Monday, December 3, 2018

Hundreds of Palestinians gather along Gaza’s north coast to continue the Great March of Return and to cheer on approximately 30 Palestinian boats sailing in a symbolic challenge to the Israeli blockade. IDF troops and Israeli naval forces violently disperse the demonstrations; at least 30 Palestinians are injured. Meanwhile, Israeli forces conduct a limited incursion across Gaza’s border fence to level land near Dayr al-Balah and open fire on a Palestinian bird-hunter approaching the border fence near Bayt Hanun. In East Jerusalem, Israeli MK Yehuda Glick leads a group of 40 right-wing Jewish activists on a tour of Haram al-Sharif. A Palestinian demolishes his storehouse, parking area, and staircase in Silwan to avoid paying Israeli demolition fees. In the West Bank, Israeli forces demolish 2 Palestinian homes and a sheep barn in Fasayil village near Jericho. IDF troops shut down the main street in Bayt Umar while they conduct raids in the village, sparking clashes with stone-throwing Palestinians; there are no reported injuries. They also arrest 20 Palestinians and issue 1 arrest summons during late-night raids near Ramallah, Bethlehem, Tubas, Hebron, Nablus; and patrol in and around Nablus, Jenin, and Hebron. (MNA, MNA, MNA, MNA, MNA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/3; MNA 12/4; PCHR 12/6)

The IDF launches a major military operation, dubbed Operation Northern Shield, aimed at exposing and demolishing tunnels stretching from southern Lebanon into northern Israel. Hezbollah has reportedly built a network of such tunnels since 2006. Kicking off the operation, Israeli forces uncover a tunnel stretching 40 meters into Israel and booby-trap it to prevent anyone from entering from the Lebanese side. (HA, JP, JP, TOI, YA 12/4)

Hours before the launch of Operation Northern Shield, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo in Brussels to discuss recent developments in the Middle East, including Iran’s nuclear program. Netanyahu reportedly tells Pompeo about Operation Northern Shield and asks him to tell the Lebanese government that they need to stop Hezbollah from acquiring precision-guided missiles. (HA, JP, TOI, TOI 12/3)