Monday, December 10, 2018

In the West Bank, hundreds of right-wing Jewish activists visit Joseph’s Tomb near Nablus overnight, sparking clashes between their IDF escort and Palestinian residents of the area; 4 Palestinians are injured. Dozens of IDF troops raid the Ramallah headquarters of the PA’s Wafa News and Information Agency, detaining a number of employees, firing tear gas inside the building, and confiscating tapes from surveillance cameras in the building. The raid sparks minor clashes in central Ramallah; 5 Palestinians are injured. Israeli soldiers also shoot and injure 7 Palestinians during clashes sparked by IDF raids in Tubas and Nabi Salih village near Ramallah late at night. Meanwhile, IDF troops arrest 13 Palestinians during further raids near Ramallah, Hebron, Nablus, Tulkarm, and Qalqilya; and patrol in and around Tulkarm and Hebron. Israeli settlers puncture the tires of 3 Palestinian vehicles and leave racist graffiti on nearby walls in Beytin near Ramallah. A separate group of settlers throws rocks at Palestinian vehicles on a road outside Nablus, causing minor damage. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest 2 Palestinians during a raid in Jabal Mukabir. Along Gaza’s border, Israeli forces conduct a limited incursion to level land near Gaza City. Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats near Rafah, causing no damage or injuries (2 fishermen are arrested and their boat is confiscated). Later in the day, hundreds of Palestinians gather along Gaza’s northern border to continue the Great March of Return and to cheer on a number of Palestinian boats sailing in a symbolic challenge to the Israeli blockade. IDF troops and Israeli naval forces violently disperse the demonstrations; 27 Palestinians are injured. (HA, MNA, MNA, MNA, MNA, MNA, MNA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/10; MNA, MNA 12/11; PCHR 12/13)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that the Omani government has given permission for Israeli planes to fly through Omani airspace. “Therefore, only one small thing remains for us to do,” he adds, pointing to Saudi Arabia on a map. “We need to [make it so] that El Al can fly over this, and that’s it—we open new markets.” (AP, JP, TOI, YA 12/10)