Israel and the West Bank
Israeli prosecutors announced May 1 that they had charged three Palestinians living in East Jerusalem with conspiring to commit acts of terror. One of the suspects, who are currently held in Israeli jails, admitted during interrogation that he had taken orders from Hamas operatives in Gaza.
An Israeli border policeman will spend nine months in prison as part of a plea deal with prosecutors investigating the 2014 death of a Palestinian teenager in the West Bank. Ben Deri fired live ammunition instead of rubber bullets while his unit had attempted to disperse stone-throwing demonstrators near Ramallah.
The IDF continued to confront Palestinian rioters at the border fence between Gaza and Israel. At least three people were killed over the weekend beginning April 27th bringing the death toll to 39 Palestinians, according to the Gaza’s Hamas-run Ministry of Health. The Israeli government also released images of Gazans attacking the border fence, flying incendiary devices into Israel, and even carrying firearms. The Israeli Supreme Court will review the IDF’s rules of engagement following a legal challenge brought by human rights groups.
Hamas blamed the Palestinian Authority for the attempted assassination of the PA Prime Minister, Rami Hamdallah, during his visit to Gaza earlier this year. Hamas also claimed to have killed three suspects in a shootout on March 22 who planted the car bomb that exploded near the Prime Minister’s convoy.
An Israeli cybersecurity firm announced it had evidence to suggest that Hamas had installed spyware on the cell phones of its political rivals, Fatah. The malicious software “accesses information throughout the device, including text messages and emails; it can record conversations and prevent the phone from disconnecting itself from the app,” according to Boaz Dolev, CEO of ClearSky.
Palestinian news organizations reported that a member of Hamas’s military wing was killed in a tunnel collapse near the central Gazan city of Deir al-Balah on April 22.
Israeli officials denied involvement in the shooting death of a Hamas scientist in Malaysia last month.
Western media speculated that Israel was behind an April 29 missile attack in Hama province, Syria that killed at least 26 people. According to a Syrian rebel group, the arms depot struck houses Iranian-backed militia groups and equipment.
A recently leaked video from 2012 shows Austrian peacekeepers, under UN auspices, failing to warn Syria police officers an impending ambush by smugglers on a road they were traveling on in the Syrian Golan. In response to footage prosecutors in Vienna opened an official inquiry into the incident, which claimed the lives nine Syrian police officers.
The Egyptian armed forces announced in late April that it had killed 30 terrorists in Sinai as part of ongoing counter-insurgency operations. Additionally, the government also arrested 173 individuals and confiscated automatic weapons and explosive devices.