Thursday, April 29, 2021

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked 1 Palestinian shepherd in Mareeha, near Jenin, causing moderate injuries. Israeli forces temporarily evicted Palestinians in Khirbet Humsa, citing military drills. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters demonstrating against Israeli harassment of Palestinians in East Jerusalem, at the Separation wall near Bethlehem, leading to tear-gas related injuries and 1 arrest. 2 others were arrested during late-night raids in Bethlehem and Jalbun. In East Jerusalem, 2 Palestinians were arrested in the Old City. In Gaza, Israel reopened the Gaza fishing zone after closing it on 4/26. Israeli forces opened fire at agricultural lands east of al-Bureij; no injuries were reported. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen west of Dayr al-Balah and within 4 nautical miles west of Bayt Lahiya; no injuries were reported. (AJ, HA, WAFA, WAFA 4/29; PCHR 5/6)

Israeli forces said it was a mistake when it detained 5 Palestinian children between the ages of 8 and 13 in the south of Hebron on 3/10. An investigation found that there was no reason to detain the 5 children. (TOI 4/29)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas announced that the Palestinian elections scheduled for 5/22 were postponed, citing Israeli ambiguity regarding whether Palestinians in East Jerusalem would be allowed to partake in the elections. President Abbas said that “as soon as Israel agrees [to allow Palestinians in East Jerusalem to partake] we will hold elections within a week.” Besides the Jerusalem issue, there was speculation that Abbas and Fatah had an interest in postponing the elections as splintering within the Fatah party has made Hamas the likely winner of the elections. Several Palestinian political leaders criticized Abbas’s decision to postpone elections, demanding a new date set. Hamas released a statement, calling the decision “a coup against the path of national partnership and consensus.” (CNN, HA, NPR, WAFA 4/29; AJ, AJ, ALM, PCHR, REU, WAFA, WAFA 4/30; WAFA, WAFA 5/1; HA, HA, WAFA 5/2)

In Israel, 45 Israelis were killed and more 150 injured during a stampede at a Jewish religious event on Jabal al-Jarmaq/Mount Meron. Upwards of 100,000 were said to have participated in the event. PA president Mahmoud Abbas wrote a letter to Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin expressing his condolences. (AJ, AJ, ALM, AP, HA, HA, HA 4/30; AP 5/1; AJ, HA 5/2)