Thursday, August 4, 2016

In the 2d such incident in as many days, Israeli forces arrest several Islamic Waqf employees accused of planning maintenance work at Haram al-Sharif without permission from the Israel Antiquities Authority. Elsewhere in East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest a Palestinian youth, accusing him of planning an attack on Jerusalem’s Light Rail after finding a knife in his possession. In the West Bank, IDF troops clash with stonethrowing Palestinians during raids in 2 villages nr. Ramallah; 1 Palestinian is injured. IDF troops arrest 1 Palestinian during further raids and house searches nr. Jenin, Qalqilya, and Ramallah; and patrol nr. Hebron throughout the day. Meanwhile, Israeli forces demolish several residential structures, 2 offices, and 3 water tanks nr. Jericho and 2 agricultural structures nr. Hebron. Israeli settlers attack a Palestinian shepherd nr. Ramallah, injuring her and killing several of her goats. Late at night, around 400 settlers enter Awarta village nr. Nablus to perform religious rituals, sparking minor clashes between their IDF escort and Palestinian residents of the area (there are no serious injuries). (JP, MNA, TOI 8/4; MNA 8/5; PCHR 8/11; +972 8/13)

Israel’s Shin Bet accuses the Palestinian manager of the Gaza branch of World Vision, a Christian aid group, with redirecting around $43 m. of the group’s money to Hamas over the past 6 years. The manager, Mohammad Halabi, was arrested at the Erez border crossing on 6/15. Hours later, the Australian govt. suspends its funding of World Vision. The charity responds, saying that programs in Gaza “have been subject to regular internal and independent audits, independent evaluations, and a broad range of internal controls,” and that they “have no reason to believe the allegations are true.” (NYT, TOI 8/4; TOI 8/5; AJ 8/9)

Egypt’s military announces that it has killed the leader of the Sinai Province of the Islamic State (SPIS) with a recent air strike nr. al-Arish in n. Sinai. The strike was one of many that reportedly killed 45 other SPIS fighters and destroyed a lot of their supplies and munitions. (HA, REU 8/4)