Thursday, May 7, 2009

Israeli naval vessels fire on and detain a Palestinian fishing boat off the coast of n. Gaza, ordering 3 fishermen to strip naked and swim to the gunboat and the 4th fisherman to accompany the gunboat to Ashdod port; the fishermen are released in the evening. IDF troops on the s. Gaza border fire on residential areas of al-Shuka, moderately wounding a Palestinian woman. In the West Bank, an IDF soldier is killed in a friendly fire incident nr. Ramallah. The IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Bethlehem. (OCHA 5/13; PCHR 5/14)

At an emergency session in Cairo, the Arab League states unanimously reject the Obama admin.’s request as relayed by King Abdallah (see 4/21) to amend the 2002 Arab League initiative by dropping demands for the Palestinian right of return as a means of jumpstarting comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace talks. (Irish Times 5/8; NYT 5/12; see also AP, UPI 5/6)