Tuesday, July 3, 2018

The Egyptian army demolishes a tunnel leading from the Sinai Peninsula into Gaza, trapping 8 Palestinian workers, according to eyewitnesses in Rafah. Later, the Egyptian army announces that its troops killed 3 alleged terrorists and destroyed a number of tunnels along the border in recent days. Also along Gaza’s border fence, Israeli forces violently disperse hundreds of Palestinians gathering along the fence near Gaza City to continue the Great March of Return; 18 Palestinians are injured, including 3 journalists. They also conduct a limited incursion to level land along the border fence near Gaza City. On Israel’s side of the border fence, firefighters quell 6 fires allegedly sparked by incendiary kites and balloons flown from Gaza. Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats near Gaza City and Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, IDF troops arrest 3 Palestinians during late-night raids near Qalqilya, Tulkarm, and Jenin; and patrol near Hebron and Tulkarm. (AFP, HA, MNA, TOI, WAFA 7/3; PCHR 7/5)

PLO secretary-general Erakat says that the Palestinians are considering a reduction in their political, economic, and security relations with Israel in response to the new Israeli law allowing for deductions to the monthly transfers of tax revenues to the PA. Separately, PA officials say they have no plans to end the stipends to Palestinians imprisoned in Israel in connection with serious crimes against Israelis. (JP, WAFA 7/3)

The IDF declares Khan al-Ahmar, a Bedouin village near Jerusalem, a closed military zone ahead of planned evacuations and demolitions. Israel’s High Court of Justice approved the government’s plan to demolish the village on 5/24. (EI, WAFA 7/3)

Israeli PM Netanyahu lifts his ban on Israeli MKs and ministers visiting Haram al-Sharif. He temporarily lifted the ban in early 2017 after imposing it amid the habba, which was a surge of Palestinian resistance, random attacks, and protests that began in Jerusalem in 9/2015. (AJ, JP, TOI 7/3)