Saturday, May 15, 2021

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers raided Qarawat Bani Hassan before confronted by Palestinian residents. Israeli settlers attacked 1 Palestinian minor near Kisan, causing injuries. Elsewhere, Israeli settlers set fire to agricultural lands planted with olive trees in Jalud, causing extensive damage. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters commemorating Nakba Day throughout the West Bank, killing 1 Palestinian in Hebron and injuring 450, including 27 in Hebron, 29 in Qalqilya, 12 in Ramallah, 18 in Nablus, 9 in Tulkarm, 6 in Jenin, 2 in Bethlehem, and 1 in Tubas using live ammunition. 13 Palestinians were arrested, including 4 during late-night raids in Tulkarm and 9 during protests near Jenin. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Shaykh Jarrah, injuring 1 journalist and arresting 1. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in al-Tur, causing tear-gas related injuries and 1 arrest. 13 others were arrested during raids in Issawiyya, al-Tur, Silwan, and Sur Bahir. In Gaza, 17 Palestinians were killed, including 8 children, and dozens were injured, raising the comprehensive death toll since 5/10 from 136 to 153, including 41 children and 2 pregnant women. The casualties included: 10 members of the same family in an Israeli air strike in al-Shati refugee camp, including 8 children; 1 infant was found in the rubble of the house and was the only survivor of the attack; 2 in an air strike on a market in Gaza City; 1 in an air strike while driving north of Gaza City; 1 in a drone strike on agricultural lands near al-Bureij; 1, and 1 injured in an air strike on al-Bureij; 1 in an air strike while riding a motorbike in al-Maghazi; 1 Palestinian succumbed to wounds sustained in an air strike on a car wash al-Zawaideh. Israel also demolished al-Jalaa tower, a 12-story building in Gaza City hosting the offices of AP, Al Jazeera, and other international media outlets along with residential apartments; Israel claimed that it also housed Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Palestine intelligence offices, saying that made it a legitimate target; residents and workers were given 1 hour to evacuate the building. AP said their reporting capabilities in Gaza were significantly reduced while Al Jazeera called it a war crime and an act to stop reporting. Air strikes also demolished the home of senior Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya and severely damaged the 14-story tower al-Qahira and the 12-story tower al-Andalus in Gaza City. Shelling from land and sea also caused significant damage and injuries in Khan Yunis and Bayt Hanun. Egypt sent 10 ambulances to Gaza to pick up injured Palestinians for treatment at Egyptian hospitals. In Israel, 1 Israeli was killed by a rocket fired from Gaza in Ramat Gan, raising the Israeli death toll to 10. 6 buildings were also damaged in Ramat Gan. Rockets were also fired at Beersheba, Ashkelon, and Ashdod from Gaza, causing damage in Beersheba and Ashdod. Hundreds of Palestinian-Israelis protested in Jaffa over the Israeli police’s inability to protect them as violence has been escalating in the neighborhood and 1 minor was seriously injured by a firebomb on 5/14. 67 Palestinian-Israelis were reported arrested, including 52 in ‘Akka and 15 in Lydda. In Lebanon, hundreds of protesters gathered along the Blue Line to show solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza and Shaykh Jarrah. (AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AP, HA, HA, HA, HA, MEE, MEE, PCHR, REU, REU, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 5/15; AP, AP, AP, AP, HA, MEE, PCHR, REU, TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 5/16; AP 5/17; HA 5/18; PCHR 5/20; MEE 5/21; NYT 5/26; GDN 7/28)

There were major demonstrations in many cities worldwide in commemoration of Nakba Day and in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza and those threatened by eviction in Shaykh Jarrah. (DM, DW, NAT 5/15 BBC, GDN, WAFA 5/16)

U.S. president Joe Biden spoke with both Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and PA president Mahmoud Abbas. It was the 1st time that President Biden and President Abbas have spoken since Biden took office in January. (HA, WAFA 5/15)

U.S. chair of the senate foreign relations committee Bob Menendez (D-NJ) said, after Israel demolished the building housing the offices of AP and Al Jazeera, that he was “deeply troubled by reports of Israeli military actions that resulted in the death of innocent civilians in Gaza as well as Israeli targeting of buildings housing international media outlets.” Menendez is known as 1 of the staunchest supports of Israel among the senate Democrats. Several House Democrats separately tweeted, “Apartheid states aren’t democracies,” in a reference to Israel. (AJ, AJ, HA, NYT 5/15)