Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Palestinians across Israel and the oPt observe a general strike in commemoration of the Nakba and in mourning for the 58 Palestinians killed in Gaza on 5/14. Thousands march in their funeral processions, and thousands more gather along the border fence for a 2d consecutive day of Great March of Return protests. Israeli forces violently disperse these demonstrations, as well as smaller protests in East Jerusalem, Hebron, Ramallah, Bethlehem, and at the Qalandia checkpoint; 2 Palestinians are killed and 12 are injured. Meanwhile, IDF troops arrest 20 Palestinians during late-night raids near Ramallah, Nablus, Jericho, Jenin, Hebron, and Bethlehem; and patrol near Hebron and Salfit. Unidentified assailants cut down 300 Palestinian-owned grapevines outside Bayt ‘Aynun village near Hebron and leave racist graffiti in the area. (EI, HA, JP, TOI, WAFA 5/15; HA, MNA 5/16; PCHR 5/17)

Two Palestinians succumb to injuries sustained during the deadly violence in Gaza on 5/14. The 4 deaths today bring the death toll stemming from Israel’s response to the protests on 5/14 to 60 and the overall death toll stemming from the Great March of Return to 106. (MNA, TOI, WAFA, 5/15)

The Egyptian authorities open the Rafah border crossing in both directions for the 4th consecutive day. (AP 5/18; OCHA 5/24)

The Israeli authorities temporarily reopen the Kerem Shalom border crossing, having kept it closed since 5/12, after Palestinians set fire to a nearby pipeline. There are reports of Palestinian activists turning back 4 truckloads of medical supplies provided by the IDF. The organizers of the Great March of Return later confirm that they rejected medical supplies from “the executors of Monday’s massacre against the innocent.” (AP, TOI 5/15; MNA, JP, TOI 5/16)

PA president Abbas recalls PLO envoy in Washington Husam Zomlot in protest at the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem and the U.S. decision to block the UNSC from making a statement condemning the Israeli violence on 5/14. (WAFA, YA 5/15; HA, WAFA 5/16)

The Turkish Foreign Ministry orders Israeli ambassador Eitan Naeh to leave Turkey in protest of the killings in Gaza on 5/14. In response, Israel’s Foreign Ministry orders the Turkish consul in Jerusalem to return home. Turkey recalled its ambassadors from Israel and the U.S. in the wake of the killings on 5/14. (ANA, HA, JP, TOI 5/16)