Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Israeli forces shoot and seriously injure a Palestinian after he allegedly stabs and lightly injures an Israeli police officer in Netanya. They arrest the man, a resident of Tulkarm, and take him to a hospital (he will succumb to his injuries on 5/25). In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and injure a Palestinian youth allegedly throwing stones at them outside Silwad nr. Ramallah. They also arrest 1 Palestinian during late-night raids in and around Hebron and Nablus, and patrol nr. Hebron. Along Gaza’s border, IDF troops violently disperse Palestinians nr. al-Bureij r.c. and nr. Khan Yunis protesting in solidarity with the prisoners on hunger strike; 1 Palestinian is seriously injured. (HA, JP, MNA 5/23; PCHR 5/25)

On the 2d and final day of his visit to Israel and the oPt, U.S. pres. Trump meets briefly with Palestinian Authority (PA) pres. Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem before returning to Israel for a short tour of Yad Vashem. According to a White House statement released in the evening, Abbas tells Trump he is ready to “begin negotiating [with Israel] immediately,” without mentioning any preconditions . In a joint press conference with Abbas, Trump says, “I truly believe if Israel and the Palestinians can make peace, it will begin a process for peace in the Middle East. Abbas assures me he is ready to work toward that goal in good faith, and [Israeli PM] Netanyahu has promised the same.” He then says, “Peace can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded, and even rewarded,” referring to allegations that the PA is fostering anti-Israeli incitement. Later, on Trump’s flight from Israel to Rome, a senior U.S. official says that the pres. is hoping to reach a “common set of principles” on which to restart peace talks. (HA, JP, MNA, NYT, TOI, WHPO 5/23; HA, JP, TOI 5/24; TOI 5/25)

Armed fighters in the Sinai Peninsula fire a rocket into s. Israel overnight. It lands in an open space, causing no damage or injuries. No group claims responsibility. (JP, TOI 5/23)