Wednesday, May 4, 2016

In a 2d day of cross-border violence, Palestinians fire mortar shells at Israeli patrols along Gaza’s s. and n. borders in 3 separate incidents, causing no injuries or damage. Hamas will take credit for at least 1 of the shellings. Israeli forces launch artillery shells at the 3 sources of shelling and conduct at least 5 air strikes in s. Gaza, causing damage and no injuries. After the day’s violence, the IDF declares a region nr. the border a closed military zone and, according to Palestinian sources, IDF troops conduct unspecified operations along the border in Rafah and nr. Jabaliya r.c. In the West Bank, IDF troops conduct raids and house searches in and around Hebron and nr. Bethlehem, arresting 6 Palestinians; patrols nr. Hebron. Israeli forces deliver a stop-work order to a Palestinian home under construction in Hebron. Israeli settlers attack a group of Palestinian schoolchildren in c. Hebron, causing no injuries, and assault a Palestinian activist nr. al-Ibrahimi Mosque, causing moderate injuries. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest 2 Palestinians during raids and patrols in Issawiyya and al-Tur. In Israel, Israeli forces demolish 2 homes in bedouin communities in the Negev and nr. Lydda. (HA, JP, MNA, TOI, WAFA, YA 5/4; MNA, TOI 5/5; OCHA 5/6; PCHR 5/12)

Israeli PM Netanyahu’s office says that DM Ya’alon and Public Security Minister Erdan have been authorized, as of 5/1, to decide whether or not to return the bodies of Palestinians killed in confrontations with the IDF and Israeli police. This statement reverses Netanyahu’s decision, on 3/27, ordering Ya’alon not to return any bodies. (HA, YA 5/4)

The PLO Exec. Comm. decides to start implementing the PA’s threat to limit security coordination with the IDF if the “current situation” continues. PASF troops are instructed to implement the decision “under supervision of the Palestinian political echelon” and security agencies will decide how quickly to implement it. (MNA 5/7)