Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Two small rockets and later a mortar land in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, causing no damage or injuries. While the IDF says the fire is ‘‘accidental spillover’’ from the Syrian civil war, rather than intentional, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command says that Syrian government has given the Damascusbased group permission to attack Israeli targets in the Golan Heights. Syrian pres. Bashar al-Asad says that Syria is capable of facing Israel, but does not suggest Damascus will retaliate for the recent Israeli air strikes (e.g., 5/5). Hizballah’s deputy head Naim Qassem says that the Israeli attacks aim to boost the opposition fighters and does not comment on claims that missiles bound for the Lebanese group were the target. Meanwhile, Syrian rebel faction the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade says that it is holding 4 Filipino UN peacekeepers it detained on the Syrian side of the ceasefire line between Syria and the occupied Golan Heights, claiming that fighting had endangered the observers. (AP, JP, REU, WP 5/7)

Israeli officials say that PM Benjamin Netanyahu has promised U.S. Secy. of State John Kerry to ‘‘rein in’’ settlement construction until mid-6/2013 in the context of renewed efforts to resume negotiations. (HA 5/7)

Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen off the north Gaza coast, causing no damage or injuries. In East Jerusalem, some 40 rightwing Israelis enter the al-Aqsa Mosque compound protected by Israeli security forces, sparking clashes with Palestinian worshippers. In the West Bank, Jewish settlers attack Palestinian vehicles and agricultural land nr. Nablus, causing no injuries. The IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm in the morning, and in 2 villages nr. Hebron, 2 villages nr. Jenin and 1 village nr. Tulkarm at night. Also at night, IDF troops conduct house searches and arrest raids in Nablus, 1 village nr. Nablus, 1 village nr. Ramallah and 1 village nr. Tulkarm. (MNA, WAFA 5/7; PCHR 5/9)