Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Armed fighters in Gaza launch 28 rockets and other projectiles into Israel. Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system intercepts several of the projectiles; 1 lands in the yard of a kindergarten in the Eshkol Regional Council, causing minor damage and no injuries. The attack reportedly comes in response to the deadly Israeli air strikes in Gaza on 5/26 and 5/28. The IAF then conducts air strikes on a number of Hamas and PIJ sites in Khan Yunis and Dayr al-Balah, causing major damage. Hours later, armed Palestinians in Gaza launch another round of projectiles into Israel; 1 Israeli civilian is injured. Parts of 1 rocket fall near a school in Sderot, causing no major damage. Meanwhile, senior Israeli defense officials meet in Tel Aviv and decide on a limited retaliation. The IAF conducts another wave of air strikes, hitting at least 30 Hamas and PIJ sites across Gaza and destroying a tunnel reaching approximately 900 meters into Israeli territory. The strikes cause extensive damage and an unclear number of casualties. Intermittent rocket fire and retaliatory air strikes continue into the night. Shrapnel injures 3 IDF soldiers. One Israeli home in the Eshkol Regional Council is heavily damaged. Late at night, Egyptian diplomats broker a limited cease-fire. (AP, BBC, HA, JP, TOI, WAFA 5/29; MNA, WAFA 5/30)

In the West Bank, IDF troops open fire on 2 Palestinians allegedly attempting to enter a home in the Har Brakha settlement near Nablus; 1 is injured and arrested while the other flees. They also arrest 5 Palestinians and issue 3 arrest summons during late-night raids near Ramallah and Hebron, and patrol near Hebron and in Qalqilya. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest 11 Palestinians during raids in Issawiyya. (HA, JP, MNA, NYT, TOI, WAFA, YA 5/29; PCHR 5/31)

A boat carrying 25 injured or ill Gazans, as well as a number of activists, sets sail from Gaza for Turkey in a symbolic challenge to the Israeli blockade. Approximately 30 more boats set sail alongside it, forming a protest flotilla. Organizers describe the flotilla as part of the ongoing Great March of Return. After the lead boat exits the nine nautical mile fishing zone off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces surround it and arrest everyone on board. (AJ, HA, JP 5/29)