Thursday, January 31, 2019

In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and injure 3 Palestinians amid clashes sparked by a raid in Tuqu‘ near Bethlehem. They also assault an elderly Palestinian woman and destroy some furniture during a raid in Hebron; shoot and injure a Palestinian minor who allegedly threw a Molotov cocktail at an IDF post near Bethlehem; assault and injure a Palestinian minor outside an abandoned Israeli settlement near Jenin; arrest 2 Palestinians during late-night raids near Tulkarm and Jenin; and patrol near Hebron. Israeli settlers assault a number of Palestinian farmers working near Jericho, forcing them from their fields. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces demolish a residential building in Silwan, displacing 14 Palestinians. In southern Israel, Israeli forces demolish the Bedouin village al-Araqib for the 139th time since 2010. (MNA, MNA, MNA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/31; MNA 2/1; PCHR 2/7)

Al-Monitor reports that the Egyptian authorities decided to largely close the Rafah border crossing on 1/5 in part due to the PA’s withdrawal from the Palestinian side of the crossing, as was previously reported, but also in part out of displeasure with the Qatari transfers of money to Gaza. According to a Hamas source, the Egyptians were “furious” about Qatar’s growing influence in Gaza and wanted to punish Hamas. The Egyptian authorities reportedly only opened the crossing on 1/29 after pressure from the Israelis. (ALM 1/31)

Israel’s Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan signs an order extending the ban on several Palestinian institutions in East Jerusalem, including the Palestinian Prisoner’s Club, the Center for Palestinian Studies, and the Orient House, which once housed the PLO’s headquarters in East Jerusalem. “The PA has recently been trying to strengthen its presence in East Jerusalem in sophisticated ways, including the transfer of significant funds for activities,” Erdan says. “I will continue to strengthen Israeli sovereignty throughout Jerusalem, and prevent any Palestinian attempt to create a foothold in the eastern part of the city.” (JP, TOI 1/31)

The EU announces a new €2.37 million (approximately $2.7 million) to support Palestinian farmers and agricultural businesses in the West Bank. The donation is set to benefit 241 farmers and businesses repair critical machinery, acquire new equipment, and improve their infrastructure. (MNA, WAFA 1/31)