Sunday, May 16, 2021

In the West Bank, 1 Palestinian minor, shot by Israeli forces on 5/12, succumbed to his wounds. Israeli settlers shot and injured 1 Palestinian while raiding Bani Na‘im. Israeli settlers with military escort also raided Silat al-Harithiyya, leading to confrontations; no injuries were reported. Elsewhere, Israeli settlers also blocked a main road to al-Bireh and threw stones at Palestinian vehicles, causing damage. Israeli settlers also threw stones at Palestinian vehicles near Bayt Jala and al-Walaja. Israeli forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian using live ammunition during a Nakba Day protest in Zeita, near Tulkarm. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Aida refugee camp, causing tear-gas related injuries. Elsewhere, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Tura, injuring 1 with live ammunition. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters at a checkpoint near Huwwara, injuring 1 with a rubber-coated bullet; others suffered tear-gas related injuries. Separately, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Hebron, injuring 1 with live ammunition and 1 with rubber-coated bullets; others suffered tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Bayt Umar, leading to tear-gas related injuries. 7 Palestinians were arrested, including 2 during house raids in al-Khadir and Dura, and 5 during protests near Jenin. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers with military escort raided Bayt Hanina and Shu‘fat refugee camp, leading to confrontations; 2 Palestinians were injured by the Israeli forces in Bayt Hanina. Israeli settlers later raided Shu‘fat refugee camp again, injuring 2 Palestinians with live ammunition. Israeli forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian, saying he had intentionally rammed 7 officers, who were lightly injured, in Shaykh Jarrah; 1 journalist was physically assaulted at the scene and others had stun grenades thrown at them. 25 Palestinians were arrested. In Gaza, 50 Palestinians were killed, including 19 children, and dozens were injured, raising the comprehensive death toll since 5/10 from 153 to 203, including 60 children and 2 pregnant women. The casualties included: 43, including 19 children, and dozens wounded in air strikes hitting residential buildings in Gaza City; 1, and 2 wounded in a drone strike in Jabaliya; 1, and 11 injured in air strikes on a residential buildings in Nuseirat; 3 in air strikes on Bayt Hanun; 2 in a drone strike on a house in Rafah. Israel also attacked and demolished the homes of Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar and his brother in Khan Yunis; no injuries were reported in the air strikes. In Israel, rockets from Gaza hit 1 house in Ashdod and damaged 5 vehicles in Ashkelon; no injuries were reported. Israel’s defense minister Benny Gantz extended the state of emergency in Lydda for 48 hours. Israel arrested 1 Palestinian-Israeli imam Shaykh Kamal Khatib, the deputy leader of the northern faction of the Islamic Movement in Israel, saying he had made incendiary remarks about Israel’s attacks on al-Aqsa Mosque. 28 people were wounded in a subsequent protest in Kafr Kana where he was arrested, including many by Israeli live ammunition. 8 Palestinian-Israelis were arrested in Taiba and Qalansawe. 2 Jordanian citizens were arrested in Gilboa after having crossed from Jordan into Israel. (AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AP, CNN, HA, HA, NPR, NYT, PCHR, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 5/16; PCHR 5/17; ALM 5/19; HA, PCHR 5/20; MEE 5/21; HA 5/25; NYT 5/26; AP 6/2; NYT 6/24)

Egypt opened the Rafah crossing 1 day earlier than planned to allow the passage of students and medical patients. 95 Palestinians were reported to have been evacuated to Egypt for treatment of injuries before the border officially reopened. (HA, REU 5/16)

2 Israeli settlers were killed and 150 were injured when a structurally unsound seating area collapsed in a synagogue in Givat Ze’ev. (AJ, AP, CNN, HA, REU 5/16)

The High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel announced a general strike on 5/18 to protest attacks on members of its community. (HA 5/16)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas spoke to Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte about the Israeli escalation of violence in the Palestinian territories. (WAFA 5/16)

Haaretz reported that Israeli senior officials did not consider a ceasefire option at its latest security cabinet meeting. (HA 5/16)

Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz met with U.S. deputy assistant secretary for Israel and Palestinian affairs Hady Amr. U.S. president Joe Biden said in an Eid holiday speech that his “administration is going to continue to engage Palestinians and Israelis and other regional partners to work toward sustained calm.” Later, secretary of state Antony Blinken said that “the violence must end immediately.” Earlier in the day, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu had reiterated that his government has no plans for a ceasefire, saying the attacks on Gaza “will take time.” (AJ, HA 5/16; HA 5/17)

Jordanian king Abdullah II said that Jordan has been involved in intense diplomacy with its allies in Europe and the U.S. to put pressure on Israel to stop its attacks on Gaza. (HA, REU 5/16)

28 U.S. Democratic senators, led by Jon Ossoff (D-GA), called for an immediate ceasefire “[t]o prevent any further loss of civilian life and to prevent further escalation of conflict in Israel and the Palestinian territories.” (HA, NYT 5/17)

At a UN security council (UNSC) meeting on Israel-Palestine, UN secretary-general António Guterres said that the situation was “utterly appalling,” calling for an immediate ceasefire. He said the UN is actively involved in facilitating a ceasefire. This was the 3d time in a week that the UNSC met about the situation and the 3d time the U.S. stalled any joint statement. PA foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki said that “[e]ach time Israel hears a foreign leader speak of its right to defend itself it is further emboldened to continue murdering entire families in their sleep.” (AJ, AP, HA, WAFA, WAFA 5/16; TOI 5/17)

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation called for an immediate halt of Israeli attacks on Gaza and “systematic crimes” against Palestinians. Saudi Arabia also condemned Israel’s “fragrant violations” of Palestinian rights. PA foreign minister al-Maliki criticized the countries that had normalized relations with Israel, saying, “running towards this colonial Israeli system without achieving peace and ending the Israeli occupation of Arab and Palestinian lands represents support for the apartheid regime and participation in its crimes.” (AJ, AJ, AP, HA, REU, WAFA, WAFA 5/16)

Pope Francis, for the 2d Sunday in a row, denounced the escalation of violence in Israel and Palestine, saying that the death of children was a “sign that they don’t want to build the future but want to destroy it.” (HA 5/16; WAFA 5/17)