Monday, April 4, 2016

For the 2d time in a week, the IEC cuts power to a major West Bank city, this time affecting large areas of Bethlehem between 2:00 and 6:00 P.M. The cuts are part of a broader punitive effort to disrupt power supplies to the West Bank in response to the PA and JDECO alleged failure to pay their bills. (HA, MNA, TOI 4/4; EI 4/7)

In Gaza, Hamas says 1 of its fighters died today during an unspecified military exercise. In the West Bank, Israeli forces demolish 2 homes and a livestock building in a village nr. Nablus, as well as a home and a store late at night in villages nr. Hebron. IDF troops conduct late-night raids in and around Hebron, Tulkarm, Salfit, Jenin, and Bethlehem, arresting 8 Palestinians, issuing arrest summons to 3, and confiscating a vehicle; patrol during the day nr. Qalqilya and Hebron. Israeli settlers throw stones at Palestinian vehicles on the road between Nablus and Ramallah, causing damage to 1 car. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces demolish a home in Jabal Mukabir overnight, injure 1 Palestinian youth amid clashes with stone-throwing Palestinians in Issawiyya, and arrest 12 Palestinians during late-night raids in Issawiyya, Jabal Mukabir, Abu Dis, and Hizma. (HA, MNA, WAFA 4/4; MNA 4/5; PCHR 4/7)

COGAT suspends cement imports to the Gaza Strip for private use “until further notice,” accusing Hamas of diverting construction materials for its own purposes. Imports for large international projects will continue (HA, JP, TOI 4/4; MNA 4/5)

Israeli PM Netanyahu invites PA pres. Abbas to meet with him in Jerusalem, responding to Abbas’s recent claim that he would accept such an invite. Netanyahu adds, “I’m clearing my schedule this week. Any day he can come, I’ll be here.” Later Netanyahu’s Twitter account sends this message: “I heard [Pres.] Abbas say that if I invite him to meet, he’ll come. So I’m inviting him. I’ve cleared my schedule”; the PLO’s Negotiations Affairs Dept. account responds: “Negotiate what exactly?” (JP, YA 4/4)