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Source: Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
30 April 2015


Division for Palestinian Rights

Chronological Review of Events Relating to the
Question of Palestine

Monthly media monitoring review

April 2015

Monthly highlights

• The ICC held ceremony to welcome the State of Palestine as State Party to the Rome Statute. (1 April)

• The 2015 number of Palestinians in administrative detention increased 500 per cent over that of 2014 (5 April)

• President Abbas said Israel deducted a third of tax revenues it transferred to the PA. (6 April)

• The Palestinian Prisoner Society reported that Israel was holding 200 Palestinian children as captives. (6 April)

• UNRWA said it had received funding to reconstruct 200 of the 9,061 houses destroyed in Gaza. (9 April)

• PLO Central Committee Member Nabil Shaath said war crime cases will be filed against Israel in the ICC within the next two months. (12 April)

• A coalition of more than 40 aid agencies urged the international community to take substantial steps to end the misery of Palestinians in Gaza. (13 April)

• Israel and the Palestinian Authority reached an agreement over the transfer of tax revenue that Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinians. (18 April)

• Secretary-General transmitted to the Security Council the public summary of the Board of Inquiry regarding the Gaza war last summer. (28 April)


1

Israeli navy ships opened gunfire towards Palestinian fishing boats off the shore of the northern Gaza Strip while they were sailing within the six-nautical-mile fishing zone imposed by Israel. (WAFA)

The Israeli army and police arrested at least 16 Palestinians during overnight raids across the West Bank and in East Jerusalem. (WAFA)

The Government of Japan contributed $756,000 to the United Nations Population Fund in support of its humanitarian response to women, girls and children in the Gaza Strip. (WAFA)

The Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee has approved a plan to build 2,500 housing units for Palestinian families in Jabal Mukkaber in East Jerusalem, which borders the “East Talpiot” settlement. During an earlier stage of the approval process, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said, “Planning in the neighbourhoods in the eastern part of the city by the municipality is a quintessential expression of Israeli sovereignty on all parts of the city and strengthens a united Jerusalem.” (Haaretz)

An Israeli police force raided a Palestinian home in Silwan in East Jerusalem and started to remove furniture under the pretext that the house belonged to a Jewish family before 1967. (WAFA)

The International Criminal Court (ICC) held a ceremony in The Hague to welcome the State of Palestine as the 123rd State Party to the Rome Statute. During the ceremony, the ICC’s Second Vice-President, Kuniko Ozaki, said, “Accession to a treaty is … just the first step. As the Rome Statute today enters into force for the State of Palestine, Palestine acquires all the rights as well as responsibilities that come with being a State Party to the Statute. These are substantive commitments, which cannot be taken lightly.” Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki said, “As Palestine formally becomes a State Party to the Rome Statute today, the world is also a step closer to ending a long era of impunity and injustice. Indeed, today brings us closer to our shared goals of justice and peace.” (www.icc-cpi.int)

41 Israelis protected by police stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque. (IMEMC)

The Chairperson of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, Amb. Fodé Seck, concluded the UN Seminar on the Assistance to Palestinian People calling on international donors to honour their pledges. He also said that “The international community should continue to take practical steps to ensure that the Gaza blockade was lifted”. (www.un.org/press)

2

An Israeli soldier was stabbed by a Palestinian man during an arrest operation at a crossing on the Green Line near the “Oramit” settlement. The soldier suffered light wounds to his head and shoulder. The attack occurred while Israeli forces were detaining a number of illegal Palestinian workers in central Israel. (Haaretz)

Israeli forces destroyed around 120 olive trees belonging to Palestinian farmers in the village of Wadi Qana in the northern West Bank. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Israeli military arrested a Palestinian lawmaker from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Khalida Jarrar, at her home in Ramallah for disobeying an Israeli order restricting her movement in the West Bank. Israeli forces also arrested eight other Palestinians in the West Bank. (Haaretz, WAFA)

The EU and the Netherlands announced a €31.6 million contrition to the Palestinian Authority’s payment of its civil servants’ salaries and pensions for March. (WAFA)

The Representative Office of Japan to the Palestinian Authority said Japan had committed US$30 million, through the World Bank, to the Palestinian Recovery and Development Plan Multi-Donor Trust Fund (PRDP-MDTF). (www.ps.emb-japan.go.jp)

The Al-Aqsa Institute for Waqf and Heritage said that 1,268 Israelis had entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound during March. (WAFA)

Israel’s High Court issued an order preventing the Cremisan monastery, convent and adjacent vineyards near Bethlehem from being divided by the construction of the wall planned by the Government. (AFP)

3

Israeli forces injured dozens of Palestinian and foreign activists across the West Bank, including one with live fire in Bil’in village, during the weekly Friday demonstrations. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces detained five Palestinians from East Jerusalem after clashes erupted in the neighbourhood of Silwan. (Ma’an News Agency)

Dozens of Israeli soldiers broke into the Ramon Israeli prison and hurled gas bombs at Palestinian detainees. They also imposed severe sanctions such as cutting the electricity power supply. (IMEMC)

Israeli authorities suspended visits to Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque for Palestinians from Gaza due to the Jewish holiday of Passover. Israeli forces have also banned the access to the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron for the same reason. (Ma’an News Agency – PNN)

4

Israeli settlers opened pepper spray on an 11-year-old girl from Hebron on Shuhada Street. (Palestinian News Network)

In an interview with Kul al-Arab, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that he was prepared to negotiate and deal with Mr. Netanyahu even if his election remained “harmful”. (The Jerusalem Post)

5

Israeli forces carried out a wide sweeping campaign in Al Rumaida neighbourhood near Hebron. They raided a number of civilians’ homes and ransacked their belongings. Israeli settlers also raided the area, assaulted the residents and sprayed nerve gas causing a suffocation case. (AlRay)

President Mahmoud Abbas threatened to turn to the International Criminal Court over Israel’s refusal to fully release hundreds of millions of dollars in tax monies owed to the Palestinian Authority. (Ma’an News Agency)

In a report, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Center for Studies revealed that the incarceration of Palestinians without charge or trial in 2015 represented a 500 per cent increase over the same three-month period in 2014. (Ma’an News Agency)

6

Israeli military jeeps invaded two towns near Jenin and arrested three former political prisoners. They also seized money from one of them. (IMEMC)

Palestinian Chief Negotiator and PLO Executive Committee Member Saeb Erekat has revealed plans for a new project to end the Israeli occupation and establish a Palestinian State, to be presented to the United Nations Security Council following a process of negotiations. (Palestinian News Network)

The Palestinian Authority criticised Israel’s partial transfer of tax funds. President Mahmoud Abbas complained that Israel deducted one-third of the tax revenues it recently transferred to the PA to pay for services rendered to the Palestinian population, including electricity, water, and hospital services. (The Jerusalem Post)

Four Israeli army bulldozers and a few vehicles carried out a limited invasion into the Gaza Strip south of Khan Yunis. They conducted military searches in the area. (IMEMC)

Israeli authorities have decided to ban specific commodities from entering the Gaza Strip. Among the banned goods are pinewood, steel pipes and welding rods. Israeli authorities also slapped a ban on the entry of goods imported by 10 Palestinian companies. (MEMO)

The Palestinian Prisoner Society has reported that Israel is holding captive nearly 200 Palestinian children. According to the NGO, arrest campaigns against Palestinian minors increased after mid-2014. (IMEMC-Middle East Monitor)

Israeli police imposed restrictions on Palestinian worshipers entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Witnesses said that a group of rightist Israelis raided the compound. (Ma’an News Agency)

UNRWA demanded the end of fighting in Yarmouk and called for protection of civilians. The agency said that the international community, including UN bodies, should be seized of the “critical situation” without delay and should ensure that all civilians are protected in accordance with the UN charter and international law. (UN News Centre)

The Gaza Strip was rattled by a roadside bomb near the Al-Radwan Mosque near the Hamas internal security headquarters, in the Sheikh Radwan neighbourhood of Gaza City. No one was injured. (The Times of Israel)

Palestine’s Permanent Observer to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, told reporters that the Palestinians were ready to check whether the Security Council has “the political will” to adopt a resolution with a deadline for ending Israel’s occupation and establishing a Palestinian State. Mr. Mansour said the United States holds the key. (The Times of Israel)

Marking the 67th anniversary of the massacre in Deir Yassin, the League of Arab States issued a statement calling for international intervention to stop Israeli crimes against Palestinians and to implement the decisions regarding the two-State solution. It also stressed the importance of activating the Arab Peace Initiative which proposed a comprehensive solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. (Middle East Monitor)

Palestine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad Al-Malki said that the Palestinian Authority was providing new documents to the International Criminal Court to speed up a preliminary probe into possible Israeli war crimes, (Ma’an News Agency)

Palestinian importers said that Israel has cut back lumber shipments to the Gaza Strip, adding to the restrictions that could hamper housing reconstruction after last summer’s war. This decision will also impact furniture factories. (The Jerusalem Post)

The UN Security Council met in a closed meeting attended by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to discuss the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestine question, focusing on the situation in Syria’s Yarmouk refugee camp. UNRWA’s Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl’s briefed the meeting by video, warning that the current escalation was “more desperate than ever” for thousands of Palestinian civilians in Yarmouk. After the meeting, the Council’s President, Jordan’s UN Ambassador, Dina Kawar, said the Council demanded access for the delivery of life-saving humanitarian aid to refugees trapped in the camp after it was partly seized by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. She said that the Council was ready to consider “further measures to provide necessary assistance”. (AFP, UN News Centre)

The PFLP in the Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip organized a human chain sit-in, in solidarity with the Palestine refugees in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria. (Ma’an News Agency)

Hamas and Arab Israeli MKs in separate statements said that the attack on the Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria only serves Israel, which seeks the liquidation of the issue of the Palestine refugees. (MEMO)

7

In the Bethlehem area, Israeli forces entered the town of Husan and the al-’Arroub refugee camp, detaining five youngsters. Israeli soldiers also entered a number of neighbourhoods in Hebron city. In Jenin, soldiers entered the Tayba village, detaining two Palestinians. (International Middle East Media Center)

In an interview at the end of his tenure as Chief of the Military’s Central Command, Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon said maintaining control of the West Bank has been fraught with contradictions, creating a tension that does not bode well for stability. Speaking at the Military headquarters in Tel Aviv shortly before he took up his new post as Chief of the Military’s Operations Branch, Mr. Alon said, “The instructions we get from the Government are to maintain security, civilian and economic stability as much as we can”. He said President Abbas and his Government have clear interest in maintaining stability. The Israeli Government’s holding of Palestinian tax revenues to protest their decision to join the ICC contradicted the instructions given to the Military. (The New York Times)

The Palestinian Higher National Committee issued a statement lashing out against the 5 April decision of the Israeli military courts to sentence Khalida Jarrar, a PLC Member to six months of administrative detention. The Committee called on international legal bodies to intervene. According to an Army Spokeswoman, Israeli forces detained Ms. Jarrar because she was the leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and had encouraged “terror activities” in recent weeks. (Ma’an News Agency)

Pro-Palestinian hackers targeted dozens of Israeli websites, in what has become an annual cyber attack against Israel. (DPA)

The Palestinian Government announced the signing of an agreement with the Kuwaiti Government in which the latter pledges to donate $200 million to support the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip. (IMEMC)

8

Two Israeli soldiers were stabbed and injured by a Palestinian on Route 60 in the West Bank. The Palestinian was shot dead, security sources said. Israeli forces then raided the house of the stabber. (The Jerusalem Post, The Times of Israel)

Hundreds of Israeli settlers performed prayers in Joseph’s Tomb near Nablus. Sources added that clashes erupted between Palestinian youths and Israeli forces near the site. (Ma’an News Agency)

France is working on a new Security Council resolution which would define the pre-1967 borders as a reference point for talks but allow room for exchanges of territory, designate Jerusalem as the capital of both Israel and a Palestinian State and call for a fair solution for Palestinian refugees. The French proposal also includes a requirement for Palestinian recognition of Israel as a “Jewish State,” President Abbas informed the Executive Committee of the PLO. The French effort will be based on three steps: first, French diplomats will present a draft resolution to the Security Council; second, an international peace conference; and the third step will be for France, along with other European allies, to recognize an independent Palestinian State built on the 1967 borders. (Ynetnews)

Israeli restrictions have prevented construction of power networks in Area C, 60 percent of the West Bank, and the absence of peace and stability continues to discourage private investment in the sector, announced the World Bank. Though the PA is currently improving the electricity sector’s efficiency, the accumulation of debt for the non-payment of electricity bills to the Israel Electric Corporation, remains a key challenge. (WAFA)

FIFA president Sepp Blatter says he will attempt to persuade the Palestinian Football Association to withdraw a bid to get Israel suspended from the football body. (The Jerusalem Post)

Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said the PA was considering referring the issue of its tax revenues withheld by Israel to the ICC. (WAFA)

On 12 April, Rabbis for Human Rights, along with their partner organizations, will demand at the Israeli High Court that planning powers be returned to Palestinian villages in Area C. (PNN)

The World Bank Group and the Palestine Monetary Authority organized a joint workshop to discuss the design of a new Credit Guarantee Facility for the private sector in Gaza. (PNN)

Israeli forces took over a thousand dunums of Palestinian-owned land in the Hebron district for the benefit of settlement expansion, according to a local activist. (WAFA)

The Higher National Committee in Charge of Following up with the International Criminal Court has recently condemned the arbitrary administrative detention of member of the PLC, Khalida Jarrar. (WAFA)

The Israeli forces have arrested 78 Palestinian women in the first quarter of this year, including several minors, a Palestinian NGO said. (MEMO)

Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian man with a rubber-coated steel bullet as he was fishing off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces detained three Palestinians in the Hebron district. (Ma’an News Agency)

Palestinian police said they had extended their security control in parts of the West Bank following a deal with Israel. Louy Izriqat, spokesman for Palestinian police, said 90 officers had been deployed in Abu Dis, A-Ram and Biddu, towns near Jerusalem that had been largely under Israeli security control since the 1993 interim agreement. (Reuters)

The Palestinian Government said it had received a $100 million loan from Qatar to help pay civil servants’ salaries and alleviate an economic crisis. (Reuters)

A group of Israeli extremists cut more than 150 olive trees in the village of Al-Jab’a near Bethlehem. (IMEMC)

9

Israeli soldiers raided Qabatiya, south of Jenin, and arrested a Palestinian man. (IMEMC)

Israeli forces closed a part of a main north-south thoroughfare in the West Bank for an Israeli marathon to take place near the “Ariel” settlement. (Ma’an News Agency)

In a report, UNRWA said that to date it had only received funding to reconstruct 200 of the 9,061 houses totally destroyed in Gaza. (Ma’an News Agency, www.unrwa.org)

Russian authorities announced that President Putin would meet with President Abbas in Moscow on 13 April. The Kremlin said in a statement that there would be “an exchange of ideas on the process of Israeli-Palestinian talks and other problematic regional situations”. (AFP)

Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Erakat said that the issue of prisoners would be submitted to the ICC. (Palestinian Information Centre)

10

Israeli forces killed a 27-year-old Palestinian, Ziyad Awad, and injured 13 others when they opened fire on mourners at the funeral of Mr. Awad’s cousin, Jaafar Awad, in Beit Ummar near Hebron. An Israeli military spokesperson said that a “violent riot” had broken out in Beit Ummar and locals had hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails at Israeli soldiers, adding, “Feeling an immediate threat, soldiers used riot dispersal means”. (Ma’an News Agency)

A 22-year-old Palestinian, Jaafar Awad, died after developing health complications in an Israeli jail. He was released from Israeli custody three months ago after his health rapidly declined. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces injured 12 Palestinian youths after firing live and rubber-coated bullets during clashes in Jalazone refugee camp north of Ramallah. (Ma’an News Agency)

Senior official of Hamas said the group is prepared to cooperate with the ICC to obtain justice for Palestinians. He added that “working with the ICC does not contradict the movement’s tactics”. (Ma’an News Agency)

Deputy Special Coordinator James Rawley expressed his concerns on the recent security-related incidents in the West Bank. He noticed that “as always, the United Nations urges that thorough investigations be conducted into these cases and that accountability be ensured.” (www.unsco.org)

11

Israeli forces razed lands near al-Khadr south of Bethlehem in order to build a road to a new settlement. Over 400 dunums of Palestinian land is now threatened with confiscation if the road is completed. (Ma’an News Agency)

12

Nabil Shaath, PLO Central Committee Member, said that the Palestinian committees working on Israeli war crimes cases will file cases against Israeli occupation authorities in the ICC within the next two months. (Ma’an News Agency)

13

Israeli forces arrested 19 Palestinians from the West Bank and Jerusalem districts, including 4 children. (PNN)

In a report documenting Israeli harassment at Erez border crossing, the Euro-Mid Observer for Human Rights reveals that an increasing number of Palestinian businessmen are being detained while attempting to cross into Israel via the Erez checkpoint for routine trips. (PNN)

In a report, Human Rights Watch says that West Bank settlements are using Palestinian child labour in farming. The 74-page report documents that children as young as 11 work on some settlement farms, often in high temperatures and are exposed to hazardous pesticides. (AP)

Israeli settlers took over the historical castle of Deir Siman in Salfit, a village around Nablus. Deir Siman castle dates back to the Roman Era and is held to be a very important Palestinian landmark. (IMEMC)

OHCHR expressed concern about the continued and increasing use of administrative detention by Israeli authorities against Palestinians in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The statement came few days after PLC member, Khalida Jarrar was arrested and detained pursuant to an administrative order. (UN News Centre)

The Government of Japan donated $848,000 to UN Women for a project to support increased access of female victims of gender-based violence in Gaza to protection services, with a particular focus on internally displaced women and girls and those living in overcrowded households. (WAFA)

President Abbas met with Russian President Putin in Moscow. The two Presidents discussed the Israeli-Palestine relations as well as the situation in the Middle East. (Reuters)

UNRWA said it had provided urgent supplies to around 500 civilians who had fled the Yarmouk camp in Damascus because of fighting that was started by the that Islamic State to seize it from rival insurgents. (Reuters)

The Jerusalem District Court accepted a plea bargain in the case of four teenage Israelis who admitted to setting fire to a Palestinian cafe near Hebron, despite pledges by Israel’s Justice Ministry to combat anti-Palestinian hate crimes. While initially charged with incitement and destruction of land with racist motives, the prosecution waived the original charges and the teens were charged instead with one count of arson and sentenced to three months of community service, one year of probation, and a NIS500 ($126) fine to be paid to the Palestinian cafe owners. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Israeli organization Elad was charged with controlling and using a tunnel dug illegally under the Davidson Archaeological Park near the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Despite historical religious and political tensions regarding the area, tickets to enter and explore the tunnel can only be purchased at the City of David, an illegal Israeli settlement in the Palestinian neighbourhood of Wadi Hilweh, Silwan. (Haaretz, Ma’an News Agency)

A coalition of more than 40 international aid agencies has urged the international community to take substantial steps to end the misery of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip with their report “Charting a New Course: Overcoming the stalemate in Gaza”, published by the Association of International Development Agencies (AIDA). Six months since donors pledged $3.5 billion towards rebuilding a devastated Gaza, the report states that “reconstruction and recovery have barely begun, there has been no accountability for violations of international law, and Gaza remains cut off from the West Bank.” According to the report, only 26.8 per cent of the money pledged by donors has been released so far and many reconstruction projects are stalled “due to restrictions on essential material under the blockade.” (Palestine News Network)

14

Shin Bet said that a Hamas cell had been planning to attack Israeli military targets in Abu Dis near Jerusalem over the Purim holiday in March. The cell members had purchased a car for the attack and held target practice. They will be charged in the coming days. (Haaretz)

Israeli forces detained 18 Palestinians, including two minors, from across the West Bank. (Ma’an News Agency)

Eleiwa Eleiwa, a Hamas fighter from Gaza, succumbed to wounds he had sustained during last summer’s 50-day war, the military wing of Hamas said. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Yoav Mordechai said that Israel will allow Palestinian vehicles to enter Jerusalem for the first time in 15 years. Today’s first phase of the plan will see more than 100 Palestinian doctors from the Bethlehem and Hebron districts permitted to enter Jerusalem in vehicles with Palestinian license plates, and would be mostly aimed at those working in Israeli hospitals. The next phase will allow businessmen to move freely. (Ma’an News Agency)

A Palestinian was injured when Egyptian soldiers opened fire as he emerged from a tunnel leading into Egypt. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow declared the support of the Russian Orthodox Church for a Palestinian state “in implementation of UN resolutions.” He made this statement during a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who is visiting Moscow. (Catholic World News)

Palestinian businessman Farouq al-Shami announced that the first Palestinian Business Conference will be held in Ramallah on 4-6 May. The event aims to support Palestinian economic dependence as well as help to create more job opportunities through building new projects. More than 300 Palestinian, Arab, and foreign businessmen will attend the conference to discuss methods of investment in education, agriculture, technology and manufacture. Palestinian President Abbas will attend the event. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli bulldozers demolished a residential building under construction in the Wadi al-Joz neighborhood in East Jerusalem. (Ma’an News Agency)

15

A number of Israeli military vehicles carried out an incursion into the southern Gaza Strip. Several armoured vehicles and four military bulldozers invaded the an-Nahda neighbourhood, east of Rafah, and moved towards the northern part of the district before bulldozing lands in the Sharab al-’Asal area, east of Khan Younis. The soldiers also opened fire on Palestinian agricultural lands near Abu Reeda area, east of Khan Younis; no injuries were reported, but the farmers had to leave their lands seeking shelter. (IMEMC)

Israeli forces detained 31 Palestinians across Nablus including 20 Hamas affiliates and several former prisoners. More than 50 Israeli military vehicles raided Nablus without informing the Palestinian Authority until already having entered the city. The reported lack of communication by Israeli forces to Palestinian security prior to Wednesday’s raid marks a violation of internationally recognized policy regarding Palestinian autonomy in the occupied West Bank. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of Gaza City. The incident comes just one week after Israeli forces shot and injured Palestinian fisherman Khalid Zayid with a rubber-coated steel bullet while he was working off the coast of Beit Lahiya. (Ma’an News Agency)

A recent poll by the Arab World for Research And Development (AWRAD) shows that 20 years after Oslo, 64 per cent of respondents believe that the Palestinians are farther away from achieving their goal of a Palestinian state than they were in 1995. The poll encompassed 1,200 Palestinian respondents in the West Bank and Gaza. A vast majority (92 per cent) of Palestinian respondents believe that ISIS does not represent “true Islam”, saying that the crimes committed by ISIS cannot be a foundation of an Islamic state. Regarding Gaza, only 1 per cent of respondents in the coastal strip stated that the economic situation of their families has improved since last year, while 74 per cent stated that it has declined. A majority of Gaza respondents (68 per cent) stated that Hamas is not doing enough to alleviate the suffering of the Gaza population; similarly, 57 per cent of Gaza respondents stated that neither the PA nor the international organizations are doing enough. Over four fifths (82 per cent) of respondents support the immediate conduct of legislative and presidential elections in the West Bank and Gaza. Half of the respondents oppose the immediate resumption of negotiations between the PA and Israel. (Palestine News Network)

On 14 April Kuwait donated $15 million for the World Bank’s Multi-Donor Trust Fund for Sustainable Logistics to support the Palestinian Authority’s reforms and development program. This brings Kuwait’s contribution to the fund since its establishment in 2008 to $295 million. (KUNA)

UNRWA announced the commencement of the first stage of its camp improvement pilot project in Deir El Balah refugee Camp, Gaza. Using a community participation approach, the three-year, $40 million initiative is generously funded by the Programme of the Gulf Cooperation Council for the Reconstruction of Gaza through the Islamic Development Bank. Through consultations on prioritizing needs, participation in surveys and focus groups and access to online tools, camp residents will have the opportunity to participate in setting priorities and developing a master improvement plan that decides how the camp improvement donation is spent. (United Nations)

Members of the Palestinian cabinet will head to Gaza on 19 April to discuss ways to implement unresolved issues from a reconciliation deal signed between political factions last year, among them administrative issues regarding PA employees in Gaza before the split between Hamas and Fatah in 2007. (Ma’an News Agency)

A field monitor told Quds Press that the Israeli forces opened fire on farmers who were working in their farms in eastern Gaza City. No casualties were reported. (Fars News Agency)

Israeli Foreign Ministry’s Director-General Nissim Ben Shitrit sent a letter to Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, warning that Israel may “pay a heavy price” for the “severe, ongoing and public crisis” with the US. According to Haaretz, which obtained a copy, Shitrit wrote that tight coordination with the US is crucial for Israel to cope with challenges including the French initiative the UN, Palestinian threats to act at the ICC, and pressure on Israel to reveal its nuclear capabilities at the IAEA. (Haaretz)

The Israeli High Court upheld the previously frozen 2011 Anti-Boycott Law, which gives authority to the Finance Minister to impose fines or withhold funding from Israeli NGOs calling for boycotts of businesses in Israel or in settlements, and allows lawsuits against those NGOs. (The Jerusalem Post)

16

Israeli police said a Palestinian from East Jerusalem, whose car struck people at a Jerusalem bus stop, killing an Israeli, appeared to have driven into them deliberately. (Reuters)

Hamas is still committed to the ceasefire it signed with Israel, but retains the right to “respond with force” to any “Israeli violations,” a spokesperson has said. (Israel National News)

IDF forces arrested two Palestinians who crossed the Gaza border fence into Israel. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israel-based Elbit Systems says that they have created an effective system which detects tunnel building activity, which will be implemented along the entire Israel-Gaza border. (Ynetnews)

The Chairman of the Al-Aqsa Foundation, Amir al-Khatib, warned of the serious repercussions of the call by Israeli Minister of Construction Uri Ariel to impose a halt on the ongoing renovations by the Jordan-run Waqf at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. (WAFA)

Foreign Ministers from 16 EU countries sent a letter to EU High Representative Federica Mogherini asking her to push forward the process of labelling goods produced in settlements. The letter obtained by Haaretz is signed by France, Britain, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Sweden, Malta, Austria, Ireland, Portugal, Slovenia, Hungary, Finland, Denmark, The Netherlands and Luxembourg. (Haaretz)

As the ICC continues its preliminary investigation into the crimes committed by Israel, official Israeli statements which support illegal settlement activities in the West Bank should be taken by the Court into account, urged the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (WAFA)

Israel’s High Court decided to apply the “Absentees’ property law” to structures in East Jerusalem, that are owned by Palestinians who live in the West Bank and hold a Palestinian ID. The law allows the Israeli authorities to confiscate properties. (PNN)

UNRWA, with funds from Islamic Relief Canada, has launched a project that provides special educational and psychological support to refugee students injured in the 2014 Gaza war. (UNRWA)

More than 670 declared parliamentary candidates from all major parties in the UK responded to e-mails sent to them by constituents, who asked if they agreed that Israel’s ongoing blockade against Gaza should be immediately lifted, and the majority – 69 per cent – said yes. (PNN)

According to Palestinian Ambassador to Indonesia Fariz Mehdawi, “Palestine and Indonesia continue to improve capacity-building cooperation in the field of tourism and conservation.” Palestine also urged Indonesia to conduct language training for Palestinian tour guides. Palestine and Indonesia are also cooperating in infrastructure development, creative industries, commerce, education, and other strategic areas. (ANTARA News)

The Governor of the Palestine Monetary Authority (PMA), Jihad Al-Wazir, attributed the PMA’s maintenance of financial stability in Palestine to the application of prudent macro policies, scenario analysis and pre-planning. Al-Wazir’s statement came during a lecture at the IMF in Washington. (WAFA)

The European United Left/ Nordic Green Left group in the European Parliament called for the neutral status of Yarmouk to be respected and for all military groups to withdraw from the camp, for the siege to be lifted and for UNRWA to be given free and safe access to the camp. (WAFA)

Gaza’s Deir al-Balah refugee camp is to receive $40 million in funding to improve conditions, UNRWA said. The project will last three years and is funded by the GCC. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces detained a Palestinian and summoned four others from Jenin district, said security sources. (WAFA)

On the occasion of Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, President Abbas said the release of all political prisoners held by Israel is a top priority and one of the cases to be filed at the ICC. Abbas added that the 6,000 Palestinian detainees must be released under any future peace agreement with Israel. (IMEMC)

Clashes erupted with Israeli forces in front of Ofer detention centre near Ramallah. Israeli forces fired rubber-coated steel bullets, concussion bombs and tear gas canisters at rallying protestors who responded by throwing stones at military forces. Dozens of protestors suffered from inhaling gas, and another was shot and injured. (WAFA)

Israeli authorities released a child detainee, 14, from Beit ‘Anan in Jerusalem. His family was never allowed to visit him. Earlier on that day, Israeli soldiers had arrested two Palestinian children near their homes in Beit ‘Anan without any legal justification, especially since there were no clashes or confrontations in the area. (IMEMC)

The Palestinian Energy Authority (PEA) has signed an agreement with a Palestinian-American renewable energy company to provide 30MW of solar power in Gaza, according to local reports. A PEA spokesman said that the project is expected to be finalized within nine months. (www.pv-tech.org)

17

Hundreds of Palestinians took part in the Bil’in weekly march against the separation wall, also marking Palestinian Prisoners’ Day. Israeli forces suppressed the march, which set off after Friday prayers, using tear-gas canisters and rubber-coated steel bullets. (Ma’an News Agency)

Venezuela on 15-17 April is hosting in Caracas the first Latin American Congress of the Global Campaign to Return to Palestine. The campaign was founded two years ago as an effort to coordinate the work of Palestinian solidarity activists at a global level. It gives particular attention to the right of return of Palestinians. “Venezuela is the focal point for the Palestinian cause in Latin America,” said Linda Sobeh Ali, the Palestinian Ambassador to Venezuela. (www.axisoflogic.com)

PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi said: “Since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip, more than 800,000 Palestinians have been arrested by Israel, and more than 60 Palestinian prisoners have died in Israeli prisons due to deliberate medical negligence. The PLO remains committed to ensuring the safe and unconditional release of all 6,000 Palestinian political prisoners, including 24 women, 200 minors, 14 Palestinian MPs, 450 administrative detainees, 600 sick prisoners (160 of whom suffer from serious and chronic conditions) and 20 journalists. (Palestine News Network)

Hundreds of Palestinians performed Friday prayers in front of the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Gaza to mark the Palestinian Prisoner’s Day. Protesters demanded the release of the over 6,000 prisoners held by Israeli authorities. (Ma’an News Agency)

Addameer, the Palestinian Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the “grave violations” committed against Palestinian political prisoners. (www.addamer.org)

UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl expressed sincere appreciation to Islamic Relief USA for its recent contributions totalling US$ 3 million. These funds will help improve the lives of Palestinian refugees living in the Gaza Strip in the following the 2014 summer conflict. (www.unrwa.org)

18

Several Palestinians were shot with live rounds and dozens others suffered excessive tear gas inhalation as Israeli forces suppressed marches marking Palestinian Prisoner’s Day across the West Bank. (WAFA)

Israeli West Jerusalem Municipality staff accompanied by Israeli police raided two homes in East Jerusalem and handed over eviction orders in preparation for the homes’ demolition. (WAFA)

Israel and the Palestinian Authority reached an agreement over the transfer of tax revenue that Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinians. Israel said it would transfer about $470 million collected over the last four months, after deductions to help cover Palestinian debts to Israeli utility companies. While both sides said that the issue had been resolved, there were differences in how they presented the agreement; Israel said that a larger-than-usual amount would be deducted from the tax money collected in December, January and February, while deductions from tax revenue for March and April would revert to the regular amounts. The president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, said that Israel would release the tax revenue in full. (New York Times)

19

A delegation of Palestinian ministers and senior officials from the West Bank-based national consensus government arrived in Gaza hoping to breathe life into a troubled reconciliation process with Hamas. The issues discussed were the dispute over civil servants and the reconstruction of Gaza. (Ynet News-AFP)

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Club (PPC) said that the Israeli military court of Ofer has issued administrative detention orders against five Palestinian prisoners. (IMEMC)

Israeli bulldozers moved huge quantities of fertile soil from Kafr ad-Dik, in the Salfit district, into the Israeli settlement of Lishim. (IMEMC)

James Rawley, UN coordinator for humanitarian affairs in the Palestinian territories, said that there was no evidence that building material bound for Gaza was being used for anything other than civilian purposes. He also called for speeding up the rehabilitation process, adding that steps needed to be taken to lift the blockade on Gaza. (Jerusalem Post)

20

At least 15 Palestinians, including minors, were arrested by Israeli forces in the West Bank districts of Bethlehem, Hebron and in East Jerusalem. (WAFA)

Israeli military forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen and farmers east of Khan Yunis in the Gaza Strip. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces blocked all entrances into Hizma town, in the Jerusalem district, as a punitive measure for stone throwing incidents. (PNN)

Defense for Children International-Palestine has released a new report entitled “Operation Protective Edge: A War Waged on Gaza’s Children” detailing the high price paid by children during Israel’s assault on Gaza last summer. (PNN)

Israeli bulldozers demolished homes in the Bedouin village of al-Araqib village in the Negev for the 83rd time. (Ma’an News Agency)

An Israeli military court has brought 12 charges against Palestinian lawmaker Khalida Jarrar, detained since 2 April. Charges included membership of an illegal organization, participation in protests, and incitement to kidnap Israeli soldiers. (Ma’an News Agency)

Nickolay Mladenov, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, has welcomed the announcement that an agreement has been reached on the release of Palestinian tax revenues by Israeli authorities – a move in line with the Paris Protocol. (UN News Media Centre)

UNRWA issued an emergency appeal for $ 30 million to provide life-sustaining assistance to the 18,000 Palestinian civilians trapped in Yarmouk refugee camp (Damascus, Syria), including 3,500 children, as well as to others affected by conflict and displacement in other areas. (WAFA)

A Scottish Parliament debate on the recognition of a Palestinian State as a means to revive peace negotiations drew sharp condemnations from Jerusalem. The parliament did not vote at the end of the session, but most speakers expressed support for the motion, several of them criticizing Israel for running an “apartheid” regime and “inhumane” policies vis-à-vis the Palestinians. (The Times of Israel)

In a statement, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry condemned the Israeli Government, military and security for their facilitation of attempts to break into the Al-Aqsa Mosque by Jewish extremists. The Ministry demanded that the international community take urgent action to stop the break-ins and attempts to divide the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and to hold those responsible accountable and deter racists and extremists. (Middle East Monitor)

The foreign affairs committee at UNESCO’s executive board adopted a resolution that reaffirms the definition of Al Aqsa Mosque as the entire sacred complex surrounding it.

The resolution requires that Israel, as an occupation force, commit to international decisions and UNESCO resolutions related to the heritage of the Old City and its walls, which has been on UNESCO’s World Heritage List since 1981 and on the World Heritage in Danger List since 1982. The resolution further calls on Israel to cease all excavation work and demolitions within the Old City, and urges it to end all violations that exacerbate tension and conflict among the followers of various faiths. The committee also called for an immediate stop to all actions impeding 19 projects implemented under the Hashemite Jordanian rehabilitation projects of Al Aqsa Mosque. Israel is also urged to end the forced entry of Jewish extremists and armed military personnel to the compound’s courtyards. The resolution called for stopping the transformation of various buildings at the site into synagogues, and criticised decisions to change the historical names of dozens of streets and archaeological sites into Jewish names. The committee demanded that Israel refrain from hindering Muslims’ and Christians’ access to their places of worship and urged Israel to stop working on over 100 excavation sites implemented by settler societies with the aim of imposing a Jewish identity on unearthed Islamic or Christian artefacts. (Jordan Times)

Israeli soldiers attacked nonviolent protesters marching in solidarity with the Palestinian detainees near the Hawara roadblock, south of Nablus. (IMEMC)

21

Israel’s Shin Bet security service says a 37-year-old Palestinian man has confessed to intentionally ramming his car into a group of Israeli Jews in a deadly car attack in Jerusalem last week. (AP)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin declined requests for meetings with former US President Jimmy Carter, who is scheduled to visit Israel and Palestine in early May, Channel 10 News reported. The Foreign Ministry had recommended that no Government official, on any level, meet with Carter. (Israel Hayom)

The President of the Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo (Jokowi), said that the Asian-African Conference Commemoration is the best moment to end the occupation in Palestine. Indonesia hosts a series of high level events to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Asian-African Conference (AACC) under the theme “Strengthening South-South Cooperation to Promote World Peace and Prosperity” in Jakarta and Bandung on April 19-24, 2015. Indonesia expects the AACC will be devoted to discussions on Palestine and on how to reform the UN and promote justice, Vice President Jusuf Kalla said. (The Jakarta Post, www.aacc2015.id)

The name of a Palestinian boy who was kidnapped and murdered by Jewish extremists in East Jerusalem last summer has been added to an official memorial to the victims of terrorism in the city’s Mount Herzl cemetery. The decision was criticised by an Israeli group representing victims of terrorism. (The Guardian)

The PLO Executive Committee welcomed the letter by 16 EU Foreign Ministers, and called on the European Commission to move forward with adopting binding policy decisions and concrete measures concerning illegal Israeli settlements and the labelling of their goods and products. (IMEMC)

Gaza health authorities said that they are now totally lacking 118 kinds of medicines (25 percent) and 334 kinds of medical disposables (37 per cent). (PNN)

The Presidential Commission for the Coordination of Goods into the Gaza Strip confirmed the admission of 700 truckloads of goods, aid, and construction materials into Gaza. (WAFA)

Hamas approved a new tax on “non-basic” commodities such as meat, fruits and vegetables, clothing, and electronics entering Gaza. Hamas said the money would be used to pay some 40,000 civil servants who had not received regular salaries in over a year. (The Times of Israel)

Eight Palestinian Ministers from the West Bank, who arrived in Gaza on 19 April, left ahead of schedule. Hamas and Fatah blamed each other for the abrupt departure. The Ministers were expected to tackle the Gaza civil servants’ salaries dispute. (AP, Ma’an News Agency)

The Israeli High Court of Justice has heard petitions by Palestinians seeking the return of 1,250 acres land they own near the Jordanian border and which was given to settlers to cultivate. The Court ordered the State to show cause why it should not return land to its Palestinian owners, and why those owners should not be permitted to cultivate it. (Haaretz, PNN)

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon briefed the Security Council as it began its consideration of the Mideast situation, including the Palestinian question. He welcomed the agreement between Israel and the PA for the return of tax revenues, and urged the international community to support a second humanitarian payment to Gaza civil servants. (www.un.org)

Israeli forces detained four Palestinians and summoned for interrogation four others from Hebron and Bethlehem. (WAFA)

An Israeli settler in a hit-and-run incident ran over four Palestinians from the al-Nabi Elias town in eastern Qalqilya. (Ma’an News Agency)

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who chose Palestinian issues as one of his major foreign policy platforms in last year’s presidential campaign, decided to open an Indonesian representative office in Ramallah, the President explained in a meeting with Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah. Indonesia will start by opening an honorary consulate. (The Jakarta Post)

Israeli police banned three Palestinians from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound for a ten- and thirty-day periods. (WAFA)

Israeli settlers raised an Israeli flag by the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron. The general director of the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee, Imad Hamdan, said this is part of a series of steps by the Israeli Government to “Judiaize” the mosque. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli settlers from the “Immanuel” settlement uprooted some 450 olive trees in Deir Istiya, north of Salfit. (Ma’an News Agency)

Four Israeli vehicles and two bulldozers raided and levelled Palestinian farming lands in eastern Deir al-Balah in central Gaza. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli authorities issued administrative detention orders ranging between two and six months against 41 Palestinian prisoners, reported the Palestine Prisoners’ Club (PPC). Twelve were detained without trial for the first time, whereas the remaining 29 had their sentences renewed for the second or third time. (WAFA)

The UK and France urged the Security Council to set a framework to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Security Council member New Zealand said it had started working on a draft resolution to kick-start the process. “It’s the responsibility of this Council to adopt a consensual and balanced resolution that sets the parameters of a final status and a timeline for the negotiations,” French Ambassador Francois Delattre told the Council. (Reuters)

UNESCO received two motions, one strongly condemning Israeli humanitarian and legal violations in Jerusalem, especially in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, while the second motion demanded that Israel lift the blockade on Gaza, and condemned the murder of more than 550 children during its last offensive in the summer. The US, Germany and the Czech Republic voted against, while 20 countries abstained from the vote. (Palestine News Network)

The Palestinian Authority declared it was able to pay the remainder of civil servants’ wages and pensions for the past four months (40 per cent each), hours after Israel released some NIS1.85 billion (US$473 million) in withheld taxes collected on behalf of the Palestinians. (WAFA)

22

Israeli forces detained five Palestinians from Tura village to the southwest of Jenin, after breaking into and ransacking their families’ houses. (WAFA)

Indonesian Minister for Foreign Affairs Retno L. P. Marsudi met her Swedish counterpart, Margot Wallstrom, on the sidelines of the Asian-African Summit in Jakarta and announced they had agreed to cooperate to support capacity building programs for Palestine. (www.antaranews.com)

Israeli soldiers detained a young Palestinian man as dozens of Israeli extremists stormed the yards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque chanting and raising Israeli flags. (IMEMC)

Arab and Palestinian diplomatic sources unveiled an effort led by former US President Jimmy Carter to move the Palestinian reconciliation file with Saudi mediation. The sources, who spoke to Quds Press anonymously, explained that Carter has already presented his initiative in Doha last month when he met with the head of Hamas’ Political Bureau Khaled Mashaal, and later in Riyadh where he met Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz and a number of Saudi officials. According to Quds Press sources, Carter received a positive response from the two parties. (Middle East Monitor)

Israeli forces detained five Palestinians from the village of Tura in south western Jenin district. While Tura is not under Israeli jurisdiction under to the Oslo Accords, Israeli forces regularly enter the area. (Ma’an News Agency)

The World Bank approved a US$4.5 million grant for the first phase of the Hebron Regional Wastewater Management Project, which will finance a treatment plant and reduce environmental pollution from wastewater produced in the Hebron Municipality. The next phases will finance the development of irrigated agriculture with treated wastewater and further expand the wastewater treatment capacity. The total estimated costs of the first phase are US$62 million, financed by a consortium of international development partners as well the Palestinian Authority and Hebron Municipality. The project will benefit the 104,000 residents of Palestinian communities living along Wadi As-Samen as well as the 900,000 people in the Bethlehem and Hebron Governorates who obtain their water supplies from the eastern aquifer. (World Bank)

The Israeli Prison Service released two Palestinian prisoners from Jerusalem after they spent five months in administrative detention in the Negev jail. (Ma’an News Agency)

23

Israeli police in Jerusalem arrested two Palestinians at the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound, and assaulted women protesting their banning from entering. Meanwhile, worshippers inside Al-Aqsa Mosque clashed with the settlers who had entered under the protection of the Israeli police. (WAFA)

On the sidelines of the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the Asian-African Conference in Bandung, Indonesian lawmakers will meet with their counterparts from Asia and Africa to discuss the role of legislative bodies in strengthening cooperation, including on the issue of Palestinian independence. The conference will also issue the so-called Asian African Parliamentary Declaration, which will include support for the recognition of Palestine as an independent and sovereign State in its own land. (The Jakarta Post)

The Islamic-Christian Committee to Support Occupied Jerusalem and Holy Sites warned about a new project by the Israeli occupation, which started conducting tunnel excavations beneath the homes in Silwan village, Old Jerusalem, and heading towards the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound. The Committee said that the tunnel is a continuation of Israeli plans against the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, paving the way for more dangerous violations and illegal settlements in the city. (Palestine News Network)

The annual settlers’ walk will be held in Wadi Qana, located in the northern West Bank between Nablus and Qalqiliyah. During the walk, established 2006, the military prohibits Palestinian farmers, landowners and the Palestinian general public from entering the area. The event symbolizes the systematic displacement of the farmers of Wadi Qana from their land and the seizure of the area by the settlers, with the assistance of the Israeli Nature and Parks Authority and the Civil Administration. (B’tselem)

The Israeli central court released a female prisoner into house arrest and fined her NIS15,000 (US$3,800). The prisoner had been detained on 4 March while visiting her son in Israel’s Negev jail, and accused of attempting to smuggle mobile phones into the prison. (Ma’an News Agency)

Militants in the Gaza Strip fired a rocket at the Sderot area in southern Israel, causing no injuries or damage. (Reuters, The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli army tanks fired several shells at Beit Hanon in Northern Gaza. Security officials in Gaza said no damages were caused. (DPA)

Israeli security officials warned that Israel will not tolerate a “dribble” of rocket attacks, adding that although Hamas was not behind the attack, Israel still viewed the group as responsible for keeping the peace in the Gaza Strip. (The Times of Israel)

Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tzachi Hanegbi urged the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table, saying only direct and frank dialogue without preconditions can guarantee successful talks. Yet, Mr. Hanegbi said that the Palestinians must renounce their demand for the return of refugees. (The Jerusalem Post)

South Africa’s Minister for Higher Education Blade Nzimande said that he was due to go on a six-day working visit to the West Bank to discuss collaborations between the University of Johannesburg and Palestinian universities, but the Israeli consulate did not grant him a visa. South African press labelled this visa denial as an “attack” on the South African Government. (Ma’an News Agency)

100 armed settlers entered into the Palestinian village of Sebastia and an area between Aqraba and Beita villages in the Nablus district, said Ghassan Daghlas, the PLO official for monitoring settlement activity in the West Bank. Palestinian locals said that Israeli military vehicles in the Hawara village were deployed to protect the settlers. (Ma’an News Agency)

In Ramallah, UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl met with PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi to discuss the ongoing refugee crises in Gaza and the Yarmouk camp in Syria. Ms. Ashrawi and Mr. Krähenbühl pledged during the meeting to continue working together towards easing conditions for Palestinian refugees. (Ma’an News Agency)

UNRWA announced that it had recently commenced its US$40-million camp improvement pilot project that aims at improving the quality of life for refugees in the Deir El Balah camp. (WAFA)

Israeli tanks fired shells at the northern Gaza Strip after a rocket was fired from the coastal territory. As a result of the incident Israel prevented a weekly trip to attend the Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque for 200 elderly Gazans who hold permits. (Ma’an News Agency)

24

The Erez Crossing was closed today and Israeli officials said Gazans would not be allowed to enter Jerusalem to pray in the Al-Aqsa Mosque. (The Times of Israel)

Israeli military vehicles entered into the town of Hizma, north of East Jerusalem, forcing store owners to close their businesses. The Israeli soldiers also detained two Palestinians. (International Middle East Media Centre)

Dozens of PFLP members in the Rafah district of Gaza marched and a participated in a sit-in in support of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, including imprisoned PLC member Khalida Jarrar. (Ma’an News Agency)

A PLO delegation will head to Syria on 27 April to meet Syrian officials in a new bid to end the crisis in the Yarmouk refugee camp, Ahmad Majdalani a PLO Executive Committee Member said. He said that Islamic State militants still control large portions of the camp, and that fighting has moved from the sides toward the centre of the sprawling area. (Ma’an News Agency)

Seven Palestinians were injured, including one through live fire, and dozens more suffered excessive tear gas inhalation when Israeli forces suppressed weekly marches across the West Bank. (Ma’an News Agency)

A Palestinian was shot and injured when Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian farmland east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. (Ma’an News Agency)

Dozens of Palestinians were shot and injured and others suffocated during clashes that erupted with Israeli forces in the East Jerusalem village of al-Tur. These clashes erupted hours after Israeli forces stationed a checkpoint to the east of Jerusalem shot dead a Palestinian teenager from al-Tur village. Witnesses reported that soldiers stationed at the checkpoint had the 17-year-old, who was crossing the checkpoint with his sister on foot, and insulted his sister verbally, provoking the scuffle during which they shot him dead. (WAFA)

Israeli authorities extended the administrative detention of Nader Mahmoud Jaffal, a leader of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, by four months. The extension came as members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine rallied in Gaza to protest the 6,000 Palestinian prisoners currently held by Israel, including senior PFLP leader and Palestinian lawmaker Khalida Jarrar. (Ma’an News Agency)

25

A Palestinian man was shot dead after stabbing an Israeli soldier at the Ibrahimi Mosque in the southern West Bank city of Hebron. Media reported that Israeli soldiers had been preventing Palestinians from accessing the mosque when the incident took place. The incident comes less than a week after Israeli settlers raised the Israeli flag over the roof of the mosque in a bid to provoke local Palestinians. (Ma’an News Network)

Two Swedish men held hostage in Syria have been released with the help of Palestinian and Jordanian authorities, Sweden’s Foreign Ministry said. The Ministry declined to give details of the case but Foreign Minister Margot Wallstroem thanked the Palestinians and Jordan for helping secure the men’s release. (The Times of Israel)

26

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said that the Palestinian Central Council will meet in the coming week to redefine its relationship and economic and security cooperation with Israel. He added that the Palestine will not return to the negotiating table with Israel after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made remarks before his re-election indicating there would be no Palestinian state on his watch. (UPI)

The Popular Committee to End the Siege reported that the amount of construction material that entered Gaza for its reconstruction since August 2014 amounts to only 10 per cent of the market’s needs. Between the period of 14 October 2014 and 23 April 2015 a total of 2,252 truckloads of cement weighing around 90,000 tons entered Gaza, with an average of 473 tons daily, but Gaza needs 3,000 tons daily. An additional 175 truckloads of rebar weighing 6,125 tons and 1,540 truckloads of aggregate weighing 61,000 tons are also needed. The report added that the amount of rebar entered would be enough for building 500 apartments, while 30,000 apartments were destroyed during the war. Some 58 truckloads of cement at 2,320 tons entered for Qatari-funded projects, while 12,750 truckloads of base-coarse and aggregate, which amount to around a half-million tons, also entered. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Israeli army tightened its security measures at the no-go zone on the border with the Gaza Strip. A security official in the Gaza interior ministry said that the Israeli soldiers stationed at the borderline area open fire immediately at anyone who approaches the borderline area. (Xinhua)

A group of Israeli settlers from settlements in Hebron stoned homes of Palestinians in the centre of the city. (Palestine News Network)

27

Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian fishermen and farmers in the Gaza Strip. Israeli naval forces fired on fishing boats four miles off the coast, resulting in damage to the boats that forced the fisherman to return to land. Israeli border forces fired smoke bombs at farmland east of Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. (Ma’an News Network)

Israeli forces detained 12 Palestinians, including a minor, during raids in a number of West Bank districts. (WAFA)

Israel has reportedly denied a visa for South African Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande scheduled to visit the Palestinian Territory on 25-29 April to discuss implementing an academic cooperation agreement between Birzeit University and the University of Johannesburg. Nzimande said he had been informed of the decision by the Israeli Embassy, which returned his application without explanation. He expressed outrage at the decision, telling media that Israel was seeking to “minimize the number of people who can actually see what is happening on the ground.” (Palestine News Network)

Israel invited bids to construct 77 new homes in two neighbourhoods on land in occupied East Jerusalem. It was the first such announcement since the 17 March election win by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad Malki condemned the action, saying that the planned projects were a violation of international law and showed Israel was not interested in peace. (The Jerusalem Post, Ma’an News Network)

The US Court of Appeals in New York has rejected an appeal from a group of 13 Palestinians seeking damages for alleged “terrorist attacks” by Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank. Plaintiffs in the case argued that charities were financially supporting terrorist activity by funding settlers who have carried out acts of violence against Palestinians and their land, and desecrated houses of prayer. The USA Patriot Act enacted in October 2001 prohibits citizens from “knowingly providing material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization.” (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli settlers chopped down dozens of grape, almond and olive trees in the town of Halhoul, north of Hebron. (WAFA)

Israeli forces destroyed four residential structures in Al-Jiftlik village, north of Jericho, purportedly for being built in a “military zone”, leaving around 30 people homeless. (WAFA)

Palestinian women prisoners in the Israeli Hasharon prison have been punished for not observing Israeli Independence Day sirens, where Israelis are expected to stand in silence. The women prisoners had raised the Palestinian flag and began singing nationalistic songs instead. (Gulf News)

US Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman told Jewish leaders that if the new Israeli Government does not demonstrate its commitment to the two-State solution, the United States would have a difficult time in supporting efforts to halt international initiatives on the Palestinian issue at the United Nations. (Haaretz)

Palestine’s Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah received a parliamentary delegation from Germany in his office in Ramallah. He thanked Germany for supporting the reconstruction in Gaza and called on Germany to pressure Israel to end the blockade of the Gaza Strip. (Ma’an News Agency)

UN Secretary-General transmitted to the Security Council and other bodies the public summary of the Board of Inquiry regarding incidents affecting United Nations personnel, premises and operations in the Gaza Strip during the 50-day Gaza war last summer. The Board reviewed and investigated seven incidents involving the loss of 44 Palestinian lives, the injuring of at least 227 as well as damage to UN facilities. The Board also reviewed three incidents involving weapons found in UNRWA schools, including instances in which Palestinian armed groups may have used UNRWA school premises to launch attacks. (Daily Press Briefing)

Italy’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Lapo Pistelli, announced that Italy will donate €1 million to support six hospitals in East Jerusalem and help them overcome their financial burdens. (MEMO)

28

A Palestinian shot by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank died of his wounds, a hospital official said. He is the third Palestinian killed in a flare-up of violence over the past three days. (Reuters)

Israel’s Shin Bet security service said that Hamas was training West Bank Palestinian students in Malaysia to conduct operations as part of the group’s military wing. Upon their return the students are meant to set undercover networks in the West Bank. They are also meant to act as messengers between the “territories and foreign countries”, and carry out secret fund transfers to meet Hamas’ needs. Malaysia denies this claim. (Haaretz)

Witnesses said that Israeli soldiers deployed along the border of Khuzaa, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire targeting Palestinian farmers, homes and land. Several homes were damaged and farmers were forced to flee their lands with no injuries. (Ma’an News Agency)

A new proposal for a long-term ceasefire between Israel and Hamas has been put forth by Qatar and Turkey. The plan’s framework was passed to the Israelis and Hamas by the Turkish and Qatari ambassadors who met with representatives from both sides in Ankara and Gaza. According to sources in Gaza the basic plan, dubbed “Tahdiat Ala’amar” (Ceasefire for Reconstruction) will include a five-year moratorium on hostilities between the two sides. Turkey’s input to the plan will be to create a floating harbour off Gaza’s coast, allowing ships to bring merchandise to the Strip that would make its way through a security check by NATO, of which Turkey is a member. (The Times of Israel)

Several Palestinians suffered from excessive tear-gas inhalation in clashes with Israeli forces near the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron. Locals said Israeli forces fired tear gas and stun grenades and Palestinian youths threw rocks at the soldiers. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Palestinian Authority (PA) and the European Union (EU) met in Ramallah for their annual Joint Committee session in the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). At the meeting, the PA and the EU reviewed progress in bilateral relations over the past year and discussed plans based on the Action Plan that sets out an agreed blue print for reform across a comprehensive range of issues. (PNN)

The left-wing group of the European Parliament led constructive dialogue with European Parliament President Martian Schulz regarding Israel’s continued denial of access to Gaza for European Parliament delegations visiting Palestine. (WAFA)

Israeli authorities banned four Palestinians from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound for varying lengths of time. (Ma’an News Agency)

A group of Israeli settlers damaged water pipes serving the Palestinian community in Hebron’s old city, according to locals. They made holes in the plastic water pipes that provide water to Palestinian homes. (IMEMC)

About 2000 Palestinians living in Israel demonstrated in Tel Aviv against the policy of home demolitions conducted constantly by Israeli occupation authorities. (PNN)

Undercover Israeli operatives detained and interrogated a 7-year-old Palestinian boy and his twelve-year-old brother in East Jerusalem, only a day after two 15-year-olds from the same family were taken. The family has had four children detained this week, all under 16 years of age. (Ma’an News Agency)

29

Israeli forces detained 19 Palestinians in raids across the West Bank, near Hebron and Qalqilya. Israeli soldiers entered the villages before dawn and raided a number of private homes in different neighbourhoods. (Ma’an News Agency)

A 14-year-old Palestinian from the Gaza Strip, Fadi Abu Mandil, was hit with a stray Israeli bullet while studying at his home when Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian farmers. He was transferred to Ramallah hospital. (Ma’an News Agency)

Fatah and Hamas, the two main Palestinian political forces show no sign of moving the necessary steps to get to the solution of a fracture that for years damages the Palestinian cause. (PNN)

In an interview with Army Radio, the United States ambassador to Israel refused to commit to a veto of an anticipated French-backed UN Security Council resolution that would create a new international framework for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the pre-1967 lines. The ambassador said that his government was still in a “wait-and-see” mode. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israel allowed 14,000 tons of building material into Gaza. The IDF Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories told AFP that some 354 trucks passed through the Kerem Shalom goods crossing in southern Gaza carrying “construction materials,” without elaborating what goods were let in. (Israel National News)

Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Mashaal vetoed a plan by the Islamist group’s military wing to carry out a large-scale attack in an Israeli community near the Gaza border. (The Jerusalem Post)

According to Israeli sources, Hamas chief of staff, Muhammad Deif, survived last summer’s assassination attempt and is overseeing rehabilitation of the group’s offensive capabilities. (The Times of Israel)

Israeli forces demolished a Palestinian-owned structure used for raising livestock in Rujeib village, south of Nablus. The village is famous for the cultivation of olive trees, and cereals, especially wheat. The economy of the village is mainly dependent on the agricultural sector. (WAFA)

Israeli intelligence service Shin Bet has asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to strike a prisoner swap deal with Hamas warning that if this does not happen, Israel is going for a fiercer confrontation with the group in the Gaza Strip. (MEMO)

The Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, arrived in Gaza at the head of a 10-member delegation via the Erez crossing from southern Israel. (Ma’an News Agency)

The United States announced a new US$ 6 million contribution to UNRWA making the United States one of the first donor countries to respond to the Agency’s April 17 call for funds to support Yarmouk. The contribution will help UNRWA provide lifesaving assistance during an initial 90-day rapid response to civilians from Yarmouk and those affected by conflict and displacement in other areas in Syria. (UNRWA)

The European Union provides €300 million every year to Palestine for education, health and jobs but not all of these funds arrive at their destinations, according to EU officials, who spoke in Strasbourg during a debate on EU funds for the Middle East. According to an EU official of the European Commission’s development unit, the EU keeps on paying salaries to workers, such as those in Gaza, who in reality do not work at all due to the political situation. A report of the European Court of Auditors issued in December 2013 revealed major dysfunctions in the management of EU financial support to the Palestinian Authority and called for a serious overhaul of the funding mechanism. (Eureporter.co)

30

Israeli forces detained four Palestinians and summoned another during raids across Jenin and Hebron districts, said security sources. (WAFA)

The United States and several other countries – including Arab states – have asked the French government over the past two weeks to postpone its initiative for a United Nations Security Council draft resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian issue – at least until after the 30 June deadline for reaching a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran. (Haartez)

In a last minute move, former US President Jimmy Carter on 29 April cancelled his visit to the Gaza Strip, scheduled for today. Carter’s stop in the Gaza Strip was to be the first of a longer trip, to be followed by visits to the West Bank and Israel to bring international attention to the current humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip. In response to Carter’s decision to meet with Hamas leadership, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said on April 20 he would refuse to meet with the former president due to his “anti-Israel” positions, according to Israeli media. (AP)

Israel has returned 15 fishing boats it seized in recent years off the blockaded coast of the Gaza Strip, the Israeli army said. Palestinian fishermen said it was the first time Israel had given vessels back, and demanded the return of dozens more. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli authorities opened the Kerem Shalom crossing into the Gaza Strip, allowing 700 truckloads of goods to enter the besieged enclave. Among the goods entering the strip were construction materials for internationally-funded projects, fuel, and materials to improve the strip’s infrastructure, particularly roads. (Ma’an News Agency)

More than 400 demonstrators gathered in Shujaiyeh, a neighbourhood in eastern Gaza City that was razed during the July-August 2014 war between Hamas and Israel, urging reconstruction and calling for an end to intra-Palestinian division. Plainclothes police officers entered the crowd, beating a number of protesters without causing serious injury, and arrested at least seven people, according to witnesses. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces notified about 50 Palestinian families of its intention to forcibly displace them because of Israeli military drills across the Jordan Valley, said a municipal source. (WAFA)

The Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, on his first visit to Gaza urged Palestinian factions to unite and Israel to lift its blockade of the Strip. (Ma’an News Agency)


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