Saturday, December 22, 2018

In 4 separate incidents off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats near Bayt Lahiya and Jabaliya refugee camp, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, IDF troops arrest 2 Palestinians during late-night raids near Bethlehem; and patrol near Nablus and Hebron. (PCHR 12/27)

A Palestinian succumbs to injuries sustained when IDF troops opened fire on protesters gathering along Gaza’s border on 12/21. This brings the death toll stemming from the Great March of Return to 194. (AFP, MNA, TOI 12/22; PCHR 12/27)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas announces that the Palestinian Constitutional Court has issued an order to dissolve the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) and hold new elections within 6 months. He also says he is committed to implementing the court’s decision, clarifying a plan he first alluded to on 12/8. In response, Hamas releases a statement calling the move an “invalid political decision.” Hamas also calls on Egypt to “block Abbas’s measures that are a fatal blow to the Egyptian endeavors aimed to achieve the Palestinian reconciliation.” The PLC is the PA’s legislative body, but it has not met regularly since Hamas won a majority of the body’s seats in the last election, which was in 2006. (MNA, TOI 12/22; AJ 12/23)