Monday, September 10, 2018

Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on a small fleet of Palestinian boats sailing in a symbolic attempt to break the Israeli blockade. Meanwhile, thousands of Palestinians gather along Gaza’s border fence near Jabaliya refugee camp to cheer on the boats and continue the Great March of Return; 49 Palestinians are injured at sea and along the border fence. In the West Bank, Israeli settlers uproot 15 olive trees in a Palestinian grove outside Yatta village near Hebron. IDF troops conduct a raid at an elementary school in Hebron, disrupting classes and assaulting and injuring 1 Palestinian teacher. They also arrest 3 Palestinians and confiscate 1 vehicle during raids in Hebron and near Ramallah; and patrol near Hebron. (HA, MNA, TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 9/10; PCHR 9/13)

The U.S. State Department announces that the PLO is no longer allowed to operate an office in Washington because the Palestinians “have not taken steps to advance the start of direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel.” In the same statement, the State Department also denounces the PLO for criticizing a “peace plan they have not yet seen” and refusing to engage with the Trump administration’s peace initiative. The decision to shutter the office was “also consistent with [Trump administration] and Congressional concerns with Palestinian attempts to prompt an investigation of Israel by the International Criminal Court,” according to the statement. Separately, U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton says that the U.S. plans to shield Israel from any ICC effort to investigate alleged Israeli war crimes and settlement growth (the ICC has been working on a preliminary examination of such allegations since 1/2015). (HA, HA, JP, JP, MNA, TOI, TOI, WSJ, YA 9/10)

PA prime minister Rami Hamdallah announces that the PA plans to cover the budget deficit facing Palestinian hospitals in East Jerusalem, following the U.S. decision on 9/8 to redirect $25 million in U.S. aid to “other priorities.” “We will continue to meet the basic and urgent needs of our people on every inch of our land,” he says. (MNA, WAFA 9/10)

The PA’s Committee Against the Wall and Settlements announces plans to appeal the Israeli High Court of Justice’s 9/5 decision to authorize the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar, a Bedouin village in the West Bank, at international courts. “[We] will not appeal this decision at Israeli courts anymore because they are a tool of the occupation to legalize theft of Palestinian land,” explains one senior committee member. (MNA, WAFA 9/10)