Friday, July 1, 2016

Amid a 2d day of deadly violence in the West Bank, unidentified assailants open fire on an Israeli settler vehicle nr. Hebron, killing 1 settler and injuring 3 (1 critically). Meanwhile, IDF troops shoot and kill a Palestinian in c. Hebron after she allegedly attempts to stab Israeli officers at a security checkpoint. The alleged attacker was from Bani Na‘im, the home village of the Palestinian killed nr. Hebron on 6/30. The IDF then locks down Bani Na‘im village completely. Earlier, the IDF locks down Shwayka village nr. Tulkarm, the hometown of the Palestinian killed in Netanya on 6/30. Israeli troops conduct raids in Shwayka overnight, threatening punitive demolition of the attacker’s home. Elsewhere in the West Bank, IDF troops fire tear gas at Palestinians throwing stones in frustration over long wait times at the Qalandia checkpoint; 27 Palestinians are lightly injured. Palestinian paramedics are temporarily prevented from treating those affected, and 1 Palestinian suffers a heart attack and dies. The Israeli authorities say 3 Israeli soldiers are injured as well. (EI, HA, JP 7/1; PCHR 7/14)

In response to the day’s violence in and around Hebron, the IDF places the region under a general closure (the closure will be in place in some form through most of 7/2016): All crossings in and out of the city are closed, except for humanitarian cases, and the entrances to at least 9 nearby villages are also blocked off. Furthermore, a news leak, quoting senior Israeli sources, says that Israeli PM Netanyahu and DM Lieberman approve the construction of 42 new housing units in the Kiryat Arba settlement nr. Hebron, where a settler youth was killed on 6/30. The same Israeli sources that leak this also say that the political leadership has decided to establish a special graveyard for Palestinians killed during or after committing serious crimes against Israelis, which they think can end the conflict over withholding these Palestinian bodies. (HA, MNA, TOI 7/2)

Late at night, Palestinian fighters fire a rocket from Gaza into Israel. It lands in Sderot, causing minor damage to 1 building and lightly damaging several others. In response, the IAF launches air strikes on at least 9 Hamas and PIJ military sites in Gaza City, nr. Bayt Lahiya and Bayt Hanun, causing substantial damage and 1 minor injury. An Egyptian power line is damaged in the strikes, causing extended blackouts (it will be repaired on 7/2). (HA, YA 7/1; JP, MNA, TOI, WAFA, YA 7/2)

Across the oPt, Israeli forces arrest 9 Palestinians during raids and house searches nr. Tulkarm, Hebron, and East Jerusalem; and conduct 15 patrols in the Hebron area during the day. They also violently disperse Palestinians, Israelis, and international activists at Friday demonstrations against Israel’s occupation, settlements, and separation wall in 3 villages nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, and Nabi Salih), Kafr Qaddum nr. Qalqilya, and along Gaza’s border nr. al-Bureij r.c.; 3 Palestinians are injured. In East Jerusalem, Palestinians throw stones at Israeli security forces nr. the Old City, causing no injuries. More than 3,000 Israeli police are deployed in the city today. (HA, JP, MNA, TOI, YA 7/1; TOI 7/2; MNA 7/5; PCHR 7/14)

The Middle East Quartet releases a report on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, highlighting the steps taken by both sides that have made a 2-state solution less viable. Both the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships criticize the report. (AFP, HA, NYT, YA 7/1)