On the night of November 28 three rockets were fired from south Lebanon into the western Galilee. There were no casualties but property was damaged. A network affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the global jihad calling itself the Abdullah Azzam Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack. Two years ago the same network claimed responsibility for two rocket attacks.
Sporadic rocket fire from the Gaza Strip continues to plague southern Israel. This past week two rocket hits were identified in the western Negev. In response the Israeli Air Force attacked two terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip.
On November 24 Mahmoud Abbas and Khaled Mashaal met in Cairo as part of the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation process. Both sides described the meeting as positive. In effect it would seem that both preferred not to decide the essential items on the agenda, and the agreements reached reflected common issues of relatively slight importance.
Rocket Fire into Northern Israel
On the night of November 28 three rockets were launched from south Lebanon into the western Galilee. There were no casualties. A chicken coop and gas balloons were hit by shrapnel. The IDF returned fire (IDF Spokesman, November 29, 2011). On the morning of November 29 UNIFIL and Lebanese Army forces patrolled the region of Aita al-Shaab in the western sector of south Lebanon from which the rockets were fired (Al-Jazeera TV, November 29, 2011). UNIFIL said in a statement that it was investigating the incident (MTV, November 29, 2011).
Since the end of the Second Lebanon War there have been a number of rockets fired into Israeli territory from south Lebanon. The last was a little over two years ago on October 27, 2009, when a rocket was fired into the eastern Galilee, apparently a 107mm shell (IDF Spokesman, October 27, 2009).1
Firefighters put out one of the fires caused by the rocket fire
(Photo by Max Yelinson, courtesy of NRG, November 29, 2011).
A network calling itself the Abdullah Azzam Brigades claimed responsibility for the rocket fire (Al-Nashra website, November 29, 2011). The network is affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the global jihad. It is headed by Salah al-Qar’awi, a Saudi Arabian who fought the Americans at Fallujah in Iraq. The Abdullah Azzam Brigades are a terrorist network in Lebanon operating in the Palestinian refugee camps and have a branch in the Arabian Peninsula which calls itself the Companies of Yusuf al-Ayiri.2
Two years ago the Abdullah Azzam Brigades claimed responsibility for two rocket attacks from south Lebanon against Israel:
On September 11, 2009, two or three 122mm rockets were fired from the western sector of south Lebanon into the western Galilee. On September 14 an Internet forum affiliated with the global jihad posted the statement that a group called the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, whose Lebanese branch was called the Companies of Ziad al-Jarrah, claimed responsibility for the rocket fire (Al-Fallujah forum, September 14, 2009).
On October 27, 2009 a rocket, apparently 107mm in diameter, was fired into Israel from the central sector of south Lebanon. It fell in an open area near one of the villages in the eastern Galilee. There were no casualties but the rocket caused a fire (IDF Spokesman, October 27, 2009). The following morning the Lebanese found four additional rockets ready for launching in the same area from which the first rocket had been fired. They were located in the yard of a building under construction on the outskirts of the town of Hula. (Lebanese News Agency, November 28, 2009). A global jihad forum issued a statement claiming responsibility for placing five rockets around the Hula (Al-Fallujah forum, October 29, 2009).
Logo of the Abdullah Azzam Brigades
Important Terrorism Events Israel’s South
Rocket Fire into Israeli Territory
On November 26 two rocket hits were identified in Israeli territory. Both fell in open areas in the western Negev. There were no casualties and no damage was done
Rockets and Mortar Shells Fired into Israeli Territory 3
Rocket Fire — Monthly Distribution
Mortar Shell Fire — Monthly Distribution
Israeli Air Force Activity
In response to the rocket attacks, on November 27 Israeli aircraft struck two focal points of terrorist activity in the southern and central Gaza Strip (IDF Spokesman, November 27, 2011).
Judea and Samaria
The Situation on the Ground
This past week the IDF carried out routine counterterrorist activities in Judea and Samaria, detaining Palestinians suspected of terrorist activities and confiscating weapons. There were an increasing number of incidents in which stones and Molotov cocktails were thrown at Israeli security forces and vehicles.
Developments in the Gaza Strip
Export of Agricultural Products from the Gaza Strip to Europe
On November 27 agricultural products began being exported from the Gaza Strip to markets in Europe. The forecast is for 150 tons of cherry tomatoes, 50 tons of green peppers, 100 tons of strawberries and 20 million flowers. The trucks leave the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom crossing. The exports are part of a large-scale project carried out in coordination with the Israeli government coordinator and financed by the Dutch government (IDF Spokesman, November 27, 2011).
Truck loaded with strawberries for European markets
(Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades website, November 28, 2011).
Hamas has great expectations for the elections currently being held in Egypt. It assumes that the Muslim Brotherhood, its parent organization, will gain significant influence in the Egyptian politics and be able to support Hamas in various areas, especially the conflict with Israel. However, in public Hamas spokesmen are careful to express support of all the Egyptian parties in order to preserve its flexibility and freedom to maneuver. Read the rest of this entry »