Home Frontline Defense Frontline Defense: August 16, 2016

Frontline Defense: August 16, 2016

A firefighter puts sprays water on a house following a drone crash on August 9, 2016. (Photo: Gil Eliyahu)

Israel and West Bank

Israeli police plan to use $1 billion to improve security and monitor terrorist activity in East Jerusalem, citing heavy concerns over safety and order in the predominantly Arab part of the city. The updates include additional cameras, new police stations, and an increase in the number of officers stationed in area.

The IDF arrested 14 Palestinians during an operation conducted across five cities in the West Bank on August 7th. Eleven of the men arrested, including one Hamas member, have links to terrorist activity or violence against Israelis.

An Arab man stabbed a young Israeli with a screwdriver on August 11th at a cemetery in East Jerusalem. The victim received medical care at a nearby hospital while the assailant fled the scene.

An Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) drone crash landed on a home in the northern village of Zalafa on August 9th, causing a fire and affecting 25 people in the village. The Heron 1 UAV crashed due to an engine malfunction, according to the army.

The Israeli Navy is preparing to counteract the threat of mini narco-submarines sonar detection and underwater patrols. Though narco-subs are built to smuggle drugs, the vessels can also transport money and weapons for Hezbollah and Hamas. 

The Israeli military destroyed the homes of the two Palestinian men who had killed four people and injured numerous others in an attack on a market in Tel Aviv in June.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s group Fatah published a Facebook post on August 2nd highlighting the killing of Israelis as its main accomplishment. The post is part of a move to boost Fatah’s legitimacy ahead of the October 8 municipal elections, where Fatah will compete with rival Hamas for seats in the long-dormant Palestinian Parliament.

Israeli media reported the price of guns on the black market in the West Bank has risen significantly over the past year. The source of the increase is unknown, however some speculate the increased Israeli crackdown on smuggling and intensified Palestinian security campaign may be factors.


Israel indicted Mohammad el-Halabi, a Palestinian employee of Christian aid group World Vision on August 2nd for aiding Hamas. El-Halabi is alleged to have siphoned off $43 million to support the terrorist group, which Hamas used to build a military base and dig tunnels between Gaza and Israel. The following week, Israeli security forces arrested Waheed Borsh, a UN aid worker and engineer, for sending supplies sending supplies to Hamas terrorists.

A tunnel collapse on August 10th injured eight Palestinian Islamic Jihad tunnel operatives in the town of Shuja’yya in northern Gaza. It is the third collapse of the month, including one that killed a Hamas operative on August 6th.

The Israeli Defense Ministry issued contracts to four Israeli companies to construct an underground barrier around the Gaza Strip starting in October. The $2 billion barrier will also have radar systems to detect tunnels under construction close by, a move which Israeli officials hope will put an end to the tunnel issue permanently.

The Shin Bet foiled an attempt to smuggle knives into the Gaza Strip across the Egypt-Israel border on August 9th, confiscating two crates of commando knives.

Golan Heights

Several weeks after the incident, Moscow finally admitted that a Russian military drone launched from Syria on July 17th breached Israeli airspace over the Golan Heights. The Kremlin initially denied the claim before announcing its mistake.


Egyptian Intelligence sources verified on August 4th that an air operation successfully killed Islamic State’s Sinai affiliate leader Abu Dua al-Ansari. Al-Ansari is credited with organizing the bombing aboard a Russian aircraft which killed 224 in late 2015.

Islamic State in Sinai took responsibility for two IED attacks that killed an officer and injured eight bystanders on August 9th. The injured were rushed to a hospital, where community members gathered to protest similar violence against civilians in Sinai.

Islamic State’s Sinai affiliate released a video on August 2nd promising to attack Israel and Jews. Fighters for the group also threatened violence against Rome and against Egyptian military forces.