Sunday, December 30, 2018

In the West Bank, IDF troops arrest 22 Palestinians and issue 1 arrest summons during late-night raids in and around Ramallah, Hebron, Jenin, and Bethlehem; and patrol near Hebron, Bethlehem, Tulkarm, and Qalqilya. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest 11 Palestinians during raids in Jabal Mukabir, Issawiyya, al-Tur, Shu‘fat refugee camp, and the Old City. (WAFA 12/30; PCHR 1/3)

After PA Agriculture Minister Sufian Sultan sends a message to Israel’s Agriculture Ministry informing them of his intention to reverse the PA’s 12/2 ban on imports of lamb from Israel, Israel’s Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel lifts his 12/17 ban on imports of Palestinian produce. “In light of the Palestinian agriculture minister’s notification that he is allowing the free entry of Israeli-bred lamb [into Palestinian markets], I cancel my order to block the transfer of produce from the PA to Israel,” Ariel says in a statement. Shortly after Ariel’s statement, the PA Agriculture Ministry cancels the ban on imports of Israeli produce that the PA cabinet approved on 12/27. (TOI, WAFA 12/31)

One day after Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked announce the formation of their new political party, Israeli polls project that their Hayamin Hehadash will win between 6 and 14 seats in the Knesset in the upcoming election on 4/9. Hosen L’Yisrael, the new party led by former IDF Chief of General Staff Benny Gantz, is projected to win between 13 and 15 seats, while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud is projected to win between 27 and 31. (HA 12/30)