News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (May 27 – June 2, 2020)

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Rafi’ Rawajba, governor of the Qalqilya district, and West Bank UNRWA director Gwyn Lewis (Facebook page of the Qalqilya district governor, June 2, 2019).

Rafi’ Rawajba, governor of the Qalqilya district, and West Bank UNRWA director Gwyn Lewis (Facebook page of the Qalqilya district governor, June 2, 2019).

The picture accompanying the post. The Arabic reads, “Get ready! Ahfad al-Nasser” (Ahfad al-Nasser Telegram channel, June 2, 2020).

The picture accompanying the post. The Arabic reads, “Get ready! Ahfad al-Nasser” (Ahfad al-Nasser Telegram channel, June 2, 2020).

PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh and Laila Ghannam, governor of the Ramallah district, pay a condolence call to the family of Fadi Qad (Wafa, May 30, 2020).

PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh and Laila Ghannam, governor of the Ramallah district, pay a condolence call to the family of Fadi Qad (Wafa, May 30, 2020).

PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh and Laila Ghannam, governor of the Ramallah district, pay a condolence call to the family of Fadi Qad (Wafa, May 30, 2020).

PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh and Laila Ghannam, governor of the Ramallah district, pay a condolence call to the family of Fadi Qad (Wafa, May 30, 2020).

The rally at the Gaza port and pictures of the Turkish fatalities (Right: Palestine Online, May 31, 2020; Left: Facebook page of the IHH office in Gaza, May 31, 2020)

The rally at the Gaza port and pictures of the Turkish fatalities (Right: Palestine Online, May 31, 2020; Left: Facebook page of the IHH office in Gaza, May 31, 2020)

Muhammad Shtayyeh holds a video conference with members of the European parliament (Wafa, May 27, 2020).

Muhammad Shtayyeh holds a video conference with members of the European parliament (Wafa, May 27, 2020).

Muhammad Shtayyeh receives the French consul in his office in Ramallah (Wafa, May 28, 2020).

Muhammad Shtayyeh receives the French consul in his office in Ramallah (Wafa, May 28, 2020).

  • In Judea and Samaria the numbers of popular terrorism attacks and attempted attacks are trending upwards. This past week an attempted vehicular attack targeting IDF soldiers securing an area north of Ramallah was prevented. Throughout Judea and Samaria Palestinians continue throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at Israel vehicles (including buses). An examination of the graph of significant terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria reveals they have increased over the past months (seven in May, three in April, two in March).
  • The Gaza Strip remains relatively quiet. This past week Hamas’ restraint force prevented a number of young Palestinians from infiltrating into Israeli territory. The Palestinians were taken for interrogation. Local networks continued threatening they would launch IED balloons into Israeli territory, so far without carrying out the threat.
  • Following a speech by Mahmoud Abbas on May 19, 2020, the Palestinian Authority (PA) began a campaign to prevent Israel from annexing territories in Judea and Samaria. The ministers in the PA government and various Palestinian groups are currently preparing to end security and civil coordination with Israel in several areas, including security, commercial ties, imports, the movement of Palestinians outside the PA territories, permits for the movement of patients requiring medical care, the population registry, etc. 
Judea and Samaria[1]
  • On June 2, 2020, Mai al-Kayla, PA minister of health, said two more cases of COVID-19 had been detected in the village of Azoun Atmeh in the Qalqilya district. That brought the total reported number of Palestinian COVID-19 cases to 390, of which 34 are active (16 in the Qalqilya district, 17 in the Hebron district, and one in a village near Jerusalem) (Wafa, June 2, 2020).
  • Given the spread of infection in the Qalqilya district, Rafi’ Rawajba, governor of the Qalqilya district, ordered the continuation of the lockdown of Azoun Atmeh, the source of the outbreak. It was also reported that he met with Gwyn Lewis, the director of UNRWA for the West Bank, and updated her on the situation, the steps being taken and ways to increase collaboration (Facebook page of the governor of the Qalqilya district, June 2, 2020)
The Gaza Strip[2]
  • The ministry of health in the Gaza Strip reported that the number of COVID-19 cases currently stands at 61, of which 42 are active. So far 9,734 tests have been conducted. In the coming days 1,400 additional people in quarantine centers will be tested (al-Ra’i, alresala.net, June 1, 2020).
  • In the Gaza Strip more restrictions have been relaxed:
  • Abd al-Hadi al-Agha, deputy minister of Muslim endowments, announced the mosques would reopen on June 3, 2020. He called on worshippers to continue following the ministry of health’s guidelines and to keep disinfecting prayer locations. Reportedly, there is still a ban on events and public activities in the mosques, and on bringing children (al-Ra’i, alresala.net, June 1, 2020).
  • The ministry of social development in Gaza announced the reopening of daycare centers, after they had been closed for two months. Preventive measures will be adhered to in order to guard the health of the children and caretakers (website of the ministry of social development in Gaza, May 31, 2020).
Rocket and mortar shell fire into Israel
  • This past week no rocket hits were identified in Israeli territory.
Monthly Distribution of Rocket and Mortar Shell Fire

Annual Distribution of Rocket Hits

Annual Distribution of Rocket Hits

Launching IED/incendiary balloons
  • A reliable source in the Supreme National Authority of the Great Return March denied that the renewal of incendiary balloons from the Gaza Strip was the result of an Authority decision. The source stressed that the Authority had reached no such decision and that groups of local young men had begun launching balloons to exert pressure on Israel to deliver to the Gaza Strip medical equipment necessary to fight COVID-19. In addition, according to reports, the groups, which have ties to the various organizations and their military wings, operate on their own initiative without the Supreme National Authority’s involvement (al-Ayam, May 29, 2020).
  • The announcement notwithstanding, the Ahfad al-Nasser balloon-launching unit affiliated with the Resistance Committees, posted a picture of gas containers and a caption reading “The time has come to reap the spoils…today is full of surprises,” accompanied by emojis of explosions (Ahfad al-Nasser Telegram channel, June 2, 2020).

The picture accompanying the post. The Arabic reads, “Get ready! Ahfad al-Nasser” (Ahfad al-Nasser Telegram channel, June 2, 2020).
The picture accompanying the post. The Arabic reads, “Get ready! Ahfad al-Nasser”
(Ahfad al-Nasser Telegram channel, June 2, 2020).

Hamas’ restraint force prevents attempted infiltrations into Israeli territory
  • The Palestinian media recently reported a number of instances in which Hamas’ restraint force detained Palestinians trying to infiltrate into Israeli territory:
    • May 29, 2020: The restraint force detained three young Palestinians in the eastern part of the al-Bureij refugee camp who were trying to infiltrate into Israeli territory. They were detected before they reached the security fence and taken first for interrogation and then to a quarantine center for 21 days (Amad, May 29, 2020; Facebook page of Hassan Twitter account of journalist Hassan Aslih, May 29, 2020).
    • May 31, 2020: The social networks reported that the restraint force had detained a young Palestinian in the northern Gaza Strip who was trying to infiltrate into Israeli territory (Facebook page of journalist Sami Abu Yahya, May 31, 2020; Twitter account of the Hla Palestine website, May 31, 2020).
    • June 1, 2020: The social networks reported that the restraint force had detained two young Gazans who had tried to infiltrate into Israeli territory from the area of a broadcasting station, apparently in the region of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip (Facebook page of photojournalist Hazem Mazeid, June 1,2020; eajiNewss Telegram channel, June 1, 2020).
Vehicular attack prevented
  • On May 29, 2020, a vehicular attack was prevented north of Ramallah. IDF soldiers who were securing the road near a site stood at an observation point overlooking the road. A vehicle sped up and tried to run into them. The soldiers shot and killed the driver (IDF spokesman, May 29, 2020).
The scene of the attempted attack (Palinfo Twitter account, May 29, 2020)    The scene of the attempted attack (Palinfo Twitter account, May 29, 2020)
The scene of the attempted attack
(Palinfo Twitter account, May 29, 2020)
  • The Palestinian media reported that the Palestinian driving the vehicle was Fadi Adnan Sirhan Samara Qad, 37, from the village of Abu Qash, north of Ramallah. He was married and father of five children, worked in construction in Israel and had returned home for Eid al-Fitr (al-Arabia al-Jadeeda, May 29, 2020; al-Hadath, May 29, 2020). Senior PA figures, among them PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh and Laila Ghannam, governor of the Ramallah district, paid a condolence call at the family’s house, a common form of PA support for the so-called “popular resistance” [i.e., popular terrorism].

Fadi Qad (Palinfo Twitter account, May 29, 2020).
Fadi Qad
(Palinfo Twitter account, May 29, 2020).

PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh and Laila Ghannam, governor of the Ramallah district, pay a condolence call to the family of Fadi Qad (Wafa, May 30, 2020).    PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh and Laila Ghannam, governor of the Ramallah district, pay a condolence call to the family of Fadi Qad (Wafa, May 30, 2020).
PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh and Laila Ghannam, governor of the Ramallah district, pay a condolence call to the family of Fadi Qad (Wafa, May 30, 2020).
Stones and Molotov cocktails thrown at Israeli vehicles
  • In Judea and Samaria Palestinians continued throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at Israeli vehicles. The more notable events were the following:
    • June 1, 2020 – Stones were thrown at a civilian Israeli bus on the gush Etzion-Hebron road. The front windshield of the bus was damaged (Rescue Without Borders in Judea and Samaria, June 1, 2020).
    • June 1, 2020 – Stones were thrown at a civilian Israeli vehicle at a junction southwest of Ariel. No casualties were reported; the windshield of the vehicle was damaged (Rescue Without Borders in Judea and Samaria, June 1, 2020).
    • June 1, 2020 – Stones were thrown at civilian Israeli vehicles south of Nablus (Rescue Without Borders in Judea and Samaria, June 1, 2020).
    • June 1, 2020 – Stones were thrown at a civilian Israeli vehicle west of Bethlehem. The front windshield of the vehicle was damaged (Rescue Without Borders in Judea and Samaria, June 1, 2020).
    • May 31, 2020 – Stones were thrown at a civilian Israel bus west of Bethlehem. The front windshield of the bus was damaged (Rescue Without Borders in Judea and Samaria, May 31, 2020).
    • May 30, 2020 – Stones were thrown at a civilian Israeli vehicle southeast of Ramallah. No casualties were reported (Rescue Without Borders in Judea and Samaria, May 30, 2020).
    • May 30, 2020 – Stones were thrown at an Israeli vehicle east of Alfei Menashe (Rescue Without Borders in Judea and Samaria, May 30, 2020).
    • May 29, 2020 – A bottle of paint was thrown at an IDF force east of Efrat. No casualties were reported (Rescue Without Borders in Judea and Samaria, May 29, 2020).
    • May 28, 2020 – Stones were thrown at a civilian Israeli bus north of Hebron. No casualties were reported (Rescue Without Borders in Judea and Samaria, May 28, 2020).
Significant terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria since January 2019[3]

Significant terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria since January 2019

Palestinian killed in east Jerusalem
  • On May 30, 2020, a Palestinian was shot and killed by Border Police fighters near the Lions Gate in Jerusalem. The fighters shot at him after, according to their report, they suspected him of pointing a gun at them. The Palestinian was Iyad al-Halq, 32, from east Jerusalem, who had special needs. He was not armed and was shot mistakenly when he was on his way to school. The Israeli police are investigating the incident.
  • The killing of Iyad al-Halq was met with significant protest on the social networks, where sorrow at his death was expressed along with calls for revenge. Many social network users accused the Israeli security forces of employing a “policy of killing.” Senior figures in the PA and the organizations in the Gaza Strip condemned the killing and threatened an appeal to the International Criminal Court (ICC) (Filastin al-Yawm, May 30, 2020). PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh called on Israel to put an end to its policy of shooting (Wafa, June 1, 2020).

Iyad al-Halq, mistakenly shot to death at the Lions Gate (Facebook page of PA TV reporter Christine Rinawi, May 30, 2020).
Iyad al-Halq, mistakenly shot to death at the Lions Gate
(Facebook page of PA TV reporter Christine Rinawi, May 30, 2020).

  • Other reactions were the following:
    • Saeb Erekat, secretary of the PLO’s Executive Committee, said the killing of al-Halq obligated the international community to bring Israel to trial, and called for the opening of a criminal investigation (Saeb Erekat’s Twitter account, May 30, 2020).
    • The Fatah movement issued a statement placing full responsibility for the “crime of the death” of Iyad al-Halq on the government of Israel. The statement called the event a “war crime” and called for the IDF soldier who killed al-Halq to be tried by the ICC (Wafa, May 30, 2020).
    • Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said the [so-called] “crimes” of Israel’s leaders were fuel for the revolution of the Palestinian people, who would continue to fight until the [so-called Israeli] “occupation” left the lands of the Palestinian people (Hamas website, May 30, 2020). On another occasion, he said that all the investigations conducted by Israel so far about [Palestinians] who had been killed by IDF soldiers or by settlers had ended by finding them innocent of their crimes and therefore the all investigations were shams… (Hamas website, May 31, 2020). 
Improvement in the Gaza Strip’s water supply
  • Mazen Ghanim, chairman of the water authority, said preparations continued for the construction of a central desalination station in the Gaza Strip. He said that the total cost of the program would be €582 million, and that 90% of the funding had already been secured. He added that the next stage was improving the limited output of the three existing stations (Wafa, May 27, 2020).
Aid from Saudi Arabia to rebuild houses
  • The UN’s UNDP program announced that with funding from the Saudi Arabia Development Fund, it had begun the delivery of the first payment to compensate Palestinian families that were not refugees in the Gaza Strip to rebuild houses damaged in Operation Protective Edge. During the first stage 77 families will receive the overall sum of $571,000 to rebuild houses that were completely destroyed. Once the total sum has been distributed, 272 families will be able to rebuild their houses (Paltoday, May 21, 2020; al-Ghad website channel, May 21, 2020).
Marking the tenth anniversary of the Mavi Marmara flotilla
  •  A rally was held at the Gaza port to mark the tenth anniversary of the events of the Mavi Marmara flotilla.[4] It was organized by the IHH, the Turkish organization whose operatives were responsible for the extreme violence aboard the ship. The rally participants held pictures of the ten Turks who were killed aboard the boat. Ghazi Hamad, deputy minister of social development in Gaza, gave a speech praising the efforts of all those who had contributed to dispatching the ship to Gaza. He said that even though the ship did not successfully arrive, its message, that the Gaza Strip was not alone, had in fact arrived (Palestine Online, May 31, 2020).
The rally at the Gaza port and pictures of the Turkish fatalities (Right: Palestine Online, May 31, 2020; Left: Facebook page of the IHH office in Gaza, May 31, 2020)   The rally at the Gaza port and pictures of the Turkish fatalities (Right: Palestine Online, May 31, 2020; Left: Facebook page of the IHH office in Gaza, May 31, 2020)
The rally at the Gaza port and pictures of the Turkish fatalities (Right: Palestine Online, May 31, 2020; Left: Facebook page of the IHH office in Gaza, May 31, 2020)
  • Statements for the event included the following:
    • Hamas spokesman Abd al-Latif al-Qanua said the Mavi Marmara flotilla exposed the face of Israel’s leadership, who, he claimed, had committed [so-called alleged] “war crimes” against the Turks. He said that the Gaza Strip was still suffering under difficult humanitarian conditions and the [so-called] “siege,” and called for the renewal of operations to show identification with the Palestinian people in Gaza (Hamas website, May 31, 2020).
    • The Turkish IHH held an event in Istanbul to mark the anniversary, during which a speech by Khaled Mashaal was shown, who at the time of the flotilla was head of Hamas’ political bureau. He called for the flotillas to continue, stressing that the reasons for supporting the Palestinian cause had grown after the declaration of the “deal of the century.” Faad Mustafa, PA ambassador to Ankara, transmitted a message from Mahmoud Abbas thanking Turkey for its help and support for the Palestinians (al-Andalou News, June 1, 2020).
    • The international committee for lifting the siege on the Gaza Strip, headed by Britain-based Zaher Birawi, issued a statement for the tenth anniversary of the Mavi Marmara flotilla. It said that progress was being made in preparations for a Freedom Fleet Coalition flotilla, which would set sail this coming summer in a renewed attempt to lift the “siege” of the Gaza Strip (al-Hadath, June 1, 2020; alresala.net, May 31, 2020). In March 2020 the Freedom Fleet Coalition announced its decision to postpone the flotilla to Gaza (which had been planned for May 2020) in light of the restrictions placed on international health by the coronavirus. According to the announcement, a boat had already been purchased for the voyage (website of the Freedom Fleet Coalition, March 26, 2020).
Journalist Imad Zaqout appointed director of the Sawt al-Aqsa radio station
  • On May 31, 2020 the social networks posted congratulations to journalist Imad Zaqout (Abu Hamze) for his appointment to the post of general manager of the Hamas-affiliated Sawt al-Aqsa radio station (Facebook page of photojournalist Anas al-Sharif, May 31, 2020; Facebook page of photojournalist Hidra al-Sharif, May 31, 2020). Zaqout replaces Alaa al-Atar (Abu Muhammad), an engineer who was appointed head of the Beit Lahia municipality. Zaqout, a journalist, has held a number of senior positions in al-Aqsa TV, among them director of the news department (website of the ministry of the interior in Gaza, February 10, 2016) and programming director (al-Aqsa TV website, November 13, 2018). His most recent post was deputy director of the channel (Gaza post, April 18, 2020).

Imad Zaqout (his Facebook page, June 16, 2018).
Imad Zaqout
(his Facebook page, June 16, 2018).

Lathe explodes in Gaza City
  • Ayman al-Batniji, spokesman for the police force in the Gaza Strip, reported that a lathe had exploded in the western part of Gaza City, wounding two people. He said teams of police and civil defense officers had arrived at the site to examine the explosion (website of the ministry of the interior in Gaza, May 31, 2020). The social networks reported that one of the wounded was Mustafa Hasan Nisman, son of Hasan Nisman who was an operative in the manufacturing unit of the military wing of the Resistance Committees, and who died during Ramadan last month.
  • According to one of the reports, the explosion took place in the home of Hasan Nisman when his son and some other people played with one of the left behind when he died (@LORD_ISA Twitter account, May 31, 2020). According to a different report, a man who collected old iron had a warhead found during an IDF attack and brought it to the lathe to cut it, and it exploded (@abedcoo2010 Twitter account, May 31, 2020). According to a third report, an oxygen tank exploded (Twitter account of Muhammad Qriqa, June 1, 2020).
Pictures of the site of the explosion in Gaza City (@abedcoo2010 Twitter account, May 31, 2020).    Pictures of the site of the explosion in Gaza City (@abedcoo2010 Twitter account, May 31, 2020).
Pictures of the site of the explosion in Gaza City
(@abedcoo2010 Twitter account, May 31, 2020).

The PA campaign against Israel’s intention to annex parts of Judea and Samaria

The PA has begun a campaign to implement Mahmoud Abbas’ instructions to foil Israel’s intention to annex part of the PA territories. Various protests are planned for Judea and Samaria in the coming days. On Friday, June 5, 2020, events for Naksa Day (the day commemorating the Arab defeat in the Six Day War) will be exploited for demonstrations to protest the annexation plan.

  • Abd al-Munam Hamdan, second in command in Fatah’s bureau of mobilization and organization, said Fatah was formulating a national plan to fight Israel’s decision to annex territory, based on a struggle on the ground (Dunia al-Watan, June 1, 2020). Riyad al-Atari, PA minister of agriculture, announced a plan to support Palestinians in the Jordan Valley to fight Israel’s decision to annex territory. He said the plan included support for farmers, providing compensation for damages incurred as a result of Israel’s action, and the development of a water infrastructure in the region (Dunia al-Watan, June 1, 2020).
Implementing the decision to cancel agreements
  • In light of Mahmoud Abbas’ May 19, 2020 declaration regarding the cancellation of agreements with Israel, the PA has begun gradually implementing the decision. According to Majid al-Fityani, secretary of Fatah’s Revolutionary Council, the leadership is holding back-to-back meetings and discussions within the PLO’s Executive Committee and Fatah’s Central Committee to determine how to act with Israel in the post-declaration era (Dunia al-Watan, May 30, 2020).
  • The PLO’s Executive Committee reported that the decisions made by Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian National Council and the PLO’s Central Council will form the PA’s working plan for the next stage. The Executive Committee called for the establishment of suitable mechanisms to implement the decisions and reconstruct the relations between Palestine [sic] and Israel. That will include the ending of relations in the political, administrative, security and economic fields. The Committee said it would continue operating in the international arena and would call on various countries to take steps to punish the settlements and the products manufactured there. It also noted that the PLO would continue pursuing senior Israelis for their [alleged] “war crimes and crimes against humanity” and would attempt to receive status as a full member state of the UN (PLO website, May 27, 2020).
  • The following are a number of measures announced by the PA in the wake of Mahmoud Abbas’ speech:
  • In the field of economics: Khaled al-Asili, minister of the Palestinian national economy, said that the coordinating council of the private sector reported that it refused to conduct direct commercial relations with any Israel agency outside of official channels. He said the private sector would give his ministry a document elaborating the ways to overcome the obstacles placed by Israel before the Palestinian economy after the most recent decision of the Palestinian leadership (Wafa, May 30, 2020).
  • Imports: The Palestinian association of businessmen said that it would not present any direct requests to Israel’s civilian administration. As for merchandise arriving through ports “controlled by Israel,” the crossings administration was examining mechanisms to overcome the problem (al-Araby al-Jadeed, May 30, 2020).
  • Travel outside the PA territories: Ghassan Nimr, spokesman for the PA ministry of the interior, said that all Mahmoud Abbas’ trips would necessitate coordination with Jordan and international agencies. He said Mahmoud Abbas’ instructions also obligated all senior Palestinian figures as well as residents not to have ties with Israel. That meant the automatic cancellation of all VIP documents of senior Palestinian figures (al-Araby al-Jadeed, Sawa, May 30, 2020). All permits given to Palestinians have been suspended, including certificates of movement for medical treatment. The PA will coordinate with the Red Cross regarding the transfer of exceptional medical cases (QudsN, May 29, 2020). When the Allenby Bridge reopens, understandings will be put in place with the government of Jordan and arrangements will be made regarding the exit of Palestinians through the crossings to enable freedom of movement for Palestinian residents (website of the Roya channel, May 29, 2020).
  • In the civilian population registration: The Palestinians are working to formulate an agreement for registering births and deaths through an international agency with no connection to Israel[5] (QudsN website, May 29, 2020).
  • In the municipality arena: The Palestinian union of local authorities noted the obligation of all the municipalities and village councils to the leadership’s decisions regarding the cancellation of agreements with Israel. The local authorities are obligated not to contact any agency in Israel (Wafa, May 31,2020).
PA activity in the international arena
  • Alongside the plan to implement the Mahmoud Abbas’ decisions, the PA is actively trying to enlist the countries of the world to its side by noting that the PA is still interested in negotiations with Israel under international aegis. PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh again called on the EU countries to recognize the Palestinian state in order to preserve the two-state solution, in view of Israel’s threats to annex PA territories. During a video meeting with members of the European parliament Muhammad Shtayyeh said the Palestinians were leaving the door open to any serious initiative whose objective was to revive the peace process under international aegis led by the International Quartet. He stressed the need for the EU to take a serious, practical role upon itself to stop Israel’s annexation plans (Wafa, May 27, 2020).
PA activity in the International Criminal Court (ICC)
  • Omar Awadallah, head of the UN and special agencies department in the PA foreign ministry, said the International Criminal Court (ICC) had asked the PA for additional information and explanations about Mahmoud Abbas’ declaration regarding the Palestinian’s releasing itself from all agreements signed with Israel. The ICC also asked the PA for information about the Oslo Accords. Awadallah said that the PA would respond to the requests on June 10, 2020, and that its response would be based on Mahmoud Abbas’ declaration. He added that [according to the PA] the ICC’s legal authority in Palestine [sic] had not changed because of Mahmoud Abbas’ declaration. He said the declaration would not influence the status of Palestine [sic] as a state with the 1967 borders and with east Jerusalem as its capital, and it also would not change its status as a UN observer, granted in 2002 (Wafa, May 27, 2020).
  • Saeb Erekat, secretary of the PLO’s Executive Committee, claimed in an interview that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu would soon be tried in the ICC, and Israelis who had committed [alleged] war crimes would also be tried. He said Israel’s recent moves only served to reinforce the PA’s claims. He said that should Netanyahu annex the territories, the EU would impose sanctions and try him, he would not announce the annexation (RT in Arabic, May 30, 2020).
Attempt to equate IDF activity with the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis
  • Following the murder of George Floyd, posts and cartoons were uploaded to the social media (including to the official Fatah Facebook page) equating the strangulation of Floyd with the actions of the Israeli security forces against the Palestinians, with the caption, “I can’t breathe.”
Cartoons equating the death of George Floyd in the United States with the activities of IDF soldiers (Right: al-Hayat al-Jadeeda, June 1, 2020; Left: Twitter account of Muhammad Sabaani, May 30, 2020).   Cartoons equating the death of George Floyd in the United States with the activities of IDF soldiers (Right: al-Hayat al-Jadeeda, June 1, 2020; Left: Twitter account of Muhammad Sabaani, May 30, 2020).
Cartoons equating the death of George Floyd in the United States with the activities of IDF soldiers (Right: al-Hayat al-Jadeeda, June 1, 2020; Left: Twitter account of Muhammad Sabaani, May 30, 2020).

[1] For further information, see the June 1, 2020 bulletin, “The Fight against COVID-19 in the Palestinian Authority (PA) (updated to June 1, 2020).

[2] For further information, see the May 31, 2020 bulletin “The Fight against COVID-19 in the Gaza Strip (updated to May 31, 2020).


[3] A significant attack is defined by the ITIC as involving shooting, a vehicular attack, the use of IEDs, or a combination of the above. Stones and Molotov cocktails thrown by Palestinians are not included.


[4] In May 2010 a flotilla of six boats set sail for the Gaza Strip from Turkey, led by a Turkish Islamist organization called IHH. The organizers of the flotilla claimed they intended to bring “humanitarian aid” to the Gaza Strip, but in reality planned to exert pressure on Israel and force it to end the so-called “siege” of the Gaza Strip. The passengers aboard the Mavi Marmara who were not human rights activists but rather IHH operatives clashed with Israeli naval forces, and during the clashes ten Turks were killed.


[5] Until now, by virtue of the Oslo Accords, the PA updated the Israeli civil administration about births, deaths, marriages and drivers’ licenses.



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