Sunday, May 19, 2024

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers raid Yatma, setting fire to several cars. Israeli settlers also throw stones at Palestinian vehicles traveling between Jericho and Ramallah, causing damage. Elsewhere, Israeli settlers attack an aid convoy traveling from Jordan to Gaza in Tarqumiyah, damaging aid supplies. Israeli settlers also assault a Palestinian shepherd near Ein al-Beida in the Masafer Yatta area. Israeli forces shoot and kill a Palestinian man at the Container checkpoint, claiming he tried to stab soldiers with a screwdriver. Israeli forces also open fire at Palestinian firefighters putting out fires ignited by Israeli settlers in Yatma; no injuries are reported. Elsewhere, Israeli forces seize a home in Jalbun, turning it into a military outpost. Israeli forces also seize a truck in Duma. Meanwhile, Israeli forces seize camera equipment from a Palestine TV crew on Al-Shuhada Street in Hebron. Israeli forces also arrest 18 Palestinians during late-night raids in and around Nablus, Ramallah, Tulkarm, Bethlehem, and Jerusalem. In Gaza, Israeli forces bomb Gaza City, Nuseirat refugee camp, Rafah, Beit Lahiya, Jabalia refugee camp, and al-Bureij refugee camp, killing at least 70 people, including 31 people in a home in Nuseirat refugee camp and the director of police investigations in central Gaza, Zaher al-Houli, as well as 4 other police officers. Israeli forces also assassinate Hamas official Azmi Abu Daqqa. Meanwhile, Israeli forces besiege al-Awda Hospital in Jabalia, which has run out of drinking water. An Israeli soldier dies from wounds sustained on 5/15. In Lebanon, Israeli forces bomb Maroun al-Ras. Hezbollah forces fire a guided missile at Israeli forces in Metulla. (AJ, AP, HA, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 5/19; UNOCHA 5/20)

More than 35,456 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, including at least 15,103 children and 10,000 women, and around 79,476 have been injured since 10/7/2023. At least 10,000 people are missing in rubble, including 1,700 children. 498 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7/2023, including 119 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, 283 Israeli soldiers have been killed and 1,723 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. 29 trucks carrying aid enter Gaza. The Gaza Civil Defense says Israel has destroyed 300 homes in Jabalia since the beginning of May. (AJ, HA, WAFA, WAFA 5/19; UNRWA 5/22)

U.S. national security advisor Jake Sullivan meets with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Isaac Herzog, and other Israeli officials, discussing Israel’s war on Gaza and normalization with Saudi Arabia. Before arriving in Israel, Sullivan met with Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, discussing normalization. Israeli officials say that they got the impression that a normalization deal is very close, but still depends on whether Netanyahu will accept moves toward Palestinian statehood. The state-run Saudi Press Agency described the deal between the U.S. and Saudi-Arabia as “semi-final.” (AJ, AJ, HA, REU 5/19; AP, HA, REU, 5/20; REU 5/21)

Axios reports that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has banned Israeli intelligence and security officials from meeting with U.S. officials and lawmakers since 10/7/2023. (AJ 5/18; AX 5/19)

Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, and several other Iranian officials are killed in a helicopter crash in northwestern Iran near the border with Azerbaijan. The Iranian constitution mandates that an election for a new president must be arranged within 50 days. Vice President Mohammad Mokhber is appointed acting president on 5/20. The PA, Hamas, the U.S., Saudi Arabia, China, Russia, and many other countries extend condolences. (AJ, HA, HA, NYT, NYT 5/19; AP, AP, AP, AP, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, NYT, NYT, NYT, REU, REU, REU, REU, REU, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 5/20; AP, AP, NYT, NYT 5/21)