Monday, June 18, 2018

In retaliation for the incendiary kite and balloon attacks from Gaza on 6/17, the IAF conducts air strikes on 9 Hamas sites across Gaza overnight, causing major damage. Unidentified Palestinians in Gaza then launch 3 rockets toward southern Israel; 2 land in open areas, causing no damage or injuries (the third falls short of the border fence). Also along Gaza’s border fence, IDF troops open fire on 4 Palestinians allegedly attempting to cross the fence into Israel near Gaza City; 1 Palestinian is killed and the other 3 are injured. The IDF reports that the men were attempting to sabotage “security infrastructure.” In the evening, the IAF conducts another round of air strikes across Gaza, targeting Hamas and other armed groups’ infrastructure. In the West Bank, IDF troops assault Palestinian farmers traveling from Hebron to Jerusalem and confiscate the crops they are bringing to market. They also arrest 2 Palestinians during late-night raids near Bethlehem, and patrol near Hebron. In East Jerusalem, a number of Israeli settlers tour Haram al-Sharif in the morning. Meanwhile, Israeli forces arrest a senior Islamic Waqf guard at the sanctuary. They also set up a new watchtower outside one of the main entrances. (HA, JP, MNA, TOI, WAFA, YA 6/18; MNA 6/19; PCHR 6/21)

A Palestinian succumbs to injuries sustained when IDF troops violently dispersed protesters along Gaza’s border near al-Maghazi refugee camp on 5/30, bringing the death toll stemming from the Great March of Return to 123. (PCHR 6/21)

In a statement, PA president Abbas rejects the U.S. plan, first reported on 6/17, to raise money for relief efforts in Gaza, accusing the Trump administration of attempting to separate Gaza from the West Bank in the name of “humanitarian aid or rehabilitation.” (HA 6/18)

Israeli PM Netanyahu meets with Jordan’s King Abdullah II in Amman. They discuss a number of regional issues, including the Palestinians. It is their first public meeting since 11/2014. (JP 6/19)