Thursday, May 31, 2012

Israel returns the bodies of 91 Palestinians (79 to the West Bank, 12 to Gaza) killed inside Israel, mostly while carrying out attacks on Israelis; the oldest body in Israel’s possession was killed in 1975. Israel agreed to the significant concession on 5/14 as part of the deal to end the Palestinian prisoners’ mass hunger strike (see QU in JPS 164). (NYT, WT 6/1)

The IDF patrols in 1 village each nr. Jenin, Ramallah, and Tulkarm in the morning (firing tear gas at stonethrowing Palestinians who confront them in 1 instance); in 2 villages nr. Ramallah, and 1 village each nr. Jenin, Jericho, Qalqilya, and Salfit in the afternoon; and in 2 villages nr. Qalqilya late at night. The IDF also conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron. Jewish settlers fr. Yakir settlement nr. Salfit raze a plot of nearby Palestinian land. (PCHR 6/7; OCHA 6/8)

Israel’s atty. gen. decides to prosecute fmr. Ha’Aretz journalist Uri Blau for illegal possession of classified documents related to a 2008 investigative report he wrote (approved by Israel’s military censor) revealing that senior IDF officers had authorized targeted killings of wanted Palestinians in the West Bank in violation of a High Court ruling banning assassinations of militants who could be apprehended. The decision makes Blau the 1st Israeli journalist to be charged for receiving leaked documents. In 2008, he had obtained 1,800 IDF documents (100s classified) from an IDF soldier, Anat Kam, currently serving 54 mos. for stealing the documents. (WP 6/1)

J Street says it is on track to raise $2 m. for 60 congressional races for 2012—its largest campaign effort to date. The success is seen as evidence that hawkish pro-Israel advocates no longer have a monopoly on setting the U.S. political agenda on Israel and that J Street has successfully created an outlet for a sector of pro-Israel donors who never felt represented by the established pro-Israel lobbies. (NYT 5/31)