Tuesday, October 16, 2018

An Israeli drone bombs a group of Palestinians east of Bayt Hanun in Gaza, causing damage but no reported injuries. The group was reportedly launching incendiary balloons and kites into southern Israel. Separately, Israeli forces conduct a limited incursion into Gaza to level land along the border fence near Gaza City. In the evening, IDF troops violently disperse Palestinians gathering along the border fence near al-Bureij refugee camp to continue the Great March of Return; 2 Palestinians are injured. In the West Bank, Israeli forces return to Khan al-Ahmar after clashes in the area on 10/15. They level land ahead of the village’s planned evacuation and demolition. IDF troops arrest 11 Palestinians during late-night raids in and around Bethlehem, Hebron, Qalqilya, Nablus, and Tulkarm; and patrol near Nablus and Hebron. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest a Palestinian photojournalist during a raid in Ras al-Amud. (MNA, TOI, TOI, WAFA, WAFA 10/16; PCHR 10/18)

Israeli defense minister Avigdor Lieberman says that Israel’s security cabinet should order an attack on Hamas “even at a price of moving to a wide-scale confrontation.” He adds, “That’s the only way to lower the level of violence [along Gaza’s border] to zero or close to zero.” The cabinet is expected to meet again on 10/17. (HA 10/16)

One day after the first reports that the Australian government is considering moving the Australian embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, Australian prime minister Scott Morrison holds a press conference to clarify his position. “We’re committed to a 2-state solution, but frankly it hasn’t been going that well, not a lot of progress has been made, and you don’t keep doing the same thing and expect different results,” he says, indicating that he is “open-minded” to proposals to move the Australian embassy to Jerusalem. (AFP, HA, JP, TOI, YA 10/16)