Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Off Gaza’s coast nr. Jabaliya and later nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats, damaging 1 in the earlier incident. IDF troops on the Gaza border e. of Jabaliya open fire on Palestinian farmers on multiple occasions, causing no damage or injuries. Israeli forces level land in a late-night incursion across the border fence e. of al-Maghazi r.c. In the West Bank, an Israeli settler assaults a Palestinian boy in c. Hebron, lightly injuring him. The IDF conducts house searches and raids in 2 villages nr. Hebron, 1 nr. Bethlehem, and 2 nr. Ramallah, arresting 11 Palestinians and confiscating property. In East Jerusalem, Palestinian security guards at Haram al-Sharif intervene when a group of right-wing Jewish activists provokes a group of Palestinians nr. the sanctuary’s gates. The Jewish activists then assault the guards, causing no serious injuries. Israeli forces conduct house searches and raids in al-Tur and Bayt Safafa, arresting 6 Palestinians after assaulting 3 of them. (JP, MNA, WAFA 5/19; PCHR 5/21)

Jordanian newspaper ad-Dustour reports that Hamas and Israel have been involved in secret talks in Israel and in Europe in recent mos. over outstanding issues from the 8/26/2014 cease-fire that ended Operation Protective Edge (OPE), quoting unnamed “Western diplomatic sources”. Neither Hamas nor Israel confirm the reports. (HA, JP, MNA 5/19)

Israel’s Civil Admin. initiates a 3-mo. pilot project of new regulations on Palestinian travel in the West Bank, requiring Palestinian workers to return to the West Bank through the same checkpoint they entered Israel and banning them from Israeli bus lines. Several human rights organizations plan to appeal the new regulations. (HA 5/20)

UN special coordinator Nickolay Mladenov briefs the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt). He urges Israel to freeze settlement construction, saying “there should be no illusions about the impact of these unilateral actions.” He also says that he and Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon will engage with the new Israeli govt. to explore “realistic options” for a return to peace negotiations with the Palestinians “within a reasonable timeframe.” (MNA, REU 5/20)