Sunday, May 7, 2017

Israeli forces shoot and kill a Palestinian youth in the Old City of Jerusalem after she allegedly attempts to stab an Israeli police officer at Damascus Gate, causing no injuries. Palestinian witnesses say that she did not pose a threat to the police, and that she was “executed in cold blood.” Elsewhere in East Jerusalem, the Israeli police open a new station in Shu‘fat r.c. It’s the first of 5 new stations planned across East Jerusalem as part of the NIS 1 b. plan to increase security announced in 8/2016 (see JPS 46 [1]). Meanwhile, Israeli forces arrest 6 Palestinians during late-night raids in Silwan and the Old City. Along Gaza’s border, Israeli forces conduct limited incursions to level land nr Dayr al-Balah and Khan Yunis. Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, Israeli settlers assault Palestinian farmers protesting the expansion of a settler bypass road nr. Ramallah; there are no serious injuries. IDF troops confiscate surveillance tapes, arrest 8 Palestinians, and issue 2 arrest summons during late-night raids in and around Bethlehem, Qalqilya, and Hebron; and patrol nr. Nablus and Hebron during the day. (HA, MNA 5/7; MNA 5/8; PCHR 5/11)

The Egyptian authorities open the Rafah border crossing for the 2d of 3 planned days. They also announce that the crossing will be open an additional day on 5/9. (WAFA 5/7)

The IPS releases footage, taken on 4/27 and 5/5, purportedly showing Marwan Barghouti eating cookies and candy in his prison cell. Barghouti, the Fatah leader who organized the Dignity Strike, is currently being held at Kishon Prison. Some IPS sources say that they provided him with the food to see if they could get him to break his strike. Barghouti’s lawyer and various Palestinian leaders dismiss the videos as forgeries. (JP, NYT, TOI 5/7; HA 5/8)

Israel’s Ministerial Comm. for Legislation approves a new version of the so-called nation-state bill, which would cancel Arabic’s status as an “official language” of Israel and codify Israel’s status as the “national home of the Jewish people”. Disagreements over previous drafts of this bill led to the dissolution of the Knesset and national elections in 3/2015 (see JPS 44 [3, 4]). Unlike earlier drafts, the version approved today does not subordinate Israel’s democracy to its Jewish character. (HA, JP, TOI 5/7)