Monday, April 18, 2016

An explosive device detonates on a bus in s. Jerusalem, injuring at least 20 Israelis (2 seriously). A Palestinian injured in the blast will succumb to his wounds on 4/20. Israeli officials treat it as a terrorist attack, and the Israeli police and security services begin investigations. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest 3 Palestinian youths after they allegedly assault an Israeli youth in the Old City; arrest 7 Palestinian youths and confiscate some property during raids in Shu‘fat r.c., Qalandia r.c., Ras al-Amud, and the Old City; and shoot tear gas canisters at Palestinian schoolchildren in Ras al-Amud, causing no serious injuries. Israeli forces also raid and search a newspaper company’s offices. In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot tear gas canisters at a school nr. Hebron, causing minor injuries; conduct raids and house searches nr. Bethlehem, Ramallah, Qalqilya, and in and around Hebron, arresting 10 Palestinians, issuing arrest summons to 4, and confiscating some property; patrol nr. Ramallah and Jericho. Along Gaza’s border, Egyptian forces flood and partially destroy a smuggling tunnel leading into the n. Sinai Peninsula. A military court in Gaza sentences 5 Palestinians to death on charges related to collaborating with Israel. A Palestinian woman is injured when she accidentally detonates a piece of unexploded Israeli ordnance in Gaza City. (HA, JP, MNA, TOI, WAFA, YA 4/18; JP, MNA, TOI 4/19; HA, MNA 4/20; PCHR 4/21)

The IDF lifts a gag order on the news that it discovered a tunnel leading from s. Gaza into Israel earlier this week (they will demolish it on 4/19). Hamas’s military wing says “this tunnel is just a drop in the ocean of what the resistance has prepared for the defense of its people and the liberation of holy places, land, and prisoners.” (HA, JP, MNA, TOI, YA 4/18; JP 4/19)

Citing Palestinian complaints and reservations, Jordan’s PM Abdullah Ensour says that Jordan has decided to halt the process of installing cameras at Haram al-Sharif following mos. of stalled negotiations with Israeli officials. (JP, MNA, TOI, YA 4/18; HA 4/19, 4/27)