Monday, October 22, 2018

IDF troops shoot and kill a Palestinian in central Hebron after he stabs and lightly injures an Israeli soldier. Elsewhere in the West Bank, IDF troops arrest a Palestinian at a checkpoint near Nablus when he is found to be in possession of a knife. They conduct overnight raids in Tulkarm, sparking clashes with stone-throwing Palestinians; there are no serious injuries reported. They arrest 6 Palestinians on further raids in and around Bethlehem, Qalqilya, and Hebron; and patrol near Nablus and Hebron. Israeli forces raze 14 dunams (approximately 3.4 acres) of Palestinian land outside Hebron, uprooting approximately 320 olive and almond trees and demolishing 3 water wells. They uproot an additional 60 olive and orange saplings from Palestinian land near Jericho. Israeli settlers puncture the tires of 7 Palestinian-owned vehicles and leave racist graffiti on nearby walls in Marda village near Salfit overnight. Along Gaza’s border overnight, IDF troops violently disperse dozens of Palestinians setting fire to tires, lighting fireworks, and otherwise continuing the Great March of Return near al-Bureij refugee camp; 4 Palestinians are injured. Meanwhile, hundreds of Palestinians gathering near Jabaliya refugee camp to continue the Great March of Return and to cheer on a number of Palestinian boats sailing in a symbolic challenge to the Israeli blockade. IDF troops stationed along the border fence and Israeli naval forces disperse the demonstrations; 46 Palestinians are injured (4 seriously). Israeli firefighters put out 3 fires in open areas near Ashqelon that were reportedly sparked by incendiary kites and balloons flown from Gaza. Off Gaza’s coast late at night, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats near Jabaliya refugee camp and Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries (2 fishermen are arrested). (HA, HA, JP, MNA, MNA, MNA, MNA, MNA, TOI, TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/22; MNA 10/23; PCHR 10/25)

A senior IDF officer says that the IDF recently identified a new Hezbollah observation post built to look like an environmental NGO site along the Israel-Lebanon border. It is the 6th such site the IDF has identified this year. “Hezbollah is building military infrastructure along the border with its men moving there armed when they are watching the Israeli border,” the officer says. “This is military infrastructure in civilian guise.” A UNIFIL spokesperson responds, rejecting Israel’s claim that there are armed forces in border zone. “UNIFIL has not observed any unauthorized armed persons at the locations or found any basis to report a violation of [UNSC] Resolution 1701 but continues to monitor activities closely.”  (HA, JP, TOI 10/22)

Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi says that Jordan has no plans to negotiate with Israel over the 2 pieces of land that were leased to Israel for 25 years in the context of the 1994 Jordan-Israel peace treaty (Jordan’s King Abdullah announced plans not to renew those leases on 10/21). “We are a country with international standing,” he says. “We acted by the letter of the law and we have the tools to protect our interests.” (HA, TOI 10/22)