Wednesday, April 10, 2019

In the West Bank, Israeli forces blocked the entrance to the town of Tuqu‘ near Bethlehem and stormed the city center, leading to clashes with local residents; no injuries were reported. Israel also issued a military order to confiscate 401 dunams (99 acres) of Palestinian-owned land in al-‘Arub, Bayt Umar, and Halhul near Hebron. Israeli forces also confiscated 4 Palestinian-owned vehicles during late-night raids. 14 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Hebron, Bethlehem, Ramallah, Jenin, Nablus, and Salfit. Separately, a 19-year-old Palestinian woman was also arrested at the al-Zaayim checkpoint for allegedly attempting to stab an Israeli soldier. In East Jerusalem, around 87 Israeli settlers along with Israeli forces stormed Haram al-Sharif to perform prayers. Israeli forces sealed the Damascus Gate of the Old City and arrested 2 Palestinians in the vicinity. Later, demolition notices were delivered for 13 residential structures in the al-‘Izzawiya neighborhood. In Gaza, Israeli forces razed land east of Rafah and fired toward Palestinians east of Khuza‘a; no injuries were reported. (HA, MNA, MNA, MNA, MNA, MNA, WAFA, WAFA 4/10; MNA, MNA, WAFA 4/11)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared victory after the 4/9 Israeli general elections and will serve his 5th term as prime minister. Both U.S. president Donald Trump and secretary of state Mike Pompeo congratulated Netanyahu with his victory. The PR firm behind the Likud party’s initiative to place cameras at the Palestinian-majority polling stations (see 4/9) boasted a historically low turnout among Palestinian citizens of Israel in a Facebook post that also depicted 2 of its employees with Netanyahu and his wife Sara. Turnout among Palestinian citizens of Israel was less than 50 percent. PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi called Netanyahu’s victory a vote to “entrench and expand apartheid.” (HA, HA, WAFA 4/10; HA 4/11)

The Palestinian activist and co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement Omar Barghouti was denied entry to the U.S. to embark on a speaking tour in several U.S. cities and to attend his daughter’s wedding. He was stopped before boarding his plane in Tel Aviv and was told that the American consulate had ordered that he could not board the plane. (NYT 4/11)