Sunday, May 17, 2020

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers uprooted some 40 olive trees in Yatma. 6 Palestinians were arrested, including 5 during late-night raids in and around Hebron, Yatta, and Bethlehem; 1 was arrested at a checkpoint between Nablus and Tubas. In East Jerusalem, Israel’s outgoing public security minister Gilad Erdan ordered 1 nonprofit organization helping Palestinian children from single-family homes with schoolwork to close because of alleged ties to the PA. The institution in charge of the organization, Volunteer for Hope, denies that the organization received any funds from the PA. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire on Palestinian fishermen west of Bayt Lahiya; no injuries were reported. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire on agricultural lands east of al-Bureij and al-Maghazi; no injuries were reported. In the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, Israeli forces shot and injured 1 person crossing from Lebanon. (HA, WAFA 5/17; PCHR 5/21; HA 5/22)

The new Israeli government was sworn in. The new government is headed by Benjamin Netanyahu and has 36 ministers and 16 deputy ministers from 9 different parties. Benny Gantz will be deputy prime minister and defense minister for 18 months, when the coalition deal stipulates that Gantz will become the prime minister for the 2d half of the government term. During his speech to the Knesset, Netanyahu said of annexing Israeli settlements in the West Bank, “[i]t’s time to apply the Israeli law and write another glorious chapter in the history of Zionism.” (AJ, HA, REU 5/17; NPR 5/18)