On May 15, 2019, Nakba Day events were held in the Gaza Strip with the format of the weekly return marches. About 10,000 Palestinians participated, somewhat more than the recent weekly average. Hamas operatives, wearing yellow vests, tried to restrain the rioters and prevent them from reaching the fence. However, in effect, there was violence towards the IDF, including throwing IEDs and attempts to cross the border fence into Israeli territory.
Despite the understandings reached at the end of the most recent round of escalation, senior Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) figures continue using belligerent rhetoric. In speeches given for Nakba Day they stressed their adherence to the “sacred right of return,” and the path of violent struggle and jihad. They continued threatening Israel, including threats of rocket fire, IED kites and the renewal of the activities of the Night Harassment Units. On the ground IED and incendiary balloon terrorism continues (this past week fires broke out in the Israeli communities near the Gaza Strip and clusters of balloons were reported).
The Israel security forces recently solved a series of shooting attacks in the Ramallah region. The attacks were carried out by Zakariya Zubeidi, a veteran terrorist operative who currently holds a senior position in the Palestinian Authority (PA) ministry of prisoners’ affairs. Another operative, employed as a lawyer by the ministry of prisoners’ affairs, was also detained. Their detention prevented another attack.
The United States and Bahrain announced that an economic workshop would be held in Manama, the capital city, on June 25 and 26, 2019. The workshop is supposed to be part of Trump’s “deal of the century.” The Palestinians were quick to announce they intend to boycott the workshop, which they regard as an expression of normalization with Israel and acceptance of the American “deal of the century.”
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