Israel and the West Bank
An unidentified attacker killed 35-year-old Rabbi Raziel Shevach in a drive-by shooting near the West Bank city of Nablus on January 9. Israeli security forces set up roadblocks near the Jewish outpost of Havat Gilad, where the victim lived.
The IDF performed a controlled detonation of a cell-phone operated explosive that was placed near the entrance to Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus on January 16. Over 1,000 Jewish worshipers continued their planned visit to the site later in the day and were confronted by rioters and stone throwers.
Israeli security services arrested Hassan Taher Shir Yusuf, an Arab-Israeli residing in the city of Taibeh, on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack and supporting Islamic State. Prosecutors obtained evidence of the suspect attempting to purchase an M16 rifle and watching videos on how to prepare explosives.
Palestinian sources revealed that Maher Obeid has taken over as the Hamas commander responsible for the group’s terrorist operations in the West Bank.
Two Palestinian Arabs were killed during separate clashes in the West Bank and near the security barrier with the Gaza Strip on January 11.
Israeli authorities at the port of Ashdod intercepted a shipment of thousands of articles of military clothing destined for Gaza. The shipment, which originated in China, included boots and combat vests in a camouflage pattern.
The Israeli military destroyed a Hamas-dug tunnel running from Egypt through Gaza and into Israel, the third such tunnel discovered in recent months. Following the discovery, the Israeli government temporarily closed the Kerem Shalom border crossing to trade. Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman says he hopes that all attack tunnels will be destroyed by the end of 2018 as the defense ministry continues to build an underground concrete barrier.
A Palestinian rocket fired toward Israel hit the central Gazan neighborhood of Deir al-Balah on January 15, injuring three residents of the enclave.
Hamas named Mohammad Fathi Janid, as a member of its Izzedine al-Qassam military wing who died in an “accidental explosion” earlier this year.
The Egyptian government extended the state of emergency declaration in Sinai for another three months, enacting new restrictions on movements due to help combat “the dangers and funding of terrorism.” The city of Rafah, in Gaza, will have a nighttime curfew from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. and around the provincial capital of El-Arish from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.
Three Islamic State-inspired gunman shot and killed a Coptic Christian man in Sinai on January 13.
A car bombing injured Hamas official Mohammed Hamdan in the southern port city of Sidon on January 14. A spokesman for the group blamed Israel for the incident.