Wednesday, May 13, 2015

IDF troops on the Gaza border e. of Jabaliya open fire on agricultural areas nr. the border fence, causing no damage or injuries. Off the coast nr. Rafah, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats, causing no damage. In the West Bank, Israeli authorities order the demolition of an electricity grid nr. Nablus. Israeli forces deliver demolition orders to a Palestinian agricultural structure and 3 homes nr. Bethlehem; block off all entrances to a nearby village. IDF troops confront a group of 4 Palestinians nr. Nablus, assaulting them and arresting 1. The IDF conducts late-night raids and house searches in Tulkarm, Hebron, 1 village each nr. Nablus and Tubas, and 2 nr. Bethlehem, arresting 10 Palestinians and issuing an arrest summons to 1; patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin and 1 each nr. Qalqilya and Ramallah. Meanwhile, thousands of Palestinians march through the streets of Ramallah commemorating the 67th anniversary of the Nakba. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces conduct house searches and raids in al-Ram, arresting 1 Palestinian. (MNA, WAFA 5/13; PCHR 5/14; PCHR 5/21)

ICC prosecutor Bensouda says that she has not been provided any official information from either the Palestinians or Israel relating to Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip in 7–8/2014, and that, unless that changes, her decision to launch a full investigation will be based on publicly available materials. (AP, JP 5/13)

Israeli PM Netanyahu’s new govt. presents a document to the Knesset outlining the basic principles binding its ruling coalition. In language similar to that used for the 2009 and 2013 govts., it says that the govt. will work toward a peace agreement with the Palestinians, but it does not specify a 2-state solution. It also notes that “if an agreement of this kind is reached [with the Palestinians], it will be brought for the approval of the cabinet and Knesset, and if necessary, a national referendum as well.” (AFP, HA 5/13)

In an interview published today, U.S. Pres. Obama says that the U.S. is “taking a hard look” at its positions regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and that the Palestinians “deserve an end to the occupation and the daily indignities that come with it.” Obama is hosting several leaders of the GCC countries at a summit in Washington today to discuss regional issues. (AWS, HA, REU 5/13)

The head of the Palestinian Power and Natural Resources Authority Omar Kittanah announces that the PA cabinet has approved an initiative to connect the electricity grid in the West Bank to Jordan. The PA will begin looking for funding for the project, which is estimated to cost $100 m. It is part of a regional, 3-year initiative to connect the grids of Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, and the oPt. (MNA 5/13)

The Vatican announces that it has concluded a treaty that will recognize the state of Palestine. (AP, NYT 5/13)