Friday, July 15, 2016

The IDF continues its closure of Hebron and the surrounding district, patrolling the area throughout the day. Elsewhere in the West Bank, IDF troops arrest 15 of the 100 international and Palestinian activists cleaning an abandoned Palestinian factory in Hebron to prepare it for use as a cinema. The IDF then declares the area a closed military zone. They also violently disperse Palestinians, Israelis, and international activists at Friday demonstrations against Israel’s occupation, separation wall, and settlements in 3 villages nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, and Nabi Salih), Aida r.c. nr. Bethlehem, Kafr Qaddum nr. Qalqilya, and along Gaza’s border nr. al-Bureij r.c. and Gaza City; 5 Palestinians are injured. IDF troops arrest 6 Palestinians and issue 3 arrest summons during raids and house searches nr. Bethlehem, Hebron, and Tulkarm. Israeli settlers throw rocks at Palestinian cars nr. Qalqilya, causing damage to 1. (MNA 7/15; JP, MNA 7/16; PCHR 7/21)

Hamas announces that it intends to participate in the planned municipal elections that the PA has set for 10/8. It is still unclear if the PA will organize ballots in Gaza as well as the West Bank. Hamas’s announcement is considered a surprise (the party did not participate in the 2012 elections). (MNA 7/16; JP 7/17; HA 8/7)