Saturday, October 27, 2018

After a night of air strikes in Gaza, unidentified Gazans fire 5 rockets at southern Israel. Four are intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system; the 5th lands in an open area, causing no damage or injuries. The Israeli Air Force then conduct air strikes on sites near Jabaliya refugee camp and Khan Yunis, causing damage. In the West Bank, an IDF driver rams 2 Palestinians during a patrol near Qalqilya, causing moderate injuries to both. Separately, IDF troops arrest 4 Palestinians during late-night raids near Bethlehem and Tulkarm; and patrol near Hebron. (HA, MNA, WAFA 10/27; PCHR 11/1)

An IDF spokesperson claims that Islamic Jihad in Palestine (PIJ) was responsible for the rocket fire on 10/26 “with clear guidance from Iran and the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force in Syria.” A PIJ spokesperson then says that the group has reached a new agreement to end the violence in Gaza, thanks to Egyptian mediation. “After contacts between the Islamic Jihad leadership and the brothers in Egypt, it was agreed that a comprehensive cease-fire will begin immediately,” he says. (HA, MNA, TOI, TOI, TOI, YA 10/27)

A day after Israeli prime minister Netanyahu visited Oman, Omani foreign minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah says that the Omani government is “very optimistic” about the Trump administration’s Palestinian-Israeli peace efforts. “We are not mediators in Israel-Palestine, but we offer facilitation and ideas to help 2 parties to come together,” he adds. “We are not saying that the road is now easy and paved with flowers, but our priority is to put an end to the conflict and move to a new world.” (AFP, HA, REU, TOI, YA 10/27)

The World Bank announces that it has increased its annual allotment of aid to the Palestinians from $55 million to $90 million this year. The organization’s new strategy, adopted in 12/2017, has a “very strong focus on job creation and private sector development,” according to a World Bank spokesperson. (WAFA 10/27)