The Current Wave of Palestinian Terrorism (Updated to October 13, 2015)
This past week the wave of Palestinian terrorism and violence that began more than a month ago during the Jewish High Holidays reached new heights. The current wave of terrorism, feeding off itself, is intensifying.
It is part of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Fatah’s policy of “popular resistance” (i.e., popular terrorism). Popular terrorism has alternately increased and decreased over the past six years, but the current wave is particularly severe and significantly different in nature from those preceding it.
- This past week popular terrorism spread from Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria into additional locations in pre-1967 Israel. Most of the attacks attacks inside Israel were stabbing attacks carried out by young lone terrorists, which has become the leading modus operandi of the current wave of Palestinian terrorism (which has gone viral under the influence of Facebook and the other social media). In addition to the stabbing attacks there was a combined stabbing-vehicular attack, thedetonation of a gas balloon in a car and three attempts to grab the weapons of Israeli soldiers. There was also a combined stabbing-shooting attack on a bus in Jerusalem.
- During the past week terrorist attacks, which had been concentrated in greater Jerusalem, spread to other locations in Israel, including Kiryat Gat in the south, Tel Aviv, Afula in the north, and Gan Shmuel (near Hadera) and Raanana (in the center of the country). The attacks have been carried out by young lone terrorists, most of them from east Jerusalem, and some from Judea and Samaria. There were also two Israeli Arabs (from Nazareth and Um el-Fahm), Palestinians staying in Israel illegally, two women and two children. They were motivated for the most part by the lie spread by the Palestinian media that Israel allegedly threatened Al-Aqsa mosque, as well as by the frustration, desperation and anger of the younger generation. Generally speaking, the terrorists have not been operatives of any established terrorist organization, and the current wave of terrorism has not been directed by any organization, but rather is directly inspired by the intensive incitement accompanying it.
- The current wave of terrorism has been accompanied by violent demonstrations, riots and public disturbances in Judea and Samaria and the Arab population centers in Israel (mainly in cities with mixed Jewish-Arab populations such as Jaffa, Nazareth and Ramla, and Israeli Arab towns villages in the center of the country.) In Judea and Samariathousands of Arabs participated in the daily riots and protests taking place in dozens of locations. In some locations there were hundreds of rioters and in others, several dozen. Compared with routine riots and demonstrations, such large numbers are exceptional, but in the past there have been public disturbances with many more participants. Dozens and sometimes several hundred Israeli Arabs have participated in the demonstrations and riots, but so far there have been no mass demonstrations involving the general Israeli Arab population. Note: An exceptionally large demonstration of approximately 20,000 people was held in the northern city of Sakhnin to show solidarity with the Palestinians.
- The current wave of violence and terrorism is particularly deadly. So fareight Israelis have been killed in shooting, stabbing and vehicular attacks, and by thrown stones. About 29 Palestinians have been killed, 13 in the Gaza Strip and 16 in Israel, Judea and Samaria. Eleven of the Palestinians were killed while carrying out terrorist attacks, five were killed while participating in riots, 11 were killed in the Gaza Strip in clashes at the border security fence and two were killed in an IDF airstrike carried out after rocket fire from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory.
- Hamas foments the wave of terrorism with an intensive propaganda campaign, inciting attacks with the intention of encouraging a “third intifada” in Judea and Samaria. In the Gaza Strip Hamas allowed young Palestinians to let off steam in a series of riots near the border security fence in the northern and southern Gaza Strip. The rioters threw stones at IDF forces and on several occasions broke through the fence and invaded Israeli territory. However, despite the Palestinians killed in the clashes by IDF preventive fire, Hamas has not fired rockets into Israeli territory and in ITIC assessment has enforced its authority on the rogue organizations. Hamas’ objective is to prevent escalation of the sort that occurred following the abduction and murder of the three Jewish boys in Gush Etzion in June 2014.
- In ITIC assessment, Mahmoud Abbas, the PA chairman, does not want the situation to deteriorate further, which would only serve the interests of Hamas and destabilize the PA. However, it is doubtful whether he can influence the dynamics of the current wave of terrorism. His security forces continue coordination with Israel and to a certain extant can contain the violence in Judea and Samaria, but the PA has no real influence on the Palestinians carrying out the terrorist attacks in Jerusalem and other locations inside Israel.
Terrorist Attacks and Riots in Greater Jerusalem
- This past week Jerusalem remained one of the focal points of the current wave of terrorism. There was a shooting attack on a bus, a series of stabbing attacks, a vehicular attack, and an IED exploded, causing a fire in a vehicle near an Israeli roadblock:
- A combined shooting and stabbing attack, Armon Hanatziv, Jerusalem, October 13, 2015: Two Palestinian terrorists in their 20s from east Jerusalem, armed with a gun and meat cleaver, got on a number 78 bus. They opened fire and began stabbing passengers. Border Police and Israel Police Force policemen arrived on the scene and shot the terrorists, killing one and wounding the other (Facebook page of the Israel Police Force, October 13, 2015). Two Israelis were killed.
- The two terrorists were from Jabel Mukaber in east Jerusalem. They were Bahaa Muhammad Khalin Alian, 22, who was a youth leader, and Hamas-affiliated Bilal Abu Ghanam, 23, a released prisoner (detained on July 23, 2015) (Twitter account of Al-Aqsa TV, October 13, 2015; Facebook page of PALDF, October 13, 2015; Alquds-online.org, July 23, 2015, Facebook page of Bahaa Alian).
- Vehicular and stabbing attack on Malchei Israel Street, Jerusalem, October 13, 2015: A Palestinian terrorist driving a vehicle belonging to Bezeq, Israel’s largest communications company (where he used to work), drove into a bus stop on Malchei Israel Street in Jerusalem. He killed one man and wounded another. He was Alaa Abu Jaml fromJabel Mukaber (related to the terrorists who carried out the mass murder in the synagogue in the Har Nof neighborhood in December 2014.). After running them over he got out of the car and stabbed other Israelis (Facebook pages of QudsN and Gaza Al-‘Aan, October 13, 2015).
- Stabbing attack at the entrance to Jerusalem, October 12, 2015: A Palestinian terrorist got on a bus near the entrance to Jerusalem. He stabbed a 19 year-old IDF soldier, inflicting minor injuries, and tried to grab his weapon. He was shot and killed by police (Ynet, October 12, 2015). The terrorist was Muhammad Nazmi Shamasneh, 22, from the village of Qatana (northwest of Jerusalem) (Facebook page of Gaza al-‘Aan, October 12, 2015).
- Stabbing attack in Pisgat Zeev, north Jerusalem, October 12, 2015: Two Palestinian boys stabbed a young Israeli man and a 13 year-old Israeli boy. The young man was seriously wounded and the boy was in critical condition. The two Palestinian boys were Ahmed Manasra, 13, and his cousin Hassan Manasra, 15, both from the village of Beit Hanina, near Pisgat Zeev. Israeli security forces at the scene shot and killed Hassan Manasra, and wounded Ahmed Manasra (Ynet, October 12, 2015).
- Stabbing attack at Ammunition Hill, Jerusalem, October 12, 2015: A Border Policeman standing near the light railway stop at Ammunition Hill saw a young woman who aroused his suspicions. He stopped her and when he asked to examine her bag she took out a knife and stabbed him. Despite his wound he drew his gun and shot her. He was taken to a hospital for treatment. The terrorist, a 16 year-old girl from Beit Hanina in north Jerusalem, was critically wounded (Facebook page of the Israel Police Force, October 12, 2015).
- Stabbing attack in the Old City, Jerusalem, morning of October 12, 2015: A Palestinian terrorist attempted to stab a Jewish security guard near the Lions’ Gate. There were no casualties and the terrorist was killed (Facebook page of the Israel Police Force, October 12, 2015). The terrorist was Mustafa al-Khatib, 18, from Jabel Mukaber in east Jerusalem (Wafa News Agency, October 12, 2015).
- Attempt to detonate a car near the al-Za’im roadblock, south of Jerusalem, morning of October 11, 2015: A traffic policeman identified a suspicious vehicle on the road between Ma’aleh Adumim and the al-Za’im roadblock, south of Jerusalem. He signaled the female driver to stop, and when he approached she detonated a device that exploded on a gas balloon. The policeman suffered minor injuries and was taken to a hospital for treatment. The female terrorist was also injured (Facebook page of the Israel Police Force, October 11, 2015).
- The female terrorist was Israa al-Gha’bis (Ma’an News Agency, October 11, 2015). The initial Israel Security Agency investigation indicated that she was 31 and lived in Jericho and Jabel Mukaber in east Jerusalem. She was not previously known to the Israeli security forces (Facebook page of Red Alert, October 11, 2015).
- Stabbing attack near the Nablus Gate, Old City of Jerusalem, October 10, 2015: A Palestinian terrorist stabbed two Israeli Border Policemen. While they were examining the ID card of a suspicious young Palestinian, he took out a knife and stabbed them, one in the neck. The police shot and killed him (Facebook page of the Israel Police Force, October 11, 2015). He was Muhammad Sayyid Muhammad Ali, 25, from the Shuafat refugee camp in northern Jerusalem (Facebook page of QudsN, October 10, 2015).
- Stabbing attack on Hanevi’im Street, Jerusalem, October 10, 2015: A 16 year-old Palestinian stabbed two young Israelis. The attack occurred on Hanevi’im Street in Jerusalem, not far from the Nablus Gate, when the two Israelis were returning from praying at the Western Wall. Policemen in the area saw the knife-wielding terrorist and ordered him to halt. He ran towards them and they shot and killed him (Facebook page of the Israel Police Force, and Israel HaYom, October 10 and 11, 2015). One of the Israelis incurred minor wounds, the other was critically wounded. The terrorist was Ishaq Qasem Badran Amrish from Kafr Aqab, north of Jerusalem (Fatah-affiliated Facebook page, October 10, 2015).
- Stabbing attack on Shmuel Hanavi Street in Jerusalem, October 9, 2015: A 17 and a half year-old Palestinian terrorist from Hebron used a vegetable peeler to stab a 16 year-old Israel boy, then fled the scene. The Israeli boy incurred minor wounds. Israeli security forces in the area apprehended the stabber and took him for questioning (Israel HaYom, October 11, 2015).
- Stabbing attack near the national headquarters of the Israel Police Force, October 8, 2015: A Palestinian terrorist armed with a knife stabbed a 25 year-old yeshiva student at the light railway station near the Israel Police Force national headquarters. As he fled from the scene he was spotted by a motorcycle policemen. He tried to get into a car nearby but the police overcame him, detained him and took him for questioning. The yeshiva student was critically injured and taken to a hospital for treatment (Facebook page of the Israel Police Force, October 8, 2015). The Palestinian terrorist was Subhi Abu Khalifa, 15, from the Shuafat refugee camp (Facebook page of QudsN, October 8, 2015).
Terrorist Attacks in Other Locations in Israel
- Other focal points of the current wave of terrorism were locations in Israel besides Jerusalem. There were seven stabbing attacks and a combined stabbing and vehicular attack. The series of terrorist attacks inside Israel was accompanied by demonstrations and riots in the mixed Jewish-Arab cities and in Arab towns and villages in northern and central Israel (although the general Israeli Arab population has not yet taken to the streets). The Higher Arab Monitoring Committee called a general strike for October 13 in solidarity with the Palestinian people, Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa mosque. In addition, there was a mass demonstration in the northern Arab city of Sakhnin on the afternoon of October 13, 2015.
The Terrorist Attacks
- Stabbing attack near Beit Levenstein Hospital in Raanana, morning, October 13, 2015: A Palestinian terrorist used a knife to stab Israelis near the hospital. One was stabbed in the neck and critically wounded, and three others incurred minor injuries. The terrorist then ran towards the main street. A man who drove by realized what was happening and hit the terrorist with his car. A taxi diver helped him overcome the terrorist. Israeli policemen detained the terrorist (Facebook page of the Israel Police Force, October 13, 2015). The terrorist worked as a cleaner in Beit Levenstein Hospital. He was from east Jerusalem and carried an Israeli ID card (Ynet, October 13, 2015).
- Stabbing attack in Raanana, morning, October 13, 2015: A Palestinian terrorist stabbed an Israeli at a bus stop on the main street. Israeli civilians overcame the terrorist and held him until the police arrived. The wounded man was evacuated for medical treatment. The terrorist was critically wounded and evacuated to a hospital (Facebook page of Red Alert, October 13, 2015).
- Combined stabbing and vehicular attack near Gan Shmuel, near Hadera, October 11, 2015: A 19 year-old female IDF soldier was critically wounded and a 20 year-old male IDF soldier was seriously wounded in a combined stabbing and vehicular attack near the Israeli community of Gan Shmuel, near Hadera. A 14 year-old Israeli boy and a 45 year-old man suffered minor injuries. The terrorist was apprehended by a police patrol near the entrance to the community. According to the initial investigation, he first ran over the woman soldier, exited his car, stabbed her and then stabbed the others (Ynet, October 11, 2015). The terrorist was Alaa’ Ra’ed Mahamid (Zayoud) from Um el-Fahm(Facebook page of Gaza al-‘Aan, October 11, 2015).
- Stabbing attack at the central bus station, Afula, October 9, 2015: A female terrorist entered the central bus station, took out a knife and was apparently going to attack a soldier near one of the platforms. Two Border Policemen, a soldier and a security guard saw her holding the knife and ordered her to drop it. When she did not they shot at her legs (Facebook page of the Israel Police Force, October 9, 2015). The terrorist was Israa Zaydan Tawfiq ‘Abed, 29, divorced and mother of three, an Israeli Arab from Nazareth and a student at the Technion, the Israeli Institution of Technology, in Haifa (Israeli HaYom, October 11, 2015).
- Stabbing attack in Afula, October 8, 2015: A Palestinian terrorist stabbed Israelis on the main street in Afula, seriously wounding a 21 year-old IDF soldier. He was pursued and caught by civilians, who held him down until the police came. He was Tareq Abd al-Fattah Yahya, 20, a Palestinian from the village of Arqa near Jenin. He was not previously known to the Israeli security forces (Ynet, October 8, 2015).
- Stabbing attack in Tel Aviv, October 8, 2015: A Palestinian terrorist used a screwdriver to stab a female IDF soldier in the middle of Tel Aviv, the area of the Kiriya compound. He tried to grab her weapon, was unsuccessful, and stabbed four other Israelis. An armed IDF officer got out of his car and shot and killed the terrorist (Facebook page of the Israel Police Force, October 8, 2015). He was Ta’er Abu Ghazala, 19 from Kafr Aqab, north of Jerusalem (Facebook page of Silwanticnet, October 8 2015).
- Stabbing attack in Petah Tikva, evening, October 7, 2015: A Palestinian terrorist stabbed an Israeli man near the entrance to a mall in Petah Tikva. He was overcome by Israeli civilians, who called the police. The victim suffered minor wounds. The terrorist was not previously known to the Israeli security forces (Haaretz, October 7, 2015).Tamer Varidat, from Dahariya, south of Hebron (Facebook page of PALDF, October 8, 2015).
Terrorist Attacks and Clashes in Judea and Samaria
- This past week two stabbing attacks were carried out in Kiryat Arba. Stones were thrown at Israeli vehicles on the roads and there were daily violent confrontations between Palestinian rioters and the Israeli security forces. Several thousand Palestinians participated in the confrontations, which were held in dozens of locations in Judea and Samaria (among them the Huwwara roadblock in Nablus, the Kasbah in Hebron, Qalandia, the Jalameh crossing in Jenin).
- Stabbing attack in Kiryat Arba, October 9, 2015: A Border Policeman was stabbed by a Palestinian terrorist at the western gate of Kiryat Arba. He took out a knife and stabbed the policeman who was examining him. He was shot and killed by a Border Police force (Facebook page of Red Alert, October 10, 2015). The terrorist was Muhammad Fares al-Jaabari, from Hebron (Facebook page of PALDF, October 10, 2015).
- Stabbing attack in Kiryat Arba, October 8, 2015: A Palestinian terrorist stabbed a 30 year-old Israeli man at the western gate of Kiryat Arba, wounding him critically. He was evacuated to a hospital in Jerusalem for treatment. The Israeli security forces searched the area for the terrorist, who, according to reports, escaped (NRG, October 8, 2015).
Riots, Violent Demonstrations, Stones and Molotov Cocktails
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