Sunday, January 13, 2019

In the West Bank, Israeli forces demolish a Palestinian greenhouse and another agricultural structure in Bayt Iksa near Jerusalem. IDF troops arrest a Palestinian who opens fire on an IDF post outside the nearby Ma’ale Adumim settlement; arrest 2 Palestinians during raids near Bethlehem and Hebron; and patrol near Bethlehem, Hebron, and Qalqilya. Israeli settlers cut down approximately 1,000 tree saplings from a Palestinian nature reserve outside Burqa village near Nablus. Settlers also uproot a number of olive trees in the courtyard of al-Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron. Separately, unidentified assailants open fire on a Palestinian police station in al-Ram near Jerusalem, sparking a firefight between PA police and the armed assailants; 1 Palestinian is killed (it’s unclear if he was a bystander or one of the assailants). Along Gaza’s border, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian farmers and shepherds working near Bayt Hanun, causing no injuries. An Israeli drone bombs a Hamas post near Khan Yunis, causing extensive damage. (MNA, MNA, MNA, MNA, TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/13; PCHR 1/17)

A Palestinian succumbs to injuries sustained when IDF troops violently dispersed Palestinian protesters gathering along Gaza’s border several weeks ago. This brings the death toll stemming from the Great March of Return to 197. (WAFA 1/13; PCHR 1/17)

The IDF announces the conclusion of Operation Northern Shield, the operation formally launched on 12/4 to discover and demolish cross-border tunnels allegedly built by Hezbollah from southern Lebanon to northern Israel. An IDF spokesperson also announces the 1/12 discovery of a 6th major tunnel and says preparations are underway to demolish it. He says that this is the largest and most important tunnel discovered during the operation. Meanwhile, Lebanon’s Ambassador to the UN Amal Mudallali files a formal complaint with the UN Security Council over Israel’s construction of a concrete wall along the Israel-Lebanon border. Mudallali contends that the wall is a violation of UNSC Resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war. (HA, HA, JP, TOI, YA 1/13)

At the weekly meeting of Israel’s cabinet, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirms that Israel was responsible for the air strikes in Syria on 1/11. “The wave of recent attacks proves that we are determined more than ever to act against Iran in Syria,” he says, marking a rare instance of the Israeli government taking credit for an individual strike in Syria. Meanwhile, satellite photos depicting a demolished storehouse at the Damascus International Airport circulate in the Israeli media. (JP, YA 1/13; TOI 1/14)