Friday, April 28, 2017

Palestinians, Israelis, and international activists gather across the West Bank to mark a “Day Of Rage” in solidarity with the 1,500-plus Palestinian prisoners who have been on hunger strike since 4/16. IDF troops violently disperse protests outside Ofer Prison nr. Nablus, at the Qalandia checkpoint, and in and around Hebron; tens of Palestinians are injured. Unidentified assailants throw stones at Israeli settlers’ vehicles outside Sinjil village nr. Ramallah, causing minor damage. The IDF then detains a number of Palestinians and confiscates 12 vehicles in the village. IDF troops patrol nr. Qalqilya, sparking clashes with stone-throwing youths; 1 Palestinian is injured. They also arrest 3 Palestinians on late-night raids nr. Tulkarm, and patrol nr. Nablus and Hebron during the day. (HA, JP, MNA, TOI, WAFA 4/28; PCHR 5/4)

Israel’s Construction Minister Yoav Galant says that plans to build 25,000 new homes in Jerusalem, including 15,000 outside the pre1967 armistice lines, are back on the table. The plans were suspended while Obama was U.S. pres., and some Israeli officials say that a formal announcement may coincide with U.S. pres. Trump’s proposed visit to Israel in late 5/2017. (JP, TOI 4/28)

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency announces that the State Dept. has approved a “possible foreign military sale” of 13 76mm naval guns and a variety of naval maintenance tools to Israel for an estimated price of $440 m. “This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a strategic regional partner that has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East,” the press release reads. (JP 4/29)