This past week during the Friday “return march” and the following days there again was a high level of violence: rioters, some of them children, were on the front lines and clashed with IDF soldiers, threw Molotov cocktails and hand grenades, and climbed on the security fence. Violent events continued into the days and nights after the Friday march and the launching of incendiary balloons into Israeli territory was renewed. In the meantime Hamas continued its belligerent rhetoric, which included threats it would increase the level of violence.

An Iranian Arabic TV channel broadcast a program about the military capabilities of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), Iran’s preferred terrorist organization. According to the program, the PIJ has successfully developed “precise missiles” and has the capability to launch rockets and missiles at the central Israeli cities of Tel Aviv, Netanya and Jerusalem.

Palestinians continue to react with anger to the deduction of funds from the tax revenues collected for the Palestinian Authority (PA) by Israel: Mahmoud Abbas said the PA would not agree to receive any funds from Israel after deductions had been made; the Palestinians would appeal to international courts, including the International Criminal Court and to the president of France (in view of the Paris Protocol); and Israeli goods would be boycotted. A “senior PA source” also threatened to stop paying Hamas government officials, which may lead to another round of escalation with Israel.

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