Israel and the West Bank
The Palestinian Authority has distributed over one billion dollars to terrorists and their families over the past four years, according to a former director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs.
A Palestinian woman stabbed and wounded an Israeli soldier outside the West Bank settlement of Mevo Datan on June 1. The attacker, who was shot and eventually died, had repeatedly ignored a nearby guard’s warnings to stop.
Israel’s Civil Administration’s Supreme Planning Council is expected to approve the construction of 2,000 new units in the West Bank. Some of the units are planned to be built outside existing settlements.
As part of a wider economic initiative, Israel has granted the Palestinian Authority (PA) greater jurisdiction in Area C sections of the West Bank for development and construction permitting. Area C, established by the Oslo Accords, are sections under complete Israeli administrative and military control. The agreement will also halt Israel’s previous policy allowing the dismantling of unapproved buildings in Area C.
Hamas executed three men in late May after they were convicted of killing Mazen Faqha, a senior Hamas military commander. One of the executions was live-streamed on Facebook for about 20 minutes but was eventually taken down.
Despite the PA’s refusal to fully pay the $11 million monthly electricity bill, Israel’s Energy Minister, Yuval Steinitz, says his agency will uphold Israel’s current power supply to Gaza. Steinitz’s refusal to change the energy quota aims to keep Israel becoming from enmeshed in the political disputes between the PA and Hamas.
Hamas’s new leader in Gaza, Yehiya Sinwar, led a three man delegation to Egypt for a meeting with the country’s security officials to discuss the challenges Palestinians face with the Egyptian blockade on the Rafah crossing.
Iran has renewed its monetary support for Hamas, according to an Arabic-language media outlet. The agreement comes after numerous meetings between the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Hamas, and Hezbollah in Lebanon. Since the Syrian war’s inception, their relationship has been rocky as Hamas opposes Iran’s desire to keep Assad in power.
The Israel Defense Forces released a man back into Syria after he had been arrested for breaking through a security fence along the Israeli border. The unarmed man was asked questions by Israel’s intelligence agency, Shin Bet, and released shortly after.
Two Palestinians from Gaza were killed fighting alongside the ISIS affiliate in Sinai on June 2. Both men, in their mid-twenties, follow a long line of Palestinians who have fought with ISIS across the Middle East.
A roadside bomb killed three army conscripts in continued unrest in Sinai on May 25. Unknown gunman also shot and killed an off-duty policeman in the town of el-Arish on the same day.
Islamic State’s Sinai affiliate kidnapped and beheaded four Bedouins living in Sinai on May 22. Two days later, a newly formed anti-ISIS Bedouin group called the Tribal Union of Sinai publicly accused Hamas of providing weapons, shelter, and training to ISIS fighters in the Sinai.
Qatar released a list of Hamas leaders and called for their expulsion from the country, according to a Lebanese news outlet. Hamas rejected the reports, saying there were other reasons for relocating their officials.
Multiple gunmen on motorcycles, suspected of being affiliated with terrorist groups in Syria, attempted to overrun the Rukban border crossing in Northeast Jordan on June 3. A Jordanian government statement said that one border guard was injured in the attack, but did not disclose the how many attackers might have died.