An Israeli tank fired at a Hamas outpost on September 4th after IDF forces in the Beit Lahia neighborhood near Gaza came under small arms fire.
Egyptian authorities opened the Rafah crossing with Gaza for three days in late August, allowing Palestinians to travel on the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. Egypt keeps the border checkpoint closed, except for temporary openings around Muslim holidays.
Israel rejected a UN request to give 38-year-old Waheed Borsh diplomatic immunity after he was caught using his position at the United Nations Development Program to aid Hamas terrorists. Borsh is awaiting trial in Israeli jail.
Fox News reported that unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) patrolling Israel’s border with Gaza became operational earlier this year. The Ford F-350 pickup trucks are equipped with specialized remote system, four driving cameras and an 360 degree observation camera, keeping Israeli troops out of harm’s way.
Israel and the West Bank
Human Rights Watch voiced concern over a renewed Palestinian Authority crackdown on journalists and political activists ahead of upcoming elections in the West Bank. The group accused the Palestinian security forces of unlawful detentions and extrajudicial beatings.
Jihadists killed two police officers in the North Sinai provincial capital, el-Arish, on August 23, according to local media reports. The bodies of the two men, Mohamed Abdel Razik and Mohamed El-Zamlut, were taking to a military hospital. Another police officer was publically executed after being kidnapped by Islamic State’s Sinai affiliate the same week.
The IDF launched a retaliatory strike on a Syrian army artillery post after an errant shell landed in Israel on September 4. An official with the Syrian government said that the IDF used an unmanned aircraft to target the site.
Islamic State released a new video of one of its affiliates advancing on Yarmouk Valley, where the border of Israel, Syria, and Jordan meet. According to media reports, the footage shows heavy artillery and other military weaponry.
During a meeting between King Abdullah II of Jordan and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Cairo on August 24, the two Middle Eastern leaders were said to have discussed upcoming Palestinian elections. Both men raised concerns that Hamas could win elections in the West Bank, and that such an outcome would embolden and aid Muslim Brotherhood elements in their own countries. King Abdullah and President Sisi agreed that some type reconciliation agreement with the group’s rival, Fatah, could blunt some of Hamas’s more violent tendencies.