Sunday, June 17, 2018

In the evening, the IAF conduct air strikes on a Hamas site and a vehicle near al-Bureij refugee camp, completely destroying the vehicle and injuring 2 Palestinians allegedly preparing to fly an incendiary kite into southern Israel. Meanwhile, Israeli firefighters put out approximately 21 fires in the border area allegedly caused by such attacks. Separately, IDF troops violently disperse Palestinians gathering near Khan Yunis and Jabaliya refugee camp to continue the Great March of Return; 2 Palestinians are injured. In the West Bank, Israeli forces begin dismantling and evacuating 10 buildings in the illegal settlement outpost West Tapuah near Nablus. The settler-residents throw bleach, sticks, and eggs at the Israeli forces, sparking minor clashes; 11 Israeli police are lightly injured. Meanwhile, IDF troops arrest 5 Palestinians during late-night raids near Hebron and Bethlehem, and patrol near Hebron. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest 4 Palestinians during late-night raids in Shu‘fat refugee camp and the Old City. (HA, JP, TOI, WAFA, YA 6/17; PCHR 6/21)

The Israeli cabinet convenes to discuss the recent spate of incendiary kite and balloon attacks emanating from Gaza. PM Netanyahu and DM Lieberman support the IDF’s position that direct attacks on the perpetrators are likely less effective than retaliatory strikes on Hamas infrastructure. Israeli public security minister Gilad Erdan and education minister Naftali Bennett reportedly push for the IDF to target the perpetrators directly. (HA 6/17; YA 6/18)

Israeli and Arab sources say that the U.S. delegation scheduled to visit the Middle East this week plans to call on wealthy Gulf states to invest up to $1 billion in an effort to strengthen Gaza’s economy. They reportedly plan to ask for Egypt and Israel to help administer the funds. “This is an issue that is urgent, and at the same time, can be dealt with relatively quickly,” one source says. (HA 6/17; TOI 6/18)