Thursday, October 19, 2017

Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces shoot and injure a Palestinian sailing near Bayt Lahiya. Along Gaza’s border, IDF troops arrest 2 Palestinians attempting to cross into Israel. In the West Bank, Israeli forces demolish 2 Palestinian homes in Halawa village south of Hebron and an agricultural structure in the nearby village of al-Tuwani. IDF troops arrest 6 Palestinians during late-night raids near Hebron, Qalqilya, Bethlehem, and Jenin, and patrol near Hebron, Qalqilya, and Salfit. (MNA, WAFA 10/19; HA, MNA, YA 10/20; PCHR 10/26)

Two days after Israel’s security cabinet imposed new conditions on Israel’s participation in a new round of peace talks with the Palestinians, U.S. special representative Greenblatt issues the first official U.S. response to the 10/12 Palestinian national reconciliation agreement: “All parties agree that it is essential that the PA be able to assume full, genuine, and unhindered civil and security responsibilities in Gaza and that we work together to improve the humanitarian situation for Palestinians living there,” he says, in a statement. “The U.S. reiterates the importance of adherence to the Quartet principles: any Palestinian government must unambiguously and explicitly commit to nonviolence, recognize the State of Israel, accept previous agreements and obligations between the parties—including to disarm terrorists—and commit to peaceful negotiations. If Hamas is to play any role in a Palestinian government, it must accept these basic requirements.” In response, a senior Hamas official accuses the U.S. of “blatant interference” in the reconciliation process. (HA, MNA, TOI, WAFA, YA 10/19)

A mortar fired from inside Syria lands in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, causing no damage or injuries. In response, Israeli tanks fire on a Syrian army position near Qunaytra. (TOI, YA 10/19)