Two mortars from Syria landed in the Israeli community of Ein Zivan on April 28th. Civil alert sirens warned of the attack, which the IDF characterized as unintentional “spillover” from Syria’s civil war. A few days later on May 4th, two UN peacekeepers were wounded when mortar rounds from Syria landed in an United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) base in Zivanit.
Al-Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra Front clashed with the Islamic State-linked Jaish al-Jihad in Quneitra province, near the Syrian border with Israel. As IS loses control over territory in northern Iraq, the group’s sympathizers have increasingly concentrated on fighting in other parts of Syria, including southern Damascus and near the Golan Heights.
Arab news outlets reported that Israeli warplanes bombed several bases belonging to the Syrian missile brigades in the Qalamoun mountains, northeast of Damascus near the Lebanese border. Jerusalem declined to comment on the strike, but has justified military intervention in Syria to combat the transfer of advanced weapons to Hezbollah. However, other reports suggest Syrian rebel groups could be responsible for the explosions.
Israeli soldiers walk past vehicles of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) near the town of Majdal Shams, on the Golan Heights, April 27, 2015. (Photo: AFP)
An Israeli Air Force bomb killed four militants attempting to plant explosives near a border fence after they passed into Israel from Syria on April 26th. According to Ynet, the strike killed two Druze brothers, who were likely trained by Hezbollah.
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter canceled a planned trip to Gaza after meeting with other Palestinian leaders in the West Bank, including Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas. During his recent trip to the region, President Carter also described Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal as “strongly in favor of the peace process” and declined to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu because it would be a “waste of time.”
Terrorists in Gaza launched two rockets at Israel as Israeli citizens celebrated their country’s 67th Independence Day. One rocket fell short and landed in Gaza, while the other one landed in an open area without incident. The IDF responded by firing tank rounds where the rockets were launched. The attack was the first rocket fire to hit Israel this year. A week later, another rocket launched from Gaza but fell short of hitting Israel.
Israeli prosecutors filed charges against three IDF soldiers accused of looting last summer during Operation Protective Edge.
A group calling itself the Supporters of ISIS in Jerusalem released a statement on May 4th demanding Hamas release all Salafists prisoners in 72 hours. The organization threatened to “act against chosen targets,” however it is unclear if the ultimatum was connected to a bombing outside the Hamas security headquarters earlier the same day.
The mortar round that killed four-year-old Daniel Tragerman in southern Israel during Operation Protective Edge was fired from a UN compound, said Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz during a speech at a law conference. The former IDF Chief of Staff argued that the international community should update laws that govern war to reflect the actions of terrorist organizations in today’s asymmetric battles.
Hamas’ military branch, the al-Qassam Brigades, announced that one of its fighters died in a tunnel collapse on May 2nd in northern Gaza. The group identified Nihad Awad Khleif, 30, from Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza, as the deceased.
A spokesperson for the Egyptian armed forces announced that the military killed 115 suspected jihadists during fighting in Sinai last month. Most of the militants were killed near cities along the Mediterranean coast. Meanwhile, State of Sinai claimed responsibility for a roadside bomb that killed three Egyptian soldiers.
State of Sinai terrorists killed a Bedouin man for refusing to take their handouts warning civilians not to associate with the Egyptian military or government. A Twitter account for the group showed masked men in camouflage uniforms distributing “warning statements” to the local Tarabin tribe near Rafah. In response, the Tarabin announced they would retaliate against State of Sinai for the killing.
A picture posted to their official Twitter account shows Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis (also known as State of Sinai) militants distributing leaflets. (Photo: The Cairo Post)
In late April, the administration of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi extended a state of emergency in northern Sinai by three more months. The government has been implementing martial law after a series of terrorist attacks last October. A daily 11-hour curfew remains in effect in Rafah and Sheikh Zuwayed.
A 16-year-old Palestinian attempted to stab an IDF soldier on a bus traveling between Gush Etzion and Jerusalem on May 2nd. With the help of a military policeman and a civilian security guard, the soldier was able to restrain the attacker.
Two attackers attempted to stab IDF soldiers near the northern West Bank settlement of Yakir on May 3rd. Both men were subdued and detained for questioning.
Shin Bet announced the arrest of a terror cell that carried out firebombings and pipe bomb attacks on the Elisha military academy in the West Bank. The six men arrested, aged 19 to 23, wore face masks as they carried out five attacks over a two month period.