Sunday, August 21, 2016

Palestinian fighters in Gaza launch a rocket into Israel, which lands in Sderot, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF then launches dozens of air strikes on “key Hamas strategic assets,” according to IDF sources on 8/23. The IDF also targets Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and other factions’ sites in and around Bayt Hanun, injuring at least 7 Palestinians (3 of whom are Hamas mbrs.). Also, an Israeli tank fires 6 shells at a Gazan water storage facility along the border nearby, causing damage. Initial reports say that the PFLP’s armed wing is responsible for the rocket launch; later, a Salafi group affiliated with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claims responsibility. Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats, causing no injuries; 2 fishermen are arrested. In the West Bank, IDF troops conduct raids and house searches in and around Hebron, as well as in Bethlehem and nr. Salfit, arresting 8 Palestinians; and patrol nr. Nablus, Salfit, Ramallah, and Hebron. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces issue arrest summons for 6 Palestinians during raids in Jabal Mukabir. (AP, HA, JP, MNA, TOI, WAFA 8/21; HA 8/22; TOI 8/24; PCHR 8/25)

An Israeli delegation meets with their Egyptian diplomatic counterparts in Cairo to discuss Pres. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s efforts to revive the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. After the meetings, al-Sisi says he recently spoke with Russian pres. Vladimir Putin about hosting a round of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in Moscow, and indicated that Putin would be willing to do so. (TOI 8/21; JP, TOI 8/22)