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  • March 31, 2023

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers uprooted around 250 olive saplings and 150 grape saplings near al-Khader. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Kafr Qaddum, injuring 3....

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  • April 23, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers shot and injured 3 Palestinians near Surif; 10 settlers had been throwing stones at Palestinian vehicles before 1 of the settlers started shooting at...

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  • April 22, 2022

    In the West Bank, 1 Palestinian shot by Israeli forces in al-Yamun on 4/18 succumbed to his injuries. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Kafr Qaddum, injuring 6 with...

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  • April 21, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked Palestinians working their land near Sinjil. Israeli settlers also assaulted Palestinian shepherds near Kisan. Elsewhere, Israeli settlers blocked a...

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  • April 20, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israel forces raided Salim, injuring Palestinians with tear gas and arresting 1. 9 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Sa‘ir, Bethlehem, Balata refugee camp,...

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  • April 16, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers assaulted 2 Palestinian shepherds in al-Mughayyir. Israeli forces beat 1 Palestinian man walking with his child in Hebron, causing cuts and bruises. Israeli...

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  • April 15, 2022

    In the West Bank, 1 Palestinian minor succumbed to injuries sustained by Israeli forces during a raid in Kafr Dan on 4/14. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Qarawat Bani...

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  • April 14, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces shot and killed 2 Palestinians and wounded 6 others during a raid in Kafr Dan. Elsewhere, Israeli forces shot and injured 1 Palestinian using live ammunition...

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  • April 5, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces delivered a stop-work order for a house in Fasayil. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces handed demolition orders for 1 house, 1 canopy, and 1 house stable in Isawiya...

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  • April 1, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces shot and injured 1 Palestinian, using live ammunition, during a late-night raid in Tubas. Israeli forces also shot and injured 1 Palestinian as Israeli settlers...

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  • April 22, 2019

    A Jerusalem court ordered the eviction of Israeli settlers from a Palestinian home in Hebron that was acquired by the Israeli settlers on forged documents. The Palestinian family’s home was taken...

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  • April 19, 2019

    In the West Bank, 2 apartments in Hebron belonging to the family of a Palestinian convicted for the murder of an Israeli in February were demolished by Israeli forces. In Salfit, Israeli forces...

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  • March 29, 2018

    Along Gaza’s border, IDF troops arrest 2 Palestinians armed with a knife and fence cutters after they cross into Israel. They also violently disperse Palestinians throwing stones and protesting...

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  • April 14, 2017

    Israeli forces arrest a mentally unstable Palestinian after he stabs and kills a UK woman on the Jerusalem Light Rail nr. the Old City. Elsewhere in Jerusalem, Israeli police arrest 4 Muslim...

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  • April 7, 2017

    IDF troops violently disperse Palestinians, Israelis, and international activists at Friday demonstrations against Israel’s occupation, separation wall, and settlements in 3 villages nr. Ramallah...

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  • April 2, 2017

    In East Jerusalem, 67 Jewish settlers tour Haram al-Sharif. Meanwhile, Israeli forces arrest 2 Palestinian children playing in al-Bustan. In the West Bank, IDF troops raid the Nablus-area home of...

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  • April 28, 2016

    Amid continuing heightened tension across the oPt during Passover, Israeli forces escort hundreds of Israeli settlers to Joseph’s Tomb outside Nablus and to Solomon’s Pools outside Bethlehem in...

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  • April 26, 2016

    Tension remains high at Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem during the ongoing Passover activities. Around 130 right-wing Jewish activists tour the sanctuary throughout the day; Israeli police remove 8...

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  • April 25, 2016

    As announced on 4/24, the Israeli authorities close down al-Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron for the 1st of 2 planned days during Passover. IDF troops conduct a series of raids, house searches, and...

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  • April 24, 2016

    Tensions heighten at Haram al-Sharif during Passover as 115 right-wing Jewish activists tour the sanctuary; 2 Palestinians are detained and 13 right-wing Jewish activists are removed from the site...

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  • April 23, 2016

    Israeli authorities maintain high security at Haram al-Sharif during the weekend’s Passover activities. In the West Bank, the IDF violently disperses Palestinians demonstrating against the Israeli...

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  • April 22, 2016

    For the 3d day in a row, Israeli forces conduct widespread raids across East Jerusalem, arresting at least 20 Palestinians ahead of the Passover holiday and threatening demolitions in Silwan....

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  • April 12, 2016

    Along Gaza’s border, Israeli forces conduct a limited incursion to level land nr. Khan Yunis. Early in the morning in the West Bank, Israeli forces demolish 3 Palestinian homes under construction...

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  • April 10, 2016

     In Gaza, at least 2 Palestinians die in a smuggling tunnel collapse nr. Rafah, according to Palestinian sources. Along Gaza’s border, Israeli forces conduct a limited incursion to level land nr....

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  • April 5, 2015

    Off the coast of Gaza nr. Jabaliya and Rafah, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats, causing no damage or injuries. Hamas authorities arrest a shaykh in al-Bureij r.c. for...

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  • April 5, 2012

    A Grad rocket fired fr. the Egyptian Sinai lands in nr. Elat in s. Israel, causing no damage or injuries, but raising fears ahead of the Passover weekend, when 1,000s of tourists usually visit the...

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  • April 4, 2012

    Israeli and Palestinian officials confirm that discussions are underway for a high-level meeting between Israeli PM Netanyahu and PA PM Salam al-Fayyad after Passover ends on 4/13. Fayyad plans to...

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  • April 17, 2011

    Israel imposes a closure on the West Bank through 4/26 for the Passover holiday. Israeli police announced that after nearly 2 wks. in detention, 2 Palestinian teenagers fr. Awarta village have...

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  • April 10, 2011

    Through UN and Egyptian emissaries, Israel and Gaza’s factions agree to a new cease-fire ending 4 days of heavy violence. Before the agreement is announced in the evening, Palestinians fire around...

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  • April 1, 2011

    Israel makes an air strike on a car in Gaza City, assassinating 3 senior Hamas mbrs. (Muhammad Mahdi al-Dayah, Abdullah Lobbad, and Isma‘il Lobbad) and injuring 1 bystander. Israel claims the...

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In the West Bank, Israeli settlers uprooted around 250 olive saplings and 150 grape saplings near al-Khader. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Kafr Qaddum, injuring 3. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen near al-Sudaniyya; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA 3/31; PCHR 4/6; UNOCHA 4/20)

The Israeli military said it would close all crossings to Israel from the West Bank and Gaza from 5:00 p.m. on 4/5 to 12:00 a.m. on 4/8 and from 5:00 p.m. on 4/11 to 12:00 a.m. on 4/12 for the Passover holidays. (HA 3/31)

In Syria, Israeli forces conducted airstrikes in Damascus for the second day in a row, killing 5 advisers to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard according to Iranian media. (AA, AJ, AJ, ALM, AP, HA, MEE, REU 3/31; MEE 4/2)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers shot and injured 3 Palestinians near Surif; 10 settlers had been throwing stones at Palestinian vehicles before 1 of the settlers started shooting at Palestinians. Israeli settlers also threw stones at Palestinian stores and vehicles in the Old City of Hebron, causing damage. Meanwhile, Israeli settlers assaulted 1 Palestinian family near a checkpoint in Hebron. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Kafr Qaddum, injuring 3 with baton rounds. In East Jerusalem, Israel restricted Palestinian Christians’ access to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for the celebration of the Holy Fire. 4,000 worshippers were allowed to attend the event. Israeli forces shot and injured 2 Palestinians during a raid in Qalandia refugee camp; 3 were arrested. In Gaza, Israel said 1 rocket launched from Gaza landed in an open area in southern Israel; no injuries or damage were reported. Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian shepherds east of Abasan; no injuries were reported. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen northwest of Gaza City; no injuries were reported. (HA 4/22; HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 4/23; +972 4/27; PCHR 4/28; UNOCHA 5/13)

Israel closed all crossings from the West Bank and Gaza to East Jerusalem and Israel for the Jewish holiday of Passover. (HA 4/21)

Israel announced that it had closed the Erez crossing between Israel and Gaza, citing rockets launched from Gaza at Israel. Israel did not say when the crossing would reopen. (AJ, AP, HA, MEE, WAFA 4/23; HA, MEMO 4/24; HA 4/25)

UNRWA commissioner-general Philippe Lazzarini said in a message that the agency is exploring the option of engaging more agencies within the UN in the work of UNRWA to help alleviate UNRWA’s chronic underfunding. (UNRWA 4/23; WAFA 4/27; TOI 5/2)

Iranian media reported that Iranian and Saudi Arabian officials had met in Baghdad to resume talks to mend the 2 countries’ ties. Omani and Iraqi officials were also at the meeting. (HA 4/23; REU 4/25)

In the West Bank, 1 Palestinian shot by Israeli forces in al-Yamun on 4/18 succumbed to his injuries. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Kafr Qaddum, injuring 6 with baton rounds and others with tear gas. Israeli forces also raided Nabi Salih, injuring 1 Palestinian with a baton round. Elsewhere, Israeli forces shot and injured 1 Palestinian attempting to enter Israel for work at the separation wall west of Jenin. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians at the Haram al-Sharif compound, injuring 57, including 15 who were taken to hospitals for treatment; 2 were in serious condition; 1 of them fell into a coma after being hit in the head with a baton round. 1 Israeli police officer was injured by a rock to his face. For the 1st time, Israel used drones to fire tear gas at Palestinians at the compound. Some 150,000 worshippers prayed at the compound for the 3d Friday of the month of Ramadan. 9 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Isawiya, Jabel Mukaber, and Ras al-Amud. In Gaza, Israel said 2 rockets were launched at Israel but fell inside of Gaza. In Israel, Israeli police violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Umm al-Fahm; tear-gas related injuries were reported. (AJ, AJ, AP, HA, HA, HA, HA, MDW, MEMO, NPR, NYT, REU, TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 4/22; HA, MEMO, WAFA 4/23; AJ 4/24; PCHR 4/28; UNOCHA 5/13)

Israel closed all crossings from the West Bank and Gaza to East Jerusalem and Israel for the Jewish holiday of Passover. The closure will remain in effect until an unspecified time on 4/23. Exceptions were made for Palestinians from the West Bank who had been issued permits to pray at the Haram al-Sharif compound for the Friday prayers. (HA 4/21)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked Palestinians working their land near Sinjil. Israeli settlers also assaulted Palestinian shepherds near Kisan. Elsewhere, Israeli settlers blocked a road between Nablus and Qalqilya.

In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians protesting an incursion by Israeli settlers at the Haram al-Sharif compound; 30 were injured by baton rounds and tear gas.

In Gaza, 5 rockets were fired at Israel; 4 of them were intercepted and 1 caused damage to a house in Sderot. Israel subsequently conducted air strikes, causing damage to several homes in al-Bureij refugee camp, Gaza City, and Nusseirat refugee camp. (HA 4/20; AJ, AJ, AP, AP, CNN, HA, IN, JP, NPR, NYT, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 4/21; PCHR 4/28; UNOCHA 5/13)

Israel closed all crossings from the West Bank and Gaza to East Jerusalem and Israel at 5 P.M. for the Jewish holiday of Passover. The closure will remain in effect until an unspecified time on 4/23. (HA 4/21)

U.S. acting assistant secretary of state for Near East affairs Yael Lempert and deputy assistant secretary for Israeli and Palestinian affairs Hady Amr met with PA president Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid in separate meetings in an effort to calm the situation surrounding the Haram al-Sharif compound, where Israeli forces have attacked Palestinian worshippers for a week, including in al-Aqsa Mosque. (HA 4/21; WAFA 4/22)

The Arab league slammed Israel for interfering with Muslims’ rights to worship at the Haram al-Sharif compound and criticized the Israeli government for continuing to allow Jewish people to worship at the Holy site. The statement was released after a meeting of Arab League foreign ministers in Jordan from the UAE, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, and the PA. (AJ, REU, WAFA 4/21)

Iran said it had arrested 3 people suspected of being Mossad agents. (HA 4/20; AP 4/21)

In the West Bank, Israel forces raided Salim, injuring Palestinians with tear gas and arresting 1. 9 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Sa‘ir, Bethlehem, Balata refugee camp, Kafr Qalil, and Qibya. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians at the Haram al-Sharif compound to make way for 1,538 Israeli settlers touring the compound. 3 settlers were detained by Israeli police for loudly praying at the compound. 100s of Israeli far-right protesters marched in the Old City, chanting anti-Palestinian and anti-Muslim slogans. Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid called the march “a provocation that causes us damage.” 4 Palestinians were arrested in the Old City, including 3 minors. (HA 4/19; ALM, HA, HA, MEE, MEE, MEMO, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 4/20; HA, HA, PCHR 4/21; UNOCHA 5/13)

Israel announced that it is closing all crossings from the West Bank and Gaza to East Jerusalem and Israel from 5 P.M. on 4/21 until an unspecified time on 4/23 for the Jewish holiday of Passover. Exceptions will be made for Palestinians from the West Bank with permits to pray at the Haram al-Sharif compound for the Friday prayers on 4/22 and for humanitarian and medical crossings. (HA 4/21)

Hamas convened with leaders of militant groups in Gaza at Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar’s office. Hamas sources said that Sinwar urged the militant leaders to coordinate after a militant faction fired a rocket at Israel on 4/18. (HA 4/19)

U.S. acting assistant secretary of state for Near East affairs Yael Lempert and deputy assistant secretary for Israeli and Palestinian affairs Hady Amr met with Jordanian foreign minister Ayman Safadi, discussing the situation in Jerusalem. (HA 4/20; MEMO 4/21)

The PA and Germany signed an agreement for Germany to provide $17.3 million to build 2 solar power plants in Gaza. (WAFA 4/20)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers assaulted 2 Palestinian shepherds in al-Mughayyir. Israeli forces beat 1 Palestinian man walking with his child in Hebron, causing cuts and bruises. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Kafr Qaddum, injuring 5 with baton rounds. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian farmers east of Khuza‘a; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 4/16; PCHR 4/21; UNOCHA 4/23)

Palestinians in the West Bank are under an Israeli-imposed curfew for the Jewish holiday of Passover, in effect until 4/17. Crossings between Gaza and Israel are closed. (HA 4/14; HA 4/15; HA 4/16)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas wrote letters to Pope Francis and the leaders of the AU, EU, UN, and OIC, urging them to intervene against Israeli-led violence on the Haram al-Sharif compound. (WAFA 4/16)

In the West Bank, 1 Palestinian minor succumbed to injuries sustained by Israeli forces during a raid in Kafr Dan on 4/14. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Qarawat Bani Hassan, injuring 1 Palestinian minor with live ammunition and others with tear gas; the minor was also arrested. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Kafr Qaddum, injuring 3 with baton rounds and others with tear gas. Elsewhere, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Hebron, injuring 1 with live ammunition and others with tear gas. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Bayt Dajan, injuring 3 with baton rounds and others with tear gas. Meanwhile, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Qaryut, Beita, and Bazariya, leading to tear-gas related injuries. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians at the Haram al-Sharif compound, including inside al-Aqsa Mosque, injuring more than 152 Palestinians with baton rounds, batons, and tear gas, including 8 who were admitted into intensive care facilities. Several Palestinian journalists at the compound were violently beaten by Israeli police, causing broken limbs. 3 Israeli police officers were lightly injured. Some 470 Palestinians were arrested at the compound before noon prayers, where some 50,000 worshippers were praying, about half from the West Bank. Around 440 were released within 24 hours, some of whom were banned from entering the compound until after the end of Ramadan. (AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AP, AX, HA, HA, MDW, MEE, MEE, NYT, PCHR, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 4/15; MEMO, REU 4/16 HA 4/18; PCHR 4/21; UNOCHA 4/23)

Hamas, the PA, Jordan, Morocco, UAE, Bahrain, the United Arab List, and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation condemned the Israeli-led violence at the Haram al-Sharif compound (see above). The U.S. state department released a statement urging “all sides to exercise restraint, avoid provocative actions and rhetoric, and preserve the historic status quo on the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount.” The spokesperson for UN secretary general António Guterres expressed grave concern about the situation in Jerusalem. (HA, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 4/15; HA, MEMO, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 4/16)

Palestinians in the West Bank are under an Israeli-imposed curfew for the Jewish holiday of Passover, beginning at 4 P.M. and continuing until 4/17. Crossings between Gaza and Israel are closed. (HA 4/14; HA 4/15; HA 4/16)

Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh spoke to Arab League secretary general Ahmed Aboul Gheit about the Israeli attacks on Palestinians at the Haram al-Sharif compound. Haniyeh also spoke with Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and speaker of the Kuwaiti parliament Marzouq al-Ghanim in separate calls. (MEMO 4/16)

At a Passover seder hosted by U.S. vice president Kamala Harris and 2nd gentleman Doug Emhoff, the couple served wine made by the settler winery Psagot Winery in the West Bank. The senior advisor for communications to Vice President Harris said in a tweet that “the wine served at the Seder was in no way intended to be an expression of policy.” (HA, MDW 4/17; MEE 3/18)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces shot and killed 2 Palestinians and wounded 6 others during a raid in Kafr Dan. Elsewhere, Israeli forces shot and injured 1 Palestinian using live ammunition during a raid in Nabi Salih. Israeli forces also raided the Palestine Technical University in Tulkarm, injuring 1 Palestinian with live ammunition and 1 with a baton round to his face. Elsewhere, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians during a raid in Budrus, injuring 1 with live ammunition and arresting 7. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Abwein, injuring 1 minor with live ammunition and others with tear gas. Separately, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in al-Bireh, injuring 1 with live ammunition and others with tear gas. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinians during a funeral procession in Beita, causing 35 injuries from tear gas. Meanwhile, Israeli forces blocked the entrances to al-Arroub refugee camp. Israeli forces also delivered notices that it will seize 264.4 dunams (65 acres) of land in Humsa al-Tahta and Furush Bayt Dajan for military purposes. 33 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Nur Shams refugee camp, Kafr Dan, al-Yamun, Tell, Balata, al-Bireh, al-Khader, Beit Umar, Halhul, al-Arroub refugee camp, and Hebron. Palestinians in the Ramallah and Bethlehem districts held a general strike in protest against the killing of several Palestinians by Israeli forces in the past 24 hours. In East Jerusalem, 2 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in the Old City and al-Tur. (ABC, AJ, AP, HA, MEE, REU, TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 4/14; WAFA, WAFA 4/15; PCHR 4/21; UNOCHA 4/23)

The Israeli military announced a curfew for Palestinians in the West Bank between 4 P.M. on 4/15 and 4/17 for the Jewish holiday of Passover. Crossings between Gaza and Israel will close during this period. Israel also announced that the restrictions on Jenin will end with the curfew on 4/17. The wide-ranging punitive restrictions in Jenin were instituted on 4/9. (HA 4/14; HA 4/15)

Haaretz reported that the Israel education ministry is requiring outside administrators of educational programs declare that their presentations do not portray the Israel Independence Day as the Nakba or challenge the notion of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. According to the Haaretz reporting, Adalah filed a challenge to the requirement in an Israeli court on 4/13. (HA 4/14)

Israel said it had successfully tested a laser-based missile defense system. The “Light Shield” is intended to be fully operational years from now, but will be placed near Gaza by the end of 2022 for further testing. (AP, HA 4/14; ALM 4/15)

In Syria, Israeli forces conducted air strikes on several targets near Damascus, causing damage. (AJ, AP, HA 4/15)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces delivered a stop-work order for a house in Fasayil. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces handed demolition orders for 1 house, 1 canopy, and 1 house stable in Isawiya. Israeli forces detained PA governor of Jerusalem Adnan Ghaith before handing him orders not to enter the West Bank for 6 months. Meanwhile, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians gathered at the Damascus Gate plaza with baton rounds and stun grenades; at least 1 was injured. 12 were arrested in the Old City and 2 in Bayt Hanina. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles west of al-Sudaniyya; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 4/5; WAFA, WAFA 4/6; PCHR 4/7; UNOCHA 4/23)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas spoke with Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz on a phone call. The 2 spoke about efforts to facilitate calm for the Ramadan and Passover holy days. (TOI 4/5; ALM 4/6)

1 Palestinian citizen of Israel was sentenced to death in the UAE for possessing 0.5 kilo of cocaine. Joint List chairperson Ayman Odeh said he had been in contact with Israeli president Isaac Herzog and foreign minister Yair Lapid to have them help save her life. (AP, CNN, HA 4/5)

Palestinian-French lawyer and activist Salah Hamouri, who is currently held by Israel in administrative detention, filed a complaint to the prosecutor of the Paris judicial court in France against the NSO Group for illegally hacking his phone using Pegasus spyware. (AJ, WAFA 4/5; WAFA 4/6)

Front Line Defenders and Citizen Lab published an investigation, saying that 4 Jordanian activists and journalists had been targeted with NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware between August 2019 and December 2021. (AP, HA, HA 4/5)

The World Bank approved an $8 million grant to the PA to help reform its public financial management. (WAFA 4/5)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces shot and injured 1 Palestinian, using live ammunition, during a late-night raid in Tubas. Israeli forces also shot and injured 1 Palestinian as Israeli settlers toured Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus; others suffered tear-gas related injuries. Elsewhere, Israeli forces confiscated 30,000 NIS ($9,126) from a family in Dura during a house raid. 3 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Bayt Umar, Yatta, and Tubas. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces prevented a Palestinian family from celebrating the release of a family member who had spent 11 years in Israeli prison and arrested the former detainee’s brother. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at agricultural lands east of Khuza‘a; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA 4/1; PCHR 4/8)

A Palestinian man arrested last year by Hamas for participating in a Zoom meeting with Israeli peace activists told AP that he had been tortured and forced to divorce his wife, the daughter of an exiled Hamas official. The man was released in October of 2020, after 6 months in prison. (AP 4/1)

The possible kingmaker in the Israeli elections, Ra’am (United Arab List) chairman Mansour Abbas held a press conference, where he told Jewish-Israelis and Palestinian-Israelis to find common ground rather than focusing on the 2 groups’ differences. Benjamin Netanyahu ally and chairman of the Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) party Itamar Ben-Gvir said Abbas was trying to portray himself as a “cute bear,” but that he sanctifies infant killers. Abbas did not say who he intends to support in forming a government. (HA, REU 4/1; ALM, TOI 4/2)

Jordan sent a letter of complaint to the Israeli foreign ministry condemning the Israeli violation of the status quo of the Jerusalem holy sites. Jordan particularly pointed out that Israel continues to allow Jewish worshipers on the Haram al-Sharif compound, which violates the status quo agreement. It was reported that 1,200 Jewish worshipers visited the compound during the recent Israeli Passover holiday. (TOI, WAFA 4/1; JP 4/3)

Saudi foreign minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said during an interview that “the normalization of Israel’s status within the region would bring tremendous benefits to the region as a whole,” but that Saudi normalization of Israel depends on the creation of a Palestinian state. (AJ 4/2)

France, Germany, and the World Bank signed financing agreements, worth $52 million, to help local municipalities in the West Bank respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. (WAFA 4/1)

A Jerusalem court ordered the eviction of Israeli settlers from a Palestinian home in Hebron that was acquired by the Israeli settlers on forged documents. The Palestinian family’s home was taken over by settlers in 2005 and the legal proceedings were ongoing since 2007. The Israeli settlers appealed the court’s decision which also stipulated that the settlers must pay the Palestinian family $161,000. Elsewhere in the West Bank, Israeli forces sealed off the al-Ibrahimi Mosque for Muslim worshippers in preparation for Passover celebrations. Israeli forces also arrested 18 Palestinians during late-night raids in and around Bethlehem, Hebron, Jenin, Salfit, and Ramallah. In the raid near Jenin, Israeli forces fired tear gas, causing dozens of residents to suffer from tear gas inhalation. In East Jerusalem, 170 right-wing Israelis, led by Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel, stormed Haram al-Sharif with Israeli police escort. In Gaza, a prosthetic hospital was inaugurated to help the many Palestinians in Gaza who have lost limbs. The hospital’s expenses are covered by the Qatar Fund for Development. A day after Israel denied access of Christian Palestinians in Gaza to the West Bank and East Jerusalem for Easter celebrations, Israeli authorities reversed its position, allowing 500 Christians to enter the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Elsewhere in Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire against Palestinian farmers near Rafah and on Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Rafah; no injuries were reported. (AJ, HA, HA, MNA, MNA, MNA, MNA, WAFA 4/22; HA, MNA, WAFA 4/23)

In the West Bank, 2 apartments in Hebron belonging to the family of a Palestinian convicted for the murder of an Israeli in February were demolished by Israeli forces. In Salfit, Israeli forces raided and took measurements for demolition of a home belonging to the family of a Palestinian alleged to have attacked Israeli settlers in the settlement of Ariel on 3/17. The alleged perpetrator was killed by Israeli forces on 3/20. Israeli forces also violently dispersed the weekly anti-settlement protests in Kafr Qaddum using live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets, and tear gas, injuring 6. One French activist was arrested during the protest. In East Jerusalem, a soccer tournament in Bayt Safafa was shut down by Israeli police, claiming that it was organized by the PA. In Gaza, Israeli forces attacked 2 Hamas posts east of al-Bureij refugee camp after shots allegedly were fired at Israeli soldiers near the Gaza fence, causing damage, but no injuries were reported. Israeli forces also fired live ammunition, tear gas, and rubber-coated bullets at protesters partaking in the weekly Great March of Return protests, injuring at least 46 Palestinians. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen; no injuries were reported. According to Israeli sources, an incendiary balloon was found on a beach near Ashqelon in Israel. Israeli authorities announced that it would institute a week-long closure between 4/19 and 4/27 of entry points to Israel from Gaza and the West Bank for the celebration of Passover. (HA, HA, MNA, MNA, MNA, MNA, MNA, MNA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 4/19; HA, MNA, WAFA 4/20)

In an interview with the Atlantic, the outgoing French ambassador to the U.S. Gérard Araud, in discussing the Trump administration’s “peace plan,” called Israel an apartheid state. He said, “They [Israel] have the West Bank, but at the same time they don’t have to make the painful decision about the Palestinians, really making them really, totally stateless or making them citizens of Israel. They won’t make them citizens of Israel. So they will have to make it official, which is we know the situation, which is an apartheid. There will be officially an apartheid state. . . . They are in fact already.” Araud also recounted a conversation between French president Emmanuel Macron and U.S. president Donald Trump, in which Trump said “I have given everything to the Israelis; the Israelis will have to give me something.” (AM 4/19; HA 4/24)

The U.S. envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt rebuffed in a tweet speculations that part of the Trump administration’s “peace plan” includes transferring parts of Egypt’s Sinai to the Gaza Strip. (HA 4/19)

Along Gaza’s border, IDF troops arrest 2 Palestinians armed with a knife and fence cutters after they cross into Israel. They also violently disperse Palestinians throwing stones and protesting along the border fence near al-Bureij refugee camp, Khan Yunis, Gaza City, and Jabaliya refugee camp; 7 Palestinians are injured. Later, Israeli artillery shells an open area along the border near Bayt Hanun, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, IDF troops arrest 2 Palestinians during latenight raids in Hebron and patrol near Hebron. (HA, WAFA 3/29; PCHR 4/5)

The Israeli authorities close border crossings in and out of Gaza and the West Bank, with exceptions for humanitarian cases. The closure, put into effect for the Jewish holiday of Passover, is set to continue through 4/7. (MNA, HA, WAFA 3/29)

Israeli PM Netanyahu requests that all members of Knesset (MKs) refrain from visiting Haram al-Sharif in the next 3 mos., indicating that such visits could exacerbate already heightened tensions across the oPt. (HA 3/30)

Israeli forces arrest a mentally unstable Palestinian after he stabs and kills a UK woman on the Jerusalem Light Rail nr. the Old City. Elsewhere in Jerusalem, Israeli police arrest 4 Muslim worshippers when they attempt to stop Jewish settlers from praying at Haram alSharif. They arrest 10 more as they are exiting the sanctuary, and also arrest 2 Palestinians during raids in Shu‘fat. In the West Bank, IDF troops arrest a Palestinian at a checkpoint outside Nabi Salih after he is found to be carrying a knife. Meanwhile, they violently disperse Palestinians, Israelis, and international activists at Friday demonstrations against Israel’s occupation, separation wall, settlements, and withholding of Palestinian corpses in 3 villages nr. Ramallah (Nabi Salih, Bil‘in, and Ni‘lin), Kafr Qaddum nr. Qalqilya, and Bethlehem; 4 Palestinians are injured. They also establish a mobile checkpoint e. of Tubas, sparking clashes with stone-throwing Palestinians; 4 Palestinians are injured. The IDF patrols nr. Hebron during the day. Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats nr. Jabaliya r.c., causing no injuries or damage. Along Gaza’s border, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian farmers nr. Juhur al-Dik and again nr. Khan Yunis, causing no injuries. (HA, JP, MNA, NYT, TOI, WAFA 4/14; HA 4/15; PCHR 4/20)

The Israeli authorities open the Kerem Shalom border crossing to allow fuel to enter Gaza. They closed the crossing for Passover on 4/9, and are set to shut it down again from 4/15 through 4/17. (MNA 4/14)

The Gaza Electricity Distribution Company (GEDCO) temporarily cuts off power throughout the region in protest of “unfair measures” imposed on the people of Gaza, including the reduction of former PA employees’ salaries. (MNA 4/14)

IDF troops violently disperse Palestinians, Israelis, and international activists at Friday demonstrations against Israel’s occupation, separation wall, and settlements in 3 villages nr. Ramallah (Nabi Salih, Bil‘in, and Ni‘lin) and Kafr Qaddum nr. Qalqilya; 2 Palestinians are injured. Elsewhere in the West Bank, IDF troops arrest 1 Palestinian during a late-night raid in Bethlehem; and patrol nr. Nablus and Hebron during the day. An Israeli settler driver allegedly rams 2 Palestinians outside Hebron, causing minor injuries. Israeli settlers throw stones at a Palestinian family’s flock in the n. Jordan Valley, killing 1 sheep and injuring a goat. Along Gaza’s border, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian shepherds working nr. Gaza City, causing no injuries. (MNA 4/7; HA 4/10; PCHR 4/13)

The Israeli authorities announce that they will be closing crossings to and from the West Bank and Gaza during the upcoming Passover holiday. The closure will last from midnight on 4/9 until midnight on 4/17, and only exceptional cases will be allowed to exit the territories, including humanitarian situations and Palestinian Christians hoping to enter Jerusalem to celebrate Easter. (JP, TOI 4/7; MNA 4/8; JP 4/9; TOI 4/10)

In East Jerusalem, 67 Jewish settlers tour Haram al-Sharif. Meanwhile, Israeli forces arrest 2 Palestinian children playing in al-Bustan. In the West Bank, IDF troops raid the Nablus-area home of the Palestinian killed in East Jerusalem on 4/1 and interrogate his family mbrs. They also arrest a Palestinian allegedly planning a stabbing attack at an IDF post outside Zuffin settlement nr. Qalqilya; arrest 6 Palestinians during latenight raids nr. Ramallah, Hebron, and Bethlehem; and patrol during the day nr. Hebron and Nablus. (HA, MNA, WAFA 4/2; PCHR 4/6)

Jerusalem district police cmdr. Doron Turgeman says that security in the city will likely be increased around Passover, which is set to begin on 4/10. “Holidays and festivals over the years have caused higher tensions and sensitivity and are a preferred period for attacks,” he says. (TOI 4/2)

Amid continuing heightened tension across the oPt during Passover, Israeli forces escort hundreds of Israeli settlers to Joseph’s Tomb outside Nablus and to Solomon’s Pools outside Bethlehem in the morning, sparking clashes in Nablus with stone-throwing Palestinian youths; 1 Palestinian is injured. Also, around 200 right-wing Jewish activists tour Haram al-Sharif; 5 are removed from the area when they attempt to perform religious rites. Israeli authorities close the Kerem Shalom crossing with Gaza, indicating that they plan to keep it closed through 4/30. Elsewhere along Gaza’s border, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian farmers working nr. Khan Yunis, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and injure a Palestinian at a checkpoint nr. Ramallah after he and another Palestinian allegedly attempt to stab an Israeli soldier. They also conduct raids nr. Bethlehem, issuing arrest summons to 3 Palestinians; patrol nr. Hebron, Salfit, and Jericho. (HA, JP, MNA, TOI, WAFA 4/28; PCHR 5/5)

Israeli PM Netanyahu’s office releases a statement formally rejecting the French peace initiative, including the peace conference planned for 5/30 in Paris. “Israel is ready immediately to begin direct negotiations with the Palestinians without any preconditions,” it reads, adding that “any other diplomatic initiative distances the Palestinians from the table of direct negotiations.” Meanwhile, a U.S. State Dept. spokesperson reiterates that the Obama admin. has not yet taken a position on the French initiative. (HA, TOI, USSD 4/28; MNA 4/29)

Tension remains high at Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem during the ongoing Passover activities. Around 130 right-wing Jewish activists tour the sanctuary throughout the day; Israeli police remove 8 of them after they spark verbal and physical confrontations with Palestinians by performing religious rituals (4 Palestinians are arrested and there are no serious injuries). Elsewhere in East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest 3 Palestinians during raids and patrols in Issawiyya and Ras al-Amud. In the West Bank, Israeli forces order some Palestinians to close their shops in c. Hebron ahead of Israeli settlers’ visits to the city; close al-Ibrahimi Mosque for the 2d day in a row; and conduct house searches and patrols in the area, arresting 2 Palestinians. They also escort dozens of Israeli settlers as they perform religious rituals at a park in a Palestinian village nr. Hebron. IDF troops violently disperse Palestinian journalists demonstrating outside Ofer Prison nr. Ramallah in solidarity with an imprisoned colleague; 2 Palestinians are injured. The IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Salfit. Meanwhile, off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats nr. Gaza City and later nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries (2 fishermen are detained and their boats are confiscated). Along Gaza’s border, Israeli forces conduct a limited incursion to level land nr. Gaza City. (HA, JP, MNA, WAFA, YA 4/26; PCHR 4/28)

As announced on 4/24, the Israeli authorities close down al-Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron for the 1st of 2 planned days during Passover. IDF troops conduct a series of raids, house searches, and patrols around the city, arresting at least 2 Palestinians. Also in Hebron, hundreds of Israeli settlers and officials hold a ceremony marking the upcoming 50-yr. anniversary of the IDF’s capture of the city. Elsewhere in the West Bank, IDF troops patrol nr. Salfit and Qalqilya. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest 3 Palestinians during raids in Issawiyya. (TOI, WAFA 4/25; PCHR 4/28)

Tensions heighten at Haram al-Sharif during Passover as 115 right-wing Jewish activists tour the sanctuary; 2 Palestinians are detained and 13 right-wing Jewish activists are removed from the site after a verbal altercation. The Israeli authorities also inform administrators at al-Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron that the mosque will be closed on 4/25 and 4/26. Meanwhile, off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on a Palestinian fishing boat, causing no damage, arrest 2 fishermen, and confiscate their boat. In the West Bank, Israeli forces reopen an entrance to a village nr. Hebron that has been closed since 10/2015. IDF troops conduct late-night raids in Hebron, arresting 1 Palestinian and confiscating property; patrols nr. Qalqilya, Ramallah, and Jericho. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces conduct raids in Silwan, arresting 2 Palestinians, issuing arrest summons to 2, and sparking minor clashes with residents of the area; there are no serious injuries. (JP, MNA, TOI, WAFA 4/24; HA, JP, MNA, TOI, WAFA 4/25; PCHR 4/28)

Israeli authorities maintain high security at Haram al-Sharif during the weekend’s Passover activities. In the West Bank, the IDF violently disperses Palestinians demonstrating against the Israeli occupation in Kafr Qaddum nr. Qalqilya, injuring 1 Palestinian. IDF troops raid a village nr. Ramallah late at night, issuing arrest summons to 1 Palestinian and sparking clashes with stone-throwing youths; there are no serious injuries. They conduct further raids nr. Qalqilya, Bethlehem, and in East Jerusalem, arresting 4 Palestinians; patrol nr. Ramallah, Qalqilya, and Jericho. Israeli settlers throw stones at Palestinian cars nr. Qalqilya, damaging 1. (MNA 4/23, 4/24; PCHR 4/28)

The Israeli authorities deliver notices to a Palestinian village nr. Nablus informing residents of their intention to confiscate 5,000 dunams (1,250 acres) of land in the area. (MNA, WAFA 4/23)

For the 3d day in a row, Israeli forces conduct widespread raids across East Jerusalem, arresting at least 20 Palestinians ahead of the Passover holiday and threatening demolitions in Silwan. Additional Israeli police are deployed in the city. Israeli authorities suspend Gazans’ weekly visit to Jerusalem, and completely close down crossings in the West Bank and Gaza, with exceptions for humanitarian and medical cases (the closure began at midnight on 4/21 and will last through midnight on 4/23, unless the IDF decides the security situation requires its continuation). At Haram al-Sharif, 29 Palestinians are barred from the sanctuary and 10 right-wing Jewish activists are detained as they carry baby goats to the sanctuary for Passover sacrifices (Jewish religious rites are prohibited at Haram al-Sharif). IDF troops violently disperse Palestinians, Israelis, and international activists at Friday demonstrations against Israel’s occupation, settlements, and separation wall in 6 areas nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, Silwad, Nabi Salih, Jalazun r.c., and outside Ofer Prison), 1 village nr. Qalqilya, and 2 areas along Gaza’s border; 6 Palestinians are injured. The IDF also patrols during the day in 4 villages nr. Qalqilya and 2 nr. Ramallah. (JP, MNA 4/22; MNA 4/23; HA 4/24; PCHR 4/28)

In a speech to the UN General Assembly in New York, PA pres. Abbas encourages gathered world leaders to support the French peace initiative, saying, “We are deliberating with international parties and relevant Arab ministerial committee to examine the content and timing for proposing a [UNSC] res. against settlement activity.” The Palestinian leadership had planned to have their antisettlement res. introduced in the UNSC during Abbas’s trip to New York; press reports say that they have decided to postpone the initiative at France’s request to give breathing room to the French peace initiative. (HA, MNA 4/22; JP 4/23)

Along Gaza’s border, Israeli forces conduct a limited incursion to level land nr. Khan Yunis. Early in the morning in the West Bank, Israeli forces demolish 3 Palestinian homes under construction in a village nr. Bethlehem and a playground in a village nr. Nablus. They also reopen a road e. of Hebron that they closed on 3/14, following a formal request from the PA. IDF troops patrol in a village nr. Ramallah, sparking clashes with stonethrowing Palestinians; 2 Palestinians are arrested and there are no serious injuries. They conduct further raids and house searches nr. Nablus, Jericho, and in Tulkarm, arresting 4 Palestinians; patrol nr. Qalqilya, Jericho, Ramallah, and Hebron. In East Jerusalem, the Jerusalem Municipality prepares to demolish a Palestinian home in Wadi al-Juz, but Israeli PM Netanyahu’s office intervenes, canceling the demolition to avoid increasing tensions in the city ahead of Passover. Meanwhile, the extreme messianic group Temple Institute says that it conducted a secret Jewish wedding at Haram al-Sharif, violating the ban on Jewish religious ceremonies at the sanctuary. (MNA, WAFA 4/12; MNA, TOI, YA 4/13; PCHR 4/14)

COGAT announces that the Israeli govt. has given approval, in principle, to a Palestinian request to build a power plant nr. Jenin. (YA, 4/12; MNA, YA 4/13)

A U.S. State Dept. spokesperson says that the U.S. opposes a UNSC res. censuring Israel’s settlements, such as the one the Palestinian leadership is currently circulating. He adds, “I can firmly shut the door,” ending all speculation about U.S. support for the effort. (USSD 4/12; JP 4/13)

 In Gaza, at least 2 Palestinians die in a smuggling tunnel collapse nr. Rafah, according to Palestinian sources. Along Gaza’s border, Israeli forces conduct a limited incursion to level land nr. Gaza City. In the West Bank, IDF troops conduct raids in Aida r.c. and al-Azza r.c. nr. Bethlehem late at night, sparking clashes with armed and stone-throwing Palestinian youths in both; there are no serious injuries. They conduct further raids in Salfit and nr. Hebron, Nablus, Ramallah, and Tulkarm, arresting 13 Palestinians and issuing arrest summons to 3; patrol nr. Hebron, Tulkarm, and Jenin. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces confiscate property and arrest 1 Palestinian during raids in the Old City. In Israel, right-wing Jewish activists spray paint racist graffiti on the walls of a synagogue in Safed. (JP, MNA, TOI, WAFA 4/10; MNA 4/11; TOI 4/12; PCHR 4/14)

Israeli PM Netanyahu says that there has been a “significant decline” in the number of serious Palestinian crimes against Israelis. He also reaffirms his ban on MKs and other elected officials visiting Haram al-Sharif ahead of the Jewish holiday Passover. (TOI 4/10)

Off the coast of Gaza nr. Jabaliya and Rafah, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats, causing no damage or injuries. Hamas authorities arrest a shaykh in al-Bureij r.c. for alleged support of ISIS. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and raids in and around Hebron, 2 villages nr. Jenin, and 1 nr. Qalqilya, arresting 5 Palestinians; patrols in 2 villages each nr. Qalqilya and Jericho, and 1 each nr. Ramallah, Hebron, and Tulkarm. An Israeli soldier assaults a Palestinian at a checkpoint nr. Bethlehem. Israeli authorities close al-Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron to all Muslim worshippers, allowing Jewish Israelis to enter in celebration of Passover through 4/6. In Balata r.c. nr. Nablus, Palestinian women gather to protest the PASF crackdown in the camp. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces confiscate a number of solar energy cells in a bedouin village. Also, a group of Israeli settlers assault a Palestinian youth at a gate to the Old City. (AFP, MNA, WAFA 4/5; AFP 4/6; MNA 4/7; PCHR 4/9)

PA Pres. Abbas announces that the Israeli govt. transferred NIS 1.37 b. (around $350 m.) of the NIS 1.8 b. ($460 m.) in previously frozen tax revenues, but that the Palestinians rejected the money in protest of unilateral deductions Israel made to pay the Palestinians’ debts to Israeli utility providers. (AFP, AP, JP, REU 4/5)

The PLO announces that it will send a delegation to Syria to meet with govt. and rebel leaders to find a resolution for the residents of Yarmouk r.c. (AFP, AJ, WAFA, YA 4/5; AFP, AJ, JP 4/6)

A Grad rocket fired fr. the Egyptian Sinai lands in nr. Elat in s. Israel, causing no damage or injuries, but raising fears ahead of the Passover weekend, when 1,000s of tourists usually visit the resort town. No group claims responsibility. (HA, JP, YA 4/5; WP 4/6; YA 4/7)

The IDF makes a day-long incursion into n. Gaza e. of Jabaliya to level land and clear lines of sight; during the operation, troops fire 4 artillery shells and direct gunfire at surrounding agricultural areas to keep Palestinians away. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire into the Erez industrial zone late at night, causing no reported injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 3 villages nr. Ramallah in the morning and afternoon; conducts late-night arrest raids, houses searches in Nabi Salih; conducts late-night patrols in Jenin, 1 nearby village, and 1 village nr. Tulkarm. (PCHR 4/12; OCHA 4/13)

Palestinian sources report that in the previous week, the PASF arrested university prof. and single mother Ismat Abdul-Khaleq and placed her in solitary confinement over a Facebook posting in which she criticized Abbas’s government and called for the PA to be dismantled. She is the 5th prominent Palestinian arrested in the past year for criticizing the PA on Facebook. The others are: Radio Bethlehem 2000 director George Canawait, arrested in 9/2011 for criticizing the PA Health Min.; al-Quds TV employee Mahmdouh Hamara, arrested in fall 2011 for posting an unflattering picture of Abbas; and journalists Rami Samara and Youssef al-Shayeb, arrested in 2/2012 and 3/2013 respectively, for “defaming public officials” by writing news items on PA corruption. Most of the arrests have been carried out under an 1960 Jordanian law, not the PA press and communications law of 1995. Most of those arrested have been released within 2 weeks. (WP 4/6; NYT 5/7)

Israeli and Palestinian officials confirm that discussions are underway for a high-level meeting between Israeli PM Netanyahu and PA PM Salam al-Fayyad after Passover ends on 4/13. Fayyad plans to hand Netanyahu a letter from Abbas, which in its current draft includes Palestinian conditions for a return to negotiations (including Israel halting settlement expansion and accepting 1967 lines the basis for talks) and an enumeration of Israeli actions that the Palestinians find counterproductive to peace. (NYT 4/5)

Israeli security forces evict Jewish settler families fr. a house in Hebron that they occupied ca. 4/2/12. Meanwhile, Netanyahu calls on Israel’s atty. gen. to “find a solution” for the unauthorized outpost of Ulpana (which he terms a neighborhood of Beit El settlement) in Hebron that an Israeli court ordered demolished by 5/1/12. He also says that he plans to convene a meeting with DM Barak to seek the permits retroactively to legalize 3 other unauthorized settlement outposts (Bruchin, Rachelim, and Sansanna). Separately, Israel’s Housing Min. issues bids for construction of 800 new settlement housing units in Har Homa settlement in East Jerusalem. (NYT, PCHR, WT 4/5; OCHA 4/13)

Israel allows a small shipment of diesel fuel for Gaza’s power plant allowing 1 turbine to restart for the 1st time since 3/25/12, but rolling blackouts remain up to 16 hrs./day across the Strip. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire into the abandoned Erez industrial zone late at night, causing no reported injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning and another late at night; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Kafr Qaddum (arresting 20) and nr. Tulkarm. (PCHR 4/5; PCHR 4/12)

Israel imposes a closure on the West Bank through 4/26 for the Passover holiday. Israeli police announced that after nearly 2 wks. in detention, 2 Palestinian teenagers fr. Awarta village have confessed to the 3/11 Itamar murders, adding that the teens had connections to the PFLP but it was unclear if the PFLP was involved in the attack. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at farmers working their land nr. the border fence, forcing them to leave; no injuries are reported. The Israeli teenager injured in the 4/7 missile strike on an Israeli school bus dies. In the West Bank, the IDF fires rubbercoated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at 10s of Palestinians demonstrating nr. Ramallah to mark Prisoners Day, injuring 1 Palestinian and arresting 1; patrols in 3 villages nr. Tulkarm, 2 nr. Qalqilya, and 1 nr. Jenin during the day; conducts latenight arrest raids, house searches nr. Nablus. Palestinian youths who have stayed in Ramallah’s Manara Square since 3/15 end their hunger strike for Palestinian reconciliation after being informed that the PA has released 11 Hamas political prisoners and issued an official order to “end media incitement” against Hamas. (NYT, WP 4/18; PCHR 4/21; OCHA 4/29)

Through UN and Egyptian emissaries, Israel and Gaza’s factions agree to a new cease-fire ending 4 days of heavy violence. Before the agreement is announced in the evening, Palestinians fire around 20 rockets and mortars (including 1 Grad) fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries; Israel does not immediately respond; 1 rocket is fired after the announcement. In the West Bank, the IDF declares Awarta a closed military zone, then raids 10s of homes arresting 20 Palestinian youths and 3 women. The IDF patrols in Tulkarm and 2 neighboring villages, 3 villages nr. Qalqilya, and 3 nr. Ramallah. During a morning patrol in Zabbuba village nr. Jenin, IDF troops raid an Internet café in search of stonethrowing youths who confronted them, arresting 4 children age 11–17. Israeli interior M Eli Yishai, under pressure fr. Netanyahu, postpones a meeting of Jerusalem’s planning committee (set for later this wk.) until 5/5 (after Passover) to discuss building 980 settlement housing units in Jabal Abu-Ghunaym and 600 units in Pisgat Ze’ev. (AP, HA, IsRN, JP, REU, XIN 4/10; JTA, NYT, WP 4/11; PCHR 4/14; OCHA 4/15)

In Syria, after heavy clashes with protesters after Friday prayers on 4/8 and with mourners after funerals on 4/9, Pres. Bashar al-Asad deploys soldiers and tanks for the 1st time to surround and cut off towns where protests are being held. Instead of quelling protests, clashes continue and casualties slowly but steadily mount through the end of the quarter. Nationwide Friday protests (4/15, 4/22, 4/29, 5/6, and 5/12) steadily grow more massive (into the 10,000s) and the regime’s response more extreme. Shelling, sniper fire, and arrest raids became routine. In between Friday protests, Syrian forces raid areas where protests or funerals are the largest; Baniyas, Dara‘a, Homs, Latakia, and the Kurdish region remain frequent targets. Still, the various protests seem isolated, with little overarching organization. As of this date, human rights groups in Syria believe that at least 170 Syrians have died and some 800 have been detained since clashes began. The govt. has also expelled many media organizations and cut Internet and phone access to keep news of the clashes sparse. (NYT, WP, WT 4/11; NYT, WP 4/12; NYT, WP, WT 4/12–13; NYT, WP 4/14NYT, WP 4/15–16; WP 4/18; NYT, WP 4/19; NYT, WP, WT 4/19–20; NYT, WP 4/21; NYT 4/22)

Israel makes an air strike on a car in Gaza City, assassinating 3 senior Hamas mbrs. (Muhammad Mahdi al-Dayah, Abdullah Lobbad, and Isma‘il Lobbad) and injuring 1 bystander. Israel claims the Hamas mbrs. were plotting to kidnap Israelis in Israel and Egypt during Passover later in 4/2011; Hamas denies that it operates outside the borders of historic Palestine but says the 3 were senior weapons developers. The DFLP says it will no longer observe a cease-fire toward Israel. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night searches in Qalqilya, summoning 1 Palestinian for questioning. Palestinians (sometimes accompanied by Israeli and international activists) hold weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall, land confiscations, and settlement expansion in Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, and Nabi Salih. IDF soldiers fire rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters, causing no serious injuries; 3 Palestinians (including 2 children) are arrested. Jewish settlers fr. Beit Hadassah settlement in Hebron set fire to the awnings of several Palestinian stores. (NYT 4/2, 4/3; JTA 4/4; PCHR 4/7; OCHA 4/15)

In a Washington Post op-ed online (in print on 4/3), South African judge Richard Goldstone, head of the UN committee that investigated possible war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during OCL, says that “if I had known then what I know now,” he would have concluded that Gazan “civilians were not intentionally targeted as a matter of [Israeli] policy” and would have given more weight to crimes perpetrated by Hamas. (WP 4/1; IFM, NYT, WP 4/3; NYT 4/6; JTA, NYT, YA 4/7; NYT, 4/20)