Thursday, August 15, 2019

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers set fire to Palestinian-owned agricultural lands in Burqa, they subsequently opened fire at Palestinians seeking to put the fire out; no injuries were reported. In a separate but similar incident, Israeli settlers attacked Palestinians in ‘Urif after trying to ignite agricultural lands. Israeli settlers also sprayed racist graffiti on Palestinian-owned buildings and vehicles in al-Zawiya. 3 Palestinians were arrested by Israeli forces in Qalqilya and Aida refugee camp. In East Jerusalem, 1 Palestinian was killed and another wounded after stabbing 1 Israeli policeman near the Haram al-Sharif compound. After the stabbing, Israeli police closed Haram al-Sharif for 2 hours after which only persons older than 50 were allowed on the compound. Also in the Old City, Israel’s Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel toured the Haram al-Sharif compound along with Israeli settlers. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire on Palestinian fishermen 2 nautical miles from shore. (AJ, HA, MEMO, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 8/15; PCHR 8/22)

Israel’s Interior Ministry announced the U.S. congresswomen Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) would not be allowed to enter Israel and the West Bank for their planned visit. The ministry stated that the 2 congresswomen were denied entry on the basis of their involvement in the BDS movement. U.S. president Donald Trump had hours earlier tweeted that “[i]t would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep. Tlaib to visit. They hate Israel & all Jewish people.” The decision sparked criticism from members of Congress from both parties and from pro-Israel organizations such as AIPAC. (HA, Twitter, WAPO, WAFA 8/15)