Thursday, May 16, 2024

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers block and attack aid trucks from Jordan headed to Gaza near Ein Samiya, injuring a Palestinian truck driver and setting a truck on fire. The settlers also injure 3 Israeli soldiers at the scene. Elsewhere, Israeli settlers throw stones at Palestinian vehicles traveling near the Za’atra checkpoint, causing damage. Israeli forces shoot and injure a Palestinian child during a raid in Qusra. Israeli forces also raid all 11 branches of the same currency exchange company, seizing $1 million and arresting 4 people. Elsewhere, Israeli forces assault Palestinian farmers in al-Khader. Israeli forces also demolish a Palestinian home in Idhna. Meanwhile, Israeli forces arrest a Palestinian man in Awarta, claiming he stabbed and wounded an Israeli soldier near Nablus. Israeli forces also arrest 8 Palestinians during late-night raids in and around Ramallah, Hebron, Jenin, Nablus, Tubas, and Qalqilya. In East Jerusalem, an Israeli settler rams a Palestinian woman in Sheikh Jarrah. Israeli forces shoot and kill a Palestinian child, claiming he tried to stab Israeli soldiers. In Gaza, Israeli forces bomb Rafah, Jabalia refugee camp, Gaza City, Nuseirat refugee camp, and Khan Yunis, killing at least 39 people. An Israeli soldier is killed in an explosion they set off. In Lebanon, Israeli forces bomb Kana, Ayta ash Shaab, Seddikine, and Kfar Kila, killing 2 people in Seddikine. Hezbollah forces launch rockets at the Golan Heights. In Yemen, Houthi forces shoot down a U.S. MQ-9 Reaper drone over the Marib province. (AJ, AJ, HA, HA, HA, HA, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 5/16; REU, UNOCHA, WAFA 5/17; AP 5/18; UNOCHA 5/20)

More than 35,272 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, including at least 15,103 children and 10,000 women, and around 79,205 have been injured since 10/7/2023. At least 10,000 people are missing in rubble, including 1,700 children. 493 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7/2023, including 118 children. More than 5,000 people have been injured. Israel reports that 1,139 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed and 5,400 have been injured in Israel since 10/7/2023, including Israeli soldiers. In addition, 279 Israeli soldiers have been killed and 1,610 injured in Gaza since the ground invasion began on 10/27/2023. Over 1.93 million Palestinians, nearly 85% of the population of Gaza, have been displaced since 10/7/2023. There has been a complete electricity blackout in Gaza since 10/12/2023 due to the Israeli blockade. At least 79,000 housing units have been destroyed and 370,000 have been damaged in Israeli airstrikes since 10/7/2023. 4 trucks carrying aid enter Gaza. (AJ, AJ, HA, WAFA 5/16; UNRWA 5/22)

Israeli defense minister Yoav Gallant says more troops will be sent to Rafah and speaks with U.S. secretary of defense Lloyd Austin. Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich says Israel will abolish its free trade agreement with Turkey and impose a 100% tariff on imports from Turkey in retaliation for Turkey halting exports to Israel. (AJ, AP, HA, NYT, REU 5/16)

At the ICJ, South Africa tells the court that Israel’s invasion of Rafah “is the last step in the destruction of Gaza,” quoting Israeli security cabinet member Smotrich saying “there are no half measures, Rafah, Dayr al-Balah, Nuseirat, total annihilation.” South African is seeking an ICJ ruling to end the Israeli invasion of Rafah. (AJ, AJ, AJ, AP, HA, HA, HA, NYT, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 5/16)

The Arab League adopts the Bahrain Declaration at the 33rd Arab Summit, calling for a UN peacekeeping mission in the occupied Palestinian territories until a 2-state solution is implemented. The league also condemns Israel’s “obstruction” of ceasefire negotiations and invasion of Rafah and calls on all Palestinian factions to join the PLO. PA president Mahmoud Abbas pleads with league members for financial support and requests countries that have relations with Israel to condition those relations on ending the war on Gaza. Bahraini king Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa calls for an international conference for Middle East peace and support for the recognition of the State of Palestine and full Palestinian UN membership. Abbas meets with King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Jordanian king Abdullah II, Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, and Kuwaiti prime minister Ahamad Al Abdullah Al Sabah in separate meetings on the sidelines of the summit. (AJ, AJ, AP, HA, NAT, NYT, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 5/16)

The U.S. announces that the floating pier off the coast of Gaza has been anchored and will start receiving aid in the coming days. State Department deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel expresses concern over the “complete halt” in fuel entering Gaza. The UN says it does not have enough fuel to distribute aid arriving in Gaza. (AJ, AP, HA, NYT 5/16)

The New York Times publishes an investigation into the far right’s takeover of Israeli politics, saying that enforcement against illegal settlement construction has ceased since the formation of the current government in 2022 and that the Israeli police are not prosecuting settlers who commit violence against Palestinians. Finance Minister Smotrich calls the article “blood libel,” and says he is proud to prevent Palestinians from living in rural areas of the West Bank. (HA, HA, NYT 5/16)

Spain refuses permission for an Israel-bound ship carrying arms to dock at the port of Cartagena. The ship is carrying 27 tons of explosive material that was loaded in Madras, India. (AJ, HA, REU 5/16; HA 5/17)

Canada imposes sanctions on 4 Israeli settlers, David Chai Chasdai, Yinon Levi, Zvi Bar Yosef, and Moshe Sharvit. (AJ, AJ, HA, HA, REU 5/16; WAFA 5/17)

The incoming Dutch government coalition, led by Geert Wilders of the Party of Freedom, presents a coalition agreement which includes moving the Dutch embassy to Israel to Jerusalem. (AJ 5/16)

The U.S. House of Representatives passes a bill in a 224-187 vote forcing the Biden administration to reverse its decision to halt the transfer of large bombs to Israel. 16 Democrats join Republicans in the vote. Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer says he does not plan to hold a vote on the bill and President Joe Biden says he will veto it if it is passed by the Senate. (AJ, AX, NYT 5/16; AJ, AX, HA, HA, REU 5/17)

The German state North Rhine-Westphalia bans the group Palestine Solidarity Duisburg and state police raid 4 properties linked to the group, claiming it is spreading anti-Semitic narratives. (AP 5/16)