Monday, May 4, 2015

In Gaza, Israeli forces conduct a limited incursion e. of Jabaliya to level land. IDF troops stationed nr. Rafah arrest 3 Palestinians attempting to cross the border into Israel. Off the coast nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats, causing no damage or injuries. A small armed group, with self-proclaimed affiliations to ISIS, posts a statement online threatening to “act” against Hamas if certain prisoners are not freed within 72 hours. Hours later, a bomb explodes on the perimeter of Hamas’s security headquarters in Gaza City. The group does not take credit for the bombing, but Hamas police proceed to arrest dozens of the group’s mbrs. and destroy a makeshift mosque-headquarters in Dayr al-Balah. In the West Bank, Israeli forces set up 12 mobile homes early in the morning on 650 dunams of previously leveled land outside a Palestinian village nr. Bethlehem. Meanwhile, the IDF conducts drills in the n. Jordan Valley, causing fire damage on large tracts of agricultural land; patrols in 3 villages nr. Ramallah, 1 each nr. Nablus, Qalqilya, and Jericho. Israeli forces also conduct house searches and late-night raids in and around Nablus, Jenin, and 1 village nr. Ramallah, arresting 18 Palestinians and confiscating some of their property. A Palestinian throws a Molotov cocktail at a bus of Israeli settlers nr. Nablus, then the IDF imposes a curfew on a nearby village. In East Jerusalem, Israeli security guards shoot and injure a Palestinian man at a Light Rail station nr. the French Hill settlement, after reportedly mistaking his belt buckle for a knife. (AFP, HA, JP, MNA, TOI, WAFA, YA 5/4; AP, MNA 5/5; JP 5/7)

Israel’s High Court of Justice approves COGAT’s request to demolish a number of tents and homes in a Palestinian village nr. Hebron. Approximately 450 Palestinians will be displaced. (MNA 5/4; JP 5/5)

Israeli FM Avigdor Lieberman resigns as FM and says his Yisrael Beytenu party will not be joining the ruling coalition of PM Netanyahu’s next govt. He says that he chose “principles and not portfolios,” and that “what’s being built is not a national camp, but a govt. that smacks of opportunism.” Netanyahu’s deadline for forming a coalition is 5/6. (HA, JP, YA 5/4)

Mortar rounds fired from inside Syria hit a UN Disengagement Observer Force base in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, injuring 2 international peacekeepers. The IDF says that the fire was not deliberately aimed across the Israeli border. (AFP, REU, TOI 5/4)