The Arab League joined the war of words over the slow pace of reconstruction in Gaza. The group’s Secretary General Nabil Elaraby told London-based al-Hayat newspaper that “the internal differences and the absence of cooperation between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas are behind the delay in reconstructing the Gaza Strip.” Meanwhile, Israeli officials accused Hamas of obstructing rebuilding by extorting taxes and stealing supplies for terror tunnels.
Three Palestinians from Bureij, Gaza were arrested after they illegally crossed the border fence with Israel on February 24th.
Construction supplies at a warehouse in Gaza. (Photo: AP)
Following the Egyptian Supreme Count designation of Hamas as a terrorist organization, legal advisors in the government authorized military strikes on Hamas interests in Gaza. While a senior official in Cairo said any such attack was unlikely, the government hopes that it will deter future Hamas support for terrorist attacks in Egypt.
The Egyptian government announced that army and police operations in Sinai killed 172 militants in February. Officials reported that 229 suspected jihadists had been arrested and that El-Arish, Sheikh Zuweid, and Rafat remained the most active cities for the Islamist insurgency.
A senior Egyptian military officer was killed and another soldier was injured when a tunnel leading to Gaza collapsed. Lt. Col. Hussam Hamdi Abdel-Aziz went into the tunnel shortly after it was discovered near Rafah’s intelligence headquarters.
An Egyptian newspaper with close ties to the government accused Hamas rulers of conspiring with the Muslim Brotherhood to discredit and overthrow President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. The Islamists planned to launch attacks against various institutions over the next few years in an effort to lower domestic and international support for the government, making people believe it was an obstacle to stability in the region.
The Shin Bet announced it had uncovered multiple West Bank terror cells in December and January. Two cells linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) opened fire on Israeli vehicles and planned to target IDF troops with pipe bombs. Seperately, Israeli security forces arrested 11 members of a Hamas terror cell in Hebron after a failed suicide bombing.
A four year old girl severely injured during a 2013 stone-throwing attack died from neurological and pneumonia complications. Hundred of mourners gathered in the West Bank town of Yakir to attend her funeral.
PA president Mahmoud Abbas threatened to halt security cooperation with Israel following Jerusalem’s decision to withhold million of dollars in tax revenues from the governing body. Israel’s government has retained approximately $280 million, 70% percent of the PA’s revenue, following the PA’s decision to join the International Criminal Court.
Police suspect Israeli extremists of setting a mosque on fire in the West Bank village of Jabaa. The IDF is investigating the incident, which is similar to other “price tag” attacks.
Israeli troops shot and killed a Palestinian teenager during a military raid in Bethlehem on February 24th. An IDF spokesperson said soldiers “encountered a violent crowd that was hurling stones, blocks, and firebombs at them.” IDF troops, feeling as if their lives were in danger, fired at the instigator, Jihad Jaafari.
The mayor of Jerusalem helped subdue a 18-year old Palestinian man after he knifed an ultra-Orthodox Jew in the stomach on February 22nd. According to reports, Mayor Nir Barkat and his bodyguard were driving near city hall when they saw the stabbing take place. The two men wrestled the young Palestinian to the ground and waited for police to arrive.
Screenshot of a video showing Mayor Nir Barkat and his bodyguard at the scene of the attack. (Photo: AFP)
Hezbollah’s progress fighting al-Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra rebels in the Syrian Golan Heights has slowed without showing any tangible gains, according to a report in The Times of Israel. Fighters originally blamed the stall in their offensive on cold, snowy weather near Quneitra. Opposition forces also reported no significant increase in casualties despite reports that chlorine gas was used on the battlefield.
The UN deployed 146 Fijian peacekeepers to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) following their recent withdrawal from United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in Syria. Commanders characterized their new posting as temporary, saying they would only return to Syria based on the security conditions on the ground.
The IDF installed a series of concrete barriers near the Syrian border in the Golan Heights following a Hezbollah missile attack last month that killed two Israeli soldiers.