Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Implementing the security cabinet’s 7/24 decision, Israeli forces overnight remove the metal detectors they installed at Haram al-Sharif after the deadly attack on 7/14. The Islamic Waqf then meets in the morning and announces its decision to “reject any changes [to the status quo at Haram al-Sharif], including technological measures,” such as replacements for the metal detectors that the Israeli cabinet approved on 7/24. The Waqf also calls for the sanctuary to be “opened to Muslim worshippers in a completely free manner to ensure freedom of worship.” A Waqf official says that a comm. will enter the sanctuary, review the situation, and issue a report before the Waqf decides whether to call on Muslims to resume prayers at the site or to continue the boycott. Later, PA pres. Abbas reiterates his plan not to resume relations with the Israeli govt., including security coordination, until all the new Israeli security measures at Haram al-Sharif “cease to exist”; he also reaffirms his support for the Waqf. In response to the Israeli security cabinet’s decision to replace the metal detectors with “advanced technology,” he says, “There are new developments, which we must study so that we can say our word and decide where to go from here.” Meanwhile, tensions remain high across East Jerusalem, with clashes erupting outside the sanctuary and in various other locations across the city (1 Palestinian is seriously injured and 5 are arrested). (HA, MNA, TOI, WAFA, YA 7/25; PCHR 7/27)

In the West Bank, IDF troops patrol in Nablus, sparking clashes in and around the city; 2 Palestinians are injured. Further raids in Aida r.c. nr. Bethlehem lead to more clashes; 2 Palestinians are arrested. The IDF also arrests 8 Palestinians and issues 1 arrest summons during late-night raids nr. Hebron, Nablus, and Jenin; and patrols nr. Hebron throughout the day. Approximately 15 Israeli settler families take over a building in c. Hebron in the evening to protest the Israeli govt.’s “zigzagging” on Haram al-Sharif, according to a spokesperson for the group. Along Gaza’s border, Israeli forces conduct a limited incursion to level land nr. Khan Yunis. Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats nr. Gaza City, causing no damage or injuries. Meanwhile, thousands of Palestinians rally in Gaza City to protest the new Israeli restrictions at Haram al-Sharif. (HA, MNA, NYT, TOI, WAFA 7/25)