Phalange and Druze militia exchange artillery and rocket fire during night and morning in Shweifat, Baabda, Aley and Bhamdoun; lDF sets up checkpoints on Beirut-Damascus...
In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and injure a Palestinian minor during a raid near Jenin. They arrest 6 Palestinians during further raids near Hebron and Ramallah, and patrol near Hebron. Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats near Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. Along Gaza’s border, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian farmers working near Khan Yunis and later near Dayr al-Balah, causing no injuries. They also violently disperse Great March of Return protesters gathering along the border fence near al-Bureij refugee camp, Gaza City, and Khan Yunis; 1 Palestinian is injured. (WAFA 4/30; PCHR 5/3)
The Palestinian National Council (PNC), the legislative wing of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), convenes in Ramallah for its first regular session since 1996. Some factions boycotted the meetings. Over the next 4 days, they are set to elect new members to the PLO Executive Committee and other top PLO positions. In the evening, PA president Abbas gives a speech calling for the PNC to adopt the initiative he presented at the UNSC in 2/2018, and reiterates his commitment to ending the division with Hamas. (JP, WAFA 4/30; YA 5/1)
The Egyptian authorities open the Rafah border crossing in both directions for a 3d and final day. (OCHA 5/10)
IDF troops block off the main road in Jayyus village near Qalqilya, sparking clashes with stone-throwing Palestinians; 1 Palestinian is killed. Elsewhere in the West Bank, IDF troops conduct raids in Burqin village near Jenin, sparking clashes with stone-throwing residents; 7 Palestinians are injured. They also patrol near Hebron and Nablus, and deliver stop-work orders to a mosque and a building under construction in Yatta village near Hebron. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest 9 Palestinians during late-night raids in Biddu, al-Tur, and Silwan. (HA, JP, WAFA 1/15; MNA 1/16; PCHR 1/18)
For a 2d day in a row, the PLO Central Council convenes in Ramallah to coordinate a long-term strategy for responding to U.S. pres. Trump’s 12/6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In a concluding statement, the council calls for international support for Palestinian statehood, directs the PLO Executive Committee to revoke the PLO’s recognition of Israel until the Israeli government recognizes the State of Palestine, and declares that the transitional period laid out in the Oslo Accords is no longer applicable to the current situation. (JP, TOI, WAFA 1/15; AFP, HA 1/16)
Occupied Palestine/Israel: Israel's Rabbi Baruch Abu-Hatzera, Sephardim Jewish leader, tells tens of thousands of followers that Israel should negotiate with the PLO to bring about peace. Speech angers Shamir [NYT 1/30; JP 2/3].
IDF reports an increase in the number of suicides among soldiers; 25 in the last 6 months, compared with 11 over the same period in 1988-89 [FBIS 1/29].
Arab World: Georges Saadeh, president of Lebanon's Phalangist Party, resigns from the Syrian-backed cabinet of Hrawi [NYT, WP 1/30; MET 2/6].
PLO Executive Committee holds emergency meeting in Baghdad to discuss Soviet Jewish emigration to Israel [FBIS 1/31].
Other Countries: UN Sec.-General Javier Perez de Cuellar asks UN Sec. Council to renew Unifil mandate in S. Lebanon [MET 2/6].
Occupied Palestine/Israel: IDF demolishes 5 Palestinian homes in Hebron-area village of al-Samoa [FJ 2/5].
B'Tselem reports that 38 Palestinian homes have been demolished or sealed for security reasons this month, more than in any previous month, except for June 1989 [FBIS 1/29].
8 Palestinians are wounded in clash with IDF forces in Ramallah; 9 are reported wounded in Gaza clashes; 2 Israelis autos are torched in Jerusalem [FBIS 1/31]
IDF artillery fired at Syrian positions in Bekaa after Syrian tractor fortifying positions reportedly crosses cease-fire line.
IDF releases Jibsheet's Sheikh Rageb Harb, whose arrest on March 18 prompted strikes and demonstrations; ICRC tells IDF that Lebanese in Sidon are threatening Palestinian refugees in camps and villages; Austrian special envoy leaves Damascus to report to Chancellor Kreisky on status of negotiations for PLO-Israel prisoner exchange.
Israel/ Occupied Territories: 7 arrested in Sakhnin for offenses during Land Day; doctors from US Center for Disease Control begin study of mass illness; chairman of West Bank Medical Association says ICRC investigator denied making statement attributed to him yesterday by Israeli authorities; schools in Jenin and Hebron districts closed for 1 week; Tulkarm and Nablus under curfew; molotov cocktail thrown at IDF patrol in Jalazon camp; 17 year-old Palestinian dies of head injuries sustained in Jenin on March 27, family says soldier struck him with bottle, IDF says he was injured by stones; IDF arrests two carloads of Palestinians said to be driving through Nablus shouting through megaphones that the water had been poisoned; IDF confiscates film, arrests 2 Israeli employees of CBS news on charges of urging hospitalized girls to act ill, charges later dropped; 2 Israelis assaulted and injured near Damascus Gate; 9 Jews arrested during demonstration outside police station where Kahane's nephew is held; 7 persons arrested in Taiba after two days of demonstrations, stoning of police jeep, in support of West Bank Palestinians.
Palestinians/ Lebanese: Arafat, in Amman, meets with PLO Executive Committee and Hussein; in letter to UN Secretary General, Arafat accuses Israel of poisoning thousands of schoolgirls.
Arab Governments: In Damascus, President Assad meets with George Habash.
UN: Iraq calls for Security Council meeting, accuses Israel of mass poisoning of Palestinian schoolgirls, Israeli delegate rejects charges as irresponsible and unfounded; Security Council requests Secretary General to conduct independent inquiry into reported cases of poisoning.
Phalange and Druze militia exchange artillery and rocket fire during night and morning in Shweifat, Baabda, Aley and Bhamdoun; lDF sets up checkpoints on Beirut-Damascus highway to divert traffic from areas of fighting.
Israel/ Occupied Territories: Chief of Staff Eitan tells Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that 117 IDF were killed in western Lebanon, 8 in Beirut, that Begin denied Eitan's request during war for 2 more hours to cross Beirut-Damascus highway and destroy Syrian T-72 tank group, that critics such as Yossi Sarid and Shulamit Aloni harmed the war effort by talking about number of Palestinian homeless and refugees; Shamir and Kimche meet for 2'h4 hours with Habib and Draper; Sharon arrives in Zaire; 1DF spokeswoman confirms 10 Israeli Druze soldiers were jailed for defying orders in South Lebanon; Knesset votes 46-44 not to censure Kiryat Arba Council for destroying 4 of Hebron municipality's electricity pylons; Elias Freij and Rashad Shawa say they are willing to be members of a Palestinian-Jordanian delegation in peace talks with Israel.
Palestinians/ Lebanese: After 3 days of meetings in Damascus, PLO Executive Committee does not give Arafat support for alliance with Jordan; Lebanese Government insists end to state of war must be linked to complete Israeli withdrawal; Foreign Minister Elie Salem says another month or 2 of intensive discussion necessary to clear differences with Israel, he is confident Syrian and Palestinian forces will leave when Israelis leave, Lebanon is prepared to guarantee it will never again be base of operations against Israel, calls for multinational force and UNIFIL to double in size; Prime Minister Wazzan asks Justice Minister Roger Shikhani to investigate missing persons and to speed up interrogation of hundreds of detainees.
US and Other Countries: State Department says that Carter and Ford rightly focus on settlements as obstacle, but they are not the major obstacle to peace, and refuse to call settlements illegal; Weinberger and French Defense Minister Charles Hernu hold talks in Washington, Hernu says France will increase its contingent in Lebanon and take on more responsibility after the withdrawal of Syrian, Israeli and Palestinian forces, providing US and Italy do the same.
UN: Security Council votes to extend mandate of 5,800 UNIFIL troops for another 6 months; Israeli Ambassador Yehuda Blum says UNIFL has outlived its usefulness; US delegate says UNIFIL is a positive element in the negotiations.