The International Institute for Counter-Terrorism Monthly Summary of Events – May 2017
During the month of May, the hunger strike by security prisoners in Israeli prisons reached its end. The hunger strike, which began in April and continued for 40 days, revolved around the demands of the security prisoners to ease their conditions and was led by a senior Fatah leader, Marwan Barghouti, who was sentenced to five life terms for his involvement in terrorist attacks. As part of the agreement to end the strike, it was decided that the number of family visits would increase to twice a month while the rest of the prisoners’ demands would be discussed at a later date.
During the month, terrorist attacks and attempted attacks continued throughout the country, with emphasis on Jerusalem and the West Bank. Data from the Shin Bet reflects an increase in the number of terrorist attacks – 144 in May in contrast to 118 in April, with most of the attacks taking the form of Molotov cocktails.
In Netanya, a Border Police officer was injured in a stabbing attack, while another police officer was stabbed in an attack by a Jordanian citizen in the Old City.
In addition, elections were held for local authorities in the Palestinian Authority but were boycotted by Hamas, the Popular Front and the Islamic Jihad. Meanwhile, Hamas elected Ismail Haniya to head the organization’s political bureau in place of Khaled Meshaal. In addition, Hamas continued to test fire rockets towards the sea. One rocket that was fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip landed in the Strip.