Tuesday, December 5, 2017

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers set up a mobile home on Palestinian land east of Nablus. IDF troops arrest 6 Palestinians during late-night raids in and around Hebron, Tubas, and Bethlehem; and patrol near Hebron. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces demolish the foundation of a building under construction in Shu‘fat refugee camp. They also arrest 3 Palestinians during raids in Bayt Hanina and al-Tur. (WAFA 12/5; PCHR 12/7)

After days of speculation and rumors, U.S. pres. Trump calls PA pres. Abbas to tell him that he plans to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and to invite the Palestinian leader for a meeting at the White House before the end of the month. According to a PA spokesperson, Abbas warns Trump of the “dangerous repercussions.” Trump also calls Israeli PM Netanyahu, Saudi king Salman bin Abdulaziz, Jordanian king Abdullah, Russian pres. Vladimir Putin, and Egyptian pres. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to inform them of his decision. (AP, HA, MNA, NYT, REU, TOI, WAFA 12/5)

In response to Pres. Trump’s plan to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to move the U.S. embassy there, several Palestinian factions and Islamist groups jointly declare 3 “days of rage” to begin on 12/6. Later, the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem issues a travel warning calling on U.S. citizens to avoid the West Bank and the Old City of Jerusalem. (HA, TOI 12/5)

Lebanese PM Saad Hariri formally rescinds his resignation, which threw Lebanon and much of the Middle East into turmoil when he announced it on Saudi television on 11/4 (see JPS 47 [2]). (AA, REU, TOI 12/5)