Israel and the West Bank
Two Palestinians stabbed 23-year-old Israeli Shlomit Krigman to death near the West Bank settlement of Beit Horon on January 25th. One other Israeli, 58, was also injured in the attack, before the two assailants were shot and killed by a security guard.
The IDF temporarily closed roads leading to and from Ramallah on February 1st, after a shooting the previous day injured three Israeli soldiers. The security measures were lifted at the end of the day.
Eight Hamas terrorists died after the tunnel they were in near the Israeli border collapsed, according to a spokesman for the group. Hamas claimed that four other men with Hamas’s military wing were rescued and that the same tunnel was used to capture the body of IDF soldier Oron Shaul during Operation Protective Edge in 2014. Heavy rain could have cause the passageway to cave in.
Israeli officials warned that they may increase restrictions on Palestinians traveling from Gaza into Israel for medical reasons after two Hamas operatives passed through the border checkpoint with fake passports on January 7th. The men escaped from hospital and traveled to Umm el-Fahm in northern Israel, where they were detained.
The IDF stationed an artillery battery on the border with Gaza following a series of security incidents in the area. Military officials said the move was a regular realignment of forces and position and not in response to any specific threat. Such artillery is well-positioned for a quick response to rockets fire.
Gunman opened fire on an Egyptian police checkpoint in the North Sinai provincial capital of el-Arish, killing five policeman and wounding two conscripts on January 21st. No group claimed responsibility for the attack.
Unidentified militants set off an IED that killed at least four Egyptian army soldiers and injured another 12 people on the outskirts of el-Arish on January 27th. Islamic State’s Sinai affiliate has taken responsibility for similar attacks against government forces.
An Egyptian court dismissed a motion to bar Hamas members from entering and exiting Egyptian territory. The court will wait until an investigation into an August 2012 terrorist attack in Sinai, which claimed the lives of 16 soldiers, is complete before making a determination.
Reuters reported that Egyptian investigators suspect an EgyptAir mechanic, whose cousin joined Islamic State fighters in Syria, was behind the mid-air bombing of a MetroJet flight that departed Sharm el-Sheikh airport late last year. All 224 people on board were killed. While Cairo has not confirmed any these claims publically, four people have supposedly been detained for the crime.
Israel’s Ministry of Defense announced on January 20th that it had begun building a security barrier on the border with Jordan. Approved last June, a 19-mile-long fence will run from Eilat to Sands of Samar and be similar to the one already constructed on the Egyptian side of the border with “roads, observation towers, operations rooms and other advanced means.” Construction is expected to cost $75 million.