Monday, May 5, 2014

Off the coast of the Gaza Strip nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing damage but no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Hebron at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon, and in al-Fawar r.c. and 2 villages nr. Hebron, and 1 village each nr. Bethlehem and Ramallah at night. Jewish settlers uproot 51 olive tree saplings nr. Ramallah. In East Jerusalem, IDF troops clash with residents in Issawiya after erecting a temporary checkpoint, injuring 6 with rubber-coated metal bullets. Also, Israeli forces attack Palestinian worshippers prevented from entering Haram al-Sharif, wounding 15. (MNA, WAFA 5/5; PCHR 5/8)

Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports that Martin Indyk will resign from his position as U.S. special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in light of the breakdown in negotiations, citing unnamed Israeli officials. Indyk reportedly blames Israel primarily for the failure, specifically highlighting the consequences of settlement construction. (HA, JTA, ToI 5/5)

PA Pres. Abbas holds talks with Hamas leader Khalid Mish‘al in Doha, and later meets with Qatari emir Shaykh Tamim Bin-Hamad al-Thani. Hamas releases a statement describing the meeting as “positive.” The Palestinian leaders’ discussions focus on the formation of a Palestinian unity govt., which is expected to be formed within 2 weeks. Meanwhile, the Gaza-based Interior Ministry announces that it has freed 6 prisoners from Fatah. (Fatah says that 40 of its mbrs. are still in prison. Hamas puts the number at under 20). Hamas authorities also announce that al-Quds newspaper will be distributed once again in the West Bank starting 5/7. Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh’s adviser Issa Nashar urges Pres. Abbas to reciprocate the gestures and halt the arrest of Hamas activists in the West Bank. (AFP, JP, MNA, REU 5/5)

An IAEA delegation arrives in Iran to inspect 2 nuclear sites—Saghand uranium mine and the Ardakan yellow-cake production site— as part of the 7-step plan agreed on by representatives of Iran and the IAEA in 2/2014 to increase transparency over the country’s nuclear activities. (AFP 5/5)