Home Frontline Defense Frontline Defense: August 20, 2019

Frontline Defense: August 20, 2019

The stolen car that was used to ram into two Israelis siblings waiting at a West Bank bus stop on Friday near the settlement of Etzion.


The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) released a video showing three armed Palestinians attempting to infiltrate Israel from Gaza before dawn on August 18. An IDF attack helicopter and tank engaged the men, killing the would-be terrorists. A fourth man was also injured during the assault, according to health officials in Gaza. Over the past two weeks, six armed terrorists have attempted to cross into Israel. 

Hours earlier, terrorists in Gaza launched a salvo of three rockets into southern Israel. Air raid sirens sounded in Sderot, and Iron Dome intercepted two of the projectiles. A third rocket caused extensive damage to a house. The IDF shelled targets inside Gaza in response. Palestinians also fired a salvo of the Friday night, with the IDF launching airstrikes on Hamas outposts following the attack. 

Qatar’s National Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza chairman Mohammed al-Emadi plans on visiting Gaza later this week to oversee programs funded by the emirate. Doha provides subsidies for low-income families, fuel for the local power station, and grants for UN employment programs. 

The Israeli military will build an additional five-mile concrete protection wall on Route 34 between Yad Mordechai and Sderot following recent security incidents in the area. The nearly 20-foot high barrier may be complete next summer, depending on funding. Last May, a Kornet anti-tank missile fired from Gaza killed an Israeli civilian along the route.

Israel and the West Bank

U.S. Representative Rashida Tlaib declined an Israeli offer to grant her entry to see her grandmother in the West Bank last week. The move came after Jerusalem denied visas for Tlaib and Congresswoman Ilhan Omar citing their support to delegitimize the Jewish State through the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement. 

The IDF arrested three brothers of Qasem Araf Khalil Atafra, a Palestinian accused of stabbing to death 19-year-old Dvir Sorek earlier this month. According to local news media, the IDF launched an operation to arrest the men in Beit Kahil on August 20. Currently, Israeli authorities are also holding Nazir Saleh Khalil Atafra, a Hamas supporter, as a co-conspirator for the murder. 

Israeli prosecutors charged a 21-year-old Jordanian man for attempting to knife a police officer in the coastal city of Hadera in July. Mohammad Maslah entered Israel without a valid permit and confessed on planning to stab an Israeli soldier. He had been living with his family in the West Bank. 

A 26-year-old Bethlem-resident drove a stolen car into two Israelis siblings waiting at a West Bank bus stop on Friday near the settlement of Etzion, seriously injuring them both. The driver of the car, Alaa Harimi, was shot and killed during the incident. Investigators are treating the crash as a suspected terrorist attack. 

The Palestinian Authority unilaterally banned LGBT groups from operating in the West Bank. A spokesperson for the PA police characterized the activity of such groups, such as Al-Qaws for Sexual & Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society, as “harmful to the higher values and ideals of Palestinian society.”

The IDF and Shin Bet jointly arrested two members of a Hamas cell planning to plant a bomb in Jerusalem on August 6.