Monday, October 16, 2017

In the West Bank, IDF troops assault and arrest a Palestinian during a patrol in ‘Azun village near Qalqilya. They also arrest 13 Palestinians during late-night raids near Bethlehem, Ramallah, Hebron, Jenin, and Nablus, and patrol near Hebron. Palestinian youths throw stones at an IDF patrol outside a settlement near Hebron, sparking minor clashes; 1 Palestinian is arrested. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces clash with Palestinians in Qalandia refugee camp and Issawiyya; there are no serious injuries. They also arrest a Palestinian during a late-night raid in the Old City. Along Gaza’s border, Israeli forces conduct a limited incursion to level land near Bayt Lahiya. Off Gaza’s coast late at night, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats near Jabaliya refugee camp, causing no damage or injuries. (MNA, WAFA 10/16; PCHR 10/19)

After days of positivity from both Hamas and the PA in the wake of the 10/12 reconciliation deal, a Hamas spokesperson criticizes the PA for not prioritizing the rollback of sanctions on Gaza. “It is not justified to continue the sanctions on Gaza, while the [PA] government is content with talking about getting control of border crossings and exploration for [natural] gas in Gaza,” he writes, on Twitter. His comments come after the Fatah Central Committee neglected to discuss the sanctions at a meeting on 10/15. Meanwhile, the PA’s director of border crossings, Nazmi Muhanna, arrives in Gaza. He says he is there to “to carry out the first article of the reconciliation agreement signed in Cairo [on 10/12] regarding taking over the crossings.” (TOI 10/16; MNA, TOI 10/17)

The Israeli NGO Peace Now reports that the Licensing Subcommittee of Israel’s Civil Administration has approved 31 building permits for new housing units in central Hebron, marking the first approval of new settlement construction in Hebron in 15 years. (AP, PCN, REU, TOI, YA 10/16; TOI 10/17)

A Syrian antiaircraft battery positioned east of Damascus fires on Israeli fighter jets allegedly flying in Lebanese air space, causing no damage or injuries. In response, the IAF launches an air strike on the battery. (HA, JP, NYT, TOI, YA 10/16)