Sunday, August 24, 2014

In the Gaza Strip, the IDF continues its assault with air strikes on over 50 targets, killing 18 Palestinians and injuring dozens more. Also,IDF troops stationed nr. the border shell areas across the fence with artillery in 3 incidents. The armed Palestinian groups launch approximately 135 projectiles into Israel; of which, 125 land in open areas, 5 in urban areas, and 10 are intercepted by Iron Dome batteries. Israeli authorities temporarily close the Erez border crossing, except for humanitarian cases, in response to a mortar shell wounding 3 Israelis nearby, which is claimed by al-Qassam Brigades. In the West Bank, approximately 400 Israeli settlers, escorted by IDF troops, enter a village nr. Salfit to visit religious monuments. In a village w. of Ramallah, IDF troops open fire with live ammunition and tear gas on a group of stone-throwing Palestinian youth, injuring 1. Separately, IDF troops fire tear gas at Palestinian children on their way to school in a village s. of Hebron; establish 5 mobile checkpoints around Ramallah; and conduct patrols in Hebron and 2 villages nr. Jericho. Late at night, the IDF conducts 1 house search and arrest raid in a village nr. Hebron. In East Jerusalem, Israeli security forces enter Wadi al-Juz to set up a mobile checkpoint and raid 2 houses. (JP, JTA, YA 8/24; HA 8/25; PCHR 8/28) 

Israeli PM Netanyahu says that OPE will continue until its goals are reached, in comments to the press ahead of a special cabinet meeting at the Israeli Defense Ministry. Also, the Israeli govt. calls up 10,000 additional reserve troops. (AP, HA 8/24; AFP, HA 8/25)

After meetings with Arab League secy.-gen. Nabil al-‘Arabi and reps. of several Palestinian factions, PA Pres. Abbas returns to Ramallah from Cairo. Abbas will meet with senior Palestinian officials to further develop his new diplomatic initiative before U.S. Secy. of State Kerry visits in the coming days. Meanwhile, Hamas leader Khalid Mishal says in an interview with Iranian TV that Hamas would not return to negotiations in Cairo. (JP 8/24; HA, ToI 8/25)