Monday, April 21, 2014

In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 7 rockets into s. Israel, causing no injuries, but 2 strike Sderot and cause light damage. In addition, Palestinians fire an anti-tank missile at Israeli soldiers patrolling the border fence, causing no damage or injuries. Following these attacks, IDF troops conduct 6 air strikes on targets across the Gaza Strip, including Hamas-run training sites, where 2 security officers are injured. There are also strikes on agricultural and farming facilities, causing damage but no injuries. IDF troops also fire on open land close to the border fence in separate incidents nr. Jabaliya and Bayt Hanun. In the West Bank, IDF troops raid Awarta village nr. Nablus, sparking clashes with residents, causing no serious injuries. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 3 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Jenin at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Nablus in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Salfit, in al-‘Arub r.c. and 1 village nr. Hebron at night. (MNA 4/21; PCHR 4/24)

U.S. State Dept. spokesperson Psaki says that if PA Pres. Abbas dissolves the PA, a measure reportedly being discussed among senior Palestinian officials in Ramallah, it would be an “extreme step” with “grave implications.” Psaki also says that Kerry has no plans to return for a last-minute effort to salvage negotiations ahead of the 4/29 deadline. (HA 4/21; JP 4/22)

Senior Hamas official Musa Abu Marzuq, head of external affairs, travels from Egypt to the Gaza Strip, ahead of a scheduled visit to the territory by a PLO delegation from the West Bank. In a confidence-boosting measure, Hamas authorities release 10 Fatah-affiliated prisoners. Israeli PM Netanyahu warns Abbas against unity with Hamas, saying that the PA needs “to decide” between peace and Hamas. (AFP, AP, MNA 4/21)

Jordan’s Foreign Ministry summons Israeli amb. Daniel Nevo to protest the actions of Israeli forces at Haram al-Sharif in recent days, calling it a “gross breach of international law and of the peace agreement between the 2 nations.” Jordanian minister Mohammad al-Momani says that Amman will take the necessary steps to protect the Islamic and Christian sites in Jerusalem. (ToI, WAFA 4/21)