Friday, May 18, 2018

Hundreds of Palestinian protesters gather along the border fence in Gaza to continue the Great March of Return. IDF troops violently disperse them near Rafah, Gaza City, Jabaliya refugee camp, and Khan Yunis; 27 Palestinians are injured (1 critically). Also along Gaza’s border fence, Israeli forces conduct a limited incursion to level land along the border fence near Khan Yunis. In the West Bank, IDF troops patrol in and around Tulkarm and Hebron. In Israel, hundreds of Palestinian citizens of Israel gather in Haifa to protest the recent deadly violence in Gaza; 21 Palestinian citizens of Israel are arrested. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces conduct arrest raids in Issawiyya, sparking minor clashes with stone-throwing residents; 1 Palestinian is injured and arrested. (MNA, YA 5/18; HA, JP 5/19; PCHR 5/24)

An elderly Palestinian succumbs to injuries sustained when IDF troops opened fire on protesters along Gaza’s border fence on 5/14. His death brings the death toll stemming from the Great March of Return to 107. (HA, MNA, WAFA 5/19; MNA 5/21; PCHR 5/24)

The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) convenes to debate the recent violence in Gaza. Overcoming U.S. and Australian objections, they approve a Pakistani proposal to establish an independent commission of inquiry into Israel’s use of deadly force to quell the Great March of Return. Twenty-nine countries vote in favor of the proposal, 14 abstain, and only the U.S. and Australia oppose it. Separately, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) convenes in Istanbul to discuss similar initiatives. In a joint statement, delegates request that the OIC general secretariat “act immediately to establish an international independent committee of experts to investigate the crimes and massacres committed by the Israeli forces against the peaceful and unarmed demonstrators in the Gaza Strip, to determine the culpability of the Israeli officials, and communicate the findings to relevant international bodies.” (AP, HA, JP, MNA, TOI, YA 5/18; WAFA 5/19)