Saturday, May 7, 2016

In a 5th day of cross-border violence in Gaza, Palestinian fighters fire 2 mortar shells into s. Israel overnight, causing damage and no injuries; Israeli forces respond with air strikes on 2 Hamas targets nr. Khan Yunis and artillery fire on areas nr. Rafah, causing damage. Following the morning’s violence, Israel and Hamas agree to deescalate tensions along Gaza’s border. Israeli forces pull back from the so-called Access Restricted Areas along the border fence and Hamas fighters maintain a cease-fire. Qatar, Egypt, and the UN were reportedly involved in the deescalation talks. Meanwhile, Israeli officials say they plan to continue anti-tunnel operations in the coming weeks. (JP, TOI 5/7; YA 5/8; PCHR 5/12)

IDF troops stationed along the border nr. Gaza City open fire on Palestinian farmers, causing no injuries. Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces confront Palestinian fishing boats nr. Bayt Lahiya, arresting 2 fishermen and confiscating their boat. In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and injure a Palestinian attempting to climb the separation wall and enter Jerusalem, causing minor injuries; and arrest a Palestinian at a checkpoint in Jericho when they find he is carrying a knife. They also conduct raids and house searches in Hebron, and 1 village each nr. Tulkarm and Bethlehem, arresting 3 Palestinians and issuing arrest summons to 1; patrol in and around Tulkarm and Hebron. Israeli settlers assault 2 Palestinian human rights activists in Hebron, destroying some of their personal property. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces violently disperse stone-throwing Palestinians in Silwan, arresting 3. (EI, HA, JP, MNA, TOI, WAFA, YA 5/7; PCHR 5/12)