Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon told reporters at a news conference that Operation Protective Edge cost the government approximately $2.5 billion. He said that each Iron Dome interception cost $100,000, but the missile defense system is “worth it” when compared to the potential damage. Yaalon also criticized the international community for allowing Turkey to host Hamas leaders and said that Iran was helping Hamas rearm.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) estimated rebuilding Gaza would cost $7.8 billion. The United Arab Emirates pledged $41 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to help repair homes in Gaza. A Qatari charity promised approximately $6 million more for rebuilding the area. The UN and the PA, requested $551 million immediate aid from international donors to focus on displaced people.
Hamas has refused to relinquish control of the Rafah crossing to Palestinian Authority security forces, an Egyptian prerequisite for reopening the crossing. Abbas chastised Hamas in mid-September, saying the terrorist organization refuses to let PA civil servants operate in Gaza.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas before an Arab League meeting earlier this year. (Photo: AFP)
Abbas also threatened to end the unity government, to which both sides agreed in April. An argument over how to pay some 27,000 Hamas civil servants in Gaza also remains unresolved.
A Hamas deputy told reporters in Cairo that indirect talks between Israel and Hamas would resume sometime this month. Hamas wants to reopen an air and seaport while Israel insists that militants in Gaza must disarm, but neither side appears ready to compromise.
Twelve IDF officers with the rank of brigadier-general or above will lead special investigation teams tasked with assessing the performance of the Israeli military during Operation Protective Edge. Intelligence, air defense systems, inter-service coordination, and certain high profile airstrikes will all be reviewed.
The Algemeiner reports that Hamas and other terrorist organizations could use mini-submarines or semi-submersibles to smuggle weapons into Gaza from Egypt. Some of these vessels have supposedly been used by Latin American cartels to hide drugs in the Caribbean.
Two weeks after Israel targeted Hamas leaders near the end of Operation Protective Edge, a number of top posts remain unfilled. The fate of Hamas commander Muhammed Deif remains unknown, but he has not been seen in public since an Israeli airstrike on his house.
On September 14th, the IDF detained a man for questioning after he passed through the Gaza border fence into Israel while yielding a knife.
Hundreds of stone throwing youths clashed with Israeli police after the funeral of a 22-year-old Palestinian who was killed in an Israeli operation to arrest a Hamas militant.
An Israeli prosecutor indicted Husam Kawasme, the mastermind behind the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in June. Kawasme obtained funding for the operation from his brother, another Hamas member released as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange. According to The Times of Israel, Kawasme and other conspirators reported to Hamas’s leader in Turkey, Saleh al-Arouri.
A Palestinian taxi driver attempted to run over an Israeli soldier on September 11th in the West Bank. The driver was taken into police custody.
Military officials with the IDF’s Northern Command warned that Hezbollah might launch a large scale ground incursion during a future confrontation with Israel. While there was no evidence of an imminent threat, the report cites that hundreds of fighters could try to seize communities and military outposts close to the Lebanese border under the cover of rocket fire.
On September 15th, all UN peacekeepers on the Syrian side of the Golan had been evacuated to Israel due to continued attacks on their positions. Nevertheless, Irish Defense Minister Simon Coveney said that his country will deploy troops with the mission. A few days earlier, 45 Fijian soldiers were released by Jabat al-Nusra, an al-Qaeda affiliated rebel group, following two weeks in captivity. According to local media reports, al-Nusra may have received up to $20 million in ransom from Qatar in exchange for the prisoners.
A convoy of United Nations Disengagement Observer Force vehicles seen leaving the Syrian side of the Golan Heights on September 15, 2014. (Photo: AFP)
Senior Israeli Air Force (IAF) commanders said they have significantly increased overflights of the Syrian border in light of the advance of rebel fighters in southern Syria. On September 1st, the army declared a closed military zone near the Quneitra crossing, and promised that any incursion would be met with a military response. Several stray mortar rounds have landed in the Israeli Golan over the past few weeks.
Islamic State fighters have helped train members of the Sinai-based terrorist organization Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis according to a recent Reuters report. Arguably the strongest insurgent group in Sinai, al-Maqdis beheaded another five people for ‘collaborating’ with Israel on September 2nd, following four beheadings in August.
A powerful roadside bomb killed five members of the Egyptian security forces near the border town of Rafah on September 16th.
Egyptian security forces killed nine militants and arrested 11 more during a raid in North Sinai on September 3rd. According to a government source, the militants tried launch a counterattack with a RPG.
Fifteen Palestinian migrants died near Alexandria when their boat sunk on its way to Italy. It is believed that 160 Palestinians were on the vessel at the time.