Wednesday, April 28, 2021

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers encroaching on Palestinian-owned lands in Nil‘in were forced to leave after being confronted by Palestinians. 4 Palestinians were arrested in al-Khadir, Nablus, and Hebron. In East Jerusalem, 4 Palestinians were arrested in the Old City. In Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen on 2 separate occasions, damaging 1 boat with live ammunition; no injuries were reported. The Gaza fishing zone was closed by Israeli authorities. 1 Israeli drone crashed in Gaza; it was unclear if it had been shot down. (JP, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 4/28; HA, PCHR 4/29)

After speculation of whether the PA would cancel the upcoming Palestinian elections, citing Israel’s unwillingness to allow Palestinians in East Jerusalem to partake, Hamas said that it opposes postponing elections while calling East Jerusalem “a red line.” Hamas cited the Oslo Accords as a legal argument for why Palestinians in East Jerusalem should be allowed to partake. According to unnamed PA sources, PA president Mahmoud Abbas should already have made the decision to postpone the elections. Israel has not officially said if it will allow Palestinians in East Jerusalem to partake in Palestinian elections. President Abbas also discussed the Palestinian elections with EU representative to Palestine Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff. (HA, HA, WAFA 4/28; AP 4/29)

Israeli deputy prime minister and defense minister Benny Gantz was appointed as justice minister 1 day after Benjamin Netanyahu, who is standing trial for bribery, fraud, and breach of trust, tried to appoint a member of his own party, Ofir Akunis, as justice minister. The Israeli supreme court voided the appointment of Akunis hours after he was given the portfolio. (ALM, HA, HA, JP 4/28)