News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict March 6 - 12, 2013

Written by ITIC

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The border with the Gaza Strip remained quiet this past week; no rockets were fired into Israeli territory.

Temple Mount RiotsThis past week riots and violent confrontations continued in Judea and Samaria, although events in support of Palestinian prisoners were on the wane. The Temple Mount in Jerusalem was the focal point for violent events, where stones and Molotov cocktails were thrown at the Mughrabi Gate. Rioters threw Molotov cocktails at the Israeli police forces sent to disperse them. Nine policemen and several rioters sustained minor injuries.

In anticipation of the visit to the Middle East of American President Barack Obama, the Palestinian media report a pessimistic atmosphere and low expectations. PLO and Fatah activists said they did not expect Obama to bring solutions for the Palestinians' problems. Mustafa Barghouti, chairman of the Palestinian leftist National Initiative Movement, called for an escalation of the "popular resistance" during Obama's visit.

The Gaza Strip border was quiet this week. Since Operation Pillar of Defense ended, one rocket hit was identified in Israeli territory, on February 26, 2013. Since then there have been no additional rocket or mortar shell hits.

Judea and Samaria Update

Increase in "Popular Attacks" in February

The Israel Security Agency reported that during February 2013 there was an increase in the number of "popular attacks" in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. Most of them involved Molotov cocktails (119 of 138, not including stones thrown). In addition, there was an increase in terrorist attacks using IEDs (15 in February 2013 as opposed to 7 in January 2013). The February stone-throwing and Molotov cocktail attacks resulted in injuries to one Israeli civilian and two members of the security forces (Israel Security Agency website, March 2013).

In addition, IDF forces stationed at the crossings in Judea and Samaria reported an increase in the number of pipe bombs thrown at security personnel. The focal point for the attacks was the Rachel crossing, near the Tomb of Rachel (on the outskirts of Bethlehem, just south of Jerusalem) (IDF spokesman, March 10, 2013).

Riots in Judea and Samaria

Riots and violent confrontations continued throughout Judea and Samaria this past week, while events in support of the Palestinian prisoners in Israel were on the wane. Rioting peaked on Friday, March 8, 2013 on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. After the Friday afternoon prayer in the mosques rioters threw stones and Molotov cocktails at the Mughrabi Gate. Israeli security forces entered the Temple Mount courtyard and threw stun grenades to disperse the rioters; two Molotov cocktails were thrown at them. Nine policemen and several rioters sustained minor injuries; a media photographer was also injured. The police detained four rioters (Ynet, March 8, 2013). 

Riots on Temple Mount After Friday Prayer

Riots on the Temple Mount after the Friday prayer (YouTube, March 8, 2013).

Other prominent events (Ynet, March 8, 2013):

Palestinian Rioter Shot with Rubber Bullet Dies

Muhammad Samih Asfour, a 22 year-old Palestinian, died in Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv. He was shot in the head with a rubber bullet during a riot in the village of Aboud (northwest of Ramallah). He was wounded two weeks ago while rioting near the Ofer Prison in support of the hunger-striking Palestinian terrorist operatives in Israeli jails. An investigation was ordered into the circumstances of his death (Ynet, March 7, 2013).

Support Campaign for the Palestinian Prisoners Continue

The Crossings

Egypt Continues Destroying Tunnels

Musa Abu Marzouq Meets with Senior Iranian Figures in Tehran

The Mujahideen Network Holds Training Exercises

Mujahideen network holds military training exercises at a facility north of Rafah
The Mujahideen network holds military training exercises at a facility north of Rafah
(Hamas forum website, March 8, 2013).

Hamas Administration Plans to Establish a Military and Defense Academy in the Gaza Strip

Fathi Hamad minister of the interior in the Hamas administration meets with Osama al-Muzeini minister of education
Fathi Hamad, minister of the interior in the Hamas administration, meets with Osama al-Muzeini, minister of education (Filastin Al-'Aan, March 11, 2013).

Hamas Event to Commemorate Ibrahim al-Muqadma

The Muqadma family presented with a map of Palestine to commemorate the tenth anniversary of his death Left A display of suicide bombers
Right: The Muqadma family presented with a map of Palestine to commemorate the tenth anniversary of his death. Left: A display of suicide bombers (Filastin Al-'Aan, March 10, 2013).

 The Palestinian Authority Update

Hopes Lowered for Obama's Visit

Hamas Propaganda and Incitement against Obama's Visit

British Consul Driven from Beir Zeit University

Students at Beir Zeit University, near Ramallah, expelled Sir Vincent Fean, the British Consul General, who had come to the university to deliver a speech on the European Union. Before his arrival several dozen students demonstrated to protest his visit and then threw shoes and stones at his entourage. The students were protesting the British position on the Palestinian issue in general and the Balfour Declaration (1917) in particular (Shihab website and the Ma'an News Agency, March 5, 2013).

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British Consul General Sir Vincent Fean leaves his vehicle after angry Palestinian students make him flee Beir Zeit University (Shihab website, March 5, 2013). Right: Beit Zeit University students attack Sir Vincent's car
(Anadolu News Agency, Turkey, March 5, 2013). 

 Propaganda and Incitement Events

Gaza Strip Fishermen Hold Protest Demonstration

British Convoy to the Gaza Strip

Paris Suburb Grants Honorary Citizenship to Assassin of Israeli Minister

Terrorist operative Majdi al Rimawi
Right: Terrorist operative Majdi al-Rimawi (Ma'an News Agency, March 11, 2013).
Left: The ceremony granting al-Rimawi honorary Bezons citizenship (Facebook, March 11, 2013).

 [1] As of March 12, 2013. The statistics do not include mortar shell fire.
[2] The statistics do not include mortar shell fire.
[3] Ibrahim al-Muqadma was one of the heads of Hamas' military-terrorist wing. He was also one of Hamas' most extremist ideologues. He was killed by an Israeli attack on his car on March 8, 2003.
[4] International Action for Palestine is a network of volunteers from around the globe who come to the Gaza Strip and collaborate with local organizations. Their main objective is allegedly to support Gazan farmers and fishermen. They are also involved in support for the Palestinian terrorist operatives in Israeli prisons and their families.
[5] Majdi Rimawi, a senior PFLP terrorist operative, commanded the squad which carried out the assassination of Israeli Minister of Tourism Rehavam Ze'evi at the Hyatt Hotel in Jerusalem on October 17, 2001. In 2008 he was sentenced to life imprisonment in an Israeli jail and an additional 80 years.
[6] For further information about the connection between anti-Israeli elements in France and PFLP operatives, see the February 17, 2013 bulletin “Terrorism and human rights: Shawan Jabarin, human rights organization director and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist activist, recently visited France to participate in the anti-Israeli campaign.”

 SOURCE: The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC) opened in 2002. It is part of the Israel Intelligence Heritage & Commemoration Center (IICC), a national site dedicated to the memory of fallen of the Israeli intelligence community. The ITIC is located near Gelilot, north of Tel Aviv, and is directed by (Col. Ret.) Dr. Reuven Erlich. The objective of the ITIC is to collect, study and disseminate information about terrorism.

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