Israel and the West Bank
Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) raided the offices of Palmedia broadcasting station in Ramallah on July 28, on suspicion of manufacturing material used to support terrorism. The IDF seized equipment and documents as part of a larger attempt to curtail incitement in the West Bank.
The Israeli army arrested 15 suspects during a series of overnight raids in the West Bank on July 30. Additionally, soldiers confiscated cars from the family of one of the terrorists who killed an Israeli couple, Naama and Eitam Henkin, in 2015. The terrorist organization Hamas had given the cars to the family as a reward for the attack carried out by one of its members.
Three Israelis were killed on July 21 when a Palestinian terrorist, Omar al-Abed, stabbed 70-year-old Yosef Saloman, and his children Elad, 36, and Chaya, 46, to death in their home in the West Bank settlement of Halamish. Yosef’s wife was injured and hospitalized. Within 15 minutes of Abed’s climb over the fence into the settlement, he was wounded by an off-duty Israeli soldier and captured. While it appears Abed acted alone, an investigation is underway. Thousands of Israelis attended the funeral for the victims that took place July 23.
During a meeting with Eastern European leaders in Budapest in July, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seemed to admit that Israel conducted airstrikes in Syrian territory numerous times over the past few years. Netanyahu accidentally left his microphone on during the closed door session, and his voice was heard over headphones used by reporters. Netanyahu said Israel had targeted Iranian weapons shipments to the Lebanese militia Hezbollah, a U.S.-designated terrorist organization, in Syria.
Egyptian security forces killed Ahmed Hassan Ahmed Al-Nashu, an Islamic State terrorist suspected of being involved in recent attacks in North Sinai, on July 18. Security forces conducted a raid on a building under construction in the terrorists’ base of operations in El-Arish, but one other Islamic State member escaped.
At least nine people were killed in a bomb blast and shooting in El-Arish July 19. The attack killed eight civilians and one policemen and injured four others. No groups claimed responsibility for the attack.
The Egyptian army said it found and destroyed 40 smuggling tunnels in the North Sinai province, near Israel and Gaza over the past six months. Terrorists in North Sinai used the tunnels to smuggle weapons in and out of the province.
Israel plans to build a hospital for Syrians in the Golan Heights.The hospital would be located on the Syrian side of the boundary fence but on the Israeli side of the dividing line in the Golan Heights. Israelis hope the treatment facility will soften attitudes toward their country on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.
Russia deployed military police to monitor safe zones in Syria; one post is near Israel’s Golan Heights. The zone was approved in accordance with international agreements and Russia had informed Israel, the United States and Jordan about the deployment before it happened. Yaakov Amidror, a former national security adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said that Israel has no interest in entering Syria’s civil war but will continue to prevent an Iranian presence on the border.
Terrorists in Gaza fired a rocket originally thought to have exploded in mid-air, but which actually landed in an open area in Israel on July 22. Israel considers Hamas responsible for the rocket fire, but the IDF did not respond to the provocation.
Jordanians held a protest on Friday near the Israeli embassy in Jordan, at which they called on the government to shut down the embassy and shouted “Death to Israel”. Demonstrators demanded justice for two Jordanian nationals killed by an Israeli embassy employee, a security guard, who opened fire on them after one of the Jordanians attacked the employee with a screwdriver.