Friday, August 24, 2018

Thousands of Palestinians gather along Gaza’s border to continue the Great March of Return. IDF troops violently disperse the demonstrations near Rafah, Khan Yunis, Gaza City, Jabaliya refugee camp, and al-Bureij refugee camp; at least 50 Palestinians are injured. Separately, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian farmers working along the border fence near Dayr al-Balah, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, IDF troops violently disperse Friday protests against the Israeli occupation in Kafr Qaddum near Qalqilya; 8 Palestinians and 1 Norwegian activist are injured (the activist, Christine Folls, was also injured in similar clashes on 8/23). The IDF arrests 3 Palestinians and issues 4 arrest summons during raids near Jenin and Hebron; and patrols near Hebron. Israeli settlers uproot 30 olive trees in a Palestinian grove near Nablus; and throw stones at Palestinian vehicles driving near Jenin, causing minor damage. (HA, TOI, WAFA 8/24; MNA, WAFA, WAFA 8/25; PCHR 8/30)

The Trump administration announces that more than $200 million is being cut from this year’s planned aid to the Palestinians. The decision comes 7 months after President Trump cut a similar amount from U.S. aid to UNRWA and ordered a review of all aid to the Palestinians. “As a result of that review, at the direction of the president, we will direct more than $200 million in Economic Support Funds originally planned for programs in the West Bank and Gaza,” a senior State Department official explains. “This decision takes into account the challenges the international community faces in providing assistance in Gaza, where Hamas control endangers the lives of Gaza’s citizens and degrades an already dire humanitarian and economic situation.” (EI, MNA, TOI, WAFA 8/25)