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Resources updated between Monday, November 20, 2017 and Sunday, November 26, 2017

November 26, 2017

The knife that a Palestinian teen attempted to smuggle with him into Hebron’s Tomb of the Patriarchs

Border police arrested a Palestinian teen who tried to enter the Tomb of the Patriarchs in the divided West Bank city of Hebron with a knife on Sunday.

At a checkpoint outside the holy site, Border Police officers noticed the 17-year-old Hebron resident was trying to hide an object under his shirt, police said.

Even after the officers asked the youth to turn out his pockets, he continued to try and hide the knife, police said.

Upon searching him, police uncovered the knife and detained the teen for further questioning.

Police said they face "determined efforts" to bring weapons into the holy site and carry out attacks.

A similar incident occurred earlier this month when Border Police caught another Palestinian teen trying to enter the Tomb of the Patriarchs with a knife hidden in his sock.

Last month, Border Police held an unarmed Palestinian teen at a checkpoint outside of the same holy site after the 16-year-old girl told officers that she wanted to attack people. A police spokeswoman said that the officers did not believe the teen was actually planning on injuring others and that her distress appeared to have been the result of troubles at home.

Several incidents of Palestinian teens attacking Israeli soldiers in the past have been linked to domestic or psychological problems on the part of the assailant.

The flashpoint city of Hebron, where Palestinians live in close proximity to settlers who are guarded by Israeli troops, has been the scene of numerous stabbings and attempted stabbings since a wave of attacks carried out by Palestinians began in October 2015.

Palestinian teen caught smuggling knife into Hebron's Tomb of the Patriarchs Document

November 25, 2017

The aftermath inside the Mosque in Egypt

The death toll in a bomb and gun attack on a Sufi mosque in northern Sinai has risen to 305, with 27 children among the dead, Egypt's state prosecutor said Saturday.

Another 128 people were wounded, according to a statement from the public prosecutor read out on Egyptian state-run news channel Nile TV.

Between 25 and 30 armed men carried out the assault on the al Rawdah Sufi mosque in Bir al-Abed, the statement said.

The prosecutor also gave more detail about how the brutal attack unfolded. The attackers arrived in five SUVs and were armed with automatic machine guns, the statement said. They took position in front of the mosque and its entrances.

Survivors of the incident now at the hospital described massive gunfire and loud explosions at the start of the attack. A number of attackers, some of them masked, then entered the mosque, the statement said.

The attackers had long beards and hair, were wearing military fatigues and were armed with heavy machine guns, according to the statement. At least one of those who entered the mosque was carrying an ISIS flag, it said.

There has not yet been a claim of responsibility from ISIS or its affiliate in Egypt. However, the attack bears the hallmarks of a strike by ISIS, which maintains a foothold in the north of the Sinai Peninsula and inspires local Islamist extremist groups, despite the efforts of Egyptian security forces.

President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi vowed to respond to the massacre -- believed to be the deadliest terrorist attack on the country's soil -- with "brute force."

Egyptian warplanes conducted airstrikes on "terrorist outposts" and vehicles following the attack, the military said Saturday.

"The Egyptian Air Force pursued the terrorist elements, discovered and destroyed a number of vehicles that carried out the brutal terrorist killings, and killed all terrorists inside those vehicles," military spokesman Tamer Rifai said in a statement Saturday.

It also targeted a number of terrorist outposts containing weapons, ammunition and radical elements, Rifai said.

Al Rawdah mosque is known as the birthplace of an important Sufi cleric. Sufism is a mystical branch of Islam that some jihadists consider heretical.

Witnesses told CNN that the attack started when an explosive device went off in a building adjacent to the mosque and that gunmen fired at worshippers as they fled. Gunmen then entered the mosque and fired at those inside, they said.

The attackers had also set up "ambush" locations and opened fire on ambulances as they transported the wounded to al-Arish before the arrival of security services, according to witnesses.

Photos from inside the mosque showed what appeared to be bodies lined up in rows on the carpet.

One survivor, who asked that his name not be used, told CNN on Saturday that he still had shrapnel in an eye that was covered by a bandage. Sitting with tribesmen outside a hospital emergency room, he said he believes he survived because he was covered by the bodies of other victims as the attackers went around the mosque to ensure everyone was dead.

"No one got out of the mosque," said another witness at a nearby hospital. The man, who also declined to be identified out of fear of retaliation, said his father and eight other family members, including a brother and nephew, were killed.

The man said soldiers from a nearby military unit must have heard the gunfire during the attack but did not immediately respond.

"Even the ambulances came under fire." he said.

A man nearby nodded in agreement. Moments later, hospital volunteers alerted a military officer protecting the hospital -- who asked reporters to leave.

Another man told CNN he drove one of the first ambulances to the scene but turned around after shots were fired at the vehicle. Ambulances from al-Arish managed to reach the mosque only after security forces secured the road, he said.

The attackers used automatic weapons, said Diaa Rashwan, the chairman of the state information service. Some victims were also killed by the explosions.

In a short, televised speech after meeting with security officials, Sisi said the government would hunt down the attackers.

"We will respond to this act with brute force against these terrorists," he said. "This terrorist act will strengthen our resolve, steadfastness and will to stand up to, resist and battle against terrorism."

Three days of national mourning have been declared. Sisi has also ordered the armed forces to build a memorial to those killed at the mosque, a statement on his official Facebook page said.

The grand imam of Al-Azhar, the premier religious authority in Egypt, condemned the "barbaric attack" on the mosque.

"The shedding of blood, the violation of the sacred houses of God and the terrorizing of worshippers are acts of corruption on the earth," Ahmed El-Tayyeb said.

The targeting of mosques followed an attack on churches, El-Tayyeb said, adding that Egyptians would prevail over terrorism with solidarity and determination.

Friday's attack prompted wide international condemnation, with US President Donald Trump among the leaders expressing condolences and vowing to continue the fight against terrorism.

Sisi expressed concern recently that ISIS militants fleeing Iraq and Syria would come to Egypt. Egyptian security forces face almost daily attacks from militants with ISIS ties in northern Sinai.

The Wilayat Sinai group, which pledged allegiance to ISIS in 2014, has been behind numerous attacks and hundreds of deaths in the desert region.

It claimed responsibility for the bombing of a Russian passenger jet that crashed in October 2015 in the Sinai Peninsula, killing 224 people.

If it turns out ISIS militants are behind the latest attack, "it reflects their willingness to continue to do large operations that have large civilian casualties," Timothy Kaldas, a non-resident fellow at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy, told CNN.

There would be two plausible motives for an ISIS attack, he said. First, ISIS considers Sufis to be heretics, making the Sufi mosque a legitimate target in the eyes of ISIS, even though all worshippers probably weren't Sufi.

Second, Kaldas said, ISIS may be taking revenge against members of the Sawarkah tribe, to which most of the people in the area belong, because it has been cooperating with the Egyptian government in its campaign against Wilayat Sinai.

Egypt mosque terror attack death toll above 300 Document

November 22, 2017

Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki (center) leaves the ICC at the Hague (File photo)

How the International Criminal Court going after U.S. for war crimes impacts Israel Article

Hodaya Asulin, injured at the age of 14 in 2011 Jerusalem terror attack, succumbed to her wounds on November 22, 2017

Girl injured in 2011 Jerusalem bombing dies of her wounds Document

November 21, 2017

Israeli soldiers seen guarding Jewish men praying in the compound of Joseph’s Tomb in the West Bank city of Nablus (File photo)

Army rescues 3 Israelis after Palestinians torch their car in Nablus Document

The scene of a previous terror attack by Boko Haram

At least 50 people have been killed in a suicide bombing in the eastern Nigerian state of Adamawa, police say.

A bomber struck inside a mosque packed with worshippers during morning prayers in the town of Mubi.

Witness Abubakar Sule told AFP news agency that it appeared the bomber was part of the congregation.

No-one has said they were behind the bombing but the Islamist militants Boko Haram typically target crowded places in northern Nigeria.

Some 20,000 people have been killed in Boko Haram's eight-year insurgency.

The BBC's Ishaq Khalid reports that Boko Haram militants have recently stepped up suicide bombings in Nigeria's north-east after the military recaptured territories previously controlled by the group.

At least 45 people were killed in a suicide bomb attack in the same state last December. In that attack two female suicide bombers detonated their explosives in a busy market.

Suicide bombing in Nigeria kills 50 Document

November 20, 2017

Nickolay Mladenov, U.N. Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (File photo)

"Israel can't build ties to the Arab world based on the common regional threats they face without also resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov told The Jerusalem Post...

'I do not believe any Arab leader, whether a king or a president, can go to their own people without saying something on how the Palestinian question is being addressed,' Mladenov said.

He spoke with the Post last week, as Israel has increased its outreach to moderate Arab countries, primarily Saudi Arabia, which are banding together to oppose Iran.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman has called for moderate Arab leaders to visit Jerusalem to form a coalition against Tehran with Israel...

Mladenov said that Israel and the moderate Arab countries 'have a clear common threat assessment,' but that this was not enough..."

U.N. Middle East "Peace" Envoy: Arab-Israeli Peace Secondary to Palestinian Statehood Article

The vote totals on the resolution, November 20, 2017

U.N. General Assembly resolution, "The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination" Development

U.N. peacekeepers in Haiti (File photo)

Why sexual harassment and abuse cases continue at U.N. Article