This past week there was another round of escalation in rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, the aftermath of a counterterrorism activity carried out by Israeli security forces targeting global jihad operatives in the Gaza Strip. A rocket and several dozen mortar shells were launched, primarily by Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. In response Israeli aircraft struck terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip. (Note: on October 9 as well, a number of rockets and mortar shells were fired into Israeli territory.)
On October 6 the IDF intercepted and downed a drone which entered Israeli territory from the sea. The Israeli media reported that according to Israeli security sources, it is assumed that Hezbollah, backed by Iran, was responsible for sending the plane in an attempt to collect intelligence.
Important Terrorism Events Israel's South
Rocket and Mortar Shell Fire Escalates
As part of Israeli counterterrorism activities, on October 7 the Israeli Air Force attacked a motorcycle ridden by two global jihad terrorist operatives. The Palestinian media reported that both were critically injured and that one, Abdallah Makawi, died; his funeral was held the following day. According to a report from the Palestinian ministry of health, nine Palestinian civilians were wounded.
According to the IDF Spokesman, October 8, 2012, the two were:
Abdallah Muhammad Muhsan Makawi, born in 1988, belonged to a Salafist jihadi network calling itself the Shura Council of Jihad Fighters in Greater Jerusalem. Abdallah Makawi was involved in terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians and IDF forces which included rocket fire, planting IEDs and manufacturing weapons. He was also involved in the June 18, 2012 attack on the security fence being built along the Israel-Egypt border in which an Israeli civilian was killed. In the days before he was killed he was involved in preparations for another terrorist attack
Tala'at Khalil Muhammad al-Gharbi, born 1989, is a resident of Rafah and terrorist operative in a Salafist jihadi network affiliated with the global jihad.
Responses of the Terrorist Organizations and of the IDF
In response the IDF's counterterrorism activity, beginning in the early morning hours of October 8 a rocket and several dozen mortar shells were fired into Israeli territory. Most of the mortar shell fire targeted the Israeli villages and towns near the central and southern Gaza Strip. There were no casualties but a number of civilian structures and a local petting zoo were damaged (IDF Spokesman, October 8, 2012).
The military-terrorist wings of Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the rocket and mortar shell fire. In addition, the Popular Resistance Committees and networks affiliated with the global jihad also claimed responsibility. Abu Obeida, spokesman for the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military-terrorist wing, said "shelling Israeli posts [sic]" was a message to Israel that the "resistance" [i.e., terrorist organizations] would not allow unilateral Israeli "aggression," and that Israeli "aggression will lead to a more powerful and extensive response." He claimed that the response had been coordinated at the highest levels with the military wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad(Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades website, October 8, 2012).
Hamas terrorist operatives launch rockets into Israeli territory (From videos posted to the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades website, October 8, 2012).
In response to the massive shelling, Israeli Air Force aircraft attacked terrorist squads preparing to fire rockets and mortar shells into Israeli territory. The IDF also attacked a number of terrorist targets belonging to Hamas, among them civilian buildings used to store weapons (IDF Spokesman, October 8, 2012). The Palestinian media reported that attacks on two mosques in Khan Yunis wounded five Palestinian civilians (Filastin al-'Aan, Wafa News Agency, Safa News Agency, October 8, 2012).
The Israeli Air Force Intercepts and Downs a Drone in Southern Israel
On the morning of October 6 the IDF's monitoring system identified a drone which had entered Israeli air space from the sea. It was tracked in Israel on both land and in the air, and was intercepted and downed in the Yatir Forest, in southern Israel. The site of the downing of the drone was chosen to avoid possible damage to populated areas (IDF Spokesman, October 6, 2012).
Near the close of the Second Lebanon War (August 2006) Israeli aircraft used air to air missiles to intercept two Hezbollah "Ababil"drones. One was downed over the sea in Lebanese territorial waters, the other north of Haifa (IDF Spokesman, October 6, 2012).
According to the Israeli media, the results of an initial investigation carried out by the Israeli security agencies indicated that the drone had flown over the Mediterranean Sea from north to south and then entered Israeli air space. It is assumed that Hezbollah, backed by Iran, was responsible for launching the drone and that it was on an intelligence mission(NRG website and Haaretz, October 7, 2012).
Other Rocket and Mortar Shell Fire
This past week two rocket hits were identified in the western Negev, falling in open areas. There were no casualties and no damage was done. Note: On October 9 as well, after this document was issued, a number of rockets and mortar shells were fired into Israel's western Negev.
Rockets Fired into Israeli Territory
Judea and Samaria
Two Palestinians Carrying an IED Detained at an IDF Base in Samaria
On October 8 two Palestinians were detained at the entrance to an IDF base in Samaria. They arrived at the gate to the base and told the soldiers stationed there that they had an IED in their possession. An examination of the two revealed an improvised IED, which was detonated in a controlled explosion by demolitions experts. An initial investigation of the pair revealed that they had come from Nablus but it was not immediately clear whether they belonged to an organization (IDF Spokesman, October 18, 2012).
One of the two Palestinians detained by IDF forces (IDF Spokesman, October 8, 2012).
Four IDF Soldiers Injured by Hit-and-Run Palestinian Taxi Driver
On October 2 four IDF soldiers were injured in a hit-and-run incident by a taxi driven by a Palestinian near Neveh Daniel, an Israeli village in Judea. A group of soldiers was standing at the side of the road near their vehicle, which had broken down. A passing Palestinian taxi slammed into the vehicle and soldiers and fled the scene. One soldier was seriously injured and the others escaped with minor injuries (IDF Spokesman, October 2, 2012). It is currently unclear whether the incident was a terrorist attack or an accident.
The site of the event (Spokesman for the Judea and Samaria District of the Israel Police Force, October 2, 2012).
Violent Demonstrations at the Friction Points
This week as well there were violent demonstrations at the traditional friction points in Judea and Samaria. Rioters threw stones at the IDF forces, who in certain instances used riot control equipment to disperse the demonstrators. In addition, in a number of instances stones and Molotov cocktails were thrown at Israeli civilian and security vehicles.
The Terrorist Organizations in the Gaza Strip Display their Force
Hamas' Security Forces Hold Large-Scale Exercise
On October 6 a large exercise was held in the Gaza Strip by operatives from Hamas' security forces and police. It began with the extensive deployment of security forces and police from the Rafah border crossing in the south to Beit Lahia in the north. According to Islam Shahawan, spokesman for the ministry of the interior of the de-facto Hamas administration, the exercise, which he called "routine," was meant to examine the functioning and capability of the forces' operatives in emergency situations (Website of the ministry of the interior of the de-facto Hamas administration, October 6, 2012).
Marking the Anniversary of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad's Founding
The Palestinian Islamic Jihadheld a series of displays of force to mark various events, among them the 31st anniversary of the organization's founding, the 25th anniversary of its terrorist activities and the 17th anniversary of the death of Fathi Shqaqi, the organization's founder and first leader. The PIJ held rallies, demonstrations and military marches throughout the Gaza Strip. They were attended by senior organization figures who gave speeches emphasizing that "jihad" [i.e., terrorism] was the organization's strategy for dealing with Israel (The PIJ's Paltoday website, date, 2012).
Jerusalem Brigades operatives in a display to commemorate Fathi Shqaqi (The PIJ's Paltoday website, October 2, 2012).
The Popular Resistance Committees Hold a Military Display of Force
TheSalah al-Din Brigades, the PRC's military-terrorist wing, held a military display to mark the anniversary of the organization's founding. Armed terrorist operatives wearing explosive belts participated (Hamas forum, September 29, 2012).
The Palestinian Authority
Request to Upgrade the Palestinian Authority's Status in the UN
The Palestinians continue to deal with their request for a vote in the General Assembly to upgrade their status to observer state in the UN agencies. Mahmoud Abbas said that he expected the vote would be held in the coming months. He said the Palestinians had no opposition to the UN agencies' recognition of the PA as a state under occupation, after which it would be "impossible to expel the Palestinians from their lands."
Saeb Erekat, a member of the PLO's Executive Committee and head of the Palestinian negotiating team, met with a series of American, British and Danish diplomats. He told them that the Palestinian decision to appeal to the UN General Assembly was final and that the request would be lodged after consultations had been held to finalize its wording (Wafa News Agency, October 1, 2012). However, the president of the General Assembly said that in the middle of November the General Assembly would deliberate on the Palestinian request for upgrading (Reuters, October 3, 2012).
Protests against the Palestinian Authority
Protests against the PA continue:
On October 2 an estimated 200 Palestinians demonstrated in Ramallah against detentions carried out by the PA's security forces. The demonstrators marched from Al-Manar Square to the presidential building, shouted slogans against the detentions and demanded that Mahmoud Abbas resign (Agence France-Presse, October 2, 2012).
Also on October 2 several dozen dismissed teachers demonstrated in front of the government building in Ramallah and demanded the implementation of a court order to reinstate them. Most of the teachers had been fired after the PA's security forces had not authorized their employment (Filastin al-'Aan, October 2, 2012). According to Lamis al-Alami, Palestinian minister of education, 750 teachers were fired for security reasons and about 300 had already returned to work (Ma'an News Agency, October 2, 2012).
The Estelle Sails to the Gaza Strip
On October 6 the Estelleset sail from Naples on her way to the Gaza Strip. In Naples as well the ship's passengers encountered difficulties with local customs authorities. While the ship was anchored in the port it acceded to a request from local activists to fly the Palestinian flag. The mayor of Naples visited the ship in a show of solidarity and expressed his support, saying that both the Palestinians and Israel had the right to live in peace and security (Facebook page of the mayor of Naples, October 5, 2012).
Dror Feiler and Michael Lofgren, two of the ship's organizers, said that the activists aboard were being trained in "non-violent resistance" and that they had been briefed on how to behave if the ship were taken over. They said that everyone had signed a "non-violent declaration." According to Feiler, the ship as carrying 41 tons of cement, theatrical equipment, musical instruments and 600 soccer balls (Ynet, October 7, 2012)
Turkish Law Suit against Israel
A Turkish newspaper reported that three families of terrorist operatives killed aboard the Mavi Marmara were suing Israel over the deaths of their relatives and demanding money. Ugur Yildirim, the families' lawyer, said that a suit had been filed against Israel for 33 various incidents for a sum total of 10 million Turkish liras (almost $5.5 million) (World Bulletin, October 5, 2012).
The United States Outlaws Hamas Charities
The US Treasury Department said in an announcement that it had outlawed two Lebanese-based charities belonging to and controlled by Hamas, the Al-Quds International Foundation and Al-Waqfiya. Doing so freezes the charities' assets under United States jurisdiction and forbids funds from being transferred to them (American Treasury Department website, October 4, 2012).
1] The Shura Council is a relatively new overall network in the Gaza Strip composed of various networks in the Gaza Strip affiliated with the global jihad. For further information see the date bulletin "The Gazan-based Salafist jihadi network Tawhid wal-Jihad carried out the terrorist attack on the Israeli-Egyptian border on June 18, 2012, in which an Israeli civilian was killed.."
 The statistics do not include rockets fired which fell inside the Gaza Strip. As of October 9, 2012.