Sunday, November 18, 2018

Along Gaza’s border, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian farmers, shepherds, and bird-hunters working near Khan Yunis and Gaza City; there are no reported injuries. Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats near Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and injure a Palestinian during clashes sparked by an arrest raid in Abu Qash near Ramallah. Separately, IDF troops open fire on a Palestinian vehicle driving outside Dayr Abu Mash‘al near Ramallah; 3 Palestinian minors are injured (1 critically). Meanwhile, IDF troops arrest 16 Palestinians during raids near Ramallah, Qalqilya, Salfit, Jenin, and Nablus; and patrol in and around Hebron. Israeli settlers throw stones at Palestinian homes in Urif village near Nablus, sparking a minor confrontation with residents of the area; there are no major injuries or damage reported. In East Jerusalem, dozens of right-wing Jewish activists tour Haram al-Sharif in the morning. Israeli forces arrest 2 Palestinians during late-night raids in Qalandia refugee camp. (MNA, MNA, WAFA 11/18; HA, MNA, MNA 11/19; PCHR 11/22)

At a press conference in Tel Aviv, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu announces that he is taking on the position of defense minister following Avigdor Lieberman’s resignation on 11/14. He also says it would be “irresponsible” to force early elections during “one of our most difficult security periods.” (HA, JP, JP, MNA 11/19)

A U.S. State Department official says that the Trump administration is considering retaliatory measures against the Palestinians following PA president Abbas’s “premature” and “counterproductive” decision to sign accession documents for 11 international treaties and conventions on 11/15. “The U.S. continues to make clear, both with the parties and with international partners, that the only realistic path forward is through direct negotiations aimed at achieving a comprehensive and lasting peace,” the official says. “We are currently reviewing possible consequences of the Palestinians’ recent actions.” (TOI, USSD 11/18)