October 2016 major incidents
Shooting Attack in Jerusalem on Oct. 9th
Palestinian Misbah Abu Sbaih, known to be a member of Al-Mourabitoun* was sentenced to four months in Al Ramla Israeli prison on the claim of assaulting an Israeli officer in the Old City of Jerusalem in 2013, and he was scheduled to turn himself to the Israeli authorities on October 9th. On the morning of October 9th, Misbah carried out a drive-by shooting attack in Jerusalem killing two Israelis and injuring four. The attack started when Misbah opened fire towards Israelis at the light-rail stop on the opposite direction of the main Police headquarters in Ammunition Hill, then headed to the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, while Israeli police pursued him on motorcycles, Misbah opened fire towards Police and they shot and killed him.
Security threat level in Jerusalem increased after the incident as ISF closed a number of the city’s entrances. In a raid operation to Misbah’s house in Al-Ram 11.01 km N of Jerusalem, heavy clashes erupted between ISF and Palestinians while ISF arrested his father, brother and sister. Throughout the week following the shooting attack, ISF raided Al-Ram many times leading to clashes with Palestinians every time.
Heavy clashes between ISF and Palestinians in Al Quds University in Abu Dis
On Oct. 8th heavy clashes were reported between ISF and students of Al Quds University in Abu Dis 5.92 km E of Jerusalem , after a raid on the university, ISF fired tear gas bombs and rubber bullets at Palestinian students. According to the Red Crescent, 52 Palestinians were injured that day. On October 17th, clashes erupted again between ISF and students as ISF fired tear gas bombs excessively leading to the injury of 27 due to tear gas suffocation.
- A vehicle attack was reported on October 13th in Al-Za'ayyem CP 6.67 km NE of Jerusalem where a Palestinian vehicle stormed into the Checkpoint injuring two Israeli soldiers and continued into Al-Za’ayyem town, the attacker has not been caught. Another vehicle attack was reported on October 19th, in Al-Tur NE Jerusalem; a Palestinian on a motorcycle targeted two Israelis and injured them. The attacker was later arrested by ISF.
- Oct. 20th, a Palestinian was injured in a vehicle attack by an Israeli in Hizma 10.38 km NE of
- On October 25th, a vehicle attack was reported in Azzun 7.63 km E of Qalqilya targeting a Palestinian and injuring him, the attack was carried out by an ISF military vehicle.
- Oct. 11th & Oct. 12th, two shooting attacks were reported in Ni’lin 16.22 km W of Ramallah targeting an ISF military vehicle during a search operation, no injuries were reported and the attackers were not found in both incidents.
- Oct. 16th, ISF closed Qalandiya CP 6.24 km SE of Ramallah after a shooting attack targeting ISF, no injuries were reported and the attackers were not found.
- Oct. 26th, a shooting attack was reported in Abu-Dis targeting ISF, no injuries were reported and the attackers have not been apprehended.
- Oct. 26th, a shooting attack in Qalqilya targeting an Israeli vehicle was reported after it had entered Qalqilya mistakenly.
- Oct. 1st, A stabbing attack was reported at Qalandiya CP 6.24 km SE of Ramallah, targeting a member of ISF and leading to his injury. The attacker was shot and killed instantly.
- Oct. 14th, an ISF member was injured after a stabbing attack by a Palestinian near Har Adar 9.83 km NW of Jerusalem, ISF increased their security measures and conducted a search operation but have yet to find the attacker.
- Oct. 19th, a Palestinian was injured in a stabbing attack near Ma'ale Adumim 9.55 km E of Jerusalem by a group of Israeli settlers near the settlement.
Tension that started in the Occupied Palestinian Territories in mid-September 2015, intensified in October and was portrayed by pervasive clashes with ISF, along with almost daily attacks on Israelis. As the graph indicates, in comparison with October 2016, Palestinian death toll was significantly higher in October 2015. 64 Palestinians were killed, while in 2016, 9 Palestinians were killed. The Israeli death toll in 2015 was also higher as 10 Israelis were killed as opposed to 3 in 2016.
On September 27th, “Zaytouna” boat sailed from Sicily towards the Gaza Strip in hope of breaking the siege enforced on Gaza since 2006 and delivering the needed aid. 13 female activists of various nationalities sailed on board as a part of a women’s initiative to break the siege on Gaza Strip. Zaytouna ship was expected to be accompanied by another women-led boat “Amal” but sailed alone as the latter suffered from technical problems two days before sailing. Israeli Authorities have obstructed such initiatives in the past and prevented flotillas from approaching Gaza’s shore. In 2010, ISF opened fire towards “Mavi Marmara”, the biggest boat in the convoy “Freedom Flotilla” while in international waters, killing ten Turkish activists and causing tension in the Turkish-Israeli relations.
On October 5th, Zaytouna boat approached Gaza’s shores, while Israeli naval forces set out from Ashdod port to intercept it. Strikes were launched by ISF targeting Gaza simultaneous to the arrival of Zaytouna Ship, contact between Palestinians and the ship’s activists was lost during the strikes, as Israeli naval forces surrounded the ship and ordered the ship to return to Ashdod’s port.
On October 6th, the activists were deported each to their country through lod airport. it was reported that around 17 strikes were launched by ISF targeting different locations in Gaza Strip including Khan Yunis City, Beit Hanoun, Nuseirat RC 5.25 km NE of Deir Al-Balah, Al-Zaytun NW Gaza City, Tuffah NE Gaza City, one Palestinian was reportedly injured, while in Beit Lahia 4.12 km NW of Beit Hanoun, ISF targeted a building for the harbor patrol, but no injuries were reported as the building was vacant. Zaher Berawi, head of the international committee for breaking the siege on Gaza, described Israeli forces’ dealing with the situation as “Piracy in international waters” according to the Palestinian Information Center. Israeli
authorities refused to comment on reports.
Tension between PA security forces and Palestinians
On October 22nd, PA security forces have reportedly broken into a meeting in Ramallah City attended by many of Fateh’s members; according to the Palestinian Press Agency “Safa” a security source stated that the meeting held was illegal and illegitimate. The source argued, the reason behind stopping the meeting was that it was called for by individuals who hold different agendas, and aims at creating a division within the Fateh’s Party. The sources also added the meeting was held without authorization. It has been reported that the meeting was held by Mohammad Dahlan’s supporters in Al-Am'ari RC 2.69 km SE of Ramallah, as declared in a statement by the group, the meeting aimed at discussing remedy
for the inner disputes among the Party.
On the eve of October 23rd, President Mahmoud Abbas laid off Jihad Tamliyeh (from Al-Am’ari RC), a member of the Legislative council from Fateh’s Party, and Ra’fat Elayyan, Fateh’s representative in Jerusalem Province; after passing the resolution, Palestinians gathered on the entrance of the camp in protest. Shortly after, armed clashes erupted between PA security forces and Palestinians in Al-Am’ari RC after PA security forces attempted to block the protest. PA security forces have reportedly used rubber bullets and fired tear gas bombs towards the protesters, and clashes continued throughout the last week of October. Clashes were also reported in Jenin RC W Jenin and Balata RC SE Nablus, as PA security forces continuously raided the two camps in an operation to search for and arrest unlawful individuals in Refugee camps.
Throughout this month, raid operations have been reported on daily basis leading to clashes including armed clashes between gunmen and PA security forces in Balata RC. The governor of Nablus Akram Rojoub stated, PA Security forces’ operations are carried out as planned in order to reveal unlawful individuals in the camp. Clashes in Balata RC were last reported on the 29th of October, where PA security forces raided the camp from all entrances, while snipers resided on roof tops, leading to armed clashes with gunmen in the camp. Two Palestinians were injured, one of which was a member of the PA security forces, and other injuries reported of tear gas suffocation, while no arrest operations were reported during this month. Armed clashes erupted between PA security forces and civilians in Jenin RC W Jenin as well. Reports indicate that the situation started escalating when PA security forces arrested the recently freed prisoner Qais Al Sa’di and continued to conduct arrest operations in the camp throughout the week. On Oct. 12th, the armed clashes were described as one of the more intense clashes between PA security forces and the residents of the camp. Heavy clashes also erupted on October 28th, after a raid operation. According to Palestinian sources, a Police officer’s firearm was taken from him near Jenin Hospital by a Palestinian who fled into the camp. PA security forces raided the camp and clashes erupted between them and Palestinians who burnt tires to block the entrances of the camp and targeted PA security forces with stones, they in turn opened fire towards residents injuring one.
Demands by representatives of Civil Society Organizations for reconciliation between Fateh and Hamas
On October 22nd, representatives of the civil society organizations in the West Bank and Gaza strip organized two simultaneous sit-ins in Ramallah and Gaza demanding the ending of the division between Fateh and Hamas; the movement criticized both parties for creating a division between Palestinians as well. They also demanded forming a national leadership and going through with the national elections. It was reported by Al-Jazeerah that the preparations for the sit-ins have not been obstructed by PA in Ramallah or by Hamas in Gaza.
Following the sit-ins, on October 27th President Mahmoud Abbas, Khaled Mash’al head of political office for Hamas, and his deputy Ismail Haniyeh, met in Qatar with the presence of Qatar’s minister of foreign affairs in order to discuss the Palestinian reconciliation. A statement from Hamas, declared that a complete integrated plan for reconciliation has been presented in the meeting through specific procedures and steps abiding previous agreements between the two parties, especially regarding going through with legislative and national elections.