Terror group says ‘this is just the beginning’ as blazes reported in areas close to the border; slight damage caused to a wheat field in the Eshkol region
By Emanuel Fabian6 May 2021, 6:31 pm Land in southern Israel, near the Gaza border, burnt by incendiary balloons sent from Gaza. (Moshe Baruchi/KKL-JNF/courtesy) At least six brush fires were ignited Thursday in southern Israel by balloons carrying incendiary devices that were launched from the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, the fire department said.
Two of the fires ignited in the Be’eri forest, and another four in the Kissufim forest, two nature reserves located on the border of Israel and Gaza, a spokesperson for the Jewish National Fund said.
Slight damage was caused to a wheat field in one of the fires, a spokesperson for the Eshkol regional council said, confirming that there was no danger to any nearby towns.
Get The Times of Israel’s Daily Edition by email and never miss our top stories Free Sign Up
The Fire and Rescue Services said as the fires were small and were quickly gotten under control.
In Gaza, the so-called balloon unit, Ibna Al-Zuwari, said it had launched balloon-borne incendiary devices toward Israel.
“This is just the beginning,” the group said in a statement on Thursday.
MOHAMMED ABED/AFP via Getty Images May 6, 2021 MOHAMMED ABED/AFP via Getty Images Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ April 29 postponement of the legislative elections scheduled for May 22 came as a shock to Palestinians. Several Palestinian factions condemned Abbas for making his unilateral decision without consulting with them.
Al-Monitor’s sources say that the Palestinian factions are considering their options to respond to Abbas’ decision. A number of them — including the Hamas movement, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the two Fatah lists led by imprisoned leader Marwan Barghouti and dismissed Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan, as well as the independents — had boycotted the Palestinian presidential meeting in Ramallah on April 29 at which Abbas made the announcement.
Speaking to Alghad TV on April 29, Hamas’ parliamentary bloc spokesman Mushir al-Masry said Abbas will face serious consequences for postponing the elections. He called for Abbas’ dismissal and revoking all political agreements made with him.
Lebanon’s Al-Akhbar newspaper revealed April 30 that consultations are underway to unite those opposing Abbas’ decision to pressure him.
On May 1, Barghouti’s Freedom and Dignity List called on the European Union to suspend financial support for the Palestinian Authority and expressed its intention to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights to that end.
Yahya Moussa, a Hamas leader and chairman of the Human Rights and Oversight Committee at the Palestinian Legislative Council, told Al-Monitor, “It is a historical moment for the Palestinians to dismiss Abbas from the political arena. Fatah is divided and there are parties within the movement in favor of this demand. Hamas could hold a conference for the electoral lists and the factions to form a rescue front. The masses could also fill public squares and march to the presidential headquarters in Ramallah. It is time to consider a strategy to dismiss Abbas and revoke his mandate to lead. Hamas is likely to lead the national project via a consensus with the rest of the Palestinian national movement’s components.”
A barrage of popular anger is adding legitimacy to the calls to oust Abbas. Demonstrations were held in the Gaza Strip and Ramallah, and the Palestinian factions issued condemnation statements on April 30. Hamas called Abbas’ decision tantamount to a coup against national consensus and partnership, and the Palestinian National Initiative called on Abbas to rescind the decision. Islamic Jihad Secretary General Ziyad al-Nakhalah called for an urgent Palestinian meeting to agree on a national program.
Hussam al-Dajani, a political analyst and professor of political science at al-Ummah University in Gaza, told Al-Monitor, “Abbas’ decision is not convincing to the Palestinians. A series of political consultations focusing on the repercussions of Abbas’ impulsive decision have been held in the past few days. … [It] will have consequences.”
He added, “A number of options were discussed. The first is … popular protests. The second is to hold press conferences and the third is to revoke Abbas’ power by forming a government in Gaza. The fourth is to form a constituent assembly whose powers would reach the West Bank and Jerusalem. Each of these options has its pros and cons.
A Palestinian official close to Abbas told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, “President Abbas was elected by the people and has international legitimacy. He is the representative of the Palestinians in all international forums and these calls will not resonate, neither locally, regionally nor internationally.”
Calls to dismiss Abbas have also come from intellectual circles. Mohsen Saleh, manager of al-Zaytouna Center for Studies and Consultations in Beirut, wrote April 30 that the Palestinian forces have an opportunity to form an expanded national front that would impose the people’s will on Abbas and agree on a transitional leadership.
Palestinian writer Khaled Hroub wrote April 30, “A helpless president does not deserve to lead. He has proven to be led by narrow partisan calculations rather than by the national interest. It is time he leaves the political landscape out of respect for the dignity remaining to us.”
Imad Mohsen, spokesperson for the Democratic Reformist Current headed by Dahlan, told Al-Monitor, “We have always called for the formation of a national rescue front. Today, all electoral lists have the opportunity to decide what would be the next steps after postponing the elections, which led to disappointment and apathy among Palestinians. Although every faction has its own regional allies and friends that they consult with, change in Palestine must be achieved from within.”
It its latest poll published March 23, the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah stated that 22% of all Palestinians want Barghouti as the next PA president, 14% support Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and only 9% chose Abbas.
According to another poll by Atlas Palestine on April 28, 27% of Gazans want Haniyeh as president, 22% want Barghouti and 15% support Dahlan, while only 11% want Abbas.
Atef Adwan, former minister of refugee affairs in Gaza, told Al-Monitor, “The calls to dismiss Abbas came too late, because he has pursued a dictatorial policy. The rescue front’s mission needs to be to get rid of him. It is important to take advantage of the national consensus that opposes the delay of the elections, though the regional countries will reject this approach because their interests converge with Abbas.”
Prof. Hillel Frisch 23 Iyyar 5781 – May 5, 2021 Photo Credit: Flash90
Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas casts his vote at the P.A. headquarters, in Ramallah on Dec. 03, 2016. At a recent meeting in Gaza, leaders of many of the 36 lists contesting the elections to the Palestinian Legislative Council scheduled for May 22 warned Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority, that violence is likely to erupt should he cancel the elections on the pretext of an Israeli refusal to allow them to be held in Jerusalem.
Fatah supporters will have to choose among three lists: an official Fatah slate loyal to Abbas; an opposing list headed by Fatah renegade Muhammad Dahlan from Gaza, who resides in and is supported by the UAE; and a list formed by Nasser al-Qidwa, the son-in-law of Yasser Arafat, but headed (at least nominally) by Marwan Barghouti, the former leader of the Fatah Tanzim who has been jailed since 2002 for his involvement in the murders of Israelis. Hamas is united behind one list: Jerusalem Our Rendezvous.
Abbas is well aware that these same divisions (not including the internal Fatah violence at the time) led to an overwhelming victory for Hamas in the 2006 elections and culminated in the loss of Gaza to that group in the summer of 2007. If he allows the upcoming elections to proceed, history is likely to repeat itself.
Abbas thus seems trapped between a rock and a hard place—damned if he cancels the elections and damned if he doesn’t. But if he does, would he really face the possibility of an internal intifada?
Judging from data generated by Google Trends based on search terms related to the elections, such an intifada does not appear to be likely.
We began by typing in the phrase “Palestinian elections 2021” in Arabic. The results reveal initial excitement followed by fast-declining interest, probably because Palestinians understand that given the inimical relations between the two biggest factions, Fatah and Hamas, and the respective governments they control, the election process, rather than healing the rift, will likely exacerbate it (see Figure 1).
Figure 1: Searches for “Palestinian Elections 2021” in Arabic in the past year (Google Trends)
In fact, there was so little interest that the searches did not generate sufficient data to provide a geographical breakdown, which would have enabled a comparison between the PA and Gaza or between the northern West Bank (Nablus-Jenin-Tulkarem), where Fatah is presumably stronger, and Hebron in the south.
Nor did the election process generate increased interest among the two most important protagonists, Fatah and Hamas. The search curves generated were much the same before the issue of elections to the Legislative Council arose as they were in the far briefer period after which the elections were announced (see Figure 2).
Figure 2: Comparison between searches for Fatah (blue) and Hamas (red), May 3, 2020-April 28, 2021 (Google Trends)
At first glance, it appears that divisions in Fatah did not affect the relative importance of, and likely identification with, the organization over Hamas and that Fatah would likely prevail in the elections.
But such an analysis disregards the fact that half the seats to the Legislative Council are contested in multi-member districts in which those who secure the most votes win. Thus, if a district is represented by four members, the four candidates who secured the most votes in the district become its representatives. As there are over seven candidates contesting each seat, small differences can mean victory or defeat. Hamas supporters in a given district will overwhelmingly support their candidates in that district compared to the divided Fatah constituency, leading, as it did in 2006, to an overwhelming Hamas victory.
Even if Fatah were to prevail over Hamas in the elections, it could be severely weakened compared to the other lists. Comparing searches for Fatah and Hamas since 2004 reveals a steep decline of interest in both factions since 2015, probably stemming from fatigue with the warring parties’ failure to come to some kind of political arrangement that would end the rift (inqisam).
Figure 3: Comparison of searches for Fatah (blue) and Hamas (red) since 2004 (Google Trends)
There is no doubt that Hamas will do everything in its power to agitate for an intifada in Abbas-held territory if the decision is made to call off the elections. Abbas continues to arrest and harass Hamas leaders and supporters, Israel-PA security coordination has been fully restored, and promises made by Abbas to reemploy or compensate employees—purportedly Hamas supporters—who joined government service before Hamas took control of Gaza have not been met.
Yet while the antipathy of Hamas toward Abbas is at its highest, it lacks the credibility and resources to ignite an intifada in the area he controls. The recent surge in COVID-19 in Gaza and its relative decline in the PA has damaged the credibility Hamas enjoyed before it began ruling territory, and security coordination between Israel and the PA has heavily dented Hamas’s ability to mobilize Palestinians in Jenin, Nablus, Ramallah, and Hebron.
Abbas, then, would do himself a favor by canceling the elections. Secretly, Hamas probably agrees with Abbas, given the declining support for Hamas over recent years.
Fortunately for both, there is always Israel to blame for the failure of both the Palestinians’ democratic experiment over a quarter of a century and their century-long national movement.
The Israel Police and Border Police dispersed rioters in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood after they hurled stones and bottles at them.
(May 4, 2021 / JNS) A view of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of eastern Jerusalem. In the background is the city center. Credit: David Shankbone via Wikimedia Commons. A view of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of eastern Jerusalem. In the background is the city center. Credit: David Shankbone via Wikimedia Commons. The commander of Hamas’s military wing issued a rare direct statement on Tuesday, warning Israel that it would pay a “heavy price” if it did not cease its activities in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.
Muhammad Deif, head of the Al-Qassam Brigades, said he “saluted our steadfast people in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied Jerusalem,” adding that “the leadership of the resistance is closely following developments,” reported Maariv.
On Monday, the Israel Police and Border Police dispersed tens of rioters after they hurled stones and bottles at police there and blocked a road. Police first requested the protesters to leave the area and declared the protest illegal, according to the Hebrew-language newspaper.
Police resorted to riot-dispersal means after the request was reportedly ignored, arresting two people.
Deif was the target of an Israeli assassination attempt during the 2014 summer war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza that killed his wife and two of his children.
He has commanded the Al-Qassam Brigades in Gaza since the 1990s and orchestrated a series of terrorist attacks on Israelis. Deif also oversaw Hamas’s armament program, its tunnel project and attempts to kidnap Israelis and use them as bargaining chips to secure the release of Palestinian security prisoners.
2 rockets fall on unoccupied part of Ain al-Asad airbase without causing damage or casualties, Iraqi army says; none of strikes during US delegation’s visit have been claimed
By AFP4 May 2021, 6:10 pm Ain al-Asad air base in the western Anbar desert, Iraq, December 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser, File) The Iraqi army said two rockets were fired Tuesday at a base hosting Americans, in the third such attack in three days and as a US government delegation is visiting the country.
The latest rocket attack follows one against an airbase at Baghdad airport housing US-led coalition troops on Sunday night, and another against Balad airbase, which hosts US contractors, north of the capital on Monday night.
Pro-Iran Iraqi groups have vowed to ramp up attacks to force out the “occupying” US forces in recent months, sometimes against Tehran’s wishes, according to some experts.
Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi, perceived by pro-Iran factions as too close to Washington, on Tuesday discussed the presence of 2,500 US soldiers based in Iraq with US envoy Brett McGurk.
The men know each other well — Kadhemi, in his role as head of intelligence, a position he retains to this day, worked closely with McGurk when he was the US-led coalition’s representative.
The military coalition was set up to fight the Islamic State jihadist group, which seized control of a third of Iraq in a lightning 2014 offensive.
Iraq declared victory against the jihadists in late 2017 and pressure from Shiite public opinion for the US to withdraw all its troops has mounted in the years since.
Kadhemi and McGurk are working on drawing up a timetable for the “withdrawal of combat forces from Iraq,” according to a statement by the prime minister’s office.
Around 30 rocket or bomb attacks have targeted American interests in Iraq — including troops, the embassy or Iraqi supply convoys to foreign forces — since US President Joe Biden took office in January.
Two foreign contractors, one Iraqi contractor and eight Iraqi civilians have been killed in the attacks.
Last month, an explosives-packed drone slammed into Iraq’s Arbil airport in the first reported use of such a weapon against a base used by US-led coalition troops in the country, according to officials.
Dozens of other attacks were carried out in Iraq from autumn 2019 during the administration of Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump. The operations are sometimes claimed by obscure groups that experts say are smokescreens for Iran-backed organizations long present in Iraq.
The rocket attacks come at a sensitive time as Tehran is engaged in talks with world powers aimed at bringing the US back into a 2015 nuclear deal. The agreement, which curbs Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief, has been on life support since Trump withdrew in 2018.
A drive-by shooting in the West Bank was likely unorganized, though the terror group that runs Gaza is seeking to leverage recent tensions to pressure both the Palestinian Authority and Israel.
By Yaakov Lappin(May 4, 2021 / JNS)
As Israeli security forces pursue the perpetrator of the drive-by shooting at the Tapuach Junction near Ariel in the West Bank on Sunday, they are also working to deny Hamas the opportunity of sparking a new wave of violence.
Sunday’s attack injured three Israeli civilians waiting at a bus stop in a shooting that was likely an unorganized terror attack. Recent clashes in Jerusalem and inflammable religious themes that surfaced during the Ramadan holiday may have played a role in triggering the gunman. As the Israel Defense Forces pursues the terrorist, it is also working to prevent copycat attackers from following suit.
This, the group hopes, will result in pressure not only against Israel but its rival, the Palestinian Authority, which in recent days has denied Hamas the opportunity to take over the West Bank through elections by calling them off. The P.A. conveniently blamed Israel for the cancellation, citing an inability to hold the vote in eastern Jerusalem.
Hamas is in the middle of an intense propaganda and incitement effort to encourage a new wave of violence in the West Bank.
To regain control of events, the Israeli defense establishment responded quickly. In the past three days, it has been conducting a major pursuit of the terrorist, together with the Shin Bet intelligence agency and the Israel Police, while actively working to prevent copycat attackers.
Judging by past pursuits, Israel is highly likely to catch up with the perpetrator sooner or later. The IDF apprehended a number of Palestinian suspects early on Tuesday in the context of the manhunt, while also capturing a vehicle it said was used in the attack, which was torched in the village of Aqraba, southeast of Nablus. Large numbers of units are taking part in the pursuit.
At the same time, the IDF is keeping a larger strategic objective in mind: maintaining stability. This is being achieved by conducting the search with sensitivity and with the minimum level of friction with the general Palestinian civilian population.
A string of upcoming holidays adds to tensions
The coming days are filled with holidays that can help pour fuel on the flames—the same flames that the IDF is working to extinguish. The continuation of Ramadan, with its closed stores and evening schedules, Jerusalem Day and the holiday of Eid al-Fitr, both of which occur next week, mean that many sensitive days are around the corner. Hamas would like to use these days to trigger an explosion of violence; Israel’s objective is to prevent that from happening.
In 2020, the Shin Bet foiled 430 terror attacks, including 283 shootings, 70 stabbings, 10 vehicle-rammings, 62 bombings and five kidnapping plots.
The threat of organized and unorganized terror forms a double challenge for security forces, and recent incidents are a reminder that the routine of relative calm is far from being a given.
Meanwhile, the IDF is studying the Sunday shooting to see what lessons it can learn to improve future responses. According to the preliminary IDF inquiry, three Givati Brigade reconnaissance unit soldiers returned fire at the terrorist, striking his vehicle but missing the gunman.
Addressing the findings, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, who visited the scene of the attack on Monday, said, “The response to the event was good, but the results were not good enough. We would have liked a different result—that one of the seven bullets fired had killed the terrorist.”
Kochavi added that “the IDF is doing everything necessary to protect our citizens and ensure stability during a volatile and challenging period. We have reinforced troops in the area and will continue to operate to thwart terrorism.”
Israeli navy targets Palestinian fishermen off Gaza shore
GAZA, Monday, May 03, 2021 (WAFA) – Israeli navy opened its machine guns on Palestinian fishermen, despite sailing within the unilaterally designated fishing zone offshore the Gaza Strip.
WAFA correspondent reported that the Israeli navy opened fire on fishermen sailing offshore As-sodaniya area to the northwest of the Gaza Strip, within three nautical miles into the sea when Israeli naval boats opened gunfire and water hoses towards them, causing damage to a boat.
No human losses or injuries were reported as fishermen were forced to sail back to shore.
Sappers called to remove devices that touched down in a field just east of the Strip, amid rising tensions between Israel and Palestinians
By Judah Ari Gross Today, 12:16 am A suspected explosive device that was apparently flown into southern Israel with a balloon from the Gaza Strip lands in a field in the community of Kfar Aza on May 3, 2021. (Sha’ar Hanegev region) Two balloons carrying suspected explosive devices that were apparently launched from the Gaza Strip landed in southern Israel on Monday, local authorities said in the first such attacks in months.
According to the Sha’ar Hanegev regional council, the suspected bombs were found in agricultural fields in the community of Kfar Aza, east of Gaza City.
Residents of the area reported seeing additional balloons overhead throughout the afternoon. It was not immediately clear where they landed.
Get The Times of Israel’s Daily Edition by email and never miss our top stories Free Sign Up
Police sappers were called to remove the suspected explosives from Kfar Aza.
Once a regular phenomenon, balloons carrying explosives and incendiary devices have largely stopped being launched into Israel by Palestinian terrorist groups, following a ceasefire brokered between Jerusalem and Hamas last year.
These were the first such balloons to land in Israel in several months.
The apparent airborne attack comes amid heightened tensions between Israel and Palestinian groups over the Palestinian Authority’s decision to indefinitely postpone elections planned for later this month. Hamas, the de facto ruler of Gaza, has condemned the PA’s move, calling it a “coup.”
Earlier this month, terrorists in Gaza launched dozens of rockets at southern Israel. Most of these landed in open fields where they caused no injury or damage, but a few struck inside Israeli communities with shrapnel hitting buildings and vehicles. No Israelis have been injured directly by the rockets or shells, but a number of people were hurt while running to bomb shelters or required medical assistance after suffering acute panic attacks from the sirens.
Updated 22 April 2021 AP April 22, 2021 02:14 JERUSALEM: A missile launched from Syria was fired into southern Israel early Thursday, setting off air raid sirens near the country’s top-secret nuclear reactor, the Israeli military said. In response, it said it attacked the missile launcher and air-defense systems in neighboring Syria. The incident, marking the most serious violence between Israel and Syria in years, pointed to likely Iranian involvement. Iran, which maintains troops and proxies in Syria, has accused Israel of a series of attacks on its nuclear facilities, including sabotage at its Natanz nuclear facility on April 11, and vowed revenge. It also threatened to complicate US-led attempts to revive the international nuclear deal with Iran. The Israeli army said it had deployed a missile-defense system but could not confirm if the incoming missile was intercepted, though it said there had been no damage. The air raid sirens were sounded in Abu Krinat, a village just a few kilometers (miles) from Dimona, the Negev desert town where Israel’s nuclear reactor is located. Explosions heard across Israel might have been the air-defense systems. The Israeli military initially described the weapon fired as a surface-to-air missile, which is usually used for air defense against warplanes or other missiles. That could suggest the Syrian missile had targeted Israeli warplanes but missed and flown off errantly. However, Dimona is some 300 kilometers (185 miles) south of Damascus, a long range for an errantly fired surface-to-air missile. Syria’s state-run SANA news agency said four soldiers had been wounded in an Israeli strike near Damascus, which also caused some damage. The agency did not elaborate other than to claim its air defense intercepted “most of the enemy missiles,” which it said were fired from the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the missile strike or comment from Iran. But on Saturday, Iran’s hard-line Kayhan newspaper published an opinion piece by Iranian analyst Sadollah Zarei suggesting Israel’s Dimona facility be targeted after the attack on Natanz. Zarei cited the idea of “an eye for an eye” in his remarks. Action should be taken “against the nuclear facility in Dimona,” he wrote. “This is because no other action is at the same level as the Natanz incident.” The Dimona reactor is widely believed to be the centerpiece of an undeclared nuclear weapons program. Israel neither confirms nor denies having a nuclear arsenal. While Kayhan is a small circulation newspaper, its editor-in-chief, Hossein Shariatmadari, was appointed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and has been described as an adviser to him in the past. Zarei has demanded retaliatory strikes on Israel in the past. In November, he suggested Iran strike the Israeli port city of Haifa over Israel’s suspected involvement in the killing of a scientist who founded Iran’s military nuclear program decades earlier. However, Iran did not retaliate then. Israel and Iran are arch-enemies. Israel accuses Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons and has opposed US-led efforts to revive the international nuclear deal with Iran. With Israel’s encouragement, then-President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal in 2018. Iran recently began enriching a small amount of uranium up to 60% purity, the highest level ever for its program that edges even closer to weapons-grade levels. However, Iran insists its program is for peaceful purposes. It also has called for more international scrutiny of the Dimona facility. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly said Israel will not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapons capability, and defense officials have acknowledged preparing possible attack missions on Iranian targets. Israel has twice bombed other Mideast nations to target their nuclear programs. All the incidents come as Iran negotiates in Vienna with world powers over the US potentially re-entering its tattered nuclear deal with world powers. Negotiators there have described the talks as constructive so far, though they acknowledge the Natanz sabotage could strain the talks. Israel’s government says the deal will not prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapons capability. It also says it does not address Iran’s long-range missile program and its support for hostile proxies in Lebanon, Syria and Gaza.
JERUSALEM (AP) – Gunmen in a passing car opened fire at Israelis standing at a major intersection in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on Sunday, injuring three of them, according to rescue officials and the military.
The assailants escaped in a car with Palestinian license plates, news reports said. The military said troops fired towards the car. Security forces immediately launched a search for the attackers.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack at Tapuah junction in the central West Bank. The Magen David Adom emergency service said two of the injured were in serious condition, and a third person was lightly hurt. The emergency service said the three injured people were in their 20s.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said there would be a harsh response. “We will not allow terrorism to raise its head and we will strike our enemies with force,” he said.
It was the latest violent incident in the West Bank amid ongoing friction between a growing population of Jewish settlers and Palestinian residents. Meanwhile, prospects for a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians remain dim.
Earlier Sunday, soldiers shot a 60-year-old Palestinian woman who brandished a knife and advanced toward them despite warnings to stop. The incident took place at a major junction in the southern West Bank.
She later died of her wounds at an Israeli hospital, the Palestinian health ministry said.
The Haaretz newspaper quoted the woman’s brother as saying her mental health had deteriorated and she had tried to take her own life after losing her job in a beauty salon as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
In recent years, Palestinians have carried out a series of shooting and car-ramming attacks, most of them attributed to so-called “lone wolf” assailants.
The Palestinians seek the West Bank, along with the Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem – territories Israel also captured in the 1967 Mideast war – for a future state.
The (Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)