Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Israeli MK Yehuda Glick tours Haram al-Sharif with an escort of heavily armed Israeli security forces. Elsewhere in East Jerusalem, Israeli forces conduct raids in Abu Dis, sparking clashes with dozens of Palestinian students at al-Quds University; there are no reported injuries. They also demolish a Palestinian home in Silwan. In the West Bank, Israeli forces demolish 2 Palestinian homes in Anata refugee camp and a 3d in Bayt Hanina. IDF troops shoot and injure 3 Palestinian journalists amid clashes in Ras Karkar village near Ramallah; arrest 5 Palestinians during late-night raids in and around Bethlehem, Hebron, Tulkarm, and Qalqilya. Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats near Rafah and later near Jabaliya refugee camp, causing no damage or injuries. (MNA, MNA, MNA, MNA, MNA, MNA, MNA, WAFA, WAFA 9/5; PCHR 9/13)

A senior officer in Hamas’s military wing, Abdel Rahim Abbas, dies in what is reported to be an accidental explosion in Gaza. (AFP, TOI 9/6)

Paraguay’s Foreign Minister Luis Alberto Castiglioni announces that Paraguay will be returning its embassy in Israel to Tel Aviv, reversing former president Horacio Cartes’ decision to move it to Jerusalem in 5/2018. “Paraguay wants to contribute to an intensification of regional diplomatic efforts to achieve a broad, fair and lasting peace in the Middle East,” he says. In response, the Israeli government announces the closure of the Israeli embassy in Paraguay and a recall of the Israeli ambassador. (WAFA 9/5; HA, MNA, REU, YA 9/6)

The Israeli authorities announce the indefinite closure of the Erez border crossing, following the damage done to the crossing amid protests along the border fence on 9/4. An official statement explains that the closure is to allow for maintenance work. Exceptional humanitarian cases are still allowed to cross. (HA, HA, MNA, MNA, TOI, WAFA, YA 9/5)

Denying a petition from the residents, Israel’s High Court of Justice gives its final authorization for the Israeli government’s plan to evacuate and demolish Khan al-Ahmar, a Bedouin village near Jerusalem. “We have exhausted all legal means at this point and there is nothing more we can do other than be present in the area to protect it and prevent its demolition,” says a PA official who has been working on the case. (EI, HA, JP, MNA, TOI, WAFA, YA 9/5)

The Jerusalem Local Planning and Building Committee advances a plan to build 150 housing units in Bayt Hanina, East Jerusalem. The current plan earmarks 75 of the units for Palestinians, but it is unclear if that earmark will remain as the plan proceeds through the authorization process. (HA 9/6; FMEP 9/7)