Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Unidentified gunmen fire on the home of Jenin governor Qaddura Moussa in apparent effort to assassinate him; the shots miss, but within hours Moussa dies of a heart attack. By 5/9, the PASF detains 10s of Palestinians in connection to the shooting but does not made a formal arrest. Those detained include a number of PASF officers, raising concerns of fissuring and infighting within the PASF. Others worry (see NYT 5/10) that gangs might be attempting to assert local authority. Jenin residents say that instability in Jenin has been growing since the 4/4/11 murder of Jenin’s Freedom Theater director, Juliano Mer-Khamis. The decline in Jenin worries Israel and the Quartet, which have considered Jenin a model for transition from Israeli to Palestinian security control. (NYT 5/10)

Israel’s Jerusalem municipality submits maps for plans for the massive housing construction (4,010 units, first announced in 10/2011) in Givat Hamatos settlement in s. Jerusalem. The drawings show new ideas for construction of 9 hotels (1,100 rooms) in the area, intended to make the area a major tourist center that would compete with Bethlehem by capitalizing on its close proximity to Bethlehem’s religious sites. Meanwhile, Israeli authorities seize a Palestinian home in Bayt Hanina, East Jerusalem, and turn it over to a Jewish settler family that claims to own the land on which the house sits. (HA, WAFA 5/1; PCHR 5/3, 5/10)

In the morning, IDF troops make 2 incursions in to s. Gaza e. of Abassan and al-Qarara to level lands and clear lines of sight. IDF troops and a helicopter guarding the unit nr. Abassan fire on surrounding agricultural areas to keep Palestinians away, wounding 1 Palestinian. Unidentified Palestinians fire 1 Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Late at night, an Israeli warplane fires a missile at a smuggling tunnel on the n. Gaza border nr. Bayt Hanun, causing no injuries. OCHA reports that in the previous week, Israel granted 60 of 100 applications from Gazan UN staffers for 3-month multiple exit permits (rather than time-bound permits for specific events, valid for up to 1 week only). OCHA says this marks 1st time the UN has received so many long-term permits at one time and constitutes a considerable improvement in access for UN Gaza staff. In the West Bank, the IDF bulldozes 2 cow pens and 2 structures nr. a settler-only bypass road outside Hebron; demolishes a Palestinian home under construction without permits nr. Qalqilya. About 30 Palestinians rally in solidarity with hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners outside the IDF’s Ofer prison nr. Ramallah; IDF troops fire live ammunition and tear gas at the demonstrators, wounding 3. (WP, YA 5/2; NYT, PCHR 5/3; OCHA 5/4)

The IDF ends is probe into the 1/5/2009 shelling of a house in Gaza City during Operation Cast Lead that killed 21 mbrs. of a family that had been ordered by troops on the ground to stay in the home, concluding that the building was not deliberately targeted and therefore the incident did not constitute a war crime. (WP 5/2; NYT 5/3)