Sunday, August 2, 2015

In Gaza, 2 rockets are fired toward Israel, with 1 falling short of the n. border and the other exploding in open land on the Israeli side of the border fence; neither cause major damage. Off the n. coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats, causing no injuries. Meanwhile, hundreds of Palestinian refugees gather in front of UNRWA’s headquarters in Gaza City for the 2d Sunday in a row to protest the agency’s recent reduction in services. In the West Bank, thousands of Palestinians march in Duma, nr. Nablus, in solidarity with the victims of the 7/31 arson attack in the village. Israeli forces erect mobile checkpoints outside the village to stop the march, sparking clashes in the evening; there are no serious injuries. IDF troops assault 1 Palestinian each in c. Hebron and Bethlehem; conduct late-night raids and house searches in 2 villages nr. Nablus, arresting 2 Palestinians; patrol during the day in 3 villages nr. Hebron. Israeli settlers return to the evacuated Sa-Nur settlement, harassing Palestinians in the area; throw rocks at a Palestinian bus s. of Hebron, causing minor damage. In East Jerusalem, Israeli authorities increase restrictions on Palestinians’ access to Haram al-Sharif, barring all Palestinian women and men under the age of 30 from entering between 7:00 and 11:00 A.M. Israeli forces detain 5 Palestinians as they leave the sanctuary. Later, minor clashes break out when 30 right-wing Jewish activists tour the sanctuary; there are no serious injuries. Meanwhile, Israeli forces also set up mobile checkpoints at 5 entrances to the Old City. In c. Israel, 3 Jewish Israelis assault a Palestinian in Lydda, shouting that he should be forced out of the city. (HA, JP, MNA, TOI, WAFA 8/2; MNA, TOI 8/3; PCHR 8/6)

U.S. and Egyptian officials, including U.S. secy. of state Kerry, meet in Cairo for a Egypt-U.S. strategic dialogue, the 1st such meeting since 12/2009. (SIS 7/17; AHR 7/27; AP, NYT, REU 8/2)