The IDF shot down a Hamas drone that flew from Gaza over the Mediterranean Sea on September 20. Israeli officials said that the UAV had been under surveillance since it took off and that its flight lasted only a few minutes. No details of the drone’s size or design were released.
The Israeli Air Force launched targeted strikes against three Hamas facilities in Gaza on September 15th in response to a mortar fired from the enclave that landed in Israel.
Israel began constructed a $530 million above and below-ground concrete barrier along the border with Gaza, according to reports in The Times of Israel. The first stages of the wall will run near Israeli-inhabited areas close to the border.
Two ships carrying about 30 female pro-Palestinian activists set sail from Barcelona and will try to break the naval blockade on Gaza. Under the name “Women’s Boat to Gaza,” the flotilla movement plans to stop in multiple Mediterranean Sea ports to gain notoriety before attempting to run the blockade.
Israeli prosecutors filed an indictment against Abd Saqallah, a Palestinian who is currently in police custody, for smuggling scuba diving equipment into Gaza. Saqallah sold hundred of flippers, masks, and wetsuits to Hamas’s Nukhba naval commando unit.
Hamas rejected a deal to exchange the remains of two Israeli soldiers who were killed in 2014 for Palestinian prisoners, according to an official in Jerusalem.
Israel and the West Bank
Mid-September saw an uptick in Palestinian violence against Israelis. According to the IDF, two assailants rammed their vehicle into a civilian bus stop near Kiryat Arba on September 16, wounding three people. Meanwhile, three separate stabbing attacks occurred on September 16, 17, and 18. Two attackers were killed, but no Israelis died in these attacks.
Iron Dome intercepted two mortar shells fired from Syria on September 18. Local media reports that the high trajectory launchings were errant fire from Syria’s civil war with the rounds likely landing in Syria. Three other projectiles from Syria struck open areas in the Israeli Golan Heights on September 13 before the IDF responded by bombing Syrian Army artillery positions.
IDF officials are preparing for a Islamic State attack from Sinai using stolen Egyptian military kit. Intelligence suggests that the terrorists could launch their assault in the next six months with an Egyptian tank and Russian-made Kornet anti-tank missiles.
Cell phone and internet services were cut in al-Arish during a security sweep on September 18. Heavy fighting broke out between security forces in Sheikh Zuweid the same day, however the Egyptian government refused to comment to local media about the results of the operation. Northern Sinai remains under a state of emergency and a media blackout.