Thursday, April 13, 2017

IDF troops conduct raids in Abu Dis nr. Jerusalem, sparking clashes with students at Al-Quds University; 6 students are injured. Elsewhere in the West Bank, IDF troops raid the Silwad home of the family of the Palestinian driver who allegedly rammed and killed an Israeli on 4/6. They confiscate NIS 85,000 (approx. $23,000) and a vehicle during raids nr. Jenin; and patrol nr. Ramallah and Hebron. Along Gaza’s border, Israeli forces conduct a limited incursion to level land nr. Khan Yunis and arrest a Palestinian attempting to cross into Israel nr. Jabaliya r.c. Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats nr. Jabaliya r.c. and again nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces ban 7 Palestinians from Haram al-Sharif for periods as long as 6 mos. (They have banned more than 40 Palestinians from the sanctuary in the past few weeks.) Meanwhile, 385 Jewish settlers tour the sanctuary; when a handful of them perform religious rites, guards escort them from the area. (JP, MNA, TOI, WAFA 4/13; PCHR 4/20)

PA pres. Abbas says that he may take “unprecedented steps” to end the Hamas-Fatah rivalry that prevents the PA from taking control of Gaza. “These days, we are in a dangerous and tough situation that requires decisive steps, and we are [ready] to take these decisive steps. Therefore, we are going to take unprecedented steps in the coming days to end the division,” he says. Some analysts say that Abbas’s moves come in response to Hamas’s 3/16 announcement of the formation of a new comm. to administer Gaza. (TOI 4/13)

The Gaza-based Ministry of Interior announces that it will begin accepting applications for jobs in the security forces from female Palestinians. The change in policy marks the first time females will be hired as security forces since 2014. (MNA 4/13)

In Beijing, PA FM al-Maliki calls on China to play a more active role in the Palestinian peace effort, including support for Palestinian initiatives in international forums. China’s FM Wang Yi says that the fact that the Palestinians do not have a sovereign state yet is a “terrible injustice.” (HA, REU, WAFA 4/13)

Human Rights Watch (HRW) calls on the Egyptian govt. to “immediately disclose” whether or not it is detaining the 4 Palestinian men, all reportedly Hamas affiliates from Gaza, who were abducted on 8/19/2015 as they traveled by bus from the Rafah border crossing to Cairo. HRW says that Al Jazeera published a photograph purporting to show 2 of the men in a Cairo facility in 8/2016. The report reads, “incommunicado detention violates basic protections for both civilians and fighters under Egypt’s code of criminal procedure, which requires authorities to bring criminal suspects in front of a prosecutor within 24 hours and prosecutors to charge the detainee based on evidence or release the person immediately. It also violates international law, which requires that all detainees, regardless of their particular status, be brought ‘promptly’ (i.e., within days) before a judicial officer or equivalent to review the legality and necessity of their detention.” (HRW 4/13)