Friday, October 19, 2018

Thousands of Palestinians gather along Gaza’s border to continue the Great March of Return. IDF troops violently disperse the demonstrations near Khan Yunis, Rafah, al-Bureij refugee camp, Jabaliya refugee camp and Gaza City; at least at least 130 Palestinian are injured (2 critically). Meanwhile, Israeli aircraft conduct air strikes in Khan Yunis and al-Bureij refugee camp; 3 Palestinians are injured. Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats near Dayr al-Balah, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, Israeli forces seal off the main entrance to Khan al-Ahmar, the Jerusalem-area Bedouin village slated for evacuation and demolition. They prevent activists from entering and exiting the village and violently disperse the activists already inside when they start to protest after Friday prayers; several protesters are lightly injured. Meanwhile, IDF troops issue 1 arrest summon during late-night raids near Bethlehem and Tulkarm; patrol near Nablus, Hebron, and Qalqilya; and violently disperse Palestinians and international activists at Friday demonstrations against the Israeli occupation in Qalqilya (1 Palestinian is injured). (MNA, MNA, TOI, WAFA 10/19; MNA 10/20; PCHR 10/25)

A senior Palestinian official involved in the Egypt-mediated talks over a long-term cease-fire with Israel says that Hamas may restrain attendance at this afternoon’s planned protests in order to maintain trust with the Egyptians. An hour later, a Hamas committee involved in organizing the protests calls on the people of Gaza not to approach the border fence today so as not to give Israel an excuse to attack “Your blood is valuable, keep it to establish the homeland.” Meanwhile, the Israeli press reports that at least some senior Israeli officials believe that Hamas has changed course regarding the ongoing protests and violence along Gaza’s border, limiting the protests in order to give space for the Egypt-mediated talks. (HA, JP, TOI, YA 10/19; TOI 10/20)