April 13: The holy month of Ramadan begins. Many thousands of Muslims pray every day at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
April 13: Palestinian youth launch a “challenge” on TikTok to post videos of themselves randomly assaulting Jews in Jerusalem. Several of these videos are shared widely on social media.
April 14: In response to the violence, Israeli police put up barriers to prevent large crowds from gathering near the Damascus gate of Jerusalem’s Old City. The barriers lead to protests and clashes with the police. The barriers are removed on April 25th.
April 19: Extremist Jews in Jerusalem launch random revenge assaults against Palestinians; police arrest six Jewish suspects.
April 22: A far-right anti-Arab Jewish group called Lehava (“Flame” in Hebrew) marches in Jerusalem, chanting racist slogans. Palestinian counter-protesters clash with police, who used stun grenades and “skunk water” on both groups of protesters. Dozens are injured in the violence.
April 23-25: Hamas begins firing rockets at Israel and incites Palestinians to “continue mobilizing in the Old City.”
April 29: More clashes erupt at the Damascus Gate when Palestinians throw rocks, bottles, and fireworks at police.
April 30: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas postpones Palestinian elections. He blames Israel, but is widely believed to be motivated by concern that the terrorist group Hamas will defeat him and his allies at the polls. Analysts believe the following escalation toward violent conflict is mainly an effort by the terrorist group to gain political power and weaken their rival Abbas. They hope to do this by positioning themselves as the primary “defenders of Jerusalem.”
May 2: Yehuda Guetta, a 19-year-old Jewish student and resident of Jerusalem, is shot by a Palestinian terrorist at Tapuah Junction and later dies of his wounds. Two other Jewish students were shot and wounded in the attack as well.
May 3-7: Clashes break out in Sheikh Jarrah, ahead of an Israeli High Court hearing regarding a deeply controversial property dispute between Jews and Palestinians in the neighborhood.
May 4: Journalist Khaled Abu Toameh reports that terrorist groups in Gaza “call on Palestinians to arrive at al-Aqsa Mosque and ‘ignite an intifada against settlers.’” Hamas initiates a social media campaign inciting Palestinians to violence.
May 4: Prime Minister Netanyahu officially fails to form a government after Israel’s fourth national election in two years, leaving an unstable transitional government. Reports suggest that a coalition of parties across the political spectrum, including the conservative Arab Muslim Ra’am faction, is forming to replace Netanyahu’s government. This would represent unprecedented cooperation between Jewish and Arab parties in Israel.
May 7: Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei tweets a series of inflammatory statements supporting terrorism against Israel. Hamas leader Fathi Hammad urges Palestinians in Jerusalem to “cut off the heads of the Jews with knives.”
Tens of thousands of Palestinians attend evening prayers at the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. After prayers end, protests and clashes with police break out, with parts of the crowd waving Hamas flags.
May 8: After prayers on Laylat al-Qadr, the holiest night of Ramadan, protests and clashes break out again with parts of the crowd chanting “Bomb, bomb Tel Aviv!”
May 9: During continued riots on the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif, Palestinians fire flares, which set fire to a tree near the Al Aqsa Mosque. Jewish Israelis, celebrating Jerusalem Day in the Western Wall Plaza beneath Al Aqsa, are photographed with the burning tree in the background. The photo spreads far and wide on social media with the false narrative that they are celebrating the burning of Al Aqsa.
Following a request by the Israeli government, Israel’s Supreme Court suspends its hearing on Sheikh Jarrah property dispute in hopes of reducing tensions and violence.
Hamas launches incendiary balloons from Gaza that set fire to hundreds of acres of Israeli agricultural land.
May 10: More riots break out near the Al Aqsa mosque. Israel’s police enter the area after thousands of Palestinians gathered in the compound overnight, having collected numerous rocks and other makeshift weapons at the holy site. Three hundred Palestinians and 21 police officers are injured.
Palestinian extremists attack a Jewish driver outside the Old City of Jerusalem and nearly lynch him. He is saved by a police officer firing his weapon into the air to disperse the mob.
Hamas issues an ultimatum demanding that by 6 pm local time Israel must withdraw from the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif and Sheikh Jarrah and must release all Palestinians arrested in the week’s rioting.
May 10-Present: Massive assault by Hamas against Israel civilians.
Israel ignores Hamas’ ultimatum and immediately after 6 pm, the terrorist group fires a barrage of rockets at civilians in Jerusalem and southern Israel.
Hamas and its allies have launched more than 2,300 rockets aimed at murdering Israeli civilians since the fighting began. Israel has responded with hundreds of strikes aimed at stopping terrorists in Gaza from killing its people.
This violence has been a horrific tragedy for Israeli and Palestinian civilians. Several Israelis have been murdered and hundreds injured by terrorism from Gaza, including both Jewish and Arab citizens. More than 100 people have been killed in Gaza, with initial reports indicating most were members of terrorist groups. However, Palestinian civilians have been killed and wounded as well.
The main reason Palestinians in Gaza have died is because Hamas and its allies militarized their neighborhoods. Terrorist groups are committing a double war crime: firing at Israeli civilian communities from within Palestinian civilian communities. Some Palestinians have also been killed by Hamas rockets that fell short and landed in Gaza.
The only reason Hamas has not been able to murder massive numbers of Israelis is that Israel does everything it can to protect civilians. It has built bomb shelters in most Israeli homes and its Iron Dome defense system has shot down countless incoming rockets.
The IDF code of ethics requires Israeli soldiers to do everything they can to protect innocent life. The IDF does not intentionally target civilians as a matter of policy and goes beyond what the law requires by warning civilians before striking military targets. Nevertheless, it has proven impossible to stop terrorists in Gaza from attacking innocent Israelis without harming innocent Palestinians in the process. This is because Hamas and its allies intentionally put civilians directly in harm’s way.
Hamas also encouraged an unprecedented wave of mob violence by Arab extremists in Israel, and Jewish extremists retaliated with mob violence of their own. Jewish and Arab leaders across the Israeli political spectrum strongly condemned this, and members of both communities have held rallies calling for peace. Some see Hamas’ involvement as an effort to stop the growing cooperation between Jewish and Arab political leaders in Israel.
As of May 16th, 2021, the conflict is ongoing with Hamas continuing to fire rockets at Israeli civilians, and Israel striking the terrorist group and its allies in Gaza.
Compiled from Standwithus.com/situationroom