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


Division for Palestinian Rights

Chronological Review of Events Relating to the
Question of Palestine

Monthly media monitoring review

June 2015


Monthly highlights

• UN Special Rapporteur Wibisono urges Israel not to implement its plans for the transfer of Palestinian Bedouin communities. (5 June)

• A RAND report estimates that over the course of a decade of peace agreement, Israelis gained US$120 billion and the Palestinians gained $50 billion. (8 June)

• The Palestinian Prisoner’s Club says that the number of Palestinian prisoners held under administrative detention in Israeli jails has reached 450. (9 June)

• Prime Minister Netanyahu says he was committed to the two-State solution and had been “trying to speak substantively to President Mahmoud Abbas for six years.” (9 June)

• The EU is moving ahead on labelling products from the Israeli settlements. (11 June)

• The UNRWA Commissioner General Krähenbühl says UNRWA was facing its most serious financial crisis. (15 June)

• Israel’s PR Prosor accuses Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict of bias against Israel. (17 Jun)

• UNRWA closes the last remaining shelter for Palestinians displaced during the 2014 Gaza war. (18 June)

• UN Secretary General criticises Israel over the deaths of hundreds of Palestinian children during the 2014 Gaza war. (18 June)

• Report of the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza conflict suggests that possible war crimes were committed by both sides. (22 June)

• American jurist McGowan Davis says the main message to transmit was that Israel must re-examine its policy of using military might. (23 June)

• UNDP Special Representative Valent says it would likely take 30 years to rebuild the extensive damage from last summer’s war in Gaza. (24 June)

• Palestinian Foreign Minister Malki submits to the ICC a file detailing possible Israeli war crimes in Gaza and settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. (24 June)

• The Vatican signs treaty with the State of Palestine about the former’s activities in Palestine. (26 June)

• Israeli forces intercept a boat of the Gaza-bound Freedom Flotilla III and reroutes it to the Israeli port of Ashdod. (28 June)

1

Israeli naval boats opened machine gun fire on Palestinian fishing boats and detained five fishermen off the shore of the northern Gaza Strip, while sailing within the six-mile fishing zone imposed by Israel. (WAFA)

Israeli forces arrested at least 15 Palestinians during overnight raids across the West Bank and East Jerusalem. (WAFA)

During a visit to the Gaza Strip, Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier called on Israel to ease the blockade on the territory and urged Hamas to make sure no more rockets are fired into Israel. Later in the day he also toured a southern Israeli community that was hit hard by rocket and mortar fire last year. (AP)

Khalil Tafakji, the head of the Geographic Information Systems Department of the Arab Studies Centre in Jerusalem, said that the Palestinian Government intended to submit 160 files documenting Israeli settlement activities to the ICC this month. (IMEMC)

2

Israeli naval boats opened gunfire towards Palestinian fishermen sailing offshore Gaza City, injuring at least three of them, according to witnesses. (WAFA)

Israeli army notified local residents of Um Salmouna, a village in south Bethlehem, to stop the construction of four houses. (WAFA)

Israeli forces detained at least 15 Palestinians in raids in Jenin, Ramallah, Jericho, Hebron and East Jerusalem. (Ma’an News Agency)

President Abbas arrived in Jordan for an official visit. Talks with senior Jordanian officials on the latest developments regarding the Palestinian cause are scheduled. (Saudi Press Agency)

The Saudi Ministerial Council has renewed its calls for the international community to prevent “dangerous” Israeli violations in the Palestinian territories, as well as to stop the Judaisation of Jerusalem. (MEMO)

A number of western European countries, among them France, the UK and Scandinavian countries, declined to participate in the Israel Defence Expo in Tel Aviv. (The Jerusalem Post)

UNRWA is hosting a conference in New York about Palestine refugees on the occasion of its 65th anniversary. (www.unrwa.org)

Mr. Christos Stylianides – the EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management – called on the international community to continue seeking a just and lasting solution for Palestine and its refugees. He reasserted the international community responsibility “to help bring a political solution to a longstanding tragedy.” (European Commission press release)

The Palestinian Return Centre was granted special consultative status with the ECOSOC. Ron Prosor, Israeli Permanent Representative to the UN, accused the NGO of being affiliated with Hamas. (www.un.org, www.mfa.il)

Israel urged the Swiss Government to stop funding an exhibition by the NGO Breaking the Silence, which is scheduled to open in June in Zurich, which includes testimonies by IDF soldiers on human rights violations. (Haaretz)

US President Barack Obama said in an interview with Israel’s TV channel 2, broadcast, that Israel risks losing “credibility” over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s stance on the creation of a Palestinian state. “Already, the international community does not believe that Israel is serious about a two-state solution.” Obama said that Netanyahu’s statements on the subject after the election have had “so many caveats, so many conditions, that it is not realistic to think that those conditions would be met any time in the near future.” “And I think that it is difficult to simply accept at face value the statement made after an election that would appear to look as if this is simply an effort to return to the previous status quo in which we talk about peace in the abstract, but it’s always tomorrow, it’s always later,” Obama said. Asked about a continued US veto at the United Nations on resolutions condemning Israel, Obama said that a lack of progress in peace efforts would make such a policy more “difficult.” “Up until this point, we have pushed away against European efforts, for example, or other efforts because we’ve said the only way this gets resolved is if the two parties work together,” said Obama. “...If, in fact, there’s no prospect of an actual peace process, if nobody believes there’s a peace process, then it becomes more difficult to argue with those who are concerned about settlement construction, those who are concerned about the current situation...” (AFP)

A high-ranking delegation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague is scheduled to arrive in the Palestinian territories at the end of July to prepare for investigating Israel’s settlement building in the West Bank and the last Israeli war on Gaza, the Palestinian ambassador in the Netherlands Nabil Abu Zneid announced. “The visit of the delegation will include the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem. The delegation will hold meetings with rights activists and witnesses who lost their lands, children and homes,” he said. (Xinhua)

The National Union of Students of the United Kingdom passed a motion to join worldwide efforts to boycott Israel over what it called Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights. The motion explicitly aligns the union with the Palestinian-instigated Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign. The NUC is the umbrella student organization for some 600 higher education institutions representing 7 million students in the country. (The Times of Israel)

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon used the 65th anniversary of UN Relief and World Agency (UNRWA) for an immediate resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations and an end to unilateral actions “that erode trust.” Ban told a UN conference marking the anniversary that UNRWA was never meant to exist for 65 years, but “it exists because of political failure.” UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl said the 5 million registered Palestinian refugees in the region today “equates to the population of Norway or Singapore.” Hanan Ashrawi, the special representative of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said the refugee population now spans four generations and continues “to endure grave hardships and deprivation,” upheavals and successive conflicts. (Associated Press)

3

The Israeli navy arrested five Palestinian fishermen, who were sailing off the coast of the southern Gaza Strip. (WAFA)

A Palestinian was injured when Israeli forces opened fire east of Khuza’a, near Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip. (Petra News Agency)

The Israeli army arrested at least eight Palestinians during predawn search and arrest operations in multiple towns in the West Bank, according to local and security sources. (WAFA)

The president of the Supreme Court of Palestine and President of the Supreme Judicial Council, Judge Ali Muhanna, confirmed his participation in the preliminary conference for the establishment of an Arab Union of Administrative Courts hosted in Egypt. The conference resulted in the inclusion of Palestine in the union. The establishment of the union is aimed at developing administrative justice in the Arab world, exchanging experience, forming a training institute for the administrative courts and the issuance of special controls in that regard. (Palestine News Network)

UNRWA announced that US$ 744,000 in funding, available for the US$ 500 reintegration grants to replace lost households goods, will reach 1,488 refugee families across the Gaza Strip this week. They will receive assistance via cheque or access the payments through local banks. (United Nations)

At least two rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip at southern Israel late. No one was hurt. (Ynetnews)

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin told UN Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov that Israel was ready to cooperate with the international community in rebuilding Gaza, but not before the return of two missing Israeli soldiers, presumed dead. (The Jerusalem Post)

President Obama invoked a waiver postponing the relocation of the US Embassy to Jerusalem for at least another six months. (The Jerusalem Post)

A 22-year-old Palestinian man was hit and injured by a vehicle driven by an Israeli settler near Salfit in the central West Bank. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Chairman of French telecom group Orange said the group aimed to end its ties with Israeli operator Partner, which had been criticized for its activities in the Palestinian territories. At the end of May, five NGOs and two unions in France asked Orange to state publicly its willingness to sever ties with Partner and denounce the “attacks on human rights” they said the company had carried out. (AFP)

4

Israeli air strikes hit Hamas training sites in Gaza in response to earlier rocket fire towards Israel. Hamas said there were no casualties in the attack. (AP)

Israeli naval forces detained five Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces detained 11 Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. (WAFA)

During a meeting with Canada’s Foreign Minister Rob Nicholson in Ramallah, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki called on him to pressure Israel into halting settlement construction and land expropriation. The two discussed ways to develop bilateral relations, including the formation of a Palestinian-Canadian group in charge of assessing bilateral ties. (WAFA)

Chief PLO Negotiator Saeb Erekat denied Arab media reports that suggested that Israel and the Palestinians were conducting secret peace talks. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli forces demolished over 30 residential structures and livestock barns in the northern Jordan Valley. (WAFA)

Israeli forces levelled around 20 dunums (5 acres) of private Palestinian land and uprooted olive trees in the town of Surif, north-west of Hebron. (Ma’an News Agency)

5

UN Special Rapporteur Makarim Wibisono has urged Israel not to implement its plans for the transfer of Palestinian Bedouin communities in the West Bank, which “are believed to entail the forced eviction and forcible transfer of thousands of people, contrary to international human rights law and international humanitarian law,” he said in a statement, adding that the evictions appeared imminent. An estimated two thirds of those affected are children, he noted. (ohchr.org)

After meeting with Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro confirmed that his country will be housing children orphaned in Israel’s war on Gaza last year. President Maduro also announced that an international summit on the reconstruction of Gaza is being prepared to be held in Caracas. Venezuela shipped 12 tonnes of aid to Palestine via Egypt and a bigger shipment – 300 tonnes – is expected in the following weeks. (Telesur)

6

A rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel, falling in an open space in Ashkelon, the Israeli army said. Neither casualties nor damages were reported. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli soldiers detained a young Palestinian man from Beit Ummar, north of Hebron. IDF soldiers also handed a resident of Hebron a military order for interrogation, and installed roadblocks. (IMEMC)

Jordan and the State of Palestine plan to establish a logistics zone to facilitate bilateral trade, Jordan’s Minister of Industry and Trade Maha Ali said at the opening of the 2nd Silk Road Conference. Also Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah met with Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour, where he stressed the need for removing all obstacles and facilitating bilateral trade exchanges. (Xinhuanet.com)

Egyptian forces will begin to evacuate some 10,000 homes near the Gaza Strip border in July, in an ongoing expansion of the no-go area between Egypt and Gaza, Egyptian military sources said. (Albawaba.com)

7

A Palestinian man was injured in a hit-and-run incident involving an Israeli settler near the “Ariel” settlement, Palestinian officials said. (Ma’an News Agency)

8

At least eight Palestinians were arrested by Israeli army and police in villages near Hebron, Bethlehem and Nablus, according to local and security sources. (WAFA)

Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek condemned Israel’s continued settlement policy and warned Israel of the inevitable international isolation, ahead of his meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu. Zaorálek is on a three-day trip to Israel and Palestine which has included a trip to the Gaza Strip. The Foreign Minister said he was shocked by the devastation there and the slow pace of rebuilding. He added that sporadic rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip on Israel should cease. (www. radio.cz; WAFA)

The RAND Corporation, after more than two years of research into the costs of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, concluded that following a peace agreement, Israelis stood to gain $120 billion over the course of a decade. The Palestinians would gain $50 billion, marking a 36 per cent rise in their average per-capita income. In contrast, the Israeli economy would lose some $250 billion if there is a return to violence, and the Palestinians would see their per-capita GDP fall by as much as 46 per cent. (AP)

China has told Israel that migrant Chinese construction workers should not be sent to work in settlements. (Haaretz)

Prime Minister Hamdallah and EU representative to the PA John Gatt-Rutter will head a delegation of European officials on a visit to Sussiya, a village located next to a settlement, which the Israeli authorities want to relocate. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli authorities closed again Gaza’s sole commercial crossing, Kerem Shalom, shortly after allowing the entry of material and aid into Gaza in the early morning, following three days of closure. (WAFA)

Secretary-General Bank Ki-moon has decided not to include Israel or Hamas to its “blacklist” of States and organizations that systematically and continuously harm children during times of conflict. Nevertheless, in his report the Secretary-General levelled harsh criticism at Israeli over its policy, which caused harm to children in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and called on Israel to re-examine it. (Haaretz)

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki that he would support an initiative to propose the recognition of the Palestinian state by the Greek Parliament. (Greek Reporter)

Diplomats from all 28 EU member states’ Jerusalem consulates arrived en masse to a West Bank village facing imminent demolition to demonstrate their opposition to Israeli settlements and the forced displacement of Palestinians. The EU called on Israel not to demolish the West Bank Palestinian village of Sussiya, whose tents and shacks in the South Hebron Hills are home to some 340 people. The EU representative to the oPT said that Israel should “halt efforts to transfer Bedouin and other herder communities elsewhere in the West Bank”. (The Telegraph, The Jerusalem Post)

The Palestinian Ambassador to Sweden said that Swedish officials have condemned the sale of a West Bank church compound to an Israeli settler organization that apparently used a Swedish company to conceal their identity. (Albawaba)

9

IDF arrested 15 Palestinians in the West Bank on suspicion of disturbing public order and inciting violence against Israeli citizens and security forces. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli forces in the West Bank arrested three Palestinian workers who were allegedly on their way to work in Israel without the necessary work permits. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said he did not believe a stable peace agreement could be reached with the Palestinians in his lifetime. (Reuters)

Palestinian officials welcomed the US Supreme Court decision to strike down a law that allowed for the listing of “Israel” as the place of birth on passports belonging to American citizens born in Jerusalem. PA chief negotiator Saeb Erekat lauded Monday’s ruling, saying it will send a message to the Israeli government that “Jerusalem is an occupied territory.” (The Jerusalem Post)

UNRWA said that $2,097,225 in funding were made available for cash assistance to meet the needs of almost 565 families in the Gaza Strip. (Palestinian News and Info Agency)

The Palestinian Prisoner’s Club said that the number of Palestinian prisoners held under administrative detention in Israeli jails has reached 450 prisoners. (Fars News Agency)

The Palestinian Foreign Minister said that two law suits, on illegal settlement activities in the occupied West Bank and Israel’s latest war on the Gaza Strip, will be submitted to the ICC on 25 June. (Fars News Agency)

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry condemned Israel’s decision to deny the United Nations Rapporteur on human rights, Makarim Wibisono, entry into the oPT. (Palestinian News and Info Agency)

Prime Minister Netanyahu said at the annual Herzliya Conference that he was committed to the two-State solution and had been “trying to speak substantively to President Mahmoud Abbas for six years,” calling on Abbas to “return to talks without preconditions.” Netanyahu said joining the ICC, along with other unilateral moves by the Palestinians, were “bad for peace.” Regarding Israel’s demands for the Palestinians to recognize it as a Jewish State and demilitarize the West Bank, Netanyahu said they were not preconditions but a “basis for long lasting peace.” (Xinhua)

Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby said that the organization appreciated and backed Jordan’s efforts with the concerned parties to start serious and time-bound peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel. The negotiations should embrace the two-State solution, an independent and fully sovereign Palestinian State along the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. (Petra)

10

Israeli forces shot and killed a member of Hamas during a raid into the Jenin refugee camp. (Gulf News)

Hamas accused senior PA officials and security services of being behind a recent spate of bombings in the Gaza Strip. (Albawaba)

Israeli army and police arrested at least six Palestinians across the West Bank and East Jerusalem. (WAFA)

Nathmi Muhanna, Director of Gaza border crossings, told Ma’an that Egypt notified his department that the Rafah crossing would be open 13-15 June in both directions. Priority will be given to Palestinians with foreign passports, students and patients seeking medical treatment. (Ma’an News Agency)

Senior Egyptian intelligence officials recently held a meeting with top Hamas officials outside the Gaza Strip. Palestinian sources said Hamas officials asked Egypt to reopen its Rafah border crossing. Egypt, in return, demanded several confidence-building moves. (Haaretz)

The Israeli authorities released the speaker of the PLC, Aziz Dweik, who had been imprisoned for 12 months. (MEMO)

A group of activists, organizations and prominent figures in the Gaza Strip announced a hunger strike in solidarity with detainee Khader Adnan, who has been on a hunger strike for 37 days to protest his detention without charges or trial by Israel. (WAFA)

G4S was cleared of failing to respect the human rights of Palestinians in Israel and the OPT by a UK watchdog, but was found to be failing in specific legal obligations relating to human rights within OECD guidelines for multinational enterprises. (Russia Today)

President Abbas called for a review of political, security and economical agreements with Israel. He also said he would not agree to any temporary resolutions or provisional borders as part of peace negotiations, and that any deal had to be comprehensive and final. (The Jerusalem Post)

Military Court Watch lodged a submission with the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment relating to the treatment of children held in Israeli military detention. (militarycourtwatch.org)

11

The Israeli army ordered 30 families living in al-Maleh, in the Jordan Valley, to leave their homes for six hours in order to conduct military training in the area. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces raided the neighbourhood of al-Issawiya in East Jerusalem for the second night, detaining five Palestinian residents. (Ma’an News Agency)

Orange CEO Stephane Richard is expected to visit Israel at the end of the week, after the French business executive sparked a diplomatic furore over his remarks about ending a licensing deal with an Israeli company. (Haaretz)

The EU is moving ahead on labelling products from the Israeli settlements. The new guidelines would take things further by requiring Israeli exporters to explicitly label products as being made in the settlements. (AP)

President Abbas inaugurated the headquarters of the Palestinian embassy in Belgrade announcing a renewed commitment to bilateral relations. (Ma’an News Agency)

UN Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov, commenting on the release of the report on Children and Armed Conflict, reaffirmed the Secretary-General’s deep concern about the dramatic increase in the number of children killed and injured in the OPT especially in the Gaza Strip. He reiterated the call on both parties to prevent such violations including through the review of existing policies and by ensuring accountability for perpetrators. (unsco.org)

Likud and Jewish Home MKs called for holding an emergency meeting of the Knesset Interior Committee to discuss what they called “the discrimination and oppression against Jews at Temple Mount” and grant Jews the right to pray in Al-Aqsa. (MEMO)

Israeli forces razed Palestinian-owned agricultural land in the village of Wadi Fukin near Bethlehem, for the benefit of establishing a new settlement project in the area. (WAFA)

Settlement construction in the West Bank rose sharply in the first quarter of 2015, with a 219 per cent spike in completed housing and a 93 per cent rise in starts, according to data released by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics. (The Jerusalem Post)

A delegation from the prosecutor’s office of the ICC is due to arrive in Israel on June 27 as part of the prosecution’s preliminary examination into whether war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in the OPT. (Haaretz)

Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked proposed a bill to restrict human rights groups and other NGOs who receive funds from abroad, accusing NGOs such as B’Tselem of “eroding the legitimacy of Israel to exist as a Jewish and democratic State”. (Haaretz, Reuters)

12

Five Palestinians were injured after Israelis forces opened live fire on the Kafr Qaddum weekly march. (AlBawaba)

13

Israeli soldiers opened fire and injured a Palestinian near the Sufa crossing in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. (IMEMC)

The Egyptian authorities opened the Rafah crossing in both directions. UN Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov welcomed the Egyptian decision. (Ma’an News Agency, UNSCO)

14

A Palestinian man near Ramallah was shot and crushed by to death by an Israeli military jeep. (Ma’an News Agency)

At the 25th African Union assembly in Johannesburg, President Abbas urged African countries to require the labelling of settlement products. South Africa meanwhile reiterated its support for the Palestinian people and their cause. (PNN, MEMO)

Press reports said the Israeli Government had sent a “direct threat” to President Abbas earlier this month, demanding that he and the Palestinian leadership to “stay calm until the end of this year, and to stop their illusions about isolating Israel.” (Al-Rai, MEMO)

Israel issued a report arguing that Israel troops adhered to international law during last operation in Gaza and blaming Hamas for “intentionally and systematically using strategies designed to maximize harm to civilian life and property”. According to the report, 44 per cent of Palestinian casualties were terrorists. Prime Minister Netanyahu scorned the release of the UN Human Rights Council probe’s report as “a waste of time”. (The New York Times, Reuters)

Israel’s Cabinet approved a proposed law that would enable authorities to force-feed Palestinian prisoners who are on hunger strike, sparking criticism from health experts and rights groups which consider force-feeding a form of torture and medically risky. (Reuters, Ma’an News Agency)

15

Israeli soldiers arrested twelve Palestinians in Hebron, Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Nablus. They searched scores of homes and installed roadblocks. (IMEMC)

Norwegian insurance giant KLP has dropped two building-materials companies (Heidelberg Cement and Cemex) from its investment portfolio over their activities in quarries “on the grounds of their exploitation of natural resources in occupied territory on the West Bank.” (MEMO)

Poland’s Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna told Prime Minister Netanyahu that his country will support the peace process. Schetyna also visited the Palestinian territories and met with the head of the Palestinian Government, Rami Hamdallah. (Radio Poland)

The IDF court-martialled three soldiers from the Qfir Brigade after they were seen in a video beating an unarmed Palestinian man during a clash in the West Bank. Two soldiers received suspended prison sentences and detention on base was ordered for the third. (The Times of Israel)

A group of Israeli settlers burned the wheat crops of Rafiq Jbara in Qafr Al-Lebed village near Tulkarm. (PNN)

Israeli soldiers invaded Palestinian olive orchards and uprooted dozens of olive saplings in Husan town near Bethlehem. (IMEMC)

The former head of the Human Rights Council’s inquiry into the Gaza conflict, William Schabas, said that both Israel and Hamas likely violated international law during the 50-day conflict, adding that it would be “unusual” for only one party to have carried out war crimes without the other side following suit. (The Times of Israel)

UNRWA in Gaza started its annual Summer Learning Program (SLP). This program provides children who failed Arabic, math or both the opportunity to move to the next grade level. (UNRWA)

Kuwait donated $15 million to UNRWA for its work with Palestinian refugees across the Middle East. (MEMO)

Leading members of Hamas are meeting in Qatar to discuss a proposal for a five-year ceasefire with Israel, Palestinian and Israeli media reported. The truce proposal, which is backed by both Qatar and Turkey, is said to be based on an outline formulated by UN special envoy to the Middle East Nikolay Mladenov. The proposal stipulates that Israel allows the construction of a floating sea port off the Gaza coast, to be subject to Israeli or international supervision. (Ynet news, The Jerusalem Post)

The Palestinian-European Club revealed that around 100 EU parliamentarians have signed a petition calling for the end of the eight-year Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip. The petition, which was raised in the EU Parliament two weeks ago, called for lifting the Israeli siege on Gaza, opening crossings, guaranteeing freedom of movement, affording international protection for the Freedom Flotilla, stressing the right of Gaza to have a sea passage and pushing Israel to commit to international law. (Middle East Monitor)

Japan State Minister for Foreign Affairs Yasuhide Nakayama made a pledge at a conference on religious tourism in Bethlehem that Japan will seek the cooperation of Israel, Jordan and Egypt to develop Palestine’s tourism industry. (NHK World News)

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and the Spanish Consul General in Jerusalem, Juan José Escobar, signed a memorandum of understanding on a one million Euro package to assist deprived Palestinian families. (Palestinian News and Info Agency)

Palestinian demonstrators held a rally in the West Bank to protest against the demolition of a house by Israeli forces. The house, which belonged to a Palestinian family, was razed for the second time under an order issued by Israeli authorities. (Fars News)

The UNRWA Commissioner General Pierre Krähenbühl made a statement at the UNRWA Advisory Commission meeting held in Amman, which was attended by Jordan State Minister for Media Affairs and Communication and acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Mohammed Al-Momani. The UNRWA Commissioner General noted that “UNRWA is facing its most serious financial crisis ever. It is a crisis that affects not only our core activities in education and health, but our emergency appeals and projects as well. Currently, we face a funding shortfall for core activities to cover the year 2015 of US$101 million. In other words we can pay salaries and cover activities only into September.” (UNRWA)

In New York, the Human Rights Watch Film Festival screened the film “This is my Land”, which documents education in Israel and Palestine. The film will be screened again on 17 June in the framework of the HRW Film Festival in New York. (Human Rights Watch)

Shurat HaDin — the Israel Law Center, an Israeli advocacy group, threatened legal action against Coca-Cola if it did not cancel its franchise agreement with its Palestinian subsidiary, whose owner has expressed support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. (Albawaba)

The mayor of Hebron had said that Israel approved the reopening of 70 shops in his city, which had been closed since 2000, as well as two roads to the south. (Pakistan Today)

The Israeli Knesset extended for another year the law that allows the Government to avoid granting Israeli citizenship or residency to Palestinians married to Israelis. The law was formulated originally in 2003 as an “emergency” statute, and had been extended every year since then, based on “security considerations”. (Haaretz)

16

Israeli forces arrested nine Palestinians from across the West Bank and attacked a child, while Israeli police arrested two women and assaulted two elders in Jerusalem. (Palestinian News and Info Agency)

Israeli forces destroyed hundreds of trees in a natural reserve in the West Bank. (Palestinian News and Info Agency)

IDF forces opened fire at a Palestinian who tried to cross into Israel from Gaza. The army treated the Palestinian at the scene and evacuated him to a Medical Center in Ashkelon. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israel announced it was partially relaxing restrictions on the movement of Palestinians to and from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, ahead of Ramadan, to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem. Up to 15,000 Palestinians will receive permits. (Gulf News, Pakistan Today)

The Israeli police arrested two Palestinians and injured five others during clashes that erupted in Al-Issawiya, East Jerusalem. (WAFA)

An Arab ministerial committee tasked with the Palestinian dossier is holding consultations over a new draft resolution to UN Security Council aims at ending Israeli occupation within a special timeline, a senior Arab League official said. The Arab League is coordinating with Egypt, current chair of the Arab Summit, to determine a date to meet with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and discuss the French draft resolution. (KUNA)

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius will meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu on 21 June, following visits to Egypt, Jordan and the State of Palestine, to discuss the French plans to bring a resolution to the UN Security Council setting out the parameters for a two-State solution, Israeli Government officials announced. (The Jerusalem Post)

The Rafah crossing will remain open on 18 and 19 June for humanitarian cases, Maher Abu Sabha, the director of Gaza’s crossings and borders said, beyond the initially planned three days that began on 13 June. This week was the first time the crossing had been opened in both directions in more than three months. (Ma’an News Agency)

Bulldozers were used by the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem to demolish the house of a Palestinian in Beit Hanina, north of Jerusalem, under the pretext that it was built without a permit. (Petra News)

17

Israeli forces arrested 18 Palestinians in Hebron, Bethlehem, Nablus, Ramallah and Jenin. (Petra News)

The Palestinian National Consensus Government formed last year in a bid to heal rifts between Hamas and Fatah resigned, an official said. An aide to President Abbas said that Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah “handed his resignation to Abbas and Abbas ordered him to form a new Government.” Officials have said the dissolution of the Government of technocrats had been under discussion for several months because of the Cabinet’s inability to operate in Gaza. Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad condemned the unilateral dissolution of the Government, a decision they say they were not consulted over. (Ma’an News Agency)

Human rights groups have rejected the Israeli army’s decision to close the investigation into the killing of four Palestinian children on a Gaza beach last summer. In a joint statement, Haifa-based Adalah and Gaza-based Al-Mezan challenged the justification given by Israel’s Military Advocate General for taking no further action. (Middle East Monitor)

The Minister of the Detainees and Ex-detainees Affairs Committee, Issa Qaraqe, said that the Israeli prisons administration has decided to stop providing Palestinian prisoners with medication, under the pretext of an allegedly insufficient budget, and that prisoners have to pay for medicine from their private funds. (WAFA)

Israel’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ron Prosor, sent a letter to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in which he accused the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui, of bias against Israel. He stated Ms. Zerrougui had written the report’s chapter on Israel with pro-Palestinian organizations that he said had a clear anti-Israeli agenda, and some of the groups even had contacts with Hamas. (Haaretz)

18

Israeli soldiers shot and injured two Palestinian men during clashes near Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus, which broke out as Israeli forces escorted Jewish worshippers to the site. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces detained four Palestinians, including two minors, from East Jerusalem and Nablus. (WAFA)

Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat issued a report entitled “Determining Palestinian-Israeli relations: Changing, not merely improving, the situation”, calling for a comprehensive review of the status quo. In the report, he recommends that the Palestinian leadership consider retracting its recognition of Israel until the Israeli Government issues a reciprocal recognition of a Palestinian State. (Ma’an News Agency)

An UNRWA spokesman said the Agency had closed the last remaining shelter for Palestinians displaced in last summer’s war in Gaza, with families seeking temporary accommodation elsewhere. “Some 30 families left the shelter of the Bahrain school (in western Gaza City), where up to 1,100 displaced people had been living,” Adnan Abu Hasna said. (AFP)

Israeli police detained and released 16 young settlers after an overnight arson attack damaged the Catholic Church of the Multiplication in Tabgha, in the Sea of Galilee area. A manager of the site said one of the buildings was completely destroyed but the Church itself was not damaged.

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon criticized Israel over the deaths of hundreds of Palestinian children during the conflict in the Gaza Strip last year, calling on the country to protect children and civilians. Mr. Ban said that last year was particularly lethal for children in Gaza, where more than 500 perished. “This is a black day for the UN,” Prime Minister Netanyahu said. “Instead of pointing out the fact that Hamas made hostages of Gaza children when it fired from kindergartens... the UN chooses once again to preach at Israel.” (AFP, DPA)

The US condemned countries, diplomats and UN officials seeking to compare Israel with Islamic State, in a speech that the US envoy to the UN gave to the Security Council. (The Jerusalem Post)

19

France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius will be heading to the Middle East this weekend with an initiative aimed at bringing Israel and the Palestinians back to peace talks under an international framework. (Reuters)

UNRWA launched “#SOS4Gaza”, a global Ramadan campaign to support children in in the Gaza Strip. It is championed by Regional Goodwill Ambassador for Youth and Arab Idol star Mohammad Assaf. (www.unrwa.org)

20

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters during a visit to Cairo, where he held what he said were intensive talks with Egyptian officials on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process: “We need Israel’s security to be totally assured, that is essential, but at the same time we need the rights of the Palestinians to be recognized because without justice there can be no peace. From this point of view, when settlement building continues, (the prospect of) a two-state solution recedes.” (The Times of Israel)

21

A Palestinian stabbed an Israeli paramilitary policeman at the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem’s Old City and was then shot by the policeman. Both men were seriously wounded. (Reuters)

Member of Knesset Basel Ghattas (Balad Party/Joint List) said that he would join the Freedom Flotilla ship heading for Gaza this week. The “Marianne” is expected to depart from Athens in the next day or two, carrying solar panels and medical equipment. Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said that the Foreign Ministry is working around the clock through all possible diplomatic channels to ensure that the ship does not reach Israel’s territorial waters. (The Jerusalem Post)

According to data released by Israel’s Shin Bet security service, there has been no increase in the pace of attacks in the West Bank and Jerusalem this year compared to 2013 and 2014. Through May 2015, there were a total of 579 attacks in the West Bank and Jerusalem and the overwhelming majority of them (493) involved the throwing of firebombs. The rest were shootings, stabbings, attacks with motor vehicles, or bombings. (Haaretz)

The Haifa District Court blocked the state from setting a precedent that would help Israel deter flotillas by legalizing confiscating captured flotilla vessels and their cargo. The ruling stated that the sea provision of international law that Israel wanted to apply, England’s Naval Prize Act of 1864, was too esoteric, too infrequently used – not used anywhere internationally since World war II – and too vague for an Israeli court to utilize. (The Jerusalem Post)

22

A Palestinian man shot and killed an Israeli and wounded another near the “Dolev” settlement, west of Ramallah. (Haaretz)

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius met with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Palestinian President Abbas. Prime Minister Netanyahu said that peace would only come from direct negotiations between the parties without preconditions and not from UN resolutions that are sought to be imposed from the outside. Foreign Minister Fabius said during a press conference in Ramallah: “[President Abbas] told me this government of national unity could only include women and men who recognize Israel, renounce violence and who are in agreement with the principles of the Quartet.” Mr. Fabius noted that these conditions would exclude Hamas from joining a unity government. (The Jerusalem Post)

Egyptian military sources said Egyptian forces will evacuate more homes on the border with the Gaza Strip in July to expand the no-go area between Egypt and the Gaza Strip. Around 1,110 houses on the Egyptian side have been demolished by the end of April and more than 1,000 families displaced. (Ma’an News Agency)

PLO Executive Committee member Ahmed Majdalani said the PLO is to hold a meeting to discuss the formation of a new Palestinian government and its political platform. He noted that Hamas has been invited to join the new government. (Xinhua)

Palestinian Prime Minister Hamdallah met with a delegation of South African Presidential Envoys and updated them on Palestinian conditions under the Israeli occupation. (Ma’an News Agency)

The United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza conflict released its report, which suggests that possible war crimes were committed by both Israel and Palestinian armed groups. “The extent of the devastation and human suffering in Gaza was unprecedented and will impact generations to come,” the Chair of the Commission, Justice Mary McGowan Davis, told a press briefing at the UN Office at Geneva, adding, “There is also on-going fear in Israel among communities who come under regular threat.” (UN News Centre, OHCHR)

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu condemned the report of the Commission of Inquiry on the Gaza conflict as “biased”. “We will continue to act with strength and determination against anyone who tries to harm us … , and we will do this according to international law,” he said at a meeting of his party in Parliament. Hamas welcomed the report in a statement, declaring that its “clear condemnation” of Israel “requires that its leaders be taken to international war crimes courts, and all international courts, for the crimes they have committed against our people.” One Hamas official rejected the report’s suggestion that Palestinians might also have committed war crimes, saying fire from Gaza was aimed at Israeli military sites, not at civilians, and criticized the report for a “false balance” between victims and killers. (The New York Times)

B’Tselem is set to publish a report on pre-verdict detention of Palestinians in the IDF’s West Bank courts. The report shows that the overwhelming rule is for Palestinians to be detained until the end of their trial and that the impact of the extremely high percentage of pre-verdict detentions is to convince most Palestinians to plead guilty. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli forces deployed on the southern Gaza border shot and injured two young Palestinian men east of Khuza’a. (Ma’an News Agency)

In a letter to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Israel’s Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold said Israel will not let Gaza-bound boats reach the maritime zone adjacent to the Gaza Strip. “The flotilla’s sole purpose is to create provocations that pose security risks and constitute a breach of international law,” Mr. Gold said. (The Jerusalem Post)

In a press release, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights called on the UK Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, and the Attorney General, Jeremy Wright QC, to urgently liaise to ensure the Centre’s demand to arrest former Israeli Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz for war crimes against the Palestinian people before he leaves the UK, where he was on a personal visit. (International Middle East Media Centre)

The Chairman of Israel’s Joint List party, Ayman Odeh, said in a statement that his party supports its member MK Basel Ghattas’ decision to sail with a flotilla hoping to break Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip. “We support the humanitarian flotilla with the participation of MK Basel Ghattas, which is intended to put on the agenda the terrible suffering of the residents of Gaza, who live in a massive prison,” Mr. Odeh said. (The Times of Israel)

23

Israeli soldiers, stationed in military towers across the border fence with the Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian farmers east of Khuza’a town near Khan Yunis, forcing them to leave their land. No injuries were reported. (International Middle East Media Centre)

Israeli forces detained overnight seven Palestinians, including three children, and injured dozens of others during clashes in the Bethlehem and Jerusalem districts. (WAFA)

Palestinian Foreign Ministry official Ammar Hijazi said that Palestine will submit its first file to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, on 25 June. The file will be a general overview of Palestine’s case against Israel, and further details of specific incidents will then be presented if Ms. Bensouda decides to proceed with an investigation. (Palestine News Network)

The International Committee of the Red Cross said that Khader Adnan, a Palestinian detainee who had been on a hunger strike for 48 days, faced an “immediate risk” of death, urging Israel to allow his family to visit in line with international conventions. The appeal comes as Israel is pushing legislation that would allow force-feeding of detainees. (AP)

Israeli settlers chopped down more than 70 olive trees between the towns of Yasuf and Jammain in the northern West Bank. (Ma’an News Agency)

In an official statement, PLO Executive Committee member Saeb Erakat said that Palestine will review the findings and recommendations of the UN Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict with the highest consideration, in line with its staunch commitment to ensuring respect for the esteemed bodies of international law. (Palestine News Network)

The Israeli police arrested seven Palestinian minors while they were leaving the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound following Taraweeh (Ramadan night) prayers. (WAFA)

American jurist Mary McGowan Davis, who headed the independent United Nations probe into the events of last summer’s war in Gaza, said that the main message Commission members wanted to transmit is that Israel must re-examine its policy of using its military might, because it led to unprecedented destruction in Gaza and to the killing of about 1,500 innocent civilians. “We wanted to make a strong stand that the whole use of explosive weapons in densely populated neighbourhoods is problematic and that the policy needs to change, because it is not OK to drop a one-ton bomb in the middle of a neighbourhood,” she said. (Haaretz)

The United States is opposed to bringing the independent United Nations report on last summer’s Gaza war to the Security Council for a vote, the State Department spokesman said. He stressed that the US opposes the process by which an investigative committee was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council and is against any further work on the report within the UN, in both New York and Geneva. (Haaretz)

Palestinian members of the Israeli Knesset said that the UN report on last summer’s war in the Gaza Strip provided enough evidence that Israel should be taken before the International Criminal Court. The Joint List said in a statement that it welcomed any serious and independent investigation into the conflict and that Israel “should necessarily be sued over the war crimes” it committed, and added that the facts presented in the report showed a huge discrepancy between the two sides, with Gaza having suffered disproportionately greater casualties and destruction than Israel. (IMEMC)

Ahmed Qurea’, Member of the Executive Committee of the PLO and Head of the Jerusalem Department, strongly denounced Israel’s decision to illegally confiscate 615 dunams (152 acres) of Palestinian land south of Jerusalem, stating that it is part of an Israeli plan to build a “National Garden” and it would lead to the annexation of large areas of privately owned Palestinian land, extending on 5,600 dunams (ca. 1,400 acres). (IMEMC)

Egypt opened the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip allowing the delivery of cement supplies into the territory, as well as select categories of Palestinians to leave and enter. Egyptian authorities have now opened the crossing three times in June. (AFP)

The Palestinian Ministry of Public Works and Housing said it would launch a project to reconstruct the homes in Gaza that had been destroyed completely during the war in 2014. (Palestinian Information Center)

The Israeli High Court of Justice ordered the demolition of 17 homes at the “Derech Ha’avot” outpost in the “Gush Etzion” settlement block in the West Bank, but has allowed the state and the homeowners the right to appeal within 90 days. The Court also ordered the demolition of 24 illegal housing units under construction in the “Beit El” settlement, located on private Palestinian property. “A person who builds on private Palestinian property does so at his own risk,” Deputy Supreme Court President Elyakim Rubenstein wrote in the legal ruling. (The Jerusalem Post)

A number of political parties in Belgium recommended the Government officially isolate and boycott companies that support Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. The Belgian Socialist Party (PS) and the Belgian Labour Party (PTB Molenbeek) said in a press statement that the settlements form an obstacle to peace, and that it is necessary to ban companies who support the occupation from trading in local markets. (Middle East Monitor)

24

The Israeli military carried out an air strike on a rocket launching device in the northern Gaza Strip after it was used by militants to fire on Israel. The air strike hit an open area, causing no casualties. The rocket fired into southern Israel late on 23 June struck an empty field without wounding anyone. (AP)

The Israeli coordinator of government activities in the occupied territory announced that following the rocket attack on Israel on 23 June, Gaza residents would not be allowed to enter Israel to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound on Friday. (Palestine News Network)

Activists aboard the Freedom Flotilla III – a convoy of ships carrying pro-Palestinian activists, at least one European lawmaker and an Arab-Israeli MP – are to soon set sail for Gaza in a fresh bid to break Israel’s blockade of the territory, five years after a similar attempt ended in a deadly raid. They will try to reach the Gaza Strip by the end of June. (Ma’an News Agency)

Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR) warned that Khader Adnan, a Palestinian prisoner who has been on hunger strike for 50 days, faces “risk of death”, and urged for his immediate release. (Xinhua)

Nineteen Members of the US House of Representatives, all from the Democratic Party, signed a letter urging the Obama administration to make Israel’s treatment of imprisoned Palestinian minors a priority in the US-Israel relationship. The letter cites a 2013 UNICEF report on Palestinian children in military detention and notes that Israel has addressed some of the claims in that report. Amnesty International, Defense for Children International-Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace and two Quaker organizations, the American Friends Service Committee and the Friends Committee on National Legislation, advocated in support of the congressional letter. The groups estimate that Israel’s military detains 700 youths each year. (The Times of Israel)

Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman briefed the Security Council on “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question”. He said that the Secretary-General was encouraged by the recent reaffirmations by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu of his commitment to the idea of a sustainable two-State solution, but had emphasized that such a pledge must be translated into action, including a halt to unilateral activities in the West Bank such as settlement building. (UN press release SC/11940)

25

Israeli forces detained six Palestinian women at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and four others in the West Bank. (Ma’an News Agency, WAFA)

The new Special Representative to UNDP’s Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People, Roberto Valent, said in an interview in Gaza City that Gaza reconstruction was moving at a “snail’s pace” and, at this rate, it would likely take 30 years to rebuild the extensive damage from last summer’s war. (AP)

Israeli settlers burned Palestinian farms in Taiba near Ramallah, damaging crops. (MEMO)

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki submitted to the International Criminal Court a file detailing possible Israeli war crimes in Gaza and settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Mr. Malki said that the information formed “a compelling case for the prompt opening of an investigation”, adding that the file also outlined allegations of crimes committed against Palestinian prisoners. (AP)

Israeli forces arrested five Palestinians in different areas of the West Bank including a woman arrested in Jerusalem. (WAFA)

A joint Israeli-Palestinian poll published showed falling support on both sides for a Palestinian State alongside Israel as a solution to the conflict. The survey conducted by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, showed 51 per cent of Israeli respondents were in favor of the two-State solution, down from 62 per cent last June. (AFP, The Jerusalem Post)

A US National Security Council spokesman said that the United States has “made clear that we [US| oppose actions against Israel at the ICC as counterproductive.” The Palestinian Government had earlier presented ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda with two files, one as evidence to the Court in support of investigating Israeli alleged war crimes and the second deals with Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, including “information about the issue of Palestinian prisoners,” the Palestinian Mission in The Hague said. (alarabiyanet)

A report released by the Palestinian Committee for Prisoners’ and Ex-Prisoners Affairs said that as many as 90 per cent of Palestinian prisoners have been subjected to various types of torture and abuse in Israeli jails. (Middle East Mirror)

An Israeli Prison Services spokesperson confirmed the release of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, a senior Hamas figure, a year after his detention during an Israeli military operation in the West Bank. (Xinhua)

26

A Palestinian man fired at an Israeli soldier during the latter’s security operations in the West Bank. The soldier fired back at the suspect, wounding him. (The Jerusalem Post)

Palestinian medical sources said that a 15-year-old Palestinian boy was injured after being struck by an Israeli settler’s car, in the Silwan area of East Jerusalem. (IMEMC)

The Vatican signed a treaty with the State of Palestine about the former’s activities in Palestine, and stated its hope that this recognition of the State of Palestine would help stimulate peace with Israel. (AP)

Pro-Palestinian activists have set sail for the Gaza Strip in a bid to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza, Knesset Member Basel Ghattas of the Joint List party announced on Facebook before the flotilla left Crete. The Freedom Flotilla III is a convoy of ships carrying pro-Palestinian activists including Mr. Ghattas, a former Tunisian president and at least one European lawmaker. (AFP)

The Palestinian Prisoners Cub (PPC) said the Israeli authorities issued administrative detention orders ranging between two and six months for 12 Palestinian political prisoners. (WAFA)

A Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli soldiers after he opened fire at them at the Bik’ot checkpoint in the Jordan Valley. No soldiers were wounded. (Ynetnews)

Dozens of Palestinian and foreign activists suffered excessive tear gas inhalation when Israeli forces suppressed weekly protests across the West Bank. (Ma’an News Agency)

27

Israeli forces shot and injured a 14-year-old Palestinian boy with live ammunition when they opened fire on a march the West Bank village of Kafr Qaddum. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli soldiers temporarily detained Theodosius Attallah Hanna, Archbishop of Sebastia of the Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem. Father Hanna had been participating in a nonviolent protest against the illegal takeover of the Beit Al-Bakara Church, north of Hebron. (IMEMC)

In an interview, the Foreign Minister of New Zealand, Murray McCully, said that he hopes to revive peace talks between Israel and Palestine during New Zealand’s month-long presidency at the UN Security Council in July. He said that he did not believe there should be conditions on the talks and that Israel was “allergic to the idea that the Security Council might start the process by imposing a whole lot of conditions -- conditions in their view that would favour the other side.” (Ma’an News Agency)

28

Israeli forces detained two Palestinians south of Hebron and a nine-year-old Palestinian child in East Jerusalem. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces detained five Palestinians in raids near Nablus, Qalqiliya and Hebron. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court acquitted an East Jerusalem resident, Muhannad Anati, of assault, after the judge was convinced that the police, soldiers and West Bank settlers testifying against the man had given false accounts of the events. (Haaretz)

Israeli forces intercepted a boat of the Gaza-bound Freedom Flotilla III and rerouted it to the Israeli port of Ashdod, where the passengers would be interrogated before being escorted to Ben-Gurion Airport and flown out of Israel. The boat carried 20 activists, among them a member of the Israeli Knesset, Basel Ghattas (Joint Arab List), and former Tunisian president Moncef Marzouki, as well as the Spanish Member of the European Parliament, Ana Maria Miranda Paz. Two additional boats making their way to the Gaza coast turned back after the interception. It was not clear whether they were returning to their ports in Greece or if they planned to resume their sail to Gaza at a later time. (Haaretz)

29

According to an official in the Foreign Ministry of France, the country is considering sharp economic measures against Israeli goods and businesses east of the Green Line, since settlements are illegal according to international law and the EU should not apply its agreements with Israel to them. Those measures would translate into labelling of goods exported from the settlements as such (and not as “made in Israel”), and excluding Israeli academic, research and development and cultural institutions that are active in the West Bank from any European funds or grants. Even more severe measures will be considered if a peace process on the two-state solution is not launched by the end of 2015. France intends to coordinate these policies with other EU countries. (Al-Monitor)

A Palestinian woman stabbed and seriously wounded a female Israeli soldier during a security check near Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem. The attacker was arrested. (Ynetnews)

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said that his country wants a new international group made up of the United States, European powers and Arab countries to be set up to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, calling it “a sort of Quartet-plus.” (The Times of Israel)

Haaretz reported that Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades is aiming to get Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu invited to address the heads of the 28 European Union nations at one of their upcoming meetings in Brussels. President Anastasiades would also like to invite Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to make a similar speech at a separate event. He discussed the idea with EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and also received the agreement of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for the initiative. (Haaretz)

Khader Adnan, a Palestinian prisoner in an Israeli jail, has reached a deal with Israel to end his 55-day hunger strike in return for his release on 12 July. As part of the deal the Israeli authorities also pledged not to detain him again without indictment or trial. (WAFA)

The Human Rights Council held an interactive dialogue with the Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict, followed by a general debate on the human rights situation in Palestine and other Occupied Arab Territories. Mary McGowan Davis, Chair of the Commission of Inquiry, said that the strikes by the Israeli army on homes and families in Gaza, in which large numbers of civilians had been killed, including 551 children, were reflective of a broader policy, approved at least tacitly by decision-makers at the highest levels of the Government of Israel. The Commission found that Palestinian armed groups fired an unprecedented number of projectiles towards Israel, the vast majority of which were rockets without guidance systems aimed at major population centres in Israel. (www.unog.ch)

In a closed meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would re-evaluate Israel’s ties with the United Nation’s Human Rights Council in light of the international body’s new report on last summer’s Gaza conflict, which had concluded that Israel and Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip may have committed war crimes in the course of the 50 days of fighting. (The Times of Israel)

UNRWA announced that 85 per cent of all 137 international personnel on short-term contracts will be separated in a phased process which will last until the end of September. “UNRWA is taking this measure to reduce costs as much as possible without reducing services to refugees. UNRWA has a deficit … of USD 101 million and we will continue with our robust efforts in resource mobilisation,” UNRWA said in a statement. (www.unrwa.org)

Four Israelis were injured in a drive-by shooting attack near the West Bank settlement of “Shvut Rachel”. Both the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the group Fatah al-Intifada claimed responsibility for the attack. (Haaretz)

Ahead of a meeting with Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to the press criticizing the Palestinian leadership for “failing to condemn” terror attacks against Israelis, following two attacks the day before. (Haaretz)

30

In retaliation for incidents in which four Israeli settlers had been injured in a shooting south of Nablus and an explosive device had allegedly been hurled at a settler vehicle near Ramallah, Israeli forces entered a number of West Bank locations detaining young men haphazardly. They also denied worshipers to go to mosques for the dawn prayers. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon stated that some of the recent terror attacks have been executed by Hamas’ international headquarters in Istanbul and were funded by Iran. He added that the attacks were fueled by incitement in the Palestinian Authority’s official media. (Ynetnews.com)

For months, Israel and Jordan have been negotiating the opening of the sites at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. Israel, which controls security of the premises, believes that opening the Mosques to paying visitors would give the Muslim Waqf, the religious trust which manages the site’s day-to-day religious affairs and is under Jordanian influence, an incentive to keep the peace in the location. (Haaretz)

Azzam al-Ahmad, head of the PLO-appointed committee leading the talks between Fatah and Hamas, said that talks to form a new unity government “have reached an impasse.” A Hamas official alleged that the talks had not actually begun beyond “some phone calls.” (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces shot and moderately injured a Palestinian man who ran towards a security guard at the Qalandiya checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces detained ten Palestinians during raids in the West Bank. (WAFA)

A 26-year-old Israeli died of wounds sustained a day before in a drive-by shooting attack near the “Shvut Rachel” settlement. (Haaretz)

Israeli settlers beat and injured a 60-year-old Palestinian man in the central West Bank village of Ras Karkar. (Ma’an News Agency)

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Hassan Shokry Selim received the envoys of the Quartet to discuss ways to resume the peace process. He said he hoped to follow up on the recent French initiative, saying it was of “critical importance to stop settlement activity in the occupied territories”. (Daily News Egypt)

US State Department Spokesperson John Kirby said the trade legislation signed by President Obama the day before, which instructs US negotiators to resist other countries’ actions supporting the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, ran “counter to longstanding US policy” towards the territories claimed by Palestinians “by conflating Israel and Israeli-controlled territories.” (AP)

Israel set new restrictions on Palestinians allowed to enter Jerusalem during the month of Ramadan after attacks targeting Israelis. Permits are required for women aged between 16 and 30 and men aged between 30 and 50 to enter Jerusalem on Fridays. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israel deported a group of Gaza flotilla activists, including a former Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki. Mr. Marzouki said a Moroccan flotilla would be heading to Gaza within a few days. (AP, Ma’an News Agency)

Israel closed the Kerem Shalom crossing with Gaza, the only commercial border crossing between Israel and Gaza located to the south-east of Rafah, preventing the entry of aid, construction material and fuel into Gaza. The Israeli authorities cited the deteriorating security situation in the Sinai as the reason. (Ma’an News Agency, WAFA)

Islamic State insurgents, via a video issued from Syria, threatened to turn the Gaza Strip into another of their Middle East fiefdoms, accusing Hamas of being insufficiently stringent about religious enforcement. “We will uproot the state of the Jews (Israel) and you and Fatah, and all of the secularists are nothing and you will be over-run by our creeping multitudes,” said a masked Islamic State member. (Reuters)

The top legislative body of the United Church of Christ voted to divest from companies with business in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory. (AP)


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