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Source: Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
30 April 2014






Division for Palestinian Rights

Chronological Review of Events Relating to the
Question of Palestine

Monthly media monitoring review

April 2014

Monthly highlights


• Israel reissues bids for 708 homes in Gilo settlement. (1 April)

• President Abbas signs letters for accession to 15 international treaties and conventions (1 April)

• Israel threatens suspension of transfer of tax revenues to the PA (10 April)

• Israeli Minister of Defense Ya’alon announces large project of expanding the settlement block of Gush Etzion (13 April)

• Hamas and the PLO sign agreement to form national consensus government, hold elections (23 April)

• Israeli Cabinet announces it will not negotiate with a Palestinian Government backed by Hamas. (24 April)

• UN Roundtable on Legal Aspects of the Question of Palestine opens in Geneva (24 April)

• The deadline for 9-month peace talks expires with no agreement, talks suspended. (29 April)

• During the 9 months of negotiations Israel approved at least 13,851 new settlement homes, Peace Now group says. (29 April)



1

Local sources reported that Israeli soldiers arrested a young Palestinian woman and a journalist in Hebron. (IMEMC)

Israeli forces detained two teenagers in clashes in Aida refugee camp, north of Bethlehem. (Ma’an News Agency)

The decline of Hamas and increasing strength of Islamic Jihad may result in a new wave of chaos in the Gaza Strip, The Economist magazine wrote in its latest issue. (Haaretz)

An official close to the peace negotiations said that US Secretary of State John Kerry was closer to a deal that would rescue the Mideast peace talks, pushing a formula that would include the release of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard and freedom for hundreds of Palestinians held by Israel. The deal would not include a freeze on settlement construction as the Palestinians had demanded but would envisage Israel committing to show “great restraint” and not issue new housing tenders. (AP)

Peace Now said that Israel renewed a call for contractor bids on 708 homes in the “Gilo” settlement of East Jerusalem that had originally been published in November. A spokesman for the Israeli Ministry of Housing said that the timing was unrelated to talks. (Ma’an News Agency)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signed letters to join 15 treaties and conventions, including the Geneva and Vienna Conventions, the Hague Convention, conventions on the rights of children, women, persons with disabilities, on racial discrimination, torture, corruption, genocide, apartheid, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Muhammad Shtayyeh, a senior adviser to Mr. Abbas, said that the Palestinian move was a reaction to Israel’s failure to release a fourth batch of prisoners by 29 Marc. (The New York Times, PLO/NAD)

US Secretary of State Kerry cancelled plans to return to the region. A senior US official said that the decision reflected a growing impatience in the White House, which believed that his mediating efforts had reached their limit and that the two sides needed to work their way out of the current impasse. (The New York Times)

Hamas said that it rejects the extension of negotiations with Israel, and called upon the Palestinian Authority (PA) to “stop this travesty”. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli Minister of Housing Uri Ariel said that convicted spy Pollard opposed being freed from a US jail in exchange for Palestinians prisoners. Mr. Ariel stated that people close to Pollard had told him that he opposed such a “shameful deal”. (AP)

Israeli authorities opened the Kerem Shalom crossing with the Gaza Strip to allow a single truckload of wooden furniture to be exported to Ukraine. A Palestinian official, Raed Fattouh, said that 280 truckloads of humanitarian aid and commercial and agricultural goods were also allowed to enter the Strip. (Ma’an news Agency)

Israeli authorities demolished more than 20 barracks and a tent belonging to Bedouin families in Khirbet Humsah in the Jordan Valley. (Palestine News Network)

Israeli bulldozers, escorted by Israeli military vehicles, destroyed for the third time a car wash in the central West Bank town of Haris in the Salfit district. (Ma’an News Agency)

Dozens of right-wing Israelis including Yeshiva students entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound escorted by Israeli police officers. (Ma’an News Agency)

2

The Israeli army, Border Police and officers from the District Coordination Office demolished six shelters in the Palestinian village of At-Tuwani. (WAFA))

The Israeli army arrested four Palestinians in Jenin and Hebron. Several Palestinians were injured by soldiers and settlers during clashes in Hebron. (IMEMC)

The military wing of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine said that an explosion had occurred during a “resistance mission” in Rafah in Gaza, injuring two fighters. (Ma’an News Agency)

A high-ranking source in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) said that Palestinian negotiators, during a 9-hour meeting with Israeli negotiators in Jerusalem, had posed seven conditions that must be met by Israel for negotiations to continue beyond 29 April. (Ma’an News Agency)

US Secretary of State Kerry phoned President Abbas as peace talks appeared to have reached an impasse over Israel’s refusal to free prisoners. (Ma'an News Agency)

“Both sides have taken unhelpful steps over the last 24 hours. But neither party has given any indication... that they want to end the negotiations,” a senior State Department official said on conditions of anonymity. (Reuters)

White House deputy spokesperson Josh Earnest expressed disappointment at the “unhelpful, unilateral actions both parties have taken in recent days”. He added that “tit for tat actions were counterproductive but that despite ominous signs, the US Administration still believed diplomacy had a chance”. (AFP)

Riyad Mansour, the Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, noted that the State of Palestine will potentially pursue joining more international organizations, including the International Criminal Court (ICC), if the Israeli Government failed to honour their commitments in the current round of peace talks. (ABC News)

Samantha Power, the Permanent Representative of the United States to the UN, told a panel of the House of Representatives that there were no shortcuts to statehood. She noted that any unilateral actions by the Palestinians could be “tremendously destructive” to the peace process. (AP)

The Office of the UN Secretary-General confirmed that Robert Serry, the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, had received 13 letters of accession to international conventions and treaties from the Government of the State of Palestine. (www.un.org)

Nabil Al-Arabi, the Secretary General of the League of Arab States (LAS), announced that President Abbas had officially requested an emergency meeting of Arab Ministers for Foreign Affairs in order to discuss the State of Palestine’s options in response to Israel’s refusal to release the fourth batch of Palestinian prisoners. The LAS decided to convene the emergency meeting on 9 April 2014. (WAFA)

US lawmakers expressed their unhappiness about the Palestinian leadership’s decision to sign more than a dozen international conventions, warning that these actions could trigger the US to cut off its aid. (Thomson Reuters Foundation)

“If they are now threatening [to go to UN institutions], they must know … they will pay a heavy price,” Israeli Minister of Tourism Uzi Landau told Public Radio. “One of the possible measures will be Israel applying sovereignty over areas which will clearly be part of the State of Israel in any future solution.” (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli soldiers demolished seven agricultural sheds and structures near Hebron. (IMEMC)

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on the UN, Arab and Islamic nations to protect Jerusalem, along with its holy sites, against daily Judaization processes. It also condemned the Israeli Jerusalem District Planning Committee’s approval of the construction of the “Jewel of Israel” synagogue on Palestinian land. about 200 metres from the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound. (WAFA)

3

Israeli media reported that Palestinian snipers fired at Israeli security personnel near the northern Gaza border fence. No injuries were reported. (The Jerusalem Post)

Four rockets fired from the Gaza Strip exploded in southern Israel. No injuries were reported. IDF struck Gaza shortly after, targeting 10 sites in 15 attacks overnight. Two Palestinians were injured, medics said. (Haaretz, Ma'an News Agency)

Israeli forces arrested three Palestinians across numerous West Bank towns. (WAFA)

Israeli military vehicles entered a border area in the southern Gaza Strip, levelling Palestinian agricultural lands. (Ma'an News Agency)

During a visit to Algeria, US Secretary of State Kerry stated that, “There was progress made in narrowing some of questions that have arisen as a result of the last few days but there is still a gap and that gap will have to be closed and closed fairly soon.” He added that, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. Now is the time to drink, and the leaders need to know that.” (Reuters, US Department of State)

Fatah official Mohammed Shtayyeh noted that Palestinian negotiators were willing to continue peace talks with Israel, provided the discussions focussed on the final borders of the Palestinian State. (The Times of Israel)

“Palestine’s application this week to join the Geneva Conventions and key international human rights treaties is a significant advance for human rights protection”, Amnesty International said, urging the Palestinians to sign up as well to the Rome Statute of the ICC. (www.amnesty.org)

Hundreds of Jewish settlers stormed a local shrine in the West Bank city of Nablus, triggering clashes with Palestinian residents. Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition to disperse Palestinian demonstrators who had gathered to protest the settlers’ presence at Joseph’s Tomb. No injuries were reported. (Anadolu Agency)

4

A Palestinian was shot with a live bullet in the foot by Israeli forces in Nabi Saleh village north of Ramallah. (Ma'an News Agency)

Four Palestinians were shot and injured with live bullets, and two with rubber-coated steel bullets, in clashes with Israeli forces near the Ofer detention centre near Ramallah. (Ma'an News Agency)

Speaking during his visit to Morocco, US Secretary of State Kerry said of the stalled negotiations that “this is not an open-ended effort; it never has been. It is reality check time and we intend to evaluate precisely what the next steps will be”, adding that he would return to Washington on Friday to consult with the Obama Administration. (AP, Reuters)

Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erakat called for the necessity to convene the Palestinian National Council with the participation of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, adding that the election of a new executive committee will be serving as “interim Government of the State of Palestine”. (Palestine News Network)

According to a statement, the Israeli Interior Ministry “heard objections” from residents to the plan to build a visitor’s centre just outside Jerusalem’s Old City walls in the Palestinian neighbourhood of Silwan. However, it granted approval to the project on grounds that it “will show important archaeological discoveries to the public”. (AFP)

Israeli Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett had reportedly begun to put together a coalition of various organizations, including those connected to bereaved families whose relatives had been killed in terror attacks, to prepare a number of potential lawsuits against the Palestinian leadership at the ICC. (Yediot Ahronot)

5

Several Palestinians suffered from tear gas during clashes with Israeli forces in Yaʻbad, southwest of Jenin, according to local sources. (WAFA)

Following a meeting of the European Ministers for Foreign Affairs in Athens, European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton said that the Foreign Ministers had given their support to the intense efforts by US Secretary of State Kerry to revive peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. (Ynetnews)

Israeli Chief Negotiator Tzipi Livni said on “Meet the Press” that “part of what happened in the past few months was more negotiations between us and the United States and less with the Palestinians”. “I believe we need to move to more meetings, more direct negotiations, more than we have had so far, and I think the Americans know this,” Ms. Livni said. “American involvement - yes, but as facilitators of bilateral negotiations.” (Reuters)

The Primate of the Orthodox Church of Greece and Archbishop of Athens Ieronymos II, in a letter sent to the Palestinian Ambassador to Greece, Marwan Toubasi, called for the release of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. (WAFA)

In a statement on the occasion of the Palestinian Children's Day, PA Minister of Social Affairs Day Kamal Al-Sharafi said that over 1,500 Palestinian children had been killed by Israeli forces since 2000, and approximately 6,000 had been injured. (Ma'an News Agency)

6

Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian man in Huwarra village, south of Nablus, witnesses said, and took him away in an Israeli military ambulance. (Ma’an News Agency)

Palestinian sources said that a tripartite meeting between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators and US Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations Martin Indyk had not led to any progress. A Palestinian official said that his side had submitted conditions for extending the talks beyond the original 29 April deadline. Both Israel and the Palestinians had reportedly asked the US to organize another meeting in an effort to prevent the collapse of the peace talks, a US official said. (Reuters, Ynetnews)

Hamas called on Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the League of Arab States, due to meet on 8 April, to reject the return of the Palestinian side to negotiations with Israel. The League’s meeting of Foreign Ministers was to be held at the request of PA President Abbas following the deadlock in negotiations. (KUNA)

Some 3,168 Israelis broke into Al-Aqsa Mosque compound during the first quarter of 2014, a Palestinian NGO, the Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage, said in a statement. (Anadolou Agency)

7

Israeli forces arrested five people in the West Bank, in addition to three others in Jerusalem, according to local and security sources. (WAFA)

Israeli jets attacked several sites in Gaza, sources on both sides said, hours after a rocket from Gaza hit Israel. No injuries were reported. (Al-Jazeera)

Palestinian Ambassador to the Russian Federation Fayed Mustafa, at a press conference in Moscow, called for a complete overhaul of the format of peace talks with a greater involvement by the Quartet including the Russian Federation and the EU. (Ynetnews)

At the conclusion of the visit to Palestine by an OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) delegation, the two sides signed a multi-million dollar grant agreement. (Arab News)

Some 719 Palestinian pilgrims and 107 trucks of construction materials, donated by Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, passed through Rafah into Gaza, a security source at the Egyptian side said. (Ma'an News Agency)

Israeli bulldozers demolished a steel structure in northern West Bank and raided a charcoal factory in the village of Zabda, confiscating 200 tons of wood. (Ma'an News Agency)

Former US President Jimmy Carter said: “The decision by the Palestinians to exercise their right to join international organizations should not be seen as a blow to the peace talks.” The Elders group of former global leaders said that the decision to sign 15 treaties is consistent with the UN status obtained by Palestine in November 2012. (Ma'an News Agency)

8

Several Israeli military vehicles entered the southern Gaza Strip. No shooting was reported. Separately, Israeli warships opened fire at Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Gaza, causing damages to one fishing boat. (Ma'an News Agency)

Israeli forces detained the mayor of the West Bank village of Qusra for interrogation. (Ma’an News Agency)

An Israeli army spokeswoman said that eight people were arrested in the West Bank overnight - five near Nablus, one in Bethlehem and two in Hebron. (Ma’an News Agency)

US efforts to broker a peace agreement faltered after Israel refused to release prisoners, then moved forward with plans to build new settlement housing in Jerusalem, Secretary of State Kerry told the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee. If the tit-for-tat cycle continued, Mr. Kerry said, the Obama Administration would have less time and patience for the process, given other pressing foreign policy crises. “The Government of the United States and the President support the notion of Israel being defined as a Jewish State,” Mr. Kerry told the Committee, but “it’s not going to happen in the beginning.” (AP, Haaretz, The New York Times)

“Israel will never apologize for construction in Jerusalem,” Israel’s Economy Minister Bennett responded to Mr. Kerry, calling the city Israel’s “eternal capital”. (AP)

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman told Israel Radio that Israel will return to the negotiating table if Ramallah rescinded its application to 15 international treaties and conventions, which he said was submitted just as both sides were on the verge of completing a deal for a prisoner release. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators ended another US-mediated session with no sign of a breakthrough, but an Israeli official said that they had agreed to meet again. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said: “Gaps remain, but both sides are committed to narrow the gaps.” (Reuters)

China’s President Xi Jinping, speaking with visiting Israeli President Shimon Peres said that China “hopes that Israel keeps in mind the broader picture of peace, shows strategic wisdom, makes brave decisions as early as possible, and pushes, along with the international community and Palestinians, for substantive progress on peace talks”. (Reuters)

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki said that President Abbas will appeal at a meeting of the League of Arab States in Cairo scheduled the following day for political and economic support in the event of Israeli punitive measures. (Reuters)

Sheikh Azzam Al Tamimmi, Director General of the Islamic Endowments, said that 48 settlers, led by Knesset Member Moshe Feiglin, invaded the compound of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and toured the holy courtyards. (IMEMC)

Dozens of settlers clashed with Israeli security forces who came to carry out a court-ordered demolition of several structures in “Yizhar” settlement. A police spokesman said that settlers were dispersed using stun grenades. Several police were injured. (AP)

Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian’s house located 800 metres away from “Yizhar,” according to a local activist, after Israeli forces demolished unauthorized structures in the settlement. (WAFA)

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics and UNICEF signed an agreement to launch a statistical monitoring system on women, children, youth and sports in Palestine. (WAFA)

Hundreds of Palestinians and activists planted olive trees on hundreds of dunums of land threatened with seizure by Israel in the village of Kherbat Samra near Tubas for the benefit of settlement construction. Israeli forces had attempted to stop them. (WAFA)

Settlers from the “Efrat” settlement flooded Palestinian farmland in Al-Khader near Bethlehem with sewage. (IMEMC)

The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, at its 360th meeting, heard a briefing by Ziad Abuzayyad and Hillel Schenker, co-editors of the Palestine-Israel Journal, who said that Israel was undermining the possibility of a two-State solution through its actions in East Jerusalem, including pushing Arabs out of the city, the separation wall, and the restrictive building permits regime. Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations stated that it was the collective responsibility of the entire global community to consider practical steps to address Israel’s actions, particularly in East Jerusalem, which constituted a sophisticated type of ethnic cleansing. He warned that if the Israelis weren't prepared to negotiate “in good faith”, the Palestinians would be forced “to move into the next stage of holding them accountable for all of their illegal behaviour in all fronts, politically, diplomatically and legally”. He added that the 15 international conventions signed by the State of Palestine would enter into force on 2 May 2014. (www.un.org)

The US Government should support rather than oppose Palestinian actions to join international human rights treaties, Human Rights Watch said. (www.hrw.org)

9

Officials at the Salfit branch of Al-Quds Open University reported that Israeli soldiers raided the campus and sprayed students with tear gas. (Ma’an News Agency)

At a meeting of Minister for Foreign Affairs in Cairo, the League of Arab States called on the United States to keep up efforts to salvage Middle East peace talks. Also, the Foreign Ministers renewed their commitment to give $100 million in monthly aid to the Palestinian Government. (AP, Reuters)

The Israeli news website WALLA reported that Israel was preparing a series of sanctions in case negotiations with Palestine completely collapsed, including withdrawing Palestinian officials’ VIP cards, confiscating taxes that should go to the Palestinian Government and delaying economic projects in the Palestinian territories. (Palestine News Network)

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu had ordered his Ministers to refrain from high-level contacts with their Palestinian counterparts. (The New York Times, AFP)

Israel was deeply disappointed by Secretary of State Kerry’s speech implying Israel was to blame for the crisis in peace talks, an official in the Prime Minister’s Office said. (The News York Times)

A four-year-old Palestinian child sustained wounds when his father’s vehicle was pelted with stones by Israeli settlers near the “Beitar Illit” settlement. (WAFA)

Palestinian school children were attacked by Israeli settlers east of Yatta in the Hebron district. Two girls were severely beaten and sustained bruises. (WAFA)

Israeli forces handed 18 house demolition notices and four stop-construction orders in Jabal al-Baba and Ahfad Younes, south-east of Jerusalem. (WAFA)

The Israeli army razed Palestinian agricultural land in the village of Al-Jalamah, north of Jenin, to expand a nearby checkpoint. (WAFA)

Israeli forces razed Palestinian-owned land in Abu al-Zuluf, west of Hebron. Settlers installed steel poles and wires on the land to claim it. (WAFA)

Israeli forces razed Palestinian-owned land west of Hebron, according to an activist. The land is located near the “Adora” settlement built on Palestinian-owned land. (WAFA)

The Al-Aqsa Foundation revealed that the Israeli authorities had recently started to dig a new tunnel beneath the Al-Aqsa Mosque, to be connected to a previously opened network of tunnels. (WAFA)

A 55-years-old Palestinian woman was severely attacked and injured by Israeli settlers and soldiers in the Hebron district, according to an activist. (WAFA)

Palestinian schoolchildren were attacked by settlers in in the Hebron district and taken to a hospital for treatment, according to PA police. (WAFA)

Palestinian Christians in Jerusalem expressed concerns over Israeli Police restrictions during the Easter celebrations, which prevented worshippers from accessing holy sites. Several East Jerusalem residents had filed a petition before the Israeli High Court of Justice, asking that the heavy security restrictions be lifted, and that armed personnel not be allowed to enter the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which was joined by the heads of the five Eastern Orthodox churches and the Franciscan Custos of the Holy Land. (Haaretz)

The Permanent Representative of Israel to the UN, Ron Prosor, in a letter addressed to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, requested the UN to dismiss Rima Khalaf, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary for the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), for alleged anti-Semitic statements made in a recently-published official UN report entitled “Arab Integration”. The report stated that “Palestine is still under Israeli occupation which is based on settlement-building and substitution.” Mr. Prosor wrote, “We were hoping that dark opinions like the ones Khalaf expressed had vanished from the world”, adding that “Anti-Israeli incitement sounded under UN sponsorship, while using its resources, is unfathomable". (Ynetnews)

The National Committee for the Commemoration of the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People launched its programme of activities during a meeting in Ramallah. (WAFA)

10

Israeli soldiers shot and wounded three Palestinians collecting gravel for construction near Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip. (AFP)

Four Palestinians were injured across the Gaza Strip as Israeli forces opened fire in two incidents, including firing a tank shell, medical sources said. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces opened artillery fire on Palestinian land and property north-east of Khan Yunis. No injuries were reported. (WAFA)

A mortar rocket launched from the Gaza Strip exploded in southern Israel. No injuries were reported. (Ynetnews)

Israeli forces arrested five Palestinians from Hebron, Bethlehem and Jerusalem. (WAFA)

Despite reports that a deal was being finalized to extend peace talks, Chief Palestinian Negotiator Erakat, speaking to the Ramallah-based newspaper Al Ayyam, said that no such progress had been made, and that the gaps between the two sides were still “deep”. (Israel National News)

League of Arab States Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby said that the deadline for the peace talks would be extended “for months” and rejected the idea that the talks had failed to make progress. “I believe that negotiations are going to be resumed for several months and we hope that this will be the end of it”, he said. (AP)

Israel would halt the monthly transfer of tax revenues collected on behalf of the Palestinian Authority and would use the money to offset Palestinian debts to Israeli utility companies, a Government official said. (The New York Times)

Chief Palestinian Negotiator Erakat said that the Israeli move to withhold tax revenues from the PA was “Israeli hijacking and the theft of the Palestinian people’s money”. Speaking to AFP, he said that the decision was a “violation of international law and norms by Israel”. Palestinian Labor Minister Ahmad Majdalani called the Israeli decision illegal and a political, rather than economic, move. (The Times of Israel)

The Governor of the Palestinian Monetary Authority (PMA), Jihad Al-Wazir, said that the decision to issue bonds was a major achievement of the Government and the PMA. In the first phase, bonds worth $200 million would be issued solely to banks. (WAFA)

Two US Congressmen joined right-wing Jews who toured the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound escorted by Israeli police officers. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Israeli military announced its decision to confiscate some 1,000 dunums of private Palestinian land in the town of Al-Khader, south of Bethlehem. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces tore down and confiscated several tents that the Palestinian Red Crescent had erected east of Nablus in order to house families whose houses had been demolished by Israeli forces a few days before. (Ma’an News Agency)

OCHA released a new report, “Fragmented Lives: Humanitarian Overview 2014”, in which it said that, “There is a crisis of accountability in the OPT – the failure to hold all parties to the conflict to account for violations of international law contributes to a culture of impunity and repeated threats to the enjoyment of human rights and dignity of the Palestinian people”. (www.ochaopt.org)

The Executive Board of UNESCO, at its 194th session, passed a resolution to send an expert mission to Jerusalem which would be tasked with evaluating the situation of the conservation of the Old City of Jerusalem and would be required to submit a report along with recommendations to the World Heritage Committee to convene in late June in Doha. (WAFA)

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reportedly signed official documents indicating that he had received and begun processing Palestine’s request to join the 10 international conventions under the auspices of the UN. He wrote that the State of Palestine would be added to the conventions on 2 May. (Haaretz)

The Swiss Foreign Affairs Department issued a notification saying that the accession of the State of Palestine to the Geneva Conventions had taken effect on 2 April 2014. (www.eda.admin.ch)

11

Egyptian Minister for Foreign Affairs Nabil Fahmi, during his meeting with EU High Representative Ashton in Cairo, stressed the need to extend the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations within a scheduled timeline, and the need for Israel to commit to the terms of reference of the peace process. (WAFA)

Local sources said that Israeli Special Police arrested three Palestinians on their way to the Al-Aqsa Mosque for Friday prayers. (Palestine News Network)

Israeli forces blocked with concrete blocks the main agricultural road leading to Palestinian farmlands east of Beit Ummar, near Hebron. (IMEMC)

The Human Rights and Democracy Report 2013, launched by UK Foreign Secretary William Hague at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London, said stated that the human rights situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs) continued to be of serious concern in 2013, with the trends of 2012 largely unchanged, adding that “the UK principal concerns related to continued violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law by Israel in the context of its occupation of the OPTs. We also continued to have concerns about breaches of human rights in PA controlled parts of the West Bank and, particularly, under de facto Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip. The humanitarian situation in Gaza deteriorated as a result of continued restrictions on movement of goods and people, combined with Egyptian closures of illegal smuggling tunnels”. (WAFA)

12

Israeli police forces launched a “wide campaign” of arrests in southern Israel against Palestinians in the country without permits in the lead up to Easter. The police department of the Lakhish regional council of southern Israel said in a statement that in the past week, 49 Palestinians had been arrested in the sweeps, including 28 at a construction site in Ashdod, 18 in Kiryat Gat, two in Ashkelon and one in Sderot. (Ma’an News Agency)

Palestinian Minister for Foreign Affairs Malki called for imposing sanctions on Israel and said in a press statement that the Israeli threat to punish the Palestinians “is a continuation of Israel's policy which is based on violating the international law”. (Xinhua)

PMA Governor Al-Wazir signed a memorandum of understanding with the Governor of the Sweden Central Bank, Stefan Ingves, in Washington, D.C. The memorandum of understanding, according to a PMA press release, aims to reinforce Palestinian-Swedish cooperation and share experience in financial stability, monetary policies, payment systems and market operations. (WAFA)

Two Palestinians youth were injured during clashes between local youths and Israeli forces in Aida refugee camp north of Bethlehem. According to a local source, Israeli forces entered the refugee camp and fired large amounts of tear gas. (Ma’an News Agency)

13

A Palestinian man was shot by Israeli forces near Erez crossing in the northern Gaza Strip, Palestinian medical and security sources reported. An Israeli military spokeswoman said that a crowd had gathered in a prohibited area near the security fence and as a result, soldiers tried to distance crowd using riot dispersal means. (Ma’an News Agency)

The military wing of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine said that it had fired three mortar shells at Israeli military vehicles that had crossed into the southern Gaza Strip. No injuries or damages were reported. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces blocked roads and deployed dozens of soldiers to Nabi Saleh, a village near Ramallah, a day after the village was declared a “closed military zone”. Soldiers also fired tear gas and stun grenades in the village, making it even more difficult for people to leave the village, witnesses added. (Ma’an News Agency)

The IDF enacted a curfew on the entire West Bank throughout the Jewish Passover holiday. The Israeli Defense Minister’s decision limits passage into Israel for humanitarian and medical cases only. The curfew would be lifted midnight on 22 April. (Ynetnews.com)

Chief Palestinian Negotiator Erakat denied reports that his team was meeting with Israeli negotiators to try to break through the current impasse in talks. Mr. Erekat told Israel Radio that the sides would only convene later in the week when US Special Envoy Indyk returned to the region. Earlier in the day, AFP cited an unnamed Palestinian official as saying that Israeli and Palestinian negotiators were due to meet during the day despite Mr. Indyk's absence. (The Jerusalem Post)

A PLO committee was to visit the Gaza Strip during the week in an attempt to finalize a reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas. A meeting had been confirmed in a telephone call between senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad and Gaza leader Ismail Haniyeh. (Ma’an News Agency)

During separate phone calls to Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon strongly encouraged them to remain “constructively engaged” in ongoing efforts towards achieving a two-State solution. (UN News Service)

The Palestinian presidency condemned the latest Israeli police raid and assault of protesters in the Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem. Israeli police stormed the Mosque, fired tear gas and stun grenades towards the worshippers, guards and employees of the Islamic Waqf and beat them up. (WAFA)

Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe Ya’alon announced that work had begun for the largest project of expanding the settlement block of Gush Etzion south of the West Bank. He confirmed that a 984-dunum area of land south and west of Bethlehem had been seized the previous week for the project. (WAFA)

14

According to the Israeli army, an Israeli civilian was killed and two were wounded in a shooting near the southern West Bank city of Hebron. (AFP)

A Palestinian woman died because of suffocation from inhaling tear gas during clashes with Israeli forces in the Aida refugee camp near Bethlehem. (KUNA)

Israeli forces arrested three people from the districts of Jenin and Bethlehem, according to local security sources. (WAFA)

Israeli Labor MK Hilik Bar was keeping constant contact with Palestinian President Abbas and plans to visit him in Ramallah on 16 April. Mr. Bar, chairman of the Caucus to Solve the Israeli-Arab Conflict, would be joined by several other lawmakers from the caucus to directly discuss with President Abbas ways they can help stop the breakdown of the latest round of negotiations. (The Jerusalem Post)

The Palestinian Minister of State for Planning Affairs, Mohammad Abu Ramadan, met with Japan’s Special Peace Process Envoy to the Middle East, Yutaka Uemura, in Ramallah, to discuss ways of supporting the Palestinian economy and improving cooperation with East Asian countries. (WAFA)

The International Committee of the Red Cross warned of a collapse in humanitarian services provided to the Gaza Strip due to eight years of Israeli blockade. (Xinhua)

Israeli authorities shut down Gaza’s only operating commercial terminal for the Jewish holiday of Passover, a Palestinian official said. The Kerem Shalom crossing will be closed on 14 and 15 April but will resume operating on 16 April. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces again stormed the Aida refugee camp and arrested one person. (WAFA)

Israeli settlers attacked the Hosh Sabra neighbourhood in the Old City of Jerusalem where they burned tyres and seized an empty Palestinian-owned shop to turn it into their home. (WAFA)

Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian workers while at work near the village of Burin, south of Nablus, leading to clashes, according to eyewitnesses. No injuries were reported. (WAFA)

The Centre of Information concerning Israeli Settlement and Apartheid Wall Affairs said that since the beginning of 2014, Israeli authorities had handed out 191 demolition notices for Palestinians’ properties and carried out 90 demolitions of houses, tents, a mosque, structures, water tanks, public utilities and commercial shops. (WAFA)

15

Army Radio reported that assailants tossed a Molotov cocktail at an IDF post in Hebron. (The Jerusalem Post)

According to eyewitness accounts, Israeli forces fired an artillery shell into the Juhr al-Deek area, south-east of Gaza. (WAFA)

A Palestinian worker was shot and injured in the leg by Israeli forces near the Beit Hanoun crossing in the northern Gaza Strip. (WAFA)

IDF forces shot and injured a Palestinian who had failed to retreat despite warnings at the Erez crossing with Gaza. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators were to meet again the following day with US Special Envoy Indyk in a bid to try and save the peace process. (AFP)

The World Bank launched two projects focused on improving sanitation services in the Gaza Strip, which was facing severe public health and water pollution threats. (Xinhua)

According to the Anti-Settlement and Segregation Wall Committee in Bethlehem, Israeli settlers assaulted a Palestinian farmer in the village of al-Khadr, south of Bethlehem, while he was on his own property. (WAFA)

Hamas leader Haniyeh said that capturing Israeli soldiers was the best method for achieving freedom for Palestinian prisoners. (Ma'an News Agency)

16

A number of Palestinians were shot and injured by Israeli forces and many others suffocated by tear gas in Hebron. Also, Israeli forces raided a preparatory school in Hebron, firing tear gas and raising an Israeli flag on top of the school. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces arrested seven Palestinians from Jerusalem and four others from Beit Ummar, south of Hebron. (WAFA)

An Israeli official said that a scheduled meeting between Israeli and Palestinian peace negotiators, scheduled had been postponed after a fatal shooting of an Israeli police officer near Hebron. (AFP)

Palestinian President Abbas told a visiting group of Knesset members in Ramallah that if a deal was struck to extend the talks, he would want the next three months of negotiations to focus on defining the borders of a Palestinian State, with detailed discussion over the specifics on maps, and that Israel should freeze all settlement building during that period. (The Times of Israel)

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah held separate meetings with the US Consul General in Jerusalem, the South African Consul General to the PA, and the Representative of the Russian Federation to the PA, and gave briefings on the latest political and economic developments. (WAFA)

Following separate meetings of the Ambassador of Japan to Israel and Palestine, Yutaka Iimura, with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s adviser to the peace process, Yitzhak Molcho, and with Palestinian President Abbas, the Government of Japan issued a statement encouraging the parties to continue the peace negotiations persistently, adding that the door to an agreement on the final status between Israel and Palestine would not be kept open indefinitely. (WAFA)

Dozens were hurt in clashes between Israeli police and Muslim worshippers at Al-Haram Al-Sharif/Temple Mount in Jerusalem that started after dozens of the worshippers hurled stones at policemen who had arrived in the morning to open a gate to the compound to escort some 20 visitors. Police used stun grenades and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd. Some two dozen Palestinians were treated for tear gas inhalation and other injuries. An Israeli officer was also hurt. (DPA, Reuters)

The PLO Negotiations Affairs Department released a report entitled “Resurrection and Israeli Restrictions – Easter in Jerusalem”, in which it said that 22 Christian families in Jerusalem were facing threats of demolition or eviction. (WAFA, www.nad-plo.org)

Palestinian Minister for Media Affairs and Government Spokesperson Mohammed Momani called on the Security Council and the international community to address the current Israeli escalation in infringement on the Al-Aqsa Mosque. (Petra)

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territories occupied since 1967, Richard Falk, urged Israel to prevent settlers from taking over Al-Rajabi House in Hebron. Al-Rajabi House, a four-story building capable of housing 40 families, is located strategically between the illegal settlement of “Kiryat Arba” and the Ibrahimi Mosque/Cave of Patriarchs in the old city of Hebron. “Three settler families have already moved into the building. This will likely mean more movement restrictions for Palestinians in the area, more road closures, and more harassment of Palestinian residents and human rights defenders by settlers”, he said. (www.ohchr.org)

The Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said that Israeli antiquities authorities escorted by Israeli forces had carried out excavations at an ancient cemetery near the village of Deir Sharaf between Nablus and Tulkarm and stole all the contents. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces detained a Palestinian farmer in Nablus on suspicion of attempting to stab a settler after a group of settlers assaulted him and cut down his olive trees. (Ma’an News Agency)

In a report released on the occasion of Palestinian Prisoners Day that was to be commemorated the following day, the Palestinian Ministry of Detainees Affairs said that more than 800,000 Palestinians, including 15,000 women and thousands of children, had been arrested and imprisoned by Israel since 1967. (IMEMC)

17

Israeli forces suppressed with tear gas and rubber bullets a students’ rally commemorating Palestinian Prisoners’ Day at the town of Tuqu, south-east of Bethlehem, according to local sources. (WAFA)

The Al-Haram Al-Sharif/Temple Mount compound was closed to visitors a day after clashes erupted between Palestinian worshipers and Israeli forces at the holy site. Israeli forces detained six Palestinian youths suspected of being involved in clashes. (Ynetnews)

UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl paid his first official visit to the Gaza Strip. During a press event at an UNRWA clinic in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, Mr. Krähenbühl vowed to advocate strenuously to end the blockade of Gaza, to improve the quality of UNRWA services to the refugees and to stand against what he called the “collective punishment” of Gaza residents, adding that “nothing prepares you for Gaza; no amount of UN humanitarian reports, no amount of newspaper articles, no amount of human rights investigations. None of these can adequately convey what the people here are going through”. (www.unrwa.org)

According to a newly released report by the Palestinian Prisoners Club, at least 5,000 Palestinian prisoners, including 230 children and 20 women, were currently being held in Israeli prisons, adding that Israel continued to violate international law and human rights conventions, including the Geneva Convention. (Petra)

In the context of Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC) expressed solidarity with some 5,000 Palestinian prisoners. In an open letter to WCC member churches, the Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit expressed disappointment when the Government of Israel cancelled the scheduled release of prisoners who had been in Israeli jails even before the Oslo Agreement of 1993, and encouraged WCC member churches to join in calling on UN Member States to insist that Israel end arbitrary detentions and torture, and provide medical care to Palestinian detainees. (www.ekklesia.co.uk)

18

Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian man near Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip. An Israeli spokesperson said that a crowd of Palestinians gathered in a prohibited area had not responded to “riot dispersal means and warning shots”. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Israeli army arrested three Palestinians and interrogated 10 others during a raid in the village of Beit Awa, west of Hebron. (IMEMC)

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met separately with US Special Envoy Indyk. (AFP)

Nine Palestinians were injured and three detained in clashes with Israeli forces in East Jerusalem after Israel imposed tight restrictions on worshippers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. (Ma’an News Agency)

Dozens of Christian pilgrims suffered from tear gas inhalation after Israeli troops fired tear gas canisters as they were performing religious rites at the Tomb of Lazarus in Al-Eizariya in East Jerusalem. (Ma’an News Agency)

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Ashton issued a statement expressing concern about the recent announcement that almost one square kilometre near the “Gush Etzion” settlement had been declared as “State land” by the Israeli Defense Ministry. (www.europa.eu)

19

Israeli forces arrested six Palestinian youths in Jerusalem. (WAFA)

UN Special Coordinator Serry said in a statement that he was dismayed that a peaceful Easter procession he had participated in, led by Palestinian Christians through Jerusalem’s Old City, was disrupted by Israeli security forces. An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman called what happened a “micro-incident”. (Reuters, UN News Centre)

Israeli soldiers beat up a number of Palestinian farmers and shepherds in the village of Um al-Khair, near Hebron, preventing them from reaching their land. (WAFA)

UNRWA renewed its demand for unimpeded humanitarian access to the besieged camp of Yarmouk in Syria, warning that there was no UN food aid left there. (UN News Centre)

20

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

A Palestinian official said, “The Palestinians informed Indyk that if this Israeli intransigence continues, they have several options to resort to. … First, handing the keys of the PA to the UN so it will be in charge of the Palestinian people and the State of Palestine, which is under occupation, or that [Israel] assumes again full responsibility for everything”. (AFP)

US State Department Spokesperson Psaki said that the US was focused on helping the parties find a way to extend the negotiations, adding that developments over the last month made it necessary to find a new formula to move them forward. She added that an extreme step such as shutting down the PA would obviously have grave implications. (www.state.gov)

Dozens of Palestinian worshippers were wounded and detained by Israeli forces at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in clashes that broke out after the forces, escorting Jewish visitors, stormed the courtyards firing stun grenades and rubber-coated bullets. (IMEMC)

Israeli settlers cut down more than 100 olive trees belonging to a Palestinian in the village of Ras Karkar, south-west of Ramallah. (WAFA)

The “Miles of Smiles” convoy with activists from 21 nations arrived in Gaza. (IMEMC)

21

Militants in the Gaza Strip fired a missile at Israeli troops patrolling the border and several rockets into the country’s south, according to the Israeli military. No injuries were reported. The attacks drew air strikes at Hamas targets by Israeli aircraft. Four Hamas members were wounded, according to Gaza ambulance services. (AP)

Israeli naval forces opened fire on Palestinian fishermen off the Gaza shore. “Three fishing boats sustained minor damage,” Nezar Ayash, spokesman for Gaza's fishermen, reported. No casualties were reported. (Anadolu Agency)

Israeli forces arrested three Palestinians during raids in the West Bank. (WAFA)

Senior Hamas leaders were meeting in Gaza, ahead of a visit by Fatah officials tomorrow. (AP)

Palestinian Prime Minister Hamdallah met with the Chinese Ambassador to Palestine, Liu Hong, and briefed him on the latest political and economic developments. Mr. Hamdallah stressed the importance of China’s role in supporting Palestine and called upon China to launch more developmental projects, particularly in Area C, as well as in the areas of health and education. (WAFA)

The US Supreme Court agreed to weigh the constitutionality of a law that was designed to allow American citizens born in Jerusalem to have Israel listed as their birthplace on passports. The State Department policy allows passports to name Jerusalem as a place of birth, but no country name is included. (Reuters)

Jordanian Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communications Al-Momani said that Jordan, in coordination with the State of Palestine, will adopt the necessary measures to safeguard Islamic and Christian sites in Jerusalem and defend Muslim worshippers in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, with the support of the League of Arab States, the Organization of the Islamic Conference and a number of European Union countries. (petra.gov.jo)

22

An Israeli army spokeswoman said that three Palestinians were detained overnight near Ramallah and in Beit Ummar. She said that two Palestinians who hurled rocks north of Jenin were briefly detained, then released. (Ma’an News Agency)

A young Palestinian man was hospitalized after being physically assaulted by Israeli soldiers in the village of al-Lubban al-Sharqiya, south of Nablus. Israeli forces also arrested a 50-year-old man in same the village. (Ma’an News Agency)

“No Palestinian is speaking of an initiative to dismantle the Palestinian Authority,” Chief Negotiator Erakat said. “But Israel’s actions have annulled all the legal, political, security, economic and operational aspects of the prerogatives of the Palestinian Authority.” (www.middle-east-online.com)

In televised remarks to Israeli journalists at his headquarters in Ramallah, President Abbas said that he would extend the negotiations with Israel beyond the 29 April deadline only if Israel agreed to free a group of prisoners as previously planned, freeze settlement construction, and discuss the borders of a future Palestinian State. Israeli authorities reportedly rejected those conditions. (AFP)

The Palestinian Cabinet, in its weekly meeting in Ramallah, said that the demarcation of the Palestinian-Israeli borders based on 1967 borders would be the key to successful negotiations with Israel in the future, adding that Israel’s avoidance of the issue during the previous nine months had made it impossible to achieve any further progress. (WAFA)

Israeli Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz, who is also a member of Chief Israeli Negotiator Livni’s Hatnua party, told Israel Radio that “the talks were a lot better” than previous sessions, and that, contrary to charges by members of right-wing parties in the Israeli Government, “the talks continue to exist”. “There really is progress” on a number of issues raised by the Palestinians as part of their demands for the extension of negotiations, he said. (The Times of Israel)

Some 20 Israeli settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound via the Al-Maghariba Gate, and conducted provocative tours on its premises, according to the Media Coordinator for the Al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Heritage, Mahmoud Abu Atta. “The continuous presence of Palestinians at the gates of the Mosque is an important way to ensure the maximum protection from the settlers' attacks,” he said, noting that many Palestinians stationed at the gates were subjected to severe beatings and verbal and physical abuse. (petra.gov.jo)

Prime Minister Hamdallah met with the Jordanian Minister of Industry and Trade, Hatem Hilwani, and briefed him on the challenges facing Palestinian economic growth due to Israeli practices, especially in Area C. Mr. Hamdallah stressed the importance of Arab support to the Palestinian cause, especially by Jordan, and expressed hope that a financial safety net would soon be implemented as agreed upon in the last Arab Summit in Kuwait. (WAFA)

23

Israeli soldiers raided several Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and arrested at least 14 Palestinians. (IMEMC)

Israel Air Force jets fired on a suspected Palestinian militant riding a motorcycle in the northern Gaza Strip, missing the target and wounding 12 people, all of them civilians, including children, according to health officials. After the air strike, two rockets exploded in southern Israel, but no injuries or damage were reported. (Haaretz, Ynetnews)

Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour arrived in Ramallah to meet President Abbas and Prime Minister Hamdallah and to co-chair the fourth session of the Joint Jordanian-Palestinian Higher Committee. The two countries were expected to sign a number of agreements, executive programmes and memoranda of understanding in various fields. (Qatar News Agency)

Hamas and the PLO agreed to implement a unity pact, both sides announced in Gaza City. The move envisioned forming a unity Government within five weeks and holding national elections six months after a vote of confidence by the Palestinian Parliament. Fatah and Hamas also agreed to release prisoners detained for their political affiliation. (Ma’an News Agency, The Jerusalem Post)

Prime Minister Netanyahu decided to cancel the scheduled meeting between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in the wake of the reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah. (Ynetnews)

US State Department Spokesperson Psaki said during a daily press briefing: “Any Palestinian Government must unambiguously and explicitly commit to nonviolence, recognition of the State of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements. … The timing [of the reconciliation agreement] was troubling and we were certainly disappointed in the announcement. … This could seriously complicate our efforts.” (www.state.gov)

During a joint press conference with Palestinian Foreign Minister Malki in Ramallah, Austria’s Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said that Austria would continue to provide support to the State of Palestine at different levels, especially in the areas of water and education. (WAFA)

Israeli settlers sprayed racial graffiti on a grave in the cemetery of Al-Yussufiya adjacent to the Al-Aqsa Mosque. (WAFA)

The Ahrar Center for Detainees Studies and Human Rights reported that Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails held in administrative detention without charges or trial, have decided to go on a hunger strike starting 24 April 2014. (Qatar News Agency)

24

Israeli forces arrested 11 Palestinians from Hebron, Ramallah and Tubas. (WAFA)

Israeli forces, with tanks and bulldozers, infiltrated 200 metres into the Gaza Strip, east of Khan Yunis, where they razed agricultural land while opening fire towards nearby homes. (WAFA)

The Israeli navy fired at Palestinian fishermen off the northern Gaza coast and detained them for questioning. (Ma’an News Agency)

Senior Fatah official Jibril Rajoub said, “The reconciliation that we reached will be implemented according to the programme of Abu Mazen [President Abbas], which recognizes the State of Israel,” adding that Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh was “obliged to uphold Abu Mazen’s policy”. (Haaretz)

The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement saying, “The Cabinet today unanimously decided that Israel will not negotiate with a Palestinian Government backed by Hamas, a terrorist organization that calls for Israel’s destruction. In addition, Israel will respond to unilateral Palestinian action with a series of measures.” (Ynetnews, www.pmo.gov.il)

A senior US Administration official said on condition of anonymity: “We will determine any implications [of reconciliation] for our assistance based on US law.” (Reuters)

The Spokesperson for EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, Michael Mann, said, “The European Union believes that the reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas is an important step toward a two-State solution. … But the top priority remains the continuation of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.” (Haaretz)

The Elders welcomed the reconciliation agreement signed in Gaza by Hamas and Fatah representatives. (www.theelders.org)

UN Special Coordinator Serry said in a statement following a meeting with President Abbas, that he “was assured that this agreement will be implemented under the leadership of the President and on the basis of the PLO commitments [which] include recognition of Israel, non-violence, and adherence to previous agreements. President Abbas also reiterated his continued commitment to peace negotiations and to non-violent popular protests. The Special Coordinator confirmed the United Nations continued support for unity on this basis.” (www.unsco.org)

The State of Palestine and the World Bank signed an agreement to implement a solid waste management project in the Gaza Strip worth $32 million. (WAFA)

A two-day Palestine International Forum for Media and Communication ended in Istanbul. The forum brought together some 400 participants who discussed and exchanged experience in reporting on the Palestinian issue. (Bernama)

Two Israeli settlers attacked with stones a Palestinian family of four children and their mother as they were returning from school in the south Hebron hills, injuring a seven-year-old girl, a peace group Operation Dove said. (Ma’an News Agency)

Some 200 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails began an open hunger strike to protest their detention without charge or trial. (WAFA)

The United Nations Roundtable on Legal Aspects of the Question of Palestine, organized by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, opened at the United Nations Office at Geneva. (www.unog.ch)

25

During a news conference in Seoul, President Obama described the Palestinian reconciliation agreement as “unhelpful” and said that it was “just one of a series of choices that both the Israelis and Palestinians have made that are not conducive to trying to resolve this crisis”. He said that the US would continue to offer the parties “constructive approaches” but added that “there may come a point at which there just needs to be a pause and both sides need to look at the alternatives”. “What we haven't seen is frankly the kind of political will to actually make tough decisions… on both sides,” he said. “Do I expect that they will walk through that door next week, next month or even in the course of the next six months? No.” (AP)

“A two-State solution [is] the only real alternative. Because a unitary State winds up either being an apartheid state with second class citizens - or it … destroys the capacity of Israel to be a Jewish State,” said Secretary of State John Kerry in a closed door meeting of world leaders. Mr. Kerry also said that at some point, he might unveil his own peace deal and tell both sides to “take it or leave it.” If “there is a change of Government or a change of heart,” Mr. Kerry added, “something will happen.” (The Daily Beast)

The US made a new contribution of $82 million to UNRWA, bringing its total contribution in 2014 to $211 million. (www.unrwa.org)

The Quartet appointed Kito de Boer, a Director of McKinsey & Co., to lead its effort to boost private-sector investment in the Palestinian economy. (The Wall Street Journal)

26

A Palestinian fisherman was shot and injured by Israeli forces off the coast of the Gaza Strip, security sources said. (Ma’an News Agency)

27

Fatah said that President Abbas is their choice for presidential candidate and that within the next few days, the President would set a date for upcoming elections. (Ma’an News Agency)

“The [unity] Government would be under my command and my policy,” President Abbas told senior leaders of the PLO. “Its purview will be what happens domestically. I recognize Israel and it would recognize Israel. I reject violence and terrorism,” he said. “It is not the Government’s mission to take care of political issues,” Bassem Naim, an adviser to Hamas leader Haniyeh, told AFP in response to the speech by President Abbas. He denied that Hamas was considering the recognition of Israel. (Haaretz, Reuters)

“The extensive efforts deployed in recent months must not go to waste,” EU High Representative Ashton said. “The EU calls on all sides to exercise maximum restraint and to avoid any action which may further undermine peace efforts and the viability of a two-State solution.” (www.eubusiness.com)

“Either Hamas disavows the destruction of Israel and embraces peace and denounces terror or President Abbas renounces Hamas,” Prime Minister Netanyahu told CNN. “If one of those things happened, we could get back to the peace negotiations. I hope he renounces Hamas.” (AFP)

Representatives of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine withdrew from the closing session of the PLO Central Council because the two-day meeting’s final statement included a decision to resume peace negotiations with Israel under certain conditions. The group called upon the Palestinian leadership to completely stop negotiations and security coordination with Israel. (Ma’an News Agency)

President Abbas publicly denounced the Holocaust as “the most heinous crime to have occurred against humanity in the modern era.” Prime Minister Netanyahu said, however, that Mr. Abbas was “issuing statements designed to placate global public opinion.” (The Washington Post)

Yusef Azril, the director of the PA police crime and drug prevention units, stated that the Palestinian application for INTERPOL was complete. The next step, according to Azril, would be a go-ahead from the PLO to approach the organization. (www.israelnationalnews.com)

Yoav Mordechai, Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, said that Israel would freeze 19 construction projects that had been approved in Area C as a goodwill gesture at the start of peace talks, Ma’ariv reported. (Ma’an News Agency)

Settlers from “Yizhar” chopped down more than 60 olive trees belonging to Palestinian farmers, Ghassan Daghlas, PA settlement affairs official, said. (Ma’an News Agency)

28

Israeli forces arrested two Palestinians and wounded another two after raiding a shop in al-Issawiya in Jerusalem, a local committee said. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli soldiers shot and injured two Palestinians as they were collecting stones in the northern Gaza Strip, a medical official said. (Ma’an News Agency)

The PLO had decided to press its bid for signing Palestine onto 63 international conventions, senior PLO officials said. However, the decision as to when would be left to President Abbas. In addition, the PLO had voted to ask the Security Council and General Assembly to condemn Israel for settlement construction, anti-Palestinian actions in Jerusalem, and harm to churches and mosques, especially Al-Aqsa. The PLO had also voted to demand that UN Member States boycott companies and institutions cooperating with the occupation. (Haaretz)

Former high-ranking security officials from both Israel and the PA sent a letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ya’alon recommending that Israel and the PA do everything in their power to continue the negotiations, and warning that an end to talks could lead to violence. (Haaretz)

Haaretz reported that US Special Envoy Indyk had left Israel. Mr. Indyk was expected to take part in consultations in Washington over coming weeks, but it was unclear when he and his team would be returning to the region. (Haaretz)

Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders called the Israeli and Palestinian sides to take responsibility and to stay focused on the peace talks. Mr. Reynders recalled the European support for intra-Palestinian reconciliation behind the solid leadership of President Abbas based on the principles set out in his speech of 4 May 2011. (diplomatie.belgium.be)

Palestinian Minister of Labour Ahmed Majdalani told Xinhua that Israel had officially informed the Palestinian side that the tax revenues for April would be transferred by the end of the month. However, Israel had not said if it would continue to transfer the tax revenues for following months, Mr. Majdalani said. (Xinhua)

Israeli forces stormed a school in the tent village of Al-Fakhit, home to approximately 200 Palestinians threatened by demolition. (WAFA)

A Bedouin school made of tires in the “E-1” area east of Jerusalem is slated for destruction by Israel, but its case was being reviewed by the Israeli Supreme Court, a local spokesman said. (Ma’an News Agency)

29

In a statement released by the US State Department, Secretary of State Kerry lashed out against “partisan political” attacks against him, but acknowledged that his comments the previous week to a closed international forum [about Israel risking becoming an “apartheid State”] could have been misinterpreted. (AP, BBC)

Israel stated that it would not resume negotiations with any Palestinian Government supported by Hamas, even if that Government was made up of figures who met international conditions. An Israeli official said that Israel had in the past received “a specific commitment from the American Administration” backing that position. (The New York Times)

Figures quoted by the Israeli organization Peace Now showed that during the nine-month talks, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Government approved at least 13,851 new settlement homes through the advancement of plans and the publication of tenders. (Yahoo.com)

There can be no peace with Israel without first defining the borders of a future Palestinian State, Palestinian President Abbas said in a televised address. (AFP)

Mustafa Barghouti, a member of the PLO's central council, that the International Criminal Court was among the 63 international agencies and treaties the PLO would seek to join amid the collapse of peace talks with Israel. (The Wall Street Journal)

It was reported that after halting peace talks with Palestinians the previous week, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu had asked his cabinet to bring forward alternative approaches to the intractable conflict, which were likely to include annexing parts of the West Bank or withdrawing from some settlements. (The New York Times)

Prime Minister Netanyahu instructed Defense Minister Ya'alon to cancel an upcoming hearing to promote plans for [settlement] building in the West Bank, IDF Radio reported. (www.israelnationalnews.com)

Several hundreds of Israeli soldiers guarded six bulldozers that demolished buildings, including a mosque, in the village Khirbet al-Taweel. (Reuters)

The signing of a reconciliation agreement between Turkey and Israel could happen in a matter of days or weeks, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in an interview with Charlie Rose. Mr. Erdogan said that the two sides had reached agreements on compensation for the death of nine Turkish citizens on the 2010 Gaza flotilla, and on Turkey delivering humanitarian aid to the Palestinians in the future. Upon the signing of this agreement, the two countries could “move toward a process of normalization”. (Ynetnews)

The first European conference organized by the Palestinian diaspora on the issue of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails closed in Berlin on 29 April. In its final statement, the conference called for forming a European-Palestinian committee of legal experts to follow up on the issue before the international judiciary. It further called on Palestine to accede the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court, and to use all possible means to support the prisoners at the different popular, institutional and international levels. (WAFA)

Israeli and Palestinian envoys publicly blame each other at the UN Security Council quarterly debate on the Middle East situation for the latest breakdown in the fragile peace negotiations as the deadline for a deal expired. (Reuters)

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Serry told the Security Council that difficult choices were now required from both Israelis and Palestinians, noting that the United States-brokered talks had been suspended due to the inability of the parties to bridge the gaps in their substantive positions. (United Nations)

A boat that was part of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition was attacked in Gaza, a statement from the movement said. The ship had intended to sail from Gaza carrying produce to Europe. (The Jerusalem Post)

As the nine-months of the current US-led round of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians ended, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett stated that the “Oslo era is over.” (Ynetnews)

During a Fatah Central Committee meeting on 30 April President Mahmoud Abbas stressed that the unity of Palestinian land and people was the path to freedom and independence. (WAFA)

30

The Shin Bet security service said that Israeli forces arrested a Hamas-affiliated Palestinian terror cell, that included an Arab citizen of Israel and aimed to carry out attacks within Israel. (The Times of Israel)

The IDF detained six Palestinian men and a woman in overnight arrest raids, security sources and an Israeli army spokesman said. (Ma’an News Agency)

The USA called for “a holding period” in the Middle East peace process after the deadline for reaching a deal expired. US Secretary of State Kerry had no regrets about the energy he had poured into his failed Middle East peace bid and was ready to dive back in again if asked, US officials said. (AFP)

PLO committee member Khalil Assaf said that Palestinian officials from the West Bank and Gaza Strip had taken a first step towards implementing the reconciliation agreement signed by Hamas and the Fatah-led PLO the previous week. A subcommittee meeting had been convened to discuss civil liberties in the West Bank and Gaza Strip under the Palestinian unity Government that was due to be implemented within four weeks. (Ma’an News Agency)

Khalil al-Hayya, a senior Hamas figure and member of the Hamas parliament, told Arab news channel Al-Khuttab that the Hamas leadership had decided to take part in the scheduled elections for Palestinian President. (Artuz Sheva)

Israeli bulldozers under Israeli army protection entered al-Arrub refugee camp near Hebron and demolished two houses, a local popular committee spokesman said. (Ma’an News Agency)

A Palestinian lawyer who was found dead in his Jerusalem apartment the previous day had been tortured during his 45-day detention by Israeli forces, the Palestinian Prisoners' Society (PPS) said. A statement by PPS said that the lawyer had been beaten and electro-shocked and had been continuously monitored. (Ma’an News Agency)

Federal public safety officials in Canada had placed the NGO International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy-Canada on the terrorist list over alleged link to Hamas. (Post Media News)In an op-ed in Time Magazine, Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said that the Israeli Government was no longer interested in peace and that it utilized Palestinian national reconciliation as a pretext for ceasing negotiations. (WAFA)

Israeli security forces announced that the Shin Bet and IDF had broken up a Palestinian terrorist cell linked to Hamas in the West Bank city of Qalqilyah. The cell was planning attacks on Israeli targets. (Ynetnews)

During search operations across the West Bank, Israeli army forces arrested six people, including a female and two ex-detainees. (WAFA)

Over a thousand supporters of the Islamist group Hamas marched through the streets of a West Bank stronghold of its rival Fatah party, putting to the test the Palestinian unity pact the two signed last week. (Ynetnews)

Several Israeli military jeeps and bulldozers entered the al-Bass area, in Shiokh al-‘Arroub, north of Hebron and demolished two Palestinian homes. (IMEMC)

The eve of International Workers' Day, the Secretary General of the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions Shaher Sa'ad called on President Abbas to join international conventions related to workers, including the International Labour Organisation, in order to ensure that the Palestinian workforce was protected. (Middle East Monitor)

The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) announced a joint initiative with the Microsoft IT Academy to better equip students at the Agency’s vocational and technical training centres (VTTCs) with the practical knowledge necessary to succeed in a business world heavily reliant on technology. (unwra.org)

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