- While contacts for arrangement are bogged down, Hamas recently stepped up the level of violence against Israel. In the “return march” events (September 14, 2018), there was more violence than last week; During the march, hand grenades and pipe bombs were thrown at IDF soldiers; In the following days, hand grenades and pipe bombs were thrown, and IEDs were planted near the security fence. In addition, arson terrorism continued (incendiary balloons were found in a playground in the Israeli city of Kiryat Gat, about 50 km from the Gaza Strip).
- At the same time, the Palestinians initiate provocations and display “creative thinking” in developing tactics of disturbing and wearing down the IDF soldiers. Thus, a designated unit was established, engaging in disturbing the IDF at night (burning tires, throwing Molotov cocktails at IDF positions, operating sirens). Furthermore, in the background, there are extra weekly events in addition to the “return marches” (protest flotilla and demonstrations on the beach on Mondays, demonstrations in the area of the Erez crossing on Tuesdays). These provocations, in the ITIC’s assessment, have the potential for renewed escalation, even if Hamas’s intention is to keep the increased tension in control as long as an arrangement has not been reached.
- The main event in Judea and Samaria was a stabbing attack at the entrance to a mall in the Gush Etzion Junction. The man who was stabbed, Ari Fuld, a US citizen, died of his wounds. The perpetrator was shot and detained by the Israeli security forces. Other weekly attacks were also carried out: throwing IEDs, shooting attacks and throwing stones at Israeli vehicles.
- The spokesman for the Hamas-controlled Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip warned (September 9, 2018) that the fuel in the hospitals would be sufficient for only 10 days, and afterwards the population would be deprived of medical services. The spokesman for the Palestinian Authority’s Health Ministry responded that the PA government had no control over the Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip managed by Hamas, and it would not serve as an “ATM” for it.
- As yet another step in the series of measures taken by the United States against the Palestinians, it was recently decided in the US to close the PLO office in Washington. This evoked reactions of rage from the PA, and threats to resort to the UN and the ICC in The Hague.
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