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Source: Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
31 May 2014


Division for Palestinian Rights

Chronological Review of Events Relating to the
Question of Palestine

Monthly media monitoring review

May 2014


Monthly highlights

    • US Secretary of State John Kerry said “Both parties still indicate that they feel it’s important to negotiate and want to find a way to negotiate. So we believe the best thing to do right now is pause, take a hard look at these things, and find out what is possible and what is not possible in the days ahead.” (1 May)

    • The Secretary-General has kept abreast of ongoing developments in the Middle East Peace Process. He notes that, as reflected in the Security Council debate on 29 April, now is the time for the international community and the parties alike to reflect on how to preserve the prospects for a two-state solution. (1 May)

    • Former ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said Palestinians should proceed with caution. As a UN non-member State, they are now eligible, he said. However, the Palestinians could also be investigated for Hamas rocket attacks and suicide bombings against Israeli civilians. (7 May)

    • President Abbas said are ready to resume negotiations, but under the condition that Israel releases the fourth batch of prisoners, and halts settlement construction for three months. (8 May)

    • Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah was notified officially that the UN had accepted Palestine as a signatory to the UN Convention against Corruption. (11 May)

    • The International Meeting on the Question of Jerusalem, co-sponsored by CEIRPP, OIC and Turkey opened in Ankara. (12 May)

    • The Council of the European Union said in the conclusions on the Middle East peace process: “The EU has consistently supported intra-Palestinian reconciliation on clear and certain terms. The EU looks forward to continuing its support. (12 May)

    • Two Palestinian teenagers were shot during a demonstration near Ramallah (15 May)

    • Prime Minister Netanyahu said he was troubled by the in negotiations: “I don’t think the status quo is desirable … and I’m engaging in consultations with my own coalition partners and with others, to see if we have other alternatives… because I don’t want a binational State.” (15 May)

    • Justice Minister and Chief negotiator Tzipi Livni responded to criticism from Israeli Government officials in the wake of an informal meeting with President Abbas in London a week and a half ago, saying it was in Israel's interest to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict. (19 May)

    • Assistant Secretary-General Oscar Fernández-Taranco briefed the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. He said, “Without a credible political horizon, we risk putting the Oslo paradigm in real jeopardy”. (21 May)

    • “We briefed His Holiness about the obstacles facing the peace process, first and foremost settlements, daily assaults on mosques and churches, as well as the continued incarceration of thousands of Palestinians in Israeli prisons,” President Abbas told reporters after meeting the Pope in Bethlehem. Pope Francis hailed Abbas as a “man of peace and a peacemaker.” (25 May)

    • Fatah and Hamas agreed on the make-up of a national unity Government, officials from both parties said. (27 May)


1

A Palestinian labourer was reportedly shot and injured on 30 April in the northern Gaza Strip when Israeli guards on a watchtower at the Erez checkpoint opened fire. (WAFA)

Several armoured Israeli military vehicles entered an area east of Khuza’a town, in Khan Younis city, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. (IMEMC)

Several Israeli military jeeps entered Doura town, south of the West Bank city of Hebron, and surrounded it. (IMEMC)

Addressing the controversy surrounding an incident in Hebron in which an IDF soldier was filmed cocking his rifle at Palestinians, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz said the army would investigate the incident as well as the outpouring of support for the soldier by thousands of other Israeli soldiers on social media websites. (The Jerusalem Post, Ma'an News Agency)

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett posted on his Facebook page that he supported the suspended Nahal soldier who was caught on camera cocking his weapon at a Palestinian teenager, and said that he would have done the same. (The Jerusalem Post)

The US State Department's annual Country Report on Terrorism strongly criticizes Israel for its lacklustre response to attacks by extremist settlers against the Palestinian population and their property. (Ynetnews)

Israeli forces brutally beat a Palestinian woman and her 15-year-old daughter after breaking into their home in Wadi Hilweh, south of Jerusalem’s Old City. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces brutally assaulted and injured four Palestinian farmers near the village of Aboud, north of Ramallah, while working on their land. (WAFA)

A rocket fired from Gaza hit southern Israel. No injuries or damage were reported. (Ma’an News Agency)

US Secretary of State John Kerry said during a press availability in Addis Ababa: “Both parties still indicate that they feel it’s important to negotiate and want to find a way to negotiate. So we believe the best thing to do right now is pause, take a hard look at these things, and find out what is possible and what is not possible in the days ahead.” (www.state.gov)

The following statement was issued by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon: The Secretary-General has kept abreast of ongoing developments in the Middle East Peace Process. He notes that, as reflected in the Security Council debate on 29 April, now is the time for the international community and the parties alike to reflect on how to preserve the prospects for a two-state solution.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said during a speech in Tel Aviv: “One of my main missions as Prime Minister of Israel is to bolster the status of the State of Israel as the nation state of our people. To this end, it is my intention to submit a basic law to the Knesset that would provide a constitutional anchor for Israel’s status as the nation state of the Jewish people. (www.pmo.gov.il)

Israeli settlers uprooted 50 olive saplings from Palestinian-owned land near the village of Wadi Rahhal, south of Bethlehem. (WAFA)

2

The Secretary-General urges both Israelis and Palestinians to exercise prudence and avoid unilateral steps that would diminish the prospects for a resumption of negotiations and reach an agreement. It is incumbent upon the parties to convince each other anew that they are partners for peace. The international community too must uphold its long-stated commitment to realizing a comprehensive peace settlement.

The Secretary-General appeals to all concerned to use this time constructively to find a meaningful path forward. (UN News Centre)

Israel withdrew the VIP passes of four senior Fatah officials – Nabil Shaath, Tawfik Tirawi, Abbas Zaki and Jibril Rajoub - and threatened to do the same to others. (Middle East Monitor)

The Israeli army has decided to cut and uproot hundreds of Palestinian trees near a bypass road used by Israeli settlers south of Nablus. (IMEMC)

The Ahrar Centre for Detainees Studies and Human Rights said in its monthly report that the Israeli army had arrested 312 Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in April. (IMEMC)

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Rupert Colville said, “Palestine is now bound, as of today, for five treaties and, by July 2, seven treaties covering many major issues. And they will therefore, like other states, now be very closely scrutinised in whether they implement those treaties.” The treaties include the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. (UN News Centre)

2

IDF forces were fired upon on 2 May east of the central Gaza town of Deir el Ballah, according to a report by Israel Radio. (IMEMC, The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid said that future peace talks with a Palestinian unity Government including Hamas could be possible, reported the Wall Street Journal. (Ynetnews)

An IDF soldier was lightly wounded by shrapnel from an explosive device in Nablus. (The Jerusalem Post)

3

Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour and his Palestinian counterpart Rami Hamdallah discussed on 3 May Jordanian-Palestinian ties and developments in the Palestinian arena. It was their second meeting in a week. (Petra)

Jordan's Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour said on 3 May that unity among the Palestinian factions was crucial to render peace-making efforts a success. (Xinhua)

4

Palestinian medical sources reported that several Israeli military jeeps entered the town of Qabatiya near Jenin and soldiers clashed with local youths. (IMEMC)

The IDF arrested ofour people in Nablus as well as a leader of the DFLP in Jerusalem, according to local security sources. (WAFA)

The IDF imposed a general closure on the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the start of “Remembrance Day for Fallen Soldiers of Israel and Victims of Terrorism,” until 6 May, when Independence Day festivities conclude. (The Jerusalem Post)

Some 120 Palestinian administrative detainees have joined a hunger strike to protest Israel's detention without trial policy. (IMEMC)

The Head of the Census Department at the Palestinian Ministry of Detainees, Abdul-Nasser Ferwana, stated that in April the number of Palestinian detainees held by Israel reached 5,100. (IMEMC)

It was reported that according to some Israeli officials involved in the negotiations, Martin Indyk, US Special Envoy for Israeli–Palestinian Negotiations, was considering resigning from his post. (Haaretz, PNN)

It was reported that a new yeshiva will be opened in East Jerusalem on Saladin Street later this month, raising concerns over confrontation between Palestinians residents and their new Jewish neighbours. (Ynetnews)

Some 3,000 PA police officers will be transferred to Gaza, Palestinian media reported. (Ynetnews)

Prime Minister Netanyahu defended at a Cabinet meeting his plans to enshrine in law Israel’s status as a Jewish State. (The Daily Star, Ynetnews)

Student representatives at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, voted to support divestment by the Wesleyan Student Assembly endowment from companies profiting from the Israeli military occupation in Palestine. (IMEMC)

According to a poll conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute published, 58 per cent of Israeli Jews will support a law that would authorize Finance Minister Yair Lapid to reduce the Government's financial support to institutions marking Nakba Day, while 33 percent do not support such a law. (Ynetnews)

The Arab Sport Press Union condemned the Israeli violations against Palestinian journalists and athletes in Palestine, including arrests and denials of travel permits. (PNN)

Egyptian authorities opened the Rafah crossing to allow pilgrims to leave for Saudi Arabia. (Ma’an News Agency)

5

Palestinian security sources stated that Israeli soldiers arrested on 2 May two Palestinian children in the town of Sielet al-Harethiyya, near Jenin, and interrogated them for several hours. (IMEMC)

President Abbas headed to Qatar on 4 May. He is expected to meet Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal and discuss reconciliation plans. (The Jerusalem Post)

MK Ofir Akonis told Chancellor Angela Merkel during his visit in Germany: “Just like you don't want to see Berlin divided again, we don't want to divide Jerusalem.” (The Jerusalem Post)

In reaction to Israeli Prime Minister’s Benjamin Netanyahu’s plans to enshrine Israel's status as the “national homeland for the Jewish people” in law, member of PLO Executive Committee Hanan Ashrawi stated that the Israeli Government and its extreme right-wing coalition reveal the true face of an Israeli apartheid regime based on discrimination, exclusion and rejection of the other, in gross violation of humanitarian and international law. (IMEMC)

The US State Department denied reports that Secretary of State Kerry had dismantled his team of negotiators in the region. Deputy spokesperson at the State Department, Marie Harf, confirmed that Special Envoy Martin Indyk had returned to the US for consultations. (www.state.gov)

President Abbas held talks with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal in Doha in the first meeting since the two movements signed a unity deal last month. “The meeting was positive, with both leaders expressing a serious willingness to turn over a new leaf, based on national partnership,” read a statement by Hamas. (Ma’an News Agency)

Hamas does not oppose the designation of current Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah as the premier of the future unity Government, a Hamas official. Hamas believes that Hamdallah is a technocrat and that it is the Palestinian consensus to appoint him the premier of the new Government, the official added. (Xinhua)

The Gaza authorities released 6 prisoners affiliated to Fatah, the spokesman for the Gaza security apparatus said, adding that the prisoners had received a pardon from Gaza leader Ismail Haniyeh as part of the April 23 PLO-Hamas unity deal. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces arrested Palestinian journalist Majdoleen Hassouna, age 26, at the crossing between the West Bank and Jordan, upon her return from Lebanon on 5 May. Hassouna works as a project officer at the Euro-Mid Observer for Human Rights-West Bank NGO, which demanded her immediate release. (IMEMC)

Al-Mezan Centre for Human rights said, in a press release, that the Israeli law provides immunity and amnesty to investigators of the Israeli Security Service to practice torture and ill-treatment against Palestinian prisoners, in violation of prisoners' rights. (WAFA)

Gunfire stopped distribution of food in the Palestinian refugee camp in Yarmouk, Syria, a UN spokesperson confirmed, reiterating demands that UNRWA be allowed to distribute substantial quantities of food and other humanitarian assistance inside the camp. (www.un.org)

The 12th conference of Palestinians in Europe that closed in Paris, has called for the restructuring of the PLO by establishing an elected Palestinian National Council that would give rise to a leadership that represents all Palestinians and their demands. (www.middleeastmonitor.com)

Hamas representative in Lebanon Ali Baraka said that when the national unity Government is formed, the EU would not pay for the Gaza employees but some Arab countries would cover the costs instead. (middleastmonitor.com)

6

Israeli soldiers invaded several Palestinian communities near Jenin, Hebron and Bethlehem, installed roadblocks, and searched several homes after violently breaking into them. (IMEMC)

Palestinian medical sources have reported that two children were injured, in two separate attacks carried out by Israeli soldiers in Hebron. (IMEMC)

Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of Gaza, while they were fishing within the allowed six-mile zone. Several boats were reportedly damaged and fishermen fled the scene. (WAFA)

A US official, who spoke on condition of anonymity told Yediot Ahronot that Secretary Kerry is expected to replace most of his team who work on the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks. (www.middleastmonitor.com)

Hamas will allow the distribution of West Bank based newspaper Al Quds in the Gaza Strip, seven years after it was banned, a Hamas official said. (Ma’an News Agency)

Local media Al Ray reported that Israeli forces arrested a child, aged 10, after storming the al-Azzun town, near Qalqilya, according to witnesses. (IMEMC)

Groups of Israeli settlers stormed the compound of Al-Aqsa Mosque entering via the Al-Maghariba Gate under the protection of Israeli soldiers. ( petra.gov.jo)

Hundreds of Palestinian worshipers performed dawn prayers in the roads and alleys of the old city of Jerusalem after they were denied entry into the Al-Aqsa Mosque by Israeli police. (WAFA)

Maronite Patriarch Mar Beshara al-Raʻi reiterated that his upcoming visit to the Holy Land, and primarily Jerusalem, as part of the delegation accompanying Pope Francis is intended to support the Palestinian cause. (WAFA)

The EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah are seriously concerned by the decision of the Israeli authorities to issue eviction orders for a number of Palestinian [Bedouin] families in Sateh al-Bahr affecting 38 people in the Jericho Governorate as well as the carrying out of demolitions of Palestinian homes and structures close to Nablus affecting 29 individuals of which 21 are minors. (eeas.europa.eu)

The EU, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands have contributed approximately €16.4 million to the payment of the April salaries and pensions of approximately 70,000 Palestinian civil servants and pensioners of the PA in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. (WAFA)

Israel began to transfer PA funds, despite an earlier threat to withhold them, Palestinian officials said. (Ynetnews)

Israeli NGO Zochrot launched a smartphone app called 'iNakba' with interactive map and photos to allow users to find the locations of Palestinian villages that were destroyed or expropriated during the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. (IMEMC)

Israeli soldiers arrested four Palestinians, including a 16-year-old, in Jenin. (IMEMC)

Egyptian authorities closed the Rafah crossing with Gaza after it was temporarily opened for three days for pilgrims and people stranded in Egypt. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli police fired a barrage of stun grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinian worshippers who gathered near the Hatta Gate leading to Al-Aqsa Mosque after being denied entry into the Mosque, injuring about a dozen of them. (WAFA)

Around 300 settlers stormed, under army protection, an agricultural area in the village of Nahhaleen, west of Bethlehem, performed religious rituals and prevented farmers from reaching their land. (WAFA)

UNRWA Spokesperson Chris Gunness issued a statement expressing concern about the deportation from Lebanon of 41 Palestine refugees back to Syria over the weekend. (www.unrwa.org)

7

Israeli forces arrested 14 Palestinians in Hebron and Bethlehem. (WAFA)

Israel’s National Security Advisor Joseph Cohen charged in a letter sent to numerous Western capitals dated 22 April: “[Palestinian] plans to reject American proposals and pursue unilateral actions were in place well in advance, despite the unwavering commitment shown by Secretary Kerry”. (Haaretz)

An official of the Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs said nearly all Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails would go on hunger strike for one day on 8 May in solidarity with administrative detainees who have been on strike for nearly two weeks. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Hamas authorities in the Gaza Strip said they had relaxed a ban on Palestinian newspapers published outside Gaza as a gesture of reconciliation with Fatah. (Reuters)

The Hamas authorities executed two men convicted of collaborating with Israel. (The New York Times)

US National Security Advisor Susan Rice met with Prime Minister Netanyahu. On Israeli-Palestinians negotiations, Rice noted that, while we have come to a pause, the United States remains convinced that lasting peace can only be secured through direct negotiations. (WAFA, www.whitehouse.gov)

The Palestinian Ministry for Foreign Affairs condemned, in a statement, the “continued Israeli incitement against the Palestinian leadership.” (WAFA)

The Roman Catholic Church demanded Israeli action after suspected Jewish extremists daubed hate graffiti on Vatican-owned offices in East Jerusalem just two weeks before a papal visit. Israeli Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said the Government planned to use detention without trial against the suspected extremists. (Ma’an News Agency)

Former ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said Palestinians should proceed with caution. As a UN non-member State, they are now eligible, he said. However, the Palestinians could also be investigated for Hamas rocket attacks and suicide bombings against Israeli civilians. He refused to speculate whether war crimes have been committed by either side and recommended the sides avoid the court and find a “creative” way to resolve their differences. (Ynetnews)

The Israeli forces stationed along the border with the southern Gaza Strip shot and injured a Palestinian in the Deir al-Balah town. (Ma’an News Agency)

Shots were fired toward a house in the central West Bank Israeli settlement of “Psagot”, a statement released by the Israeli military said. There were no injuries. (Ma’an News Agency)

The International Union of Architects (IUA) discussed a call for expelling the Israeli Association of United Architects (IAUA) from the union against the backdrop of the association's refusal to oppose settlement construction. The expulsion was placed on the IUA's agenda by the Royal Institute of British Architects. (Middle East Monitor)

8

Israeli forces arrested 8 people in the Hebron and Jenin districts, according to local security sources. (WAFA)

Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erekat declared that the door to continuing the negotiations with Israel is not completely closed. He has stressed that they are still in contact with the US Administration, as they are trying to revive the peace process. (PNN)

The Israeli Army partially opened the Karim Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) Trade Terminal to allow the export of one truckload of produce from Gaza, and the entry of 440 trucks, including some construction materials for UN projects. (IMEMC)

The Israeli Ministry of Interior has approved the expansion of Megiddo prison to hold 6,000 prisoners. (IMEMC)

“It is normal for the Palestinians to reconcile,” Former Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa said. However, “I believe that Hamas should declare its acceptance of the Arab [peace] initiative of 2002,” he insisted.” (AFP)

Member of Hamas' Political Bureau Moussa Abu Marzouq said the Palestinian national reconciliation Government has only limited tasks, the most important being Gaza reconstruction and ending the siege, in addition to the preparations for elections. (Al-Ray)

Six Palestinian students are set to take part in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair scheduled to be held in the US, according to the Ministry of Education. (WAFA)

Human Rights Council President Ndong Ella appointed Makarim Wibisono of Indonesia as UN Special Rapporteur to replace Richard Falk. (The Jerusalem Post)

Neither Israel nor the Palestinians sense urgency in their pursuit of peace, Martin Indyk, US Special Envoy said in a speech on 8 May: “It is easier for the Palestinians to sign conventions and appeal to international bodies … It is easier for Israeli politicians to avoid tension in the governing coalition.” He added President Abbas was currently more focused on succession than peace. (The Jerusalem Post, Ynetnews)

President Abbas said, during a TV interview that Palestinians are ready to resume negotiations, but under the condition that Israel releases the fourth batch of prisoners, and halts settlement construction for three months. He said he has no intention of dismantling the PA. (Ynetnews)

Prime Minister Netanyahu prevented President Shimon Peres from traveling to Jordan in 2011 to finalize a peace deal reached secretly with the Palestinians, Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erekat confirmed. (The Times of Israel)

An Israeli Military Court convicted two Palestinian brothers of kidnapping and killing an Israeli soldier in the West Bank in September of 2013. (IMEMC)

US National Security Advisor Susan Rice emphasized with President Abbas the importance of each side reducing tensions and preserving space to pursue a two-State solution. She reiterated US policy that any Palestinian Government must unambiguously and explicitly commit to nonviolence, recognition of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations. (www.whitehouse.org)

17 NGOs including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch urged President Abbas to promptly seek access to the ICC. (Haaretz)

9

Several Israeli military vehicles and bulldozers invaded Palestinian agricultural lands in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, and uprooted the lands while firing rounds of live ammunition. (IMEMC)

Private gas stations have stopped supplying PA security vehicles with fuel because of huge unpaid bills caused by the financial crisis, spokesman of the PA security services Adnan Al-Damiri said. He warned this would paralyse the activities of the security services. (Middle East Monitor)

The Palestinians will turn to the international arena to gain recognition as a country under occupation if there is no progress in peace talks, Palestinian official Nabil Sha'ath said on 8 May. (Haaretz)

Chief Israeli Negotiator Tzipi Livni told Army Radio “settlement construction makes it impossible to defend Israel around the world.” (Haaretz)

The Jordan Valley Regional Council [of settlers] has a 10-year plan to triple its population to help ensure that its farms and settlements won’t be handed over to the Palestinians as part of a final-status agreement, Council head David Elhayani said. (The Jerusalem Post)

Several MKs have proposed a bill that would prevent the Israeli Government from pardoning Palestinian prisoners who are charged with “despicable crimes”, Yediot Ahronot reported. (Middle East Monitor)

The US and some Arab countries object to the reconciliation agreement, Head of the Fatah bloc in the PLC, Azzam Al-Ahmad said. (Middle East Monitor)

Vandals sprayed hate graffiti in Hebrew on the wall of St. George’s, a Romanian Orthodox church in Jerusalem. (AFP)

Israeli forces detained at least three Palestinians in the West Bank. (IMEMC, Ma’an News Agency)

10

PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi addressed the Nordic Jerusalem Conference held in Stockholm, stressing the importance of Jerusalem for Palestinians. The two-day conference, held in the Swedish Parliament building on 9 and 10 May, was organized by the Swedish-Palestinian Parliamentary Commission and the Jerusalem Committee in Sweden. (Ma’an News Agency)On 10 May, Israeli settlers from “Ma’on”, south of Hebron, kidnapped a six-year-old Palestinian child and held him for several hours. Also, settlers from “Ramat Yishai” in Hebron assaulted a 14-year-old Palestinian child, causing him cuts and bruises. (IMEMC)

Israeli forces arrested two Palestinians near Jenin. (WAFA)

11

Palestinian and Israeli sources revealed that negotiators from both sides were holding secret talks in Amman and Jerusalem. (IMEMC)

A Palestinian collecting gravel north of Beit Hanoun was shot and injured by Israeli forces stationed at the Gaza border. (WAFA)

Hamas official Mohammed Al-Farra said 156 infrastructure projects in Gaza worth $124 million had been halted because of the Israeli siege. (MEMO)

Israeli settlers brutally beat up a 22-year-old Palestinian shepherd near Hebron, causing him severe bruises. (WAFA)

Israeli settlers chopped down around 70 almond and olive trees and grape vines belonging to a Palestinian in the village of Beit Ummar, north of Hebron. (WAFA)

Israeli soldiers arrested three Palestinian children in East Jerusalem and took them to an interrogation facility. (IMEMC)

Israel’s Ministerial Committee for Legislation passed a bill restricting presidential pardons for convicted murderers, intended by its proponents to impede the Government’s ability to release Palestinian and Arab Israeli prisoners. (Haaretz)

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah was notified officially that the UN had accepted Palestine as a signatory to the UN Convention against Corruption. (Ma’an News Agency)

Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal described the recent settler “price tag” attacks as a “wave of extremist terror that stirs up deep concern among any sane individual,” adding that the Israeli Government should be concerned at the damage to Israel’s image around the world. (Haaretz)

12

Israeli police forces stormed the vicinity of the University of Jerusalem in Abu Dis, east of Jerusalem, firing live bullets and tear gas canisters towards students and residents. Five Palestinians were shot and injured with live bullets and dozens suffered from tear gas inhalation. (WAFA)

Israeli forces blocked with earth mounds the main entrances to the village of Beit Fajjar, south of Bethlehem. Also, Israeli forces declared Zababdeh, a town south of Jenin, a closed military zone. (Ma’an News Agency, WAFA)

President Abbas will meet with US Secretary of State Kerry in London on 13 May to discuss the peace process and reconciliation, a Palestinian official said on conditions of anonymity. (Xinhua)

Israeli military forces demolished a number of homes and other structures in the village of Khirbet al-Tawil, south of Nablus. (Ma’an News Agency)

Lebanon has placed prohibitive restrictions on the entry of Palestinians fleeing Syria, making it almost impossible for them to take refuge in the country. (AFP)

Israeli forces detained 16 Palestinians during overnight raids in the West Bank. (Ma’an News Agency)

Defence for Children International – Palestine said in a new report that rising numbers of Palestinian children were being subjected to solitary confinement for interrogation purposes in Israeli detention. (www.dci-palestine.org)

The Council of the European Union said in the conclusions on the Middle East peace process: “The EU has consistently supported intra-Palestinian reconciliation on clear and certain terms. The EU looks forward to continuing its support, including through direct financial assistance, for a possible new Palestinian government composed of independent figures that commits to the principles set out in President Abbas' speech in Cairo on 4 May 2011.” (www.consilium.europa.eu)

Egypt's former Army chief and leading presidential candidate Abdel Fattah al-Sissi said that “there is real opportunity” for peace with Israel and for it “to exist naturally in the region” if it accepts the Arab Peace Initiative. Speaking to Sky News, he added Hamas’ positions “caused it to lose the sympathy and empathy on the part of the Egyptian people.” (Haaretz)

Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement, “after we have advanced a bill that blocks amnesty for Palestinian prisoners convicted of murdering Israelis”, the next goal is “transferring the sovereignty over the West Bank to Israel.” (Alray)

The International Meeting on the Question of Jerusalem, co-sponsored by CEIRPP, OIC and Turkey opened in Ankara with a message by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, delivered by Special Coordinator Robert Serry, and opening remarks by Ahmet Davutoğlu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkey and Iyad bin Amin Madani, Secretary-General of the OIC. Mahmoud Al-Habbash, Minister for Waqf and Religious Affairs represented the State of Palestine. Delivering the keynote address was Adnan Al-Husseini, Minister for Jerusalem Affairs of the State of Palestine. (UN Press release GA/PAL/1295)

President Abbas met with a delegation from Hamas in the West Bank to discuss the composition of the unity Government, according to Hassan Yousef, a top Hamas official. According to Yousef, they discussed the political arrests in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, as well as ways to end the hostile media campaigns between the two movements. (www.middleastmonitor.com)

Senior member of Hamas' Political Bureau, Moussa Abu-Marzouq said that the US had attempted to sabotage the reconciliation. He acknowledged that there are still a lot of obstacles but insisted that the Palestinian factions could overcome most of them. He denied that Hamas had only agreed to reconciliation because of its current financial crisis. To reorganise the Palestinian principles, Abu-Marzouq said that there is a need to form a Constituent Assembly to reorder all the Palestinian organisations and write a new constitution. (www.middleastmonitor.com)

Palestinian Minister of Prisoners Affairs, Issa Qaraqe, described the new Israeli bill barring presidential pardons of Palestinian veteran prisoners as “an expression of the hegemony of the racist and extremist right-leaning trend [which] poses another obstacle to negotiations and a peaceful settlement in the region.” “Israel does not have the right to enact laws that contradict international laws and the Geneva Convention stipulating that prisoners should be released should a peace deal be reached between parties to the conflict,” Qaraqe remarked. (WAFA)

Israeli forces stormed Zababdeh, a town south of Jenin, and declared it a closed military area, according to security sources. (WAFA)

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki said he had asked world powers to label Israeli settler groups who attack Palestinian communities and holy sites as terrorist organizations. (Ynetnews)

Israel Electric Corp (IEC) is suing JDECO, a private Palestinian, firm for $150 million in unpaid bills, after negotiations to settle the debt collapsed, officials said. An energy market insider told AFP that the outstanding debt of JDECO and the PA to the IEC currently stood at $434 million. Israel's Finance Ministry is offsetting the debt by deducting funds from the monthly taxes it collects on behalf of the Palestinians. (Ynetnews)

13

US National Security Adviser Susan Rice reaffirmed that the Obama Administration would “stay true to the cause of peace” between Israel and the Palestinians, despite the recent breakdown of talks. (Ynetnews)

In a statement on the 66th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, the PLO said that the Israeli Government undermined peace by disclaiming the Palestinian national rights, including the right for statehood and the right of return of the refugees. (WAFA)

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu told the International Meeting on the Question of Jerusalem in Ankara that Jerusalem is Palestinian land and the continued Israeli occupation of the holy city is “illegal”. Davutoğlu expressed his happiness that his country is hosting the conference in the context of the UN announcing 2014 as the Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. (www.middleeastmonitor.com)

Some 14 Israeli extremist settlers broke into the Al-Aqsa Mosque under the protection of Israeli soldiers and policemen. (petra.gov.jo)

The World Bank transferred about $30 million to the PA. The funds contributed by Japan will help support the urgent budget needs. (WAFA)

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is to invest up to $3 million in a private equity fund to help finance small and medium enterprises in the West Bank and Gaza. (WAFA)

European and Palestinian activists launched an online campaign to commemorate the 66th anniversary of the Nakba using the hashtag #Nakba_66, in more than 10 languages. (Alray)

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition met in London to discuss future plans in the wake of the attack on its Gaza's Ark boat in the port of Gaza, which occurred on 29 April causing approximately $30,000 in damage. The Coalition said it plans to sail Gaza's Ark early in the fall of 2014. (IMEMC)

The Israeli military damaged Palestinian agricultural fields during a military training conducted on 12 and 13 May near Hebron. (WAFA)

Israeli army vehicles infiltrated the Gaza Strip opening heavy gunfire towards homes and razing agricultural land. (WAFA)

A senior Fatah official, Azzam al-Ahmad, said following a meeting between Fatah and Hamas delegations in Gaza City that Egypt would open the Rafah crossing permanently after a Palestinian unity Government was set in place. (Ma’an News Agency)

Egyptian authorities denied an aid convoy from Algeria entry to the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing. (Ma’an News Agency)

More than 40 settlers protected by Israeli police stormed the yards of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem to perform religious rituals. (WAFA)

Israel demolished three Palestinian structures in East Jerusalem. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli settlers assaulted and severely beat up a Palestinian shepherd near the village of Taybeh, east of Ramallah. (WAFA)

Israeli security forces demolished 10 unauthorized houses in the West Bank outpost of “Ma’aleh Rehavam”. (Haaretz)

Israeli forces detained 11 Palestinians during overnight arrest raids in the West Bank as well as two women in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli soldiers arrested at least 11 Palestinians in the West Bank and a 14-year-old boy in East Jerusalem. (IMEMC, Ma’an News Agency)

Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad arrived in Gaza for talks with Hamas leaders on selecting technocrats to lead the unity Government. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Guardian reported that the British Government had granted temporary diplomatic immunity to Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni ahead of a visit to the UK. The move comes amid efforts to secure a warrant for her arrest by lawyers acting on behalf of a relative of a Palestinian killed in the bombing of a police compound on the first day of Israel’s 2008 military assault on Gaza. (The Guardian)

14

US Secretary of State Kerry met with President Abbas in London, in what US officials described as “informal” talks. “Secretary Kerry made clear that while the door remains open to peace, it is up to the parties to determine whether they are willing to take the steps necessary to resume negotiations,” a senior State Department official said, “but the purpose of the meeting is more about our ongoing relationship with the Palestinian people.” Abbas is hoping to convince the US Administration to accept the unity Government, a senior official in Ramallah said. Abbas also meet with British Prime Minister David Cameron. (AFP, The Jerusalem Post, Ynetnews)

In a press statement, the Arab League called for international inspections of Israeli prisons and demanded an end to violations committed against Palestinian detainees. It also highlighted the need for releasing detainees being held in administrative detention, who are currently on hunger strike. (Middle East Monitor)

UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl paid his first visit to Syria to see for himself the extreme hardship that Palestine refugees in Syria are facing as a result of the ongoing armed conflict. (unrwa.org)

The Palestinian BDS National Committee published an open letter on its website urging the Belgian Jan De Nul Group to reconsider involvement in a project to build new port facilities in Haifa and Ashdod, citing concerns about Israel's continued human rights violations. (Ma'an News Agency)

“The formation of the unity Government is imminent, which will be headed by President Abbas,” Azzam el-Ahmad, head of the Fatah delegation to the dialogue with Hamas told reporters. El-Ahmad had held talks with leaders of Hamas in the Gaza Strip on the formation of the unity Government. Talks will resume next week, a Hamas official said. (Alray, Xinhua)

15

As Palestinians marked the 66th anniversary of the Nakba, about 150 people demanding the release of Palestinian prisoners protested near Ofer prison, outside Ramallah, and Israeli border policemen shot and killed two while 11 were injured, Palestinians reported. At the Qalandiya checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah, protestors set fire to tyres and hurled stones at border police who used rubber bullets and tear gas. In the Gaza Strip, hundreds of people calling for refugees to be allowed to return marched near the Erez crossing with Israel. In the West Bank, rallies were held in Nablus, Ramallah Bethlehem and Hebron. There were clashes reported with Israeli forces in Ramallah and Hebron. (AFP, Haaretz)

The EU Missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah condemned, in a statement, the execution of two Palestinians carried out by the de facto authorities in Gaza on 7 May. (WAFA)

Egypt is ready to help revive deadlocked Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, presidential candidate Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi said in an interview. (Haaretz)

During his visit in Japan Prime Minister Netanyahu told Mainichi Shimbun newspaper he was troubled by the in negotiations: “I don’t think the status quo is desirable … and I’m engaging in consultations with my own coalition partners and with others, to see if we have other alternatives… because I don’t want a binational State.” He added that “if [Abbas] establishes a Government of national unity, and Hamas continues to fire rockets into Israel, then we’ll have to hold President Abbas responsible.” (Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post)

PLO Executive Committee Member Saeb Erekat condemned the meeting held by the Australian Ambassador to Israel with Israeli officials in East Jerusalem. (WAFA)

Senior Hamas member Abbas al-Sayed, sentenced to life imprisonment, is to declare an open-ended hunger strike next Monday, in solidarity with the administrative detainees, according to the Palestinian Centre for Prisoners Studies and Human Rights-Ahrar. Over 140 administrative detainees in the Israeli prisons have been on a hunger strike for nearly four weeks. (IMEMC)

Israeli authorities will release administrative detainee Zaid al-Juneidi, the Palestinian Prisoners Society said. He has been on a hunger strike. (Ma’an News Agency)

HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein of the UAE donated $553,800 in support of food aid for Palestine refugees in the Gaza Strip, said UNRWA in a press release. (WAFA)

A new Palestinian Government will need the approval of the Hamas-dominated PLC, and Hamas and Fatah have agreed on this, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said. “The legislative council will also monitor the consensus Government's work,” he said. (Ynetnews)

The Israeli army said it was investigating the killing of two Palestinians by Israeli forces during violent clashes that erupted on Nakba Day earlier in the day. (Xinhua)

Relatively minor clashes occurred in Ramallah and Jerusalem while mourners in Ramallah held funerals for two Palestinians killed during protests to mark Nakba Day. No injuries were reported. (The Jerusalem Post)

The German Government has decided not to give Israel a massive subsidy for the purchase of German missile boats, due to the breakdown in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, both Israeli and German officials said. The decision will cost Israel hundreds of millions of dollars. (Haaretz)

President Abbas met his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro in Caracas. It is expected that the two Presidents will discuss energy cooperation agreements, the status of peace talks as well as Palestine's connection with Latin America. (www.avn.info.ve)

Pro-Palestinian protesters demonstrated against Israeli Minister Tzipi Livni and her visit to London. According to an American official, Livni met with US Secretary of State John Kerry while in London, in what the US State Department described as an “informal” meeting. (Ynetnews)

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said that Hamas had agreed to the details of the reunification of security forces with Fatah, resolving a key obstacle. Haniyeh pointed out that Hamas will provide security and stability in Gaza even after forming a new consensus Government with Fatah. (Ma’an News Agency, middleeastmonitor.com)

UN Women in Palestine said in a statement that it is' seriously concerned about the killing of yet another Palestinian woman this week, raising the number of reported cases of femicide to 14 since the beginning of this year. UN Women called for a thorough investigation into the most recent cases of violence. (WAFA)

16

The number of settlers in the West Bank could grow by as much as 50 percent by 2019, Israel's Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel said. (The Jerusalem Post)

The Palestinian Information and Technology Incubator, in Gaza City, funded by several international organizations, including USAID and Oxfam, provides office space, advice and financial support to recent university graduates and small companies to help get start-ups off the ground. (Ynetnews)

Israel has barred Palestinian banks from making shekel deposits in Israel, and Israeli Electric Corporation is set to begin power cuts in East Jerusalem and West Bank, as part of the State’s punitive measures against the PA in the wake of the collapse of peace talks and the reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas. (Haaretz)

More than half of all army installations over the Green Line pollute the environment with sewage that does not reach a treatment plant, according to information the Army has given to the ecological group Green Now. Sewage from 58 bases flows directly into the environment or into cesspools, where it is liable to contaminate groundwater. (Haaretz)

Senior Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, criticised Israeli Justice Minister and chief negotiator Tzipi Livni for meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in London. Officials in Netanyahu's office said that Livni did not represent the Israeli Government during her meeting with President Abbas. (Middle East Monitor)

17

Contrary to IDF claims that rubber bullets were the cause of death of two Palestinians killed during Nakba Day protests, the Ramallah hospital where they were treated claimed that Muhammad Abu Thahr and Nadim Nuwara were killed by live fire. (Ynetnews)

The Palestinian Journalists' Association condemned the attack on two Israeli journalists, who were beaten by dozens of masked Palestinian protesters on 15 May at Beitunia, near Ramallah. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman stated that his Ministry had presented an alternative peace plan to Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu following the collapse of the last round of talks with the Palestinians. (IMEMC)

In a newspaper interview with Ha'aretz, Tawfiq Al-Tirawi, a member of the Fatah Executive Committee told the newspaper: "You say that the Israeli right wing does not want peace with the Palestinians, and my opinion is that the right, left and centre in Israel are not willing to give the minimum for the establishment of a Palestinian State."

Hamas leader Musa Abu Marzouk announced that Hamas and Fatah had reached an agreement on the names of the ministers who would serve in a new Palestinian unity government. (The Jerusalem Post)

18

According to witness accounts IDF forces shot and lightly wounded two Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. (The Jerusalem Post)

General Adnan Damiri, spokesman of the Palestinian security apparatus in the West Bank told Xinhua that the Palestinian leadership was seriously ‘studying’ severing security ties and coordination with Israel. (Xinhuanet)

Israeli Minister for Foreign Affairs Avigdor Liberman slammed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas saying "he is no longer a partner for peace" and that Israel was currently looking for alternatives from within Abbas's circle. He also hinted that Israel maintained a secret channel of communication in order to bypass President Abbas. (Middle East Monitor)

Israeli political sources claimed that the Quartet would recognise a future Palestinian consensus government that did not include members of Hamas. (Middle East Monitor)

The Israeli “Regional Council for Planning and Construction” approved a plan that will lead to the annexation of more than 700 Dunams (172.9 Acres) as part of Israel’s plan to build “National Gardens” on lands that belong to Palestinian residents of the al-Eesawiyya and at-Tour towns, in occupied East Jerusalem. (IMEMC)

Amnesty International condemned Israel's military for the murder of two Palestinian youth during a protest on Nakba Day. (IMEMC)

Around 30 international peace activists, in two humanitarian convoys, made it into the Gaza Strip through the Rafah Border Terminal. (IMEMC)

His Royal Highness Prince Faisal Ibn al Hussein of Jordan welcomed a delegation from the American Jewish organisation J Street in order to discuss current Middle East peace efforts. (PETRA)

According to media sources Israeli forces stationed on the border with Gaza shot and injured a Palestinian youth while at work near the town of Beit Hanun. (WAFA)

19

According to security sources Israeli forces arrested four Palestinians from the West Bank cities of Hebron and Bethlehem and summoned another for interrogation. (WAFA)

Labor and Likud Members of the Knesset joined forces on a new bill that proposes to allow Jews, who are currently barred from praying at the Temple Mount compound, to pray at the site. (Ynetnews)

Nayef Hawatmeh, the Secretary-General of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine said that the upcoming Palestinian unity government would not last long as it will only contain Fatah and Hamas officials. (Ma'an News Agency)

The Israeli Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Wednesday, 21 May in the wrongful death lawsuit pertaining to the killing of American peace activist Rachel Corrie in 2003. The appeal challenges the August 2012 District Court ruling that the Israeli military was not to blame for Rachel Corrie's killing. (WAFA)

The High Leadership Committee for Palestinian Prisoners announced that health conditions of some of the Palestinian prisoners, especially those on hunger strike, were deteriorating. (IMEMC)

A Palestinian man was shot and injured by Israeli forces in northern Gaza.. (IMEMC)

Palestinian medical sources reported that two Gaza fishermen were shot and injured by Israeli navy boats’ fire. (IMEMC)

Israeli authorities have recently imposed a “silent freeze” on planning for further settlement expansion, Deputy Defence Minister Danny Danon said. (The Times of Israel)

The Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners held a meeting with EU representatives and Ambassadors from other countries in Ramallah to update them about the current situation of the Palestinian hunger strikers in Israeli jails. (MEMO)

Hundreds of thousands of young people across the Middle East are talking reconciliation online, said Uri Savir, a former Israeli peace negotiator and founder of the movement Yala Young Leaders. The group will hold an annual virtual peace conference on Sunday that will include video presentations by Nobel Peace laureates Israeli President Shimon Peres and Desmond Tutu, as well as senior EU, US and Palestinian officials. (AP)

Israeli settlers hurled stones at a Palestinian car driving near the village of Beitello, near Ramallah, smashing the car’s windshield and injuring the driver. (IMEMC)

Israeli forces destroyed an estimated 1,500 fruit trees belonging to a farm outside Nahalin village in the Bethlehem region, just below the “Neve Daniel” settlement. (IMEMC)

Settlers from “Ariel” used bulldozers to raze agricultural land belonging to Palestinian farmers in Salfit. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israel demolished nine buildings in Al-Ezariyya and a number of Bedouin communities in Jerusalem. (IMEMC)

20

The IDF raided the towns of al-Obeydiyya, east of Bethlehem, and al-Mogheer, near Ramallah. Clashes were reported in al-Obeydiyya. (IMEMC)

An IDF unit came under fire during a raid in Jenin. No injuries were reported. (The Jerusalem Post)

The video footage obtained by DCI-Palestine documenting the shooting of two Palestinian youths during a Nakba Day protest last week indicates the victims were far away from the clashes and not in a direct confrontation with soldiers, DCI said. The PLO condemned what it called “the deliberate execution” of the Palestinians teens. (Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post)

Justice Minister and Chief negotiator Tzipi Livni responded on 19 May to criticism from Israeli Government officials in the wake of an informal meeting with President Abbas in London a week and a half ago, saying it was in Israel's interest to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict. She added that Hatnuah, her political party, would continue to support ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as it will benefit Israel. (PNN, Ynetnews)

Jibril Rajoub, a Fatah Central Committee member, said that Israeli intransigence was to blame for the failure of the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks. He suggested three alternatives to peace talks: to impose an international trusteeship over the Palestinian lands, to resort to regional integration that is capable of supporting the Palestinian cause, or to set up an interior national front of popular resistance against the Israeli occupation. (Alray)

A Hamas official said that the Gaza Strip authorities as well as the current Palestinian Government will offer their resignations once a unity Government is agreed upon. (Ma’an News Agency)

The British Consulate General in Jerusalem and the Jerusalem Network for Community Advocacy (JCAN) inaugurated a new legal advice centre in the area of Kufr Aqab, a densely-populated Palestinian neighbourhood which is cut off from Jerusalem by the Separation Barrier. (WAFA)

The Israeli Government has decided to postpone moving its ministerial offices to Jerusalem for five additional years, during a weekly cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Netanyahu, who endorsed the decision. (Haaretz, MEMO)

A number of Palestinian-owned structures in East Jerusalem were demolished by the Israeli military, leaving 15 people homeless. (IMEMC)

Dozens of solidarity activists from Arab countries and locals from the Gaza Strip on 19 May demonstrated at the Gaza port against the ongoing siege imposed on the coastal enclave. (Ma’an News Agency)

23 per cent of the food supply available to approximately 1.8 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip is contaminated because of illegal pesticides and a shortage of spare parts for related machinery, according to a study by the Al-Mezan Centre for Human Rights. (MEMO)

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry, in a statement, strongly condemned the Israeli Government’s policy of administrative detention, without charge or trial, against Palestinian prisoners. (WAFA)

The UK's National Union of Black Students conference endorsed the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) at their national conference at the University of Warwick. (WAFA)

US State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said during the daily press briefing on the killing of two Palestinian teenagers during a demonstration near Ramallah on 15 May: “We look to the Government of Israel to conduct a prompt and transparent investigation to determine the facts surrounding this incident, including whether or not the use of force was proportional to the threat posed by the demonstrators. (www.state.gov)

The World Bank Board of Directors approved a $40 million grant to support the Palestinian Government’s strategic reform priorities. (WAFA)

Israeli forces arrested four Palestinians, including two minors, from the Hebron area and seven others at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. (WAFA)

A senior Hamas official said President Abbas had received a list of suggested officials for the Palestinian unity government and he would inaugurate the government by 29 May. (Ma’an News Agency)

21

Israeli forces stationed along the border with Gaza opened fire at a Palestinian east of Khan Yunis. He was shot in the head and seriously injured. Earlier in the day, three Israeli army bulldozers and four tanks entered the same area, razing agricultural land and firing live bullets towards homes. (WAFA)

Israeli navy vessels fired rounds of live ammunition at Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of the southern Gaza Strip while within the designated six-nautical-mile fishing zone. The navy arrested two fishermen. (IMEMC)

An Israeli army officer told a recent Knesset committee meeting that military training in live-fire zones in the West Bank was used as a way of reducing the number of Palestinians living nearby and served as an important part of the campaign against Palestinian “illegal” construction. (Haaretz)

President Abbas met with visiting Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski in Ramallah. Mr. Oresharski said cooperation with Palestine could be bolstered by forming a bilateral economic committee. (WAFA)

Settlers stormed the municipal park in Yatta, south of Hebron, to swim in a pool there, while Israeli soldiers took over the rooftops of several Palestinian homes to provide protection to the settlers. (WAFA)

Israeli bulldozers demolished several shops in the Al-Khalayli neighbourhood in Jerusalem. (WAFA)

Israeli forces demolished around 35 mobile homes and sheds near the village of Al-Jiftlik in the northern Jordan Valley, displacing around 67 Palestinians. (WAFA)

Israeli forces arrested eight Palestinians across the West Bank during overnight raids. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners Affairs said more than 5,000 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli custody would launch a one-day hunger strike on 22 May in solidarity with around 100 administrative detainees who have been on hunger strike for nearly a month. (Ma’an News Agency)

Assistant Secretary-General Oscar Fernández-Taranco briefed the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. He said, “Without a credible political horizon, we risk putting the Oslo paradigm in real jeopardy”. He added that the parties could not be rushed back to the table without proper parameters in place, and the current pause could allow them to consider next steps, building on the United States’ “intensive engagement” over the past nine months. (UN News Centre)

A group of Palestinian volunteers from the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation made a cross using recycled concrete from the separation wall to give to the Pope as a gift during his upcoming visit. (PNN)

Israeli MFA Avigdor Lieberman brushed off world criticism and demands for an investigation into the deaths of two Palestinian youths killed by Israeli forces last week. “I reject any demand” for an international investigation, he told reporters on a tour of the West Bank settlement of “Ariel”. “Such an incident will be investigated regardless of any demand,” he remarked, denouncing world criticism of the incident as “hypocrisy”. (AFP)

EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah expressed concern in a statement over the death of the two Palestinian youths on 15 May near the “Ofer” prison. “It is important that any such incidents are investigated thoroughly,” stressed the statement. (WAFA)

The Palestinian leadership does not intend to seek membership in or help from additional UN and other international organizations in the near future, President Mahmoud Abbas stated. He added that Palestinians are instead currently waiting to see what diplomatic developments will ensue in the aftermath of last month’s collapse of peace negotiations. (The Times of Israel)

The US wants Israelis and Palestinians to come up with new ideas to reach the two-State solution and to refrain from “unhelpful” action in the interim, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters. (www.state.gov)

Turkey’s former MFA, Yashar Yakish, said that Hamas must be a part of any agreement between Israel and Palestine. Yakish made the remarks during a speech in front of students and guests at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. (Arutz Sheva)

A visit set by a Senior Fatah official to the Gaza Strip to put the finishing touches on a Palestinian Unity Government has been postponed indefinitely. A Fatah spokesman said the visit by Azzam al-Ahmed “will not take place today but at a later date to be announced” without elaborating. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said “contacts are ongoing” between the two parties, without explaining the postponement. (AFP)

Former Fatah leader Mohammad Dahlan said that he was intending on taking part in the upcoming Palestinian elections despite a criminal conviction by a “secret court" the day before for “libel, slander, and defamation.” (Ma’an News Agency)

Human rights groups including the International Federation for Human Rights, Palestinian Center for Human Rights and the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel issued a statement urging Israel to end the impunity for the killing of Rachel Corrie who was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer in the Gaza Strip in 2003. (fidh.org)

The European Alliance in Defense of Palestinian Detainees urged some international and UN figures to pressurize Israel to respond to the demands of Palestinian prisoners currently on hunger-strike. (WAFA)

Prisoners' families shut down an UNRWA office in Nablus to protest the UN's “silence” amid a Palestinian hunger strike in Israeli jails. (Ma’an News Agency)

22

The IDF launched raids to several towns and villages of the West Bank and arrested five Palestinians. (Alray)

A Palestinian teenager was injured during clashes with Israeli forces in Nablus, Palestinian security officials said. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu threatened to fire Justice Minister and chief Israeli negotiator Tzipi Livni over her meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in London last week. The news was first reported by Ma'ariv journalist Ben Caspit who quoted sources saying that Netanyahu had only found out about the meeting after the fact and was furious with Livni for going against Israeli cabinet policy to cease negotiations following the Hamas-Fatah unity deal. (Haaretz)

Settlers from “Alei Zahav” and the “Bruchin” outpost used bulldozers to level land in an area known locally as Thair Subih in the West Bank. Witnesses say they were escorted by Israeli military forces. (Ma’an News Agency)

The office of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to install 500 surveillance cameras in East Jerusalem. The cameras will be installed in Silwan, Sheikh Jarrah, Tor, Al-Eizariya, as well as “French Hill” and “Gilo” settlements. (WAFA)

It was reported that Gaza Strip merchants demonstrated in front of the “Erez” crossing in protest against new Israeli restrictions that have severely limited the number of goods allowed to cross into Israel on a daily basis. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Palestinian Government will seek to have the Geneva Convention applied to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. The leadership is set to invite the signatories to the convention to review their conditions. (Gulf News)

Dozens of young activists have blocked the entrance to a building containing international organisations' offices in Gaza City to call for immediate action and support for Palestinian prisoners held in administrative detention and on a hunger strike for 28 days in a row. (Al Jazeera)

The Palestinian Unity Government will be formed and officially announced next week once the Egyptian presidential elections are announced, said Hassan Khraishah, PLC Second Deputy Head. President Mahmoud Abbas received the lists of nominees submitted separately by Hamas and Fatah and will choose 15 Ministers to lead 19 portfolios. “If President Abbas leads this government, it will not need to be approved by the PLC, but in the event the Government is led by any other independent, it must be approved by the council,” Khraishah said. (Gulf News)

According to local Palestinian official, Israeli settlers levelled Palestinian land in the village of Kafr ad-Dik west of Salfit. (Ma'an News Agency)

Violent clashes erupted between Palestinians and Israeli settlers at Joseph's Tomb, after it was stormed by dozens of Israelis who performed religious rituals there. (IMEMC)

According to witness accounts, Israeli forces detained seven Palestinians in East Jerusalem. (Ma'an News Agency)

According to Palestinian security officials, a Palestinian teenager was injured during clashes with Israeli forces in Nablus. (Ma'an News Agency)

Israeli soldiers arrested a disabled Palestinian man in Hebron, forcing him into their jeep and throwing aside his wheelchair. (IMEMC)

23

According to the Israeli army, Israeli forces detained five Palestinians in overnight raids across the West Bank. (Ma'an News Agency)

Israeli soldiers invaded Kfar Qaddum town, east of Qalqilya, and arrested a Palestinian security officer and a police officer after searching their homes. (IMEMC)

A Palestinian official close to the reconciliation negotiations between Fatah and Hamas told AFP on condition of anonymity that "the Government is nearly ready, and Rami Hamdallah will be Prime Minister." (Haaretz)

Prime Minister Netanyahu attacked President Abbas, accusing him of obstructing direct peace talks, noting that Israel was weighing unilateral moves that would include limited withdrawals from some West Bank areas. (IMEMC)

Israeli Minister of the Economy Naftali Bennett wrote that he intends to promote in the Knesset a “stability plan” which would involve the annexation of Area C of the West Bank, the removal of checkpoints and the separation wall, and economic development for areas under Palestinian control. (The Wall Street Journal)

Israeli Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz said that he intended to submit a draft law expanding the boundaries of occupied Jerusalem, to include the settlement blocs of “Ma’aleh Adumim” and “Gush Etzion”. (IMEMC)

The International Red Cross informed the family of Ayman Tbeish who is currently detained in an Israeli jail and on hunger strike that their son could die at any given moment. (IMEMC)

The Tkiyet Um Ali organization (TUA) and the Jordan Hashemite Charity Organization for Relief and Development (JHC), from Jordan donated food to UNRWA, comprising over 30,000 kg of frozen meat. (unrwa.org)

An empty area in southern Israel was hit by a rocket from Gaza on 23 May, after Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinians east of Deir al-Balah in central Gaza, shooting one youth in the leg, witnesses and the military said. (IMEMC)

Officials at the Prime Minister's Office said on 23 May that Prime Minister Netanyahu did not suggest evacuating settlements when he told Bloomberg Israel is considering unilateral moves. (Haaretz)

24

Palestinian medical sources reported that two Palestinians were killed, and two others seriously injured, in an explosion in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip. The armed wing of Islamic Jihad stated that the two were killed in a “jihadist mission.” (IMEMC)

Palestinian medical sources said dozens of Palestinians were injured on 24 May after Israeli soldiers attacked a nonviolent protest in support of the prisoners, in Hebron. (IMEMC)

25

“We briefed His Holiness about the obstacles facing the peace process, first and foremost settlements, daily assaults on mosques and churches, as well as the continued incarceration of thousands of Palestinians in Israeli prisons,” President Abbas told reporters after meeting the Pope in Bethlehem. Pope Francis hailed Abbas as a “man of peace and a peacemaker.” He expressed appreciation for the efforts to draft an agreement between the parties regarding the Catholic community with particular attention to religious freedom. (The Jerusalem Post)

The Pope said at a Mass in Bethlehem's Manger Square: "I wish to invite you, President Mahmoud Abbas, together with President Shimon Peres, to join me in heartfelt prayer to God for the gift of peace…. in the Vatican." PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi told CNN that Abbas would go. The Israeli President's office also welcomed the invitation. (CNN)

Pope Francis made an unexpected detour to the separation wall. He prayed silently. He later visited a memorial to Jewish victims of terrorism, at the insistence of Israeli officials. (Haaretz, The Telegraph)

26

Israeli naval forces shot and injured a Palestinian man in the northern Gaza Strip, medics told Ma'an. (Ma’an News Agency)

"The [Jerusalem] municipality has given the green light to build 50 new housing units in five buildings in Har Homa," a city Councillor told AFP. (AFP)

Fifty-five more prisoners in Israeli jails joined a hunger strike against Israel's detention policy, the Palestinian Prisoners' Society said. (Ma’an News Agency)

Amnesty International urged the PA to drop criminal charges against four BDS activists after security forces detained them in April for “disturbing public order” at a performance in Ramallah of a dance troupe which had performed in Israel. (Ma’an News Agency)

27

A Palestinian was killed by a blast in Jabalya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, a health official said, without providing further details. (Ma’an News Agency)

Fatah and Hamas agreed on the make-up of a national unity Government, officials from both parties said. The groups decided on a list of independent, technocrat Ministers who will run the Government pending national polls in at least six months. Officials told a news conference in the Gaza Strip that President Abbas will make a formal announcement later this week. (Reuters)

FIFA chief Sepp Blatter promised to help Palestinian soccer players, during a meeting with President Abbas, promising a solution for Israeli travel restrictions. (Haaretz)

The Israeli authorities announced the annexation of 3,000 dunums of privately owned Palestinian lands belonging to residents of the Salfit district, in the central West Bank. (IMEMC)

The Israeli navy detained three fishermen off the coast of the southern Gaza Strip. (Ma’an News Agency)

A 64-year-old Palestinian man died due to the effects of inhalation of tear gas fired by Israeli police in Abu Dis, east of Jerusalem. (WAFA)

Israeli forces arrested 12 Palestinians from across the West Bank and another in Jerusalem. (WAFA)

Palestinian Minister of Economy Jawad Naji and the Chairman of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce of Turkey, Rif’at Oghlou, signed a master plan to establish an industrial zone in Jenin. (WAFA)

Israeli forces violently assaulted a 70-year-old Palestinian man and injured his eye after asking him to stop taking pictures at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israel’s Jerusalem district planning and building committee approved a new master plan to build a “national park” on the land of two East Jerusalem villages, Al-Issawiya and Al-Tur. (WAFA)

The Al-Aqsa Foundation said Israel planned to establish a foundation corner for a large synagogue to be built in the middle of the Old City of Jerusalem, about 200 metres from Al-Aqsa Mosque. (Ma’an News Agency)

Dozens of Israeli settlers beat a 41-year-old Palestinian man near Ramallah with rods. He suffered a fracture in the skull and bruises all over the body. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli settlers allowed their sheep to devour wheat crops in Palestinian land in the village of Jaloud, south of Nablus, devastating 45 dunums of the land. (WAFA)

Hamas official Ziad al-Zaza said Hamas was “ready to hand over its full responsibilities to the unity government. (AP)

Israeli forces arrested at least fourteen Palestinians across the West Bank. (Ma'an News Agency)

28

An Israeli army vehicle ran over a 15-year-old Palestinian boy in the village of Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, severely injuring him in the head. (WAFA)

Israeli forces arrested 10 Palestinians from across the West Bank and 12 others from Jerusalem. (WAFA)

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah met with visiting Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende in Ramallah. During the meeting, Mr. Hamdallah said the national consensus government would be committed to the political programme of the PLO. Foreign Minister Brende said his country would take advantage of the forthcoming conference of donor countries to examine the potential of carrying out development projects in Palestine, particularly in the Gaza Strip. (WAFA)

The European Union has made available €200 million to ensure support to the Palestinian Authority and UNRWA in order to provide vital basic services to the Palestinian people, such as education, health relief and social services. (http://europa.eu)

Clashes broke out at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound between Palestinians and Israeli police, as thousands of Israelis prepared to march through the Old City to mark “Jerusalem Day”. Israeli police officers fired stun grenades and rubber-coated bullets at Palestinians and attacked some with pepper spray. Four Palestinians were injured after being hit with rubber-coated bullets in the head. (Ma’an News Agency)

Prime Minister Netanyahu said during a special Knesset session: “47 years ago Jerusalem was reunited and it will never be divided again.” (Ynetnews)

Forty Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in protest against their imprisonment without charge or trial were hospitalized. Palestinian Minister for Prisoners’ Affairs said some of the strikers were in a “very grave” condition. (Ma’an News Agency)

Hundreds of Israeli settlers marked “Jerusalem Day” by entering the disputed Rajabi building in Hebron’s Old City next to the Ibrahimi Mosque. (Ma'an News Agency)

At a meeting with EU and other foreign diplomats, including EU’s Representative to the West Bank and Gaza Strip John Gatt-Rutter, PLO Central Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi said Israel’s provocation and verbal escalation requires a clear position and concrete steps by the international community in order to hold Israel accountable for its violation and disregard of international law and US peace efforts. (WAFA)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated at Jerusalem’s Mercaz Harav Yeshiva on “Jerusalem Day”:“47 years ago, Jerusalem was reunited and it will never be re-divided.” (Alray)

Palestinians protested in front of the UN Ramallah office against the latest wave of home demolitions and displacement of the Palestinian Bedouin community in the village of Abu al Jaj in Area C. The community was evicted on 21 May, rendering 71 Palestinians homeless. (AIC)

Leaders of the Yesha Council of settlements met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and asked him to bring an end to the months-long freeze on planning, construction, and marketing of West Bank and East Jerusalem housing. (Haaretz)

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Several Palestinians were treated in a hospital after inhaling tear gas fired at them by Israeli forces during clashes in the town of Tuqu, east of Bethlehem. (WAFA)

According to newspaper reports, the Israeli Army suspended a non-combat soldier seen firing his weapon during clashes in the West Bank earlier this month in which two Palestinian teenagers were killed. (AFP)

According to officials in Ramallah, President Abbas entrusted the current Prime Minister Hamdallah with forming a unity Government. The makeup of the Government was still being discussed by the parties, sources said. (The Jerusalem Post)

PLO Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat said that Israel sought to enforce an apartheid regime in place of a two-state solution. (WAFA)

An Israeli water utility company has stopped the regular supply of running water to a number of Palestinian neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem, according to a statement by Israeli human rights organisation B'Tselem. (The Middle East Monitor)

Jawad Bulous, a lawyer for the Palestinian Prisoner's Society said that all Palestinian prisoners who had been on hunger strike since April 24 were moved to hospitals after their health deteriorated. (Ma'an News Agency)

A conference on the challenges facing the development of the civil service in Palestine took place in Ramallah in cooperation the EU. It was attended by Prime Minister Hamdallah and EU Representative John Gatt-Rutter. (WAFA)

Saudi Arabia contributed $43.5 to UNRWA allowing it to complete the second phase of the project to re-house refugees in Rafah in Gaza. (unrwa.org)

The Shin Bet announced that a Hamas operative, who was arrested at the Allenby Bridge last month, revealed during his interrogation that Hamas uses the Islamic Movement in Israel as a front to advance its activities and goals in Jerusalem. (The Jerusalem Post)

US President Barrack Obama, in a letter sent to President Mahmoud Abbas, affirmed US commitment for the establishment of the State of Palestine living in peace alongside the State of Israel. (WAFA)

Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said that she would not be part of a Government that annexes land in Area C of the West Bank. (The Jerusalem Post)

It was reported that Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will meet at the Vatican on 8 June following Pope Francis’ invitation and pray for peace together. (The Jerusalem Post)

An extremist Jewish organization disseminated leaflets in the Old City of Jerusalem calling for the demolition of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Palestinian residents said. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israel warned that it would hold Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas “accountable” for Hamas terrorism as the reconciliation agreement between that group and Fatah moved a step closer toward implementation. (The Jerusalem Post)

Palestinian sources say that the announcement of a new national consensus Government, scheduled to take place on 29 May, has been postponed due to a disagreement between Hamas and Fatah over the selection of a foreign minister for the new Government. (MEMO)

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Soldiers fired rubber-coated metal bullets, not live ones, as well as gas and stun guns in Beitunia, where two teenage Palestinian boys were killed after a Nakba Day demonstration two weeks ago, IDF sources said. However, Haaretz has learned that soldiers sometimes separate the rubber-coated bullets and insert them separately into the adapter on the rifle muzzle to achieve a more harmful effect — even though the army forbids this. Military police was investigating this angle of the incident. (Haaretz)

Israeli Border Police foiled an attempted suicide bombing at “Tapuah Junction” in the northern West Bank. (The Jerusalem Post)

UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office Director for the Middle East and North Africa, David Quarrey, visited the OPT to hold the first ever Strategic Dialogue between the British Government and the PA in Ramallah on 28 May, said a statement by the British Consulate General in Jerusalem. (WAFA)

US Secretary of State John Kerry said in a TV interview with PBS that though he was “disappointed” that US-led peace talks didn't bear fruit, Israel's response to the unity deal between Hamas and Fatah was “appropriate”. (Ynetnews)

A senior Palestinian official reportedly announced that the US invited the new Palestinian unity Government's Prime Minister, Rami Hamdallah to an official visit to Washington. (The Jerusalem Post)

According to a report by Israel Radio, police restricted access to the Al Aqsa Mosque for Muslims. (The Jerusalem Post)

BDS movement is claiming victory after it was reported in numerous media outlets that Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and world’s wealthiest man, was selling shares of the British security firm G4S which has business links to the IDF. (The Jerusalem Post)

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President Abbas warned that he would respond to any Israeli punitive measures, such as withholding the monthly transfer of some $100 million in taxes and customs Israel collects on behalf of the PA. (Ynetnews)


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