Israel and the West Bank
Three Israeli Arabs armed with guns and knives killed two Israeli police officers on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City on Friday, July 14. Israeli security forces shot and killed the two assailants and closed the compound for two days. On Sunday, Muslim worshippers were gradually allowed to re-enter the site amid increased security measures such as metal detectors at the gates and more security cameras.
A Palestinian man attempted to run over Israeli soldiers with his car near the West Bank settlement of Tekoa on July 10, but crashed into a pole instead. Israeli forces at the scene shot and killed Jabrin after he exited the car and stabbed a soldier.
An IDF Sky Rider Drone crashed near the city of Nablus in the West Bank July 11 for undisclosed reasons. Palestinian security forces recovered the drone and returned it to the IDF. Although the Sky Rider provides a live video feed to soldiers on the ground, military officials do not think classified information was taken from the drone. Five other Sky Rider drones have crashed this year, mainly in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon.
IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot said that the military is working quietly against a factory for precision-guided missiles that Iran is building for Hezbollah in Lebanon. While the IDF does not expect an imminent deterioration in security conditions, the military is improving its readiness.
A Hamas delegation held talks in Cairo on June 10, about a possible prisoner exchange with Israel. Reports indicate that Hamas holds three mentally handicapped Israeli civilians and the bodies of two IDF soldiers who fought in the 2014 Gaza war. While the Israeli news media said discussions between Israel and Hamas were nearing a deal, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman denied these reports, saying that “Israel doesn’t negotiate with terror organizations.”
Insurgents detonated a suicide car bomb and then opened machine gun fire on an Egyptian military checkpoint, killing at least 23 soldiers near the border town of Rafah in Sinai on July 7. The Islamic State’s Sinai affiliate claimed responsibility for the attack, the deadliest since 2015.
Islamic rebels killed five police and wounded 11 during a series of attacks against Egyptian police in the northern Sinai Peninsula. They opened fire on a police vehicle in el-Arish and set off a roadside bomb when reinforcements arrived.
Israeli media reported that Egyptian security forces killed nine insurgents during two separate clashes in Sinai. However, the outlets did not disclose the date of the incidents. The Egyptian military also destroyed 15 vehicles transporting weapons into Egypt across its western border with Libya.