Thursday, November 8, 2018

IDF troops open fire on a group of Palestinian minors allegedly damaging Gaza’s border fence near al-Maghazi refugee camp; 1 of the Palestinians is killed  In the West Bank, IDF troops conduct raids in Jenin refugee camp overnight, arresting 1 Palestinian and sparking clashes with stone-throwing residents of the area; 2 Palestinians are injured. They also confiscate surveillance cameras during a raid in al-Bireh and patrol near Ramallah, Jenin, and Hebron. Israeli forces demolish a Palestinian residential building in al-Zayim village near Jerusalem. Unidentified persons open fire on an Israeli bus near Ramallah, injuring 2 Israeli settlers. Israeli settlers verbally and physically assault Palestinian schoolchildren in central Hebron, sparking minor confrontations. Separately, settlers slash a number of tires on Palestinian-owned vehicles and leave racist graffiti on nearby walls in Kafr al-Dik near Salfit. (HA, MNA, MNA, MNA, MNA, TOI, WAFA 11/8; MNA, MNA, WAFA 11/9; PCHR 11/15)

Vehicles bearing $15 million in cash pass through the Erez border crossing into Gaza. The money was reportedly provided by Qatar, approved for transfer by Israel, and set to help Hamas pay the salaries of civil servants in Gaza and support Gazan families struggling to meet their basic needs. The transfer is yet another indication of progress in the Egypt- and UN-mediated efforts to broker a “calm” or some sort of cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. It is reportedly the first of 6 planned monthly transfers. (JP 11/8; NYT 11/9)

Al-Hayat reports that PA president Mahmoud Abbas has given in to Egyptian pressure and agreed to stop working against the Egyptian effort to broker a “period of calm” between Israel and Hamas. According to Palestinian sources, Abbas has agreed not to impose new sanctions on Gaza and to resume fully paying PA employees in Gaza. The Egyptian plan is reportedly to mediate a period of calm lasting 2 to 3 weeks, then to broker some kind of reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah, and then to resume talks on a long-term cease-fire between Israel and a newly unified Palestinian side. Later, a senior PA official says he is unaware of any change in Abbas’s position, as the al-Hayat report indicates. “Abbas agreed with the Egyptian president that there was a need to alleviate the suffering of our people in the Gaza Strip,” the official says. “But [Abbas] also emphasized that Hamas was not authorized to reach any agreement with any party on behalf of the Palestinians." (AH, HA, JP, JP, TOI, YA 11/8)