Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Israeli forces arrest a Palestinian at a checkpoint in Shu‘fat r.c. after he allegedly attempts to stab 1 of them, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, 3 Israeli settlers go missing in the Hebron region. The IDF then shuts down checkpoints and conducts raids across the region, including in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, where they spark minor clashes; 2 Palestinians are injured. Meanwhile, further IDF raids nr. Qalqilya spark clashes with stone-throwing Palestinians; there are no serious injuries. The IDF arrests 8 Palestinians during late-night raids nr. Tulkarm, Ramallah, Hebron, Nablus, and Bethlehem; and patrols nr. Nablus and Hebron throughout the day. An Israeli settler driver rams a Palestinian child in Yatta village nr. Hebron, moderately injuring him. Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats nr. Gaza City, causing no injuries or damage. In Gaza, Hamas forces arrest several local Fatah leaders across the region and issue arrest summons to a number of others. The arrests come hours ahead of a Fatah-planned march in solidarity with the 1,500-some Palestinians on hunger strike. (MNA, TOI, WAFA 5/3; PCHR 5/4; PCHR 5/11)

PA pres. Abbas meets with U.S. pres. Trump at the White House in Washington. They commit to a new Israeli-Palestinian peace effort, and Abbas reaffirms the Palestinian preference for a 2-state solution based on the pre-1967 armistice lines. Trump says he is ready to do “whatever is necessary” to achieve peace, but that the U.S. can only serve as “mediator, arbitrator, and facilitator” because any agreement would have to be directly negotiated between the 2 parties. (HA, JP, NYT, POL, TOI, WAFA, WHPO, WP 5/3; HA, WAFA 5/4)

Following a petition to the High Court of Justice from the Israeli NGO Adalah, the IPS announces that it will allow the 1,500-plus hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners observing the Dignity Strike since 4/17 to meet with their lawyers. The announcement comes absent a High Court ruling, but after a hearing at the court, in which the justices appeared to support Adalah’s position. Previously, lawyers were only given access to prisoners at Ofer and Ashqelon Prisons. (HA, JP, WAFA 5/3; MNA 5/5)

The Israeli authorities announce the temporary expansion of the fishing zone off Gaza’s s. coast, from 6 to 9 naut. mi. They do not offer an end date. (MNA, TOI 5/3)