Wednesday, May 20, 2015

In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces shoot and kill a Palestinian man in al-Tur after he drives his car into a crowd, injuring 2 border police guards. Israeli forces demolish a 3-story building in Ras al-Amud claiming it was built without a license. In the West Bank, Israeli forces close the entrance to a village nr. Nablus after a Palestinian throws a Molotov cocktail at a settler’s car. The IDF also conducts late-night raids in and around Hebron, Jenin, and Nablus, and in Jalazun r.c. nr. Ramallah, arresting 14 Palestinians; patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah during the day. (HA, JP, MNA, WAFA, YA 5/20; MNA, PCHR, WAFA 5/21; PCHR 5/28)

Following public criticism and consultation with DM Moshe Ya’alon, Israeli PM Netanyahu orders the suspension of the new 3-mo. pilot project restricting Palestinian travel, initiated on 5/19. Ya’alon says he will continue his efforts to reduce the number of Palestinians entering Israel illegally. (HA, MNA, NYT, TOI, YA 5/20) 

EU foreign policy chief Mogherini meets with Netanyahu in Israel, who says he is still committed to the 2-state solution and he proposes a new round of peace negotiations with the Palestinians with the specific goal of establishing borders for Israel’s West Bank settlement blocs (the news of his proposal will not break until 5/26). Also, Mogherini reportedly tells Netanyahu that the European campaign calling for labeling of products from Israeli settlements is unstoppable. The PM’s office will deny that they discussed the labeling campaign when the news breaks on 6/2. Mogherini also meets with PA pres. Abbas and chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat in Ramallah. (HA, JP, YA 5/20; WAFA 5/21; HA, REU, TOI 5/26; HA 6/2)

Norwegian FM Børge Brende meets with Netanyahu in Jerusalem and tells him that international pressure on Israel regarding its treatment of the Palestinians will likely resume after the P5+1 (the 5 permanent mbrs. of the UN Security Council plus Germany) reach a comprehensive agreement with Iran by their 6/30 deadline. (LF 5/19; EI, HA, 5/20; HA, YA 5/21)