Wednesday, November 1, 2017

IDF troops violently disperse Palestinians marching through Bethlehem to mark the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. There are no serious injuries in the ensuing clashes. Elsewhere in the West Bank, Israeli settlers steal the olives harvested from 280 trees in Palestinian orchards near Nablus. IDF troops arrest 5 Palestinians during raids in Dahaysha refugee camp near Bethlehem overnight, sparking minor clashes; 1 Palestinian is injured. They arrest 11 more Palestinians during latenight raids in and around Tubas, Hebron, and Bethlehem, and patrol near Nablus, Qalqilya, and Hebron. (MNA, WAFA 11/1; PCHR 11/2; PCHR 11/9)

At a ceremony at the Rafah border crossing, Hamas formally hands over control of Gaza’s border crossings to the PA, implementing a key provision of their 10/12 reconciliation agreement. A senior PA official calls the moment an “important step on the path toward reconciliation.” The PA is set to take full control of Gaza on 12/1. (MNA, NYT, REU, TOI, WAFA 11/1)

Haaretz reports that the Israeli police have formed a special unit to oversee security and public order at Haram al-Sharif, following the upsurge in tensions at the site in 7/2017 (see JPS 47 [1]). The unit is expected to comprise about 200 officers when it begins operations in 2018. (HA 11/1)

PA pres. Abbas writes an op-ed for The Guardian lamenting the Balfour Declaration on its 100-year anniversary. “This British policy, to support Jewish immigration into Palestine while negating the Arab-Palestinian right to self-determination, created severe tensions between European Jewish immigrants and the native Palestinian population,” he writes. Meanwhile, Israeli PM Netanyahu flies to the UK to participate in the 100th anniversary celebrations. (GDN, TOI 11/1)

The IDF orders some 300 Palestinian Bedouins to leave their homes in the northern Jordan Valley ahead of the planned demolition of their village. Similar orders have been issued for Bedouin villages near Jerusalem in the past, but none have been enforced yet. (HA 11/17)

Israeli jets launch air strikes on an alleged Syrian government weapons depot in an industrial zone near Homs along the Lebanon-Syria border. The site reportedly hosted joint Iranian-Syrian activities. (HA 11/1; YA 11/2)