concerns which would be raised at the proper time (Israeli Prime Minister's website, October 2, 2011).
Yasser Abd Rabbo, secretary of the PLO's Executive Committee, read out an Executive Committee decision with implied reservations regarding the Quartet's proposal. He said that it called for an end to "all forms of [construction] activities in the settlements," and that the Palestinian Authority adhered to a solution based on the 1967 borders, to be achieved through negotiations. He called on the government of Israel to commit itself to those principles, especially the freeze on construction in the settlements, so that negotiations could begin as soon as possible (Wafa News Agency, September 29, 2011).
Hamas issued an official statement warning Mahmoud Abbas and the PLO leadership not to be tricked by "Zionist manipulations" and negotiations, because the Quartet's announcement was intended only to return the PLO to "the path of useless negotiations" (Website of Hamas' propaganda office, October 3, 2011).
The Palestinian Move in the UN
The Security Council continues to deliberate the Palestinian request for membership in the UN, but it is still unclear when a decision will be reached. The Palestinian Authority continues working behind the scenes to ensure the support of as many nations as possible, forcing the United States to use its veto.
Riyadh al-Maliki, Palestinian foreign minister, interviewed by Radio Palestine, claimed that so far eight Security Council members had pledged their support; nine are necessary to pass the resolution. The countries are Russia, China, India, South Africa, Brazil, Lebanon, Nigeria and Gabon. He said that the Palestinian Authority was currently focusing on gaining support from Colombia and Bosnia-Herzegovina (Wafa News Agency, September 29, 2011).
The American Congress Freezes Palestinian Authority Funding
According to American media reports, following the Palestinian bid for UN membership and the Hamas-Fatah reconciliation, the Congress froze the transfer of $200 million to the Palestinian Authority (The Independent, October 1, 2011). Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas claimed that the PA had not yet received official notice. Saeb Erekat, a member of the PLO's Executive Committee, called the American step "financial blackmail" and said that the Palestinians would continue to insist on their rights and demands even at the price of American aid (Wafa News Agency, October 2, 2011).
The Palestinian Authority Denounces Construction
in the Jerusalem Neighborhood of Gilo
High-ranking figures in the Palestinian Authority and the international community denounced the proposed construction in the south Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo. The criticism came after it became publicly known that the Jerusalem District Planning and Construction Committee had issued permits for the construction of 1,100 residential dwellings. Nimr Hamad, political advisor to Mahmoud Abbas, claimed that it was an Israeli government plan to challenge the international community. Saeb Erekat, of the PLO's Executive Committee, claimed that by authorizing the plan Israel was choosing the settlements and not peace, and was saying "No" to the international community. Riyadh Mansour, Palestinian representative in the UN, sent a communiquÃ© to the president of the Security Council, the president of the General Assembly and the UN Secretary General (Qudsnet, September 27; Agence France-Presse and Wafa News Agency, September 29, 2011).
In response to international criticism, the Israeli government made it clear that Gilo was not a settlement but rather a neighborhood of Jerusalem and had been recognized as such by all the peace programs of the past 18 years. Therefore, issuing a building permit did not contradict Israel's desire for a renewal of the negotiations with the Palestinians, based on the two-state solution (Israeli Channel 10 news, September 28, 2011).
Political and Propaganda Warfare against Israel
Hamas Representative Participate in the Tehran Conference in Support of Palestine
A conference is currently being held in Tehran called The International Conference in Support of Palestine. It is attended by high-ranking figures of the Iranian regime and anti-Israeli representatives from many countries, as well as representatives of the Palestinian terrorist organizations. Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei gave the opening speech, in which he described the recent events in the Arab countries, the "rising tide of hatred" of the regional countries for the West and Israel's "political deterioration." He stated (ISNA, October 1, 2011) that:
The "Zionists" [i.e., the State of Israel] are a "moral, political and economic danger" to the world, and do not abide by the Oslo Accords.
"Palestine must be liberated" [i.e., the State of Israel must be destroyed], the plan to have a Palestinian state recognized by the UN is out of the question because it means recognizing the Jewish state. He said that a working plan had to be based on the principle of "all Palestine for the Palestinians...from the Jordan [River] to the [Mediterranean] Sea." He stressed Iran's support of the "resistance" [i.e., terrorism] and that Iran's methods were not terrorism, but rather that genuine terrorism was carried out by the "Zionists."
He again proposed, as an alternative to a UN decision, the traditional Iranian suggestion of holding a "referendum" in which all the original citizens of "Palestine," that is, those who lived in "Palestine" before the establishment of the State of Israel, would choose the future regime of the state.
Khaled Mashaal, head of Hamas' political bureau in Damascus, called the conference "the conference in support of the intifada" (the official name of the 2009 conference). He reiterated Hamas' adherence to the path of "resistance" [i.e., terrorism], saying that "[the resistance] is [the Palestinians'] strength and strategic undertaking...until we liberate all Palestinian and destroy the Zionist project" (Alresala.net website, October 1, 2011).
Ismail Haniya, head of the de-facto Hamas administration, said in a video-broadcast speech that the Hamas administration stood behind a program of "resistance on the soil of Palestine" as the strategic option for the "liberation" of Palestine. He denounced the Palestinian appeal to the UN and said that "the Palestinian state would be taken by force" and not given by the countries of the world (Alresala.net website, October 2, 2011).
Khaled Mashaal (center, facing right) hugging Iranian Supreme
Leader Khamenei (Mehr News Agency, October 1, 2011)
The Global Jihad
Anwar al-Awlaki, Top Al-Qaeda Figure in Yemen, Killed by American Forces
Anwar al-Awlaki, top Al-Qaeda figure, was killed in Yemen on September 30 by American security forces. For the past two years he succeeding in evading the American intelligence services, hiding in south Yemen in a region not under Yemeni army control. From there he continued his anti-West terrorist activities. Al-Awlaki was a charismatic figure who spread Al-Qaeda's ideology mainly to speakers of English.
Al-Awlaki, 40, was born in the United States. As a young man he visited Yemen, and returned after he had finished college in America. In Yemen he studied religion and preached to jihad operatives who trained in the country. While in the United States he vocally supported the right to struggle against the West and its culture, especially by disseminating extremist religious statements in CDs and on the Internet. Al-Awlaki was thought to have provided the Nigerian terrorist Umar Farouk Abd al-Mutallab with religious authorization to blow up a Delta plane on Christmas 2009. He is also thought to have been behind sending mail bombs to synagogues in Chicago in October 2010.
Recruiting Activists Abroad to Support Palestinians
Anti-Israeli Organizations in the United States Recruit Volunteers to Pick Olives in Judea and Samaria
Anti-Israeli organizations in the United States (such as the ISM) are currently recruiting volunteers to go to Judea and Samaria to help local residents pick olives. Potential volunteers are told that the trees were uprooted by Israeli settlers and the Israeli army, and that picking the olives had turned into "a form of resistance." The ISM, a network of anti-Israeli activists belonging to the American extreme left and specializing in disrupting IDF activities in the territories, announced it would hold two days of training every week for anyone interested in volunteering (ISM website, October 4, 2011).