Occupied Palestine/Israel: Herut party ends convention after electing P. M. Shamir party chairman, Ariel Sharon chairman of the party central committee, Moshe...
In the West Bank, Israeli settlers let their cattle graze on Palestinian farmland in Makhoul, destroying crops. Israeli settlers with military escort also raided Huwwara, throwing stones at Palestinian shops and vehicles, injuring 3 Palestinians and damaging 20 cars and 2 stores. Israeli forces delivered demolition orders for 4 houses under construction in Rujeib. Dozens of Israeli soldiers also raided al-Ibrahimi Mosque, closing it off to Palestinian worshippers. 9 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Ni‘lin, Kharbatha al-Misbah, Jaba‘, Aqabat Jaber refugee camp, Hebron, and Qalandia; Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians protesting the raid in Qalandia, injuring 6 with rubber-coated bullets and others with tear gas. In East Jerusalem, 5 Palestinians were arrested during house raids in al-Tur and Silwan, including 3 minors. (AP, HA, JP, MEMO, TOI, TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/24; IN, JP 1/25 CNN 1/26; PCHR 1/27)
Russia’s foreign ministry said in a statement that the Russian and Syrian militaries will start patrolling the air space along the Golan Heights. (HA 1/24)
The UAE said it had intercepted 2 ballistic missiles targeting Abu Dhabi, allegedly fired by the Yemeni Houthi movement. The UAE and Saudi military coalition attacked Houthi-held areas of Yemen on 1/21, killing more than 80 people in Saada and Hodeida and cutting off internet access in the country. (HA, MEMO 1/21; AJ, AP 1/22; AP 1/23; AJ, AP, HA, MEE, REU, REU 1/24)
In the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian sniper shoots and kills an Israeli Ministry of Defense contractor working on the border fence nr. kibbutz Nahal Oz, an attack claimed by the Popular Resistance Cmtes. In response, the Israeli military launches attacks on 6 separate sites across the Gaza Strip, killing 1 child in al-Maghazi r.c. and wounding a total of 10. Separately, Israeli forces open fire on Palestinians collecting scrap metal close to the border fence nr. Bayt Lahiya, wounding 1 with live ammunition. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron at night. The IDF also demolishes 15 houses in Ras Karkar and Dayr Ammar villages nr. Ramallah, as well as properties in Fasayil village in the n. Jordan Valley. Meanwhile, Palestinians throw stones at a bus carrying Israelis nr. Qalqilya, wounding 1. (HA, MNA, REU 12/24; YA 12/25; PCHR 12/26)
In an attack on a police headquarters in Egypt’s Nile Delta, a bomb kills 15 people and wounds more than 100. Authorities blame the Muslim Brotherhood, which for their part condemn the attack and deny any connection to it. The attack is subsequently claimed by Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis. Following the attack, Dep. PM Hossam Eissa reads a govt. statement declaring the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization. In response to developments, the U.S. State Dept. condemns the bombing but also urges Egypt to have an “inclusive political process,” noting the Brotherhood’s condemnation of the attack. (AP, REU 12/24; AP, REU 12/25)
In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Jenin and 2 nearby villages, and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night; patrols in 1 village and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Ramallah at night. In East Jerusalem, Jewish right-wing activists enter Haram al-Sharif, provoking clashes with Palestinian worshippers. (MNA 12/4; PCHR 12/5)
Israeli media reports that the Ministry of Defense is preparing to hand over 20,000 dunams of land in Area C to the PA, to be used for agricultural and commercial projects. (MNA 12/4)
Hizballah commander Hassan al-Laqqis is shot and killed outside his home in Beirut by unknown assailants. Laqqis had fought in Syria’s civil war. A previously unknown group, Ahrar al-Sunna Baalbek Brigade, claimed responsibility for the assassination on Twitter, but the claim could not be verified. In a statement broadcast on al-Manar TV, Hizballah accuses Israel of being behind the killing. Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs then issues a denial. (AFP, DS, REU 12/4)
Israeli television reports that construction of the 245-km (152-mi.) border fence between Israel and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula has been completed, 3.5 years after work began. (JP 12/4)
Israel’s Environmental Affairs Minister Amir Peretz flies to Istanbul to attend a 4-day UN-sponsored conference on Mediterranean marine and coastal environment issues. He is the 1st Israeli cabinet minister to visit Turkey since the Mavi Marmara raid in 2010. (REU 12/4)
Occupied Palestine/Israel: Herut party ends convention after electing P. M. Shamir party chairman, Ariel Sharon chairman of the party central committee, Moshe Arens party secretary, and David Levy deputy party chairman [NYT 3/31]. Inside the green line, marches and rallies in 'Arrabah, Umm al-Fahm, and Rahat mark Land Day [FJ 4/3]. Israeli forces are unsuccessful in attempt to break almost total commercial strikes in cities throughout the W. Bank and Gaza Strip [FJ 4/3]. Lydda military court sentences to life imprisonment 2 Palestinians convicted of being members of Fateh and carrying out a series of bombings [FJ 4/3]. Israeli Ministry of Defense coordinator of activities for W. Bank and Gaza, Shmuel Goren, threatens imposition of strict restrictions on exports to Jordan if weapon smuggling continues [FJ 4/3].
Occupied Palestine/Israel: At least 1 Palestinian is wounded by army gunfire during Land Day demonstration at Jabaliyyah; in Janin another is shot in the leg by Israeli civilian who shot at crowd that was stoning his car [BG 3/31; FJ 4/3].