Thursday, May 9, 2019

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with military escort raided an archeological site near Bethlehem to perform prayers. During the raid, Israeli forces sealed off the area, impeding traffic for local Palestinians. In East Jerusalem, some 90 Israeli settlers with military escort stormed the Haram al-Sharif compound. (MNA, MNA, WAFA 5/9)

All Gaza and West Bank crossings into Israel were closed except for medical and other emergencies for the 4th day in a row. Israeli authorities announced the closure on 5/6, citing Israeli celebrations of Memorial Day and Independence Day. Additionally, Israeli forces closed a road between Nabi Salih and Ramallah in the West Bank. (HA 5/6; MNA, WAFA 5/9)

Palestinians in Israel commemorated the Nakba on Israel’s Independence Day by marching to 1 of the villages that was depopulated during the Nakba. Each year, Palestinians in Israel march to 1 of the more than 140 villages that was depopulated during the Nakba. This year, they marched to Khubbayza. (HA 5/9)

At the UN, PA foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki called the U.S. peace plan “conditions for surrender” and not a plan for peace. U.S. special representative for international negotiations Jason Greenblatt was at the UN meeting. Greenblatt has been actively debunking rumors on Twitter about the U.S. peace plan and criticizing the Palestinian leadership for not engaging with the U.S.. Al-Maliki told Mondoweiss at the UN that he urged European nations to start thinking about putting sanctions on Israel, as calls for stopping settlement expansions have proven ineffective. (AJ, HA, MDW, MNA 5/10)

An Egyptian security delegation arrived in Gaza to meet with Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar and other officials from Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Palestine. The officials discussed demonstrations on Nakba Day held on 15 May and efforts to ensure a relative calm. (HA 5/9)

The Lebanese president Michel Aoun said, during a meeting with a delegation from the Middle East Council of Churches, that “Lebanon would never survive if half a million Palestinian refugees and 1.6 million Syrian refugees remained in the country.” (MNA 5/10)

Canada announced that it contributed $2.4 million to the UN World Food Programme for vulnerable Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. New Zealand pledged $2 million for the UNRWA. (MNA, WAFA5/9)