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Source: Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
31 May 2015


Division for Palestinian Rights

Chronological Review of Events Relating to the
Question of Palestine

Monthly media monitoring review

May 2015

Monthly highlights

• OCHA says goods leaving Gaza in the first quarter of 2015 has surpassed the total recorded during 2014. (6 May)

• Palestinian solidarity groups call for Israel to be added to the list of entities committing grave violations against children i. (7 May)

• A PLO human and civil rights specialist says that around 95 per cent of Palestinians imprisoned by the Israelis have been tortured. (11 May)

• A report reveals that 85.3 per cent of investigative files against settlers who harm Palestinians are closed due to insufficient evidence. (17 May)

• Prime Minister Netanyahu calls off plan to segregate Palestinians from Israelis on West Bank buses. (20 May)

• IMF says reconstruction of the Gaza Strip was going slower than expected. (20 May)

• Quartet announces that Tony Blair will step down as the Quartet’s Representative. (27 May)

• The Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) meets today in Brussels. (27 May)

• Prime Minister Netanyahu says that Israel was facing an international campaign to blacken its name. (31 May)

1

Israeli forces detained three Palestinians during raids in the villages of Iraq Burin and Huwarra in south Nablus. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli navy ships opened fire at a number of Palestinian fishing boats near Gaza City, causing damage but no injuries. (IMEMC)

New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Murray McCully received Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki. Mr. McCully said, “New Zealand is committed to using our role on the United Nations Security Council to inject new momentum into negotiations on the Middle East Peace Process. … We have been clear in our view that the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories is not sustainable, and our friendships with Israel and Palestine demand we play a part in helping to find a solution”. (www.mfat.govt.nz)

A 25-year-old Palestinian man was killed in a partial tunnel collapse accident in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. (IMEMC)

Two hundred Palestinians above the age of 60 from the Gaza Strip departed for Jerusalem through the Erez crossing to perform prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque. (Ma’an News Agency)

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda told Haaretz that if she decided to open an investigation of war crimes committed in the West Bank and Gaza, Israeli soldiers of low-and middle-rank could potentially be investigated for the purpose of “bringing stronger case against those most responsible”. (Haaretz)

The Coordinator of the International Coalition to Break the Siege on Gaza said three ships were prepared to embark for the Gaza Strip this summer on a humanitarian mission called “Freedom Flotilla III”. (Ma’an News Agency)

Three Palestinian teenagers were shot and injured with live rounds by Israeli forces during clashes in al-Jalazone refugee camp north of Ramallah. They were taken to hospital with light to moderate injuries. Several others were injured with rubber-coated steel bullets. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli soldiers invaded the Wad al-Jouz neighbourhood, in East Jerusalem, and clashed with local youths before detaining a 19-year-old. (IMEMC)

A Spanish solidarity activist was injured by a tear gas canister during the Bil’in weekly demonstration against settlements and the wall. Dozens of participants suffocated from tear gas. (Palestine News Network)

Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian farmers and used tear gas to drive them from their land along the border east of Rafah in Gaza, with no injuries reported. (Ma’an News Agency)

UNRWA received US$1.37 million in funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Japanese Government. The funds will serve to 388 refugee families as a first instalment for supporting home repairs of severe damages. (UNRWA)

2

Israeli soldiers detained five Palestinians, including three children, in villages south of Hebron, after searching their homes. (IMEMC)

The day before World Press Freedom Day, Palestinian journalists were met by Israeli forces with teargas during a non-violent demonstration for Palestinian Journalism Freedom, north of Bethlehem. Three journalists suffered from teargas inhalation and were taken to the hospital. (Palestine News Network)

Former US President Jimmy Carter and former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland met with President Abbas in Ramallah, concluding a three-day visit by the Elders. Carter said that they discussed the direction of Palestinian leadership with Abbas, and that the Elders were particularly concerned about reconciliation efforts and the need for Palestinian elections. Carter and Brundtland offered their assistance toward that end, and expressed their wish that “forthcoming elections will bring peace and unity, and benefit all Palestinians.” (Ma’an News Agency)

UNRWA called for the protection of Yarmouk camp civilians amid reports overnight of armed clashes, the use of heavy weapons and air strikes. UNRWA called on the Syrian Government to refrain from using explosive weapons in populated areas, including airborne weapons, whose indiscriminate effects expose civilians to imminent danger and suffering. (www.unrwa.org)

Fatah is seeking to reshuffle the National Consensus Government, the Secretary-General of Fatah’s Revolutionary Council Amin Maqboul said. He added that a reshuffle would see five to six portfolios change hands, and the appointment of a new Minister of the Economy instead of [Mohammed Mustafa] who resigned last month. Rami Hamdallah would continue as Prime Minister. (Ma’an News Agency)

3

Israeli forces detained six young Palestinians after ransacking their homes during predawn raids in Silwan, Anata and al-Tur neighbourhoods across East Jerusalem, according to the head of a local committee. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces shut down the Qalandiya checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah stopping car and foot traffic in both directions. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli naval boats opened heavy machine gunfire at Palestinian fishermen who were within the allowed fishing zone, according to local sources. (WAFA)

Hamas said it was ready to compete in parliamentary and presidential elections and accused President Abbas of stalling the process. (Middle East Monitor)

Israeli authorities issued administrative detention orders without charge or trial against 11 Palestinian prisoners, for periods of four to six months, reported the Palestinian Prisoner’s Club (PPC). (WAFA)

UN envoy Nickolay Mladenov was received by the Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shukri to discuss efforts being made to revive the Palestine-Israel negotiations and reach a “fair and permanent” solution leading to the creation of a Palestinian state. (Aswat Masriya)

4

Israeli forces carried out multiple raids across the West Bank and East Jerusalem detaining more than 25 young Palestinian men. (Ma’an News Agency)

Security guards shot at and wounded a Palestinian man after he attempted to stab civilians at a light-rail station in Jerusalem. (Haaretz)

During his visit to Australia, the first by a Palestinian Foreign Minister, Riad Malki urged the Australian Government to restore “balance” to its voting positions on Israel and Palestine at the UN and asked Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to include the PA on her next official trip to the Middle East. The PA is alarmed by the Abbott Government’s perceived tilt towards Israel at the UN, including on settlements. By contrast, the Labour party is making moves that could bring the party’s federal conference in July closer to recognizing a Palestinian State. (Palestine News Network)

Israeli forces have sealed the main entrance to the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of al-Zaayyem “locking up more than 6,000 Palestinians in a large prison,” local residents say. An iron gate set up by Israeli forces, citing security concerns, has been completely closed for ten days, according to the Head of al-Zaayyem local council. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Israeli Government decided to advance the construction of 1,500 new units in the East Jerusalem settlement of “Ramat Shlomo.” (WAFA)

Israeli forces set up several mobile homes on large previously bulldozed tracts of land belonging to the Palestinian villagers from Kisan, east of Bethlehem, and residents of Hebron-area town of Sa’ir, said a municipal source. (WAFA)

Several Israeli tanks and three bulldozers penetrated the border near the town of Jabalya, north of Gaza City, where they went about 150 meters into the Strip, razing land amid sporadic gunfire. There were no reports of casualties. (WAFA)

During a series of meetings which took place in Doha last week, UNDP, UNICEF and NGO Al Fakhoora’s programme “Education Above All” have agreed on the implementation of joint education, reconstruction and psychosocial support projects in Gaza. The projects will provide psychosocial support to children traumatized by last summer’s war, and will enhance adolescents’ social entrepreneurship skills. (WAFA)

Permanent Observer to the UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour has sent an open letter to the Security Council demanding that Israel be brought to justice over violations and abuse against Palestinian children. The complaint came after a 9-year-old boy from East Jerusalem was illegally detained by police last week and held for eight hours after the police said he had thrown rocks at a bus. Mansour also listed a number of other incidents in which he claimed Israel had harmed Palestinian children and youths, and called on the international community to intervene. (Ma’an News Agency, Haaretz)

“Breaking the Silence”, an organization of Israeli soldiers, released a report “This is how we fought in Gaza 2014” containing testimonies from more than 60 officers and soldiers from the IDF who served during the 50-day war against Hamas militants last summer in the Gaza Strip. The testimonies paint a disturbing picture of the IDF’s policy of indiscriminate fire, and permissive rules of engagement which directly resulted in the deaths of hundreds of innocent Palestinian civilians. (Palestine News Network)

Israeli forces imposed a curfew on the Palestinian village of Huwwara south of Nablus after a Molotov cocktail was hurled at a bus of Israeli settlers. (Ma’an News Agency)

Fire erupted in a northern Jordan Valley grazing land after Israeli army embarked on live ammunition military training in the area, according to a local official. The army denied locals access to their land to put out the fire. One day earlier, Israeli military drills near Nablus caused significant damage to hundreds of dunams of Palestinian-owned land. (WAFA)

The first round of Foreign Office Consultations between India and Palestine was held in Ramallah. The two parties discussed bilateral relationships and identified the challenges in the way forward as well as India’s continued support to the Palestinian cause, the latest developments in the Middle East Peace Process, regional developments, fight against terrorism and United Nations Security Council reform. (WAFA)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called on Palestinian expatriates to come back, invest in Palestine and contribute to building its economy. (MEMO)

Hamas’ headquarters was the target of an attack after a fringe Islamist movement issued a message demanding the release of its members from prison. “Hamas and its security forces have 72 hours from the release of this statement to free all militant prisoners,” said the statement from a group calling itself the Supporters of the Islamic State in Jerusalem. (Jerusalem Post)

An Israeli Court ruled on the removal of Susiya Bedouin village near Hebron at the request of settlers demanding the expansion of their settlements. Israeli Court decision could leave 450 people homeless. Susiya has been subject to dozens assaults by Israeli soldiers and settlers. (PNN)

UNRWA denied a false allegation made against it by former head of the Israeli Army that a weapon fired from an UNRWA school in Gaza during the war of 2014 claimed the life of an Israeli child in a kibbutz in southern Israel. (UNRWA)

5

According to security sources, Israeli forces broke into private houses and detained 21 Palestinians from multiple West Bank districts (Jenin, Hebron and Bethlehem). (WAFA)

Hundreds of Israeli settlers marched near Nablus to protest attacks by Palestinians. The main road and checkpoint were closed while the protest took place. (Ma’an News Agency)

The US Senate approved the Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 designed to protect illegal Israeli settlements built in occupied Palestinian territory. The act is intended to counter boycott and divestment initiatives, including the labelling of goods originating in the settlements. Such activities will now be “against US law and consequently illegal”, even though international law deems all settlements to be illegal. (MEMO)

Fatah officials in the West Bank have expressed concern over the rapprochement between Hamas and Saudi Arabia. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh appealed to Saudi Arabia to replace Egypt as the main mediator between his movement and Fatah. A senior Fatah official in the West Bank accused Hamas of seeking to “neutralize” the Egyptians by inviting Saudi intervention in internal Palestinian affairs. (The Jerusalem Post)

Flour imported from Israel will come under strict restrictions imposed by the Palestinian Ministry of National Economy to ensure the product meets standards set by the Palestine Standards Institution. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces have sealed the main entrance to the East Jerusalem neighborhood of al-Zaayyem “locking up more than 6,000 Palestinians in a large prison,” a local said. (Maan News Agency)

There are more than 11,000 currently outstanding demolition orders issued by Israeli authorities against Palestinian-owned properties in the Occupied West Bank, according to a recent report released by OCHA. The official data shows that Israeli authorities issued 14,087 demolition orders in “Area C” of the West Bank between 1988 and 2014, on the basis that they lacked the required permit. (WAFA)

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the appointment of Robert Piper of Australia as Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, at the level of Assistant Secretary-General. Mr. Piper will also serve as United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory. (UN News Centre)

Israeli forces arrested eight Palestinians in the West Bank and in Jerusalem. (WAFA, Albawaba)

The settler organization “Ateret Cohanim” escorted by Israeli police took over a building comprising three apartments in the Silwan neighbourhood in East Jerusalem, while the Palestinian inhabitants were away. (Ma’an News Network)

Israeli soldiers accompanied by military bulldozers entered Palestinian agricultural lands in Souba, west of Hebron, and uprooted dozens of trees. The Israeli army has been preventing the residents from farming their lands in the area, and previously confiscated tractors and other agricultural equipment from the villagers. (IMEMC)

6

The amount of goods leaving the Gaza Strip for Israel, the West Bank, and international markets has already surpassed in the first quarter of 2015 the total amount recorded during the whole of 2014. According to OCHA, 234 truckloads of agricultural produce, furniture and garments exited Gaza during January-March. While an improvement, the average figure of 18 truckloads per week is a small fraction of the 219 truckloads that left Gaza weekly prior to the blockade. (Middle East Monitor)

The Palestine Power Generation Company (PPGC) is set to terminate a $1.2 billion deal with the Israeli-American Leviathan partners that would have supplied offshore gas to a future Palestinian power plant. The termination came as the consequence of a looming antitrust dispute over the Leviathan partnership in Israeli courts. (Ma’an News Agency)

An Israeli court sentenced an East Jerusalem Palestinian to 30 years in prison for an axe attack on a 73-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jewish man and the tampering with gas pipes at several homes in the city with the aim of blowing up their Israeli occupants. (AFP)

7

Israeli forces planted mines and placed barbed wire around a water south of Hebron, depriving shepherds of a main water source, said a local activist. (WAFA)

Settlers attacked with stones the car of a senior adviser to Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah near the “Halamish” settlement north of Ramallah. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Israeli authorities destroyed the power network in a small village south of Hebron, according to local sources, provoking clashes. (WAFA)

Israeli soldiers arrested nine Palestinians in the West Bank, said the Palestinian Interior Ministry. (Petra)

Hamas has arrested dozens of jihadists affiliated with ISIS, sources in the Gaza Strip said. The arrests came following a series of bombings in recent weeks. (The Jerusalem Post)

Nabil Shaath, a member of Fatah’s Central Committee, told the Turkish Anadolu Agency that [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu had formed “a right-wing Government of extremists and settlers.” “This man does not believe in peace at all,” he said. The Government “will be one of war which will be against peace and stability in our region,” lead Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said. (AFP, Albawaba News)

President Abbas’ Spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh said the new Israeli coalition Government has to accept the two-State solution, and halt settlement construction and its violations against the Palestinian people to overcome the current impasse in the peace process. He added that the State of Palestine would pursue its international actions to accede to UN organizations and treaties. The Palestinian leadership is awaiting the conclusion of Palestinian and Arab consultations in order to submit a Security Council draft resolution setting a deadline for ending the Israeli occupation. (WAFA)

Israel has approved construction of 900 settler homes in the East Jerusalem settlement of “Ramat Shlomo”, watchdog group Peace Now’s spokeswoman Hagit Ofran told AFP. (AFP)

An Israeli court gave three Palestinian minors in Jerusalem jail terms of between 6 and 19 months, a committee representing families of Jerusalem prisoners said. The court also sentenced the President of the Revolutionary Youth Club, Hani Yasser Ghaith, 35, to two years and issued a fine. (MEMO)

A petition led by Palestinian solidarity groups has been addressed to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calling for Israel to be added to the list of entities committing grave violations against children in an upcoming report on children and armed conflict. (The Times of Israel)

UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl has used his first official visit to Brazil to highlight the importance of the growing partnership between the Agency and Brazil, which contributed $9.2 million to UNRWA in 2014 (UNRWA)

Israeli forces shot and seriously injured a 22-year-old Palestinian man in the Al-Fara refugee camp, north of Nablus. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli soldiers fired into Palestinian agricultural land, south of Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, forcing farmers to leave. In addition, Israeli navy ships fired at Palestinian fishing boats off the Gaza coast, damaging one of them. (IMEMC)

Eight members of a European observer mission to monitor the Rafah border crossing [EU-BAM] arrived in the Gaza Strip. Director of the Gaza Crossings Maher Abu Sabha said that there was no new information on the opening of the crossing and that they were in contact with Egyptian authorities. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Israeli intelligence notified the Health Work Committees in Jerusalem, an NGO, of its decision to shut it down for 12 months under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. (WAFA)

Israeli forces demolished an auto repair facility in Al-Khader town, south-west of Bethlehem. (WAFA)

Israeli forces delivered demolition orders to three Palestinian Bedouin families near the town of Al-Eizariya in the “E-1” area. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli authorities shut a Palestinian health NGO in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Shuafat under the 1948 Prevention of Terrorism Act. The Health Work Committees (HWC) is a non-governmental health and development organization, established in 1985 to meet the health care needs of the Palestinian population living under occupation. Its Shuafat office in East Jerusalem housed the group’s school health programme, which since 1990 has provided medical exams, preventative screenings, health education and vaccinations to Palestinian students in more than 62 schools in Jerusalem. (IMEMC)

As part of the Israeli coalition agreement reached between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Jewish Home party a Jewish rabbi, who has made controversial statements about Palestinians and non-Jews, will serve as Israel’s next deputy defence minister. While discussing the resumption of peace talks in a radio interview in 2013, Eli Ben Dahan had said about Palestinians that “To me, they are like animals, they aren’t human.” Under the new job description Ben Dahan will also be responsible for the IDF’s Civil Administration running government affairs in the West Bank. (The Times of Israel)

8

Israeli media reported that an agreement had been reached between Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Jewish Home party to legalize settlement outposts built in the West Bank. (IMEMC)

Israeli troops shot and seriously wounded Palestinian in northern Gaza, when he and a group of Palestinians moved towards the border fence, where Israel maintains a no-go zone. (Arutz Sheva)

9

Tensions flared in East Jerusalem when Palestinian youths and Israeli soldiers clashed in the al-Issawiya neighbourhood of the Silwan Valley, when Israeli forces entered the area. Silwan is the site of recent takeovers by Israeli settlers of Palestinian-inhabited houses. (Jerusalem Post)

At least three Palestinian farmers were moderately injured by Israeli gunfire east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. Witnesses said that the Israeli soldiers stationed at the border suddenly opened fire at farmers working in their fields. (Xinhua)

Israeli intelligence issued police summons to seven Palestinians from Jerusalem, ordering them to go to a Jerusalem police station for questioning. The summonses were issued at King Hussein Bridge crossing between Jordan and the West Bank, which the young men were passing through on their way back from the Umrah pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Palestinian Authority leadership is under pressure from the international community to resume the peace talks with Israel, a Palestinian official stated. Following the recent Israeli general election, several European countries have come up with new ideas for reviving the peace process. One of the proposals calls for a summit between Abbas and Netanyahu in a European country or the US in order to exchange ideas about the stalled peace talks, the official added. Some of these countries have even hinted that they would reduce financial aid to the Palestinians as pressure to persuade the PA to agree to the resumption of peace talks. (Jerusalem Post)

The European Union (EU) censured Israel’s approval of the latest plan to build 900 homes in Israeli settlements in occupied East Jerusalem, and warned it would undermine the two-state solution with the Palestinians. (Petra Jordan News Agency)

A group of Israeli settlers physically assaulted a Palestinian woman and her young children in the Old City of Hebron, during an attack on Palestinian homes in the neighbourhood. (Ma’an News Agency)

10

Israeli navy ships opened fire on Palestinian fishing boats off northern Gaza, causing damage to one boat; two fishermen were subsequently detained. (IMEMC)

Two Palestinians were detained by Israeli forces in a dawn raid in Hebron. Israeli forces also set up flying checkpoints on the main northern and southern exits from Hebron where they inspected Palestinian vehicles. (Ma’an News Agency)

A Palestinian man was detained in a dawn raid by Israeli forces in the neighbourhood of Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem. (Ma’an News Agency)

The first vessel of a flotilla aiming to break Israel’s naval blockade on the Gaza Strip set sail from its home port in Sweden. The ship will be carrying a “limited cargo of, among other things, solar cell panels and medical equipment” for use in Gaza, according to the Ship to Gaza campaign. The boat is part of the so-called Freedom Flotilla III, following other high profile attempts by activists to sail to Gaza. (The Times of Israel)

11

Israeli troops detained seven Palestinians, including a 15-year-old boy, during dawn raids across the West Bank and East Jerusalem. (Ma’an News Agency)

According to Chris Gunness, spokesman for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), in 2014 the average unemployment rate for registered Palestine refugees was 44.1 per cent and for the general population it stood at 43.9 per cent, the highest rate ever recorded in Gaza and one of the highest worldwide. He also noted that approximately 65 per cent of the refugee population depend on food aid. The Gaza economy was already in recession before the last conflict in the summer of 2014, but according to International Monetary Fund statistics in the third quarter of 2014 the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) shrank dramatically by 24.4 per cent. (United Nations)

Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat said that Palestinians would never accept any solutions that diminish their rights recognised by the UN resolutions, including a Palestinian state on 1967 borders with East Jerusalem, free of settlements, as its capital. He also added that the right of return for Palestinian refugees was one of the main Palestinian rights. (MEMO)

The Japanese Government criticized a recent decision by Israeli authorities to approve construction of a further 900 settler homes in East Jerusalem. Foreign Press Secretary Yasuhisa Kawamura said in a statement that “the Government of Japan deeply deplores” the decision, which “clearly undermines the ongoing efforts by the international community toward realizing a two-State solution.” (Ma’an News Agency)

Chief of the IDF Southern Command Gen. Sami Turgeman said that it would not be possible to defeat Hamas with a one month long operation such as the one last summer. He noted that Hamas remains the only option for governance in the Gaza Strip and that “there is no one else who can hold things together. Not the Palestinian Authority. The alternative is the IDF or chaos.” (The Times of Israel)

A human and civil rights specialist with the PLO has revealed that around 95 per cent of Palestinians imprisoned by the Israelis have been tortured physically and psychologically. According to Hassan Abed-Rabbu, “those detainees who are in need of medical treatment are injected with certain diseases and subjected to systematic mistreatment.” (MEMO)

Qatari Foreign Minister, Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah met with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. They discussed developments in the region, including crises in Yemen, Syria and Libya, as well as the Palestine cause (Emirates News Agency)

Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Judeh recognized the importance of the vital role played by UNRWA, while rejecting any reduction in services for refugees in Jordan, during a meeting with Commissioner-General Krähenbühl. (Jordan News Agency)

12

Israeli forces stormed the northern West Bank village of Ramin near Tulkarm while soldiers questioned locals and ransacked homes. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces detained three Palestinians from the West Bank (Jenin, Bethlehem and Hebron) and Jerusalem, including a minor, and summoned five others to appear before the Israeli intelligence for interrogation. (WAFA)

The German President, Joachim Gauck, said to Israeli President Rivlin that only a two-State solution can bring lasting peace to Israelis and Palestinians. Gauck reaffirmed Germany’s historical responsibility for Israel due to the Holocaust but also voiced concern for the deadlock in the peace process. (Anadolu Agency)

A Palestinian engineer, Diaa Abu Assi, is pioneering a machine to make seawater potable for residents of Gaza. UNRWA estimates that Gaza’s population will grow by almost another 500,000 people in the next five years. Given Gaza’s current water resources, the territory would become “uninhabitable” by 2020. (Al Monitor)

A senior member of the Political Bureau of Hamas, Izzat Al-Risheq, denied claims that there are differences between the movement’s military and political leadership. (MEMO)

Israel announced that unauthorized boats will be denied entry in the Gaza Strip as Gaza flotilla sailed from Sweden on 10 May. Foreign Ministry spokesman said that “if the so-called helpful Gaza flotillas were really interested in the welfare of the population in Gaza, they would send their aid via Israel. The fact that they insist on a flotilla demonstrates this is an unnecessary provocation.” (Jerusalem Post)

The Anata village council in the East Jerusalem district presented an appeal to the Israeli High Court via the Yesh Din-Volunteers for Human Rights organization to cancel confiscation orders issued by Israel 40 years ago that seized the lands on which “Ma’ale Adumim” settlement is built. (Ma’an News Agency)

30 Palestinian coalitions, trade unions and civil society groups sent a letter to EU High Representative Federica Mogherini demanding to exclude Elbit Systems and other Israeli military and homeland security companies from the EU Horizon 2020 framework due to “the repeated and systematic acts of aggression, war crimes and violations of international law committed by Israel.” (IMEMC)

Armed men opened fire at the Palestinian president’s guards while in their vehicle near a refugee camp in the West Bank. Altercations between residents of this refugee camp and Palestinian security forces have been reportedly on the rise, most recently following a security campaign launched by the Palestinian Authority in February. The campaign allegedly targets criminal activity such as drug dealing and illegal possession of weapons; however some residents in the refugee camp argue they are being disproportionately targeted. (Albawaba)

President Abbas met with Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi and discussed the right of Palestinian people to self-determination, reconciliation and rebuilding of the Gaza Strip. The meeting took place on the eve of the visit of the Tunisian President to the United States. (Tunis Afrique Press)

The European Union’s envoy to the occupied Palestinian Territory said that the European Union was working to renew dialogue between the PLO and Israel. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Palestinian Authority’s Central Bureau of Statistics announced that there are 12.1 million Palestinians in the world, 4.6 million of whom live in the West Bank and Gaza. Forty-three per cent of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are refugees. The majority of Palestinians who do not live in Israel, the West bank, and Gaza reside in 31 refugee camps set up by the United Nations in Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan, said the report. (Ynetnews)

Press sources said that Israeli border soldiers opened fire at farmers and homes in Khan Yunis, with no reported casualties. (farsnews.com)

The prosecutor of the ICC, Fatou Bensouda, warned Israel that if it does not provide reliable information for her preliminary probe into possible war crimes in Palestinian territories she may be forced to decide whether to launch a full-scale investigation based on Palestinian allegations. She told AP that she had not received any information yet from either side regarding last summer’s Gaza war and urged Israel and the Palestinians to provide it to her. (AP)

13

In its proposed policy submitted to the Knesset, the new Israeli government coalition said that it would “advance the diplomatic process and strive to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians and all our neighbours, while maintaining Israel’s security, historical and national interests”. (Middle East Online)

The Vatican announced that it has officially recognized the State of Palestine. In a treaty, yet to be signed, indicates that the Holy See has switched its diplomatic relations from the PLO to the State of Palestine. The treaty will be submitted to the respective authorities for approval ahead of setting a date in the near future for the signing. President Abbas is expected to visit Pope Francis on Saturday to attend the canonization of two new saints. (Associated Press)

Referring to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, President Obama said that “Palestinians deserve an end to the occupation and the daily indignities that come with it. That’s why we’ve worked so hard over the years for a two-state solution and to develop innovative ways to address Israel’s security and Palestinian sovereignty needs.” (Ma’an News Agency)

In a letter recently addressed to EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, a group of former top EU diplomats wrote that given the failure of US policy to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the EU should take the lead on the Middle East Peace Process and support the French draft resolution to the UN Security Council calling for the creation of a Palestinian State by 2017. (The Jerusalem Post)

The tension between Hamas’ political and military wings is said to be intensifying; the latter is reported to be pressuring the former to stop diplomatic efforts, through EU channels, towards achieving a long-term ceasefire with Israel. (Middle East Monitor)

Israel’s fourth-month suspension of the transfer of tax revenue to the PA has caused irreversible damage to the economy. At the Arab Media Forum held in Dubai on 12-13 May, the Secretary-General of the Palestinian National Initiative indicated that it created a serious debt for the PA. In addition, it is unclear how much donors have actually disbursed of the US$ 50 billion pledged last year to support the reconstruction of Gaza. (The National)

After the State of Palestine joined the ICC on 1 April, the ICC Office of the Prosecutor has started collecting information on potential war crimes, including resulting from last summer’s war in Gaza. ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has warned Israel that if it does not cooperate with an initial investigation into possible breaches of international law in the oPT, the Court may launch a full investigation without its input. The ICC prosecutors would also be looking at settlement construction, alleged war crimes committed by Hamas, including its firing of thousands of rockets at Israeli residential areas. (The Guardian)

Germany has announced an additional US$41 million contribution to the UNRWA shelter assistance programme in Gaza. (Palestinian News and Info Agency)

In Ramallah, thousands of Palestinians marched to President Yasser Arafat’s square to commemorate the 67th anniversary of the Nakba. (Palestinian News and Info Agency)

The Israeli army handed over notices to local residents of Beit Iksaria, a small village in Area C, under the pretext of “unlicensed building”. The village has recently been increasingly targeted by the Israeli army as around 34 homes received stop construction notices which the mayor denounced as measures to displace its residents before taking over the land for settlement purposes. (Palestinian News and Info Agency)

The electricity grid in the Palestinian territory in the West Bank will be connected to Jordan, the head of the PA Power and Natural Resources Authority said. The Ma’an News Agency reported that the move is part of an initiative to interconnect power grids in the Arab world. (isreaelnationalnews.com)

The documentation necessary for Palestine to bring Israel to the ICC will be approved before the end of 2015, said the Ambassador of Palestine to Switzerland. It will include reports regarding illegal Israeli settlement, and the Israeli military offensives against the Gaza Strip, among others. The Ambassador said that the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Israeli military offensive on Gaza would submit its final report to the Human Rights Council by the end of May. Furthermore, added Mr. Khreisha, a WHO committee has already submitted the results of an investigation into Israeli health violations against Palestinians, which includes details on Israeli prevention of medical shipments and of travel of patients abroad for treatment. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli apartheid week activities were launched in several universities of the US, coordinated by the Students for Justice in Palestine organization, to coincide with the Palestinian Nakba (exodus) anniversary and will support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement against Israel. It will be organized in tens of American universities. (Palestine News Network)

14

Israeli soldiers detained 13 Palestinians from different parts of the West Bank, including Bethlehem, Hebron, and Jenin, and one Palestinian from East Jerusalem. (IMEMC)

Israeli forces opened fire on youngsters staging a Nakba anniversary demonstration near a military checkpoint at the northern entrance of Bethlehem. A PNN reporter said that a boy was wounded in his leg and arrested. Israeli forces detained a number of boys during the demonstration. (Palestine News Network)

In a hit-and-run incident a Palestinian driver injured three Israeli teenagers outside the “Alon Shvut” settlement near Bethlehem, an Israeli police spokesperson said. The incident is currently being investigated as a potential “terror attack”. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces detained six Palestinians and raided several homes across the Nablus refugee camps and several villages, locals said. (Ma’an News Agency)

EU High Representative Federica Mogherini is scheduled to visit Israel and Palestine next week in a bid to push along peace efforts now that Israel has sworn in a new Government. Mogherini would meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu and with opposition leader Isaac Herzog on 20 May. She would also meet with President Abbas and the senior Palestinian leadership, according to reports. There is no confirmation of the visit from the EU. (The Times of Israel)

Meetings between Israel and France fell apart last week after an argument erupted over French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius’ revived attempt to advance a resolution on resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Security Council, Israeli media reported. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Palestinian Ambassador to the UK today will visit the Scottish Parliament and will be meeting with MPs as part of a visit to Scotland to commemorate Al-Nakba (the Catastrophe). (Palestine News Network)

The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and Jerusalem Police said that earlier this month they and the Jerusalem Police arrested three suspects, including a minor, on suspicion of plotting an attack on security guards stationed outside of “Beit Ovadia”, a Jewish building in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan. (The Jerusalem Post)

The US has announced a new contribution of $20 million to ensure UNRWA can continue providing education, health, relief and social services that meet the basic human needs of Palestine refugees in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza. (unrwa.org)

President Obama told a news conference: “I continue to believe a two-State solution is absolutely vital for not only peace between Israelis and Palestinians, but for the long-term security of Israel as a democratic and Jewish State, although it seems a distant prospect at the moment”. He added “I know that a Government has been formed that contains some folks who don’t necessarily believe in that premise, but that continues to be my premise,” he said. (AFP, AP)

The Israeli Housing Ministry reissued tenders for the construction of 85 settlement units in the “Givat Ze’ev” settlement in East Jerusalem, which had originally been issued last year but received no bids. (IMEMC)

15

At least 10 Palestinians were wounded in clashes with IDF troops in Nablus, according to Palestinian officials and witnesses. Over 1,000 settlers had been bussed into the city to visit Joseph’s Tomb, under IDF protection. (AFP)

Around 50 people, including children, were wounded after an explosive detonated inside a Hamas training camp in the Gaza Strip. The Gaza authorities said the explosion happened during the dismantling of an unexploded rocket left by the Israeli Army. (AFP)

Three Palestinians were injured by Israeli live fire during a Nakba Day demonstration near the Gaza fence, witnesses said. (Ma’an News Agency)

A PA security official said that the PA’s security services had uncovered and arrested a Hamas cell near Hebron which was planning attacks in Israel. (The Jerusalem Post)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated his conditions for returning to peace negotiations: Settlement freeze, prisoners release and a clear time-frame for ending the occupation by the end of 2017. (IMEMC, Ynetnews)

Hamas official Essam Adwan on Nakba day stated that Britain had “paved the way” for a “Zionist takeover” of Palestine. He called on the United Kingdom to pay reparations to the Palestinians. (www.israelnationalnews.com)

A march was organized in Ramallah, where 67 torches, 67 keys, 67 Palestinian flags and 67 black flags were held high in remembrance of the Nakba of 1948. (PNN)

Marie Ghattas and Mariam Bawardy, two nuns born in the 19th century, will become on Sunday the first modern-day Palestinian saints, at a ceremony Pope Francis will lead at the Vatican. (AFP)

180 Palestinians over 60 years of age headed from the Gaza Strip to Jerusalem to perform Friday prayers in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, a Palestinian liaison official said. (Ma’an News Agency)

A section of the Israeli coalition agreements that promises increased State funding for the World Zionist Organization’s settlements programme cannot be implemented, Deputy Attorney General Dina Zilber warned. This programme can no longer be funded by the State. (Haaretz)

I group of former IDF soldiers have launched a social media campaign to counter the testimonies about the Gaza war by other troops published by the NGO Breaking the Silence. (Ynetnews)

The Spokesperson for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued the following statement: The Secretary-General strongly deplores the advancement of settlement activities on three occasions over the past three consecutive weeks by the Israeli authorities in the occupied West Bank, including in East Jerusalem. He reiterates that settlements are illegal under international law and urges the Government of Israel to halt and reverse such decisions in the interest of peace and a just final status agreement. The Secretary-General reiterates that the international community will not recognize unilateral actions on the ground and that the status of Jerusalem can only be resolved through negotiations. (UN press release SG/SM/16752)

16

Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition at Palestinian farmers and shepherds east of the Al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, forcing them to leave. There were no casualties. (IMEMC)

Israeli navy ships fired at a number of Palestinian fishing boats in Gaza waters, causing damage but no injuries. (IMEMC)

Pope Francis met with President Abbas at the Vatican. The Vatican said in a statement that a comprehensive agreement on various essential aspects of the activity of the Catholic Church in Palestine was to be signed in the near future. The meeting came a day before the Pope was to canonize two Palestinian nuns. (AFP, www.vatican.va)

17

Israeli forces arrested nine Palestinians across the West Bank and Jerusalem. (WAFA)

Israeli police reported clashes between Israelis and Palestinians in several areas of East Jerusalem as thousands of Israeli demonstrators marched to celebrate “Jerusalem Day”. No serious injuries were reported. Police said that they had arrested six Palestinians - four charged with stone throwing and two others for allegedly attacking police, and that four officers had been lightly wounded by rocks thrown by Palestinian demonstrators. (AP)

More than 160 Israelis stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound to mark the anniversary of Israel’s seizure of East Jerusalem in 1967. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said during the annual “Jerusalem Day” ceremony: “We keep building in Jerusalem all the time, developing it and paving new roads to it. … Jerusalem is our eternal united capital. It will never be divided again.” (Ynetnews)

Israeli settlers chopped down and seized about 800 olive trees belonging to Palestinians near the town of Shuyukh, east of Hebron. (WAFA)

Yesh Din, an Israeli NGO, said in a report that 85.3 per cent of investigative files against Israeli [settlers] who harm Palestinians in the West Bank are closed due to the failure to locate suspects or insufficient evidence, and just 1.9 per cent of complaints to the Israeli police by Palestinians result in a conviction. (Ynetnews, www.yesh-din.org)

The World Assembly of Pax Christi urged all UN Member States to recognize the State of Palestine and to ban settlement products. They expressed deep concern about Israeli policies that deny the rights of the Palestinian people and preclude the possibility of a two-State solution. (www.paxchristi.net)

18

Israeli forces detained five Palestinians, including four minors, in the Bethlehem area. In the Old City of Jerusalem, Israeli forces detained five Palestinians, including three teenagers, after ransacking their homes. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli navy forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip. One boat was damaged, but no injuries were reported. (Ma’an News Agency)

A Palestinian woman suffered a miscarriage after a number of Israelis assaulted her in the centre of Hebron. (IMEMC)

EU foreign policy Chief Federica Mogherini said that her visit to Israel and Palestine on 20 May was meant to send a message and has “political meaning.” She reiterated EU readiness to work with their partners to restart the peace process and overcome the status quo. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli settlers burnt 250 olive trees planted in the Palestinian farms in the Jab’ah neighbourhood, south of Bethlehem. According to anti-settlement activist, “Israeli occupation forces were in the background watching them and ready to step in if anyone stood up to the settlers.” (MEMO)

19

Israeli soldiers arrested eleven Palestinians, including two children, after breaking into their homes near Jenin, Bethlehem and Hebron. (IMEMC)

The Israeli authorities issued administrative detention orders without charge of trial against 24 Palestinian detainees, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Club (PPC). (WAFA)

A 10-year-old Palestinian boy was injured after a settler attacked him near the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron. (Ma’an News Agency)

Norway’s Foreign Minister, Børge Brende, is on a visit to the Middle East. He will meet the Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss the next meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) on 27 May, the peace process, the Palestinian economy and the reconstruction of Gaza. (www.tpn.no)

The Palestinian leadership responded to the appointment of Silvan Shalom as the Israeli representative for Israeli-Palestinian peace talks by saying that Netanyahu has no interest in peace. The PA officials refused to meet with Shalom until Israel agrees to a number of preconditions including the end of building over the Green Line, the return to 1967 borders, a freeze in settlement construction and the release of prisoners. (Haaretz)

The Jordanian newspaper ad-Dustour reported that Hamas and Israel have been involved in secret talks in Israel and European capitals in recent months. The newspaper said that they discussed the establishment of a floating seaport and a deal to return the body of an Ethiopian-Israeli soldier in exchange for Hamas-affiliated prisoners in Israeli custody. The report suggested that the talks may have taken place under Turkish supervision. (Ma’an News Agency)

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki said that the Palestinian Government had asked the ICC to set a date for submitting the case files pertaining to the settlements and war crimes lawsuits against Israel to the court. (Anadolu Agency)

Settlers and Israeli police officers physically assaulted Palestinian security guards on duty at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Palestinian Detainees Committee has reported that several detained Palestinian children testified to their lawyers about repeated torture, abuse, and intimidation by Israeli interrogators and soldiers, in direct violation of International law. (IMEMC)

Belgium has announced a new contribution of EUR 18.75 million spanning 2015-2017 that will help UNRWA provide essential health, education, relief, social services and emergency relief assistance for Palestine refugees. (www.unrwa.org)

The Security Council will meet in the afternoon on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. Special Coordinator Mladenov will brief. (Division for Palestinian Rights)

Human Rights Watch denounced the Israel Supreme Court decision that provided a legal framework for State authorities to forcibly evict residents of two Arab villages from their homes, Umm al-Hiran and Susya. (www.humanrightswatch.org)

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki met with his Venezuelan counterpart Delcy Rodriguez to discuss ongoing cooperation. Mr. Rodriguez reiterated Venezuela’s support for Palestinian statehood and rights. (El Universal)

Nicolay Mladenov, the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, briefed the Security Council about the situation in the Middle East. He expressed concern about the settlements and demolitions activities in East Jerusalem and the West Bank and called on the new Israeli Government to “take credible steps including a freeze of settlement activity”. He emphasized how desperate the situation in the Gaza Strip was. He also underscored the need to support the Palestinian reconciliation. (www.unsco.org)

20

Israeli soldiers entered several Palestinians towns near Hebron and arrested three Palestinians. The army also entered Raba village, near Jenin, and searched a number of homes. (IMEMC)

Israeli police officers shot and killed a Palestinian driver in East Jerusalem in an alleged run-over attempt. Witnesses denied Israeli allegations, stating that the driver lost control of his car. (WAFA)

Israeli forces raided several neighbourhoods in the town of Al-Khadr near Bethlehem and detained five Palestinians including four teenage boys. (Ma’an News Agency)

An Israeli official denied a Jordanian report that Israel was negotiating directly with Hamas over the establishment of a floating seaport and a prisoner swap. (The Times of Israel)

The PLO called on the UN to respond immediately to the Israeli authorities’ demolition of Palestinians’ homes in Jerusalem, to protect the Palestinians’ rights and properties and end its “Judaisation,” practices that were said to be undermining the two-State solution. (MEMO)

Prime Minister Netanyahu called off a proposed plan to segregate Palestinians from Israelis on West Bank buses. Critics derided the plan as racist and said it would harm Israel’s image. (AP)

The Israeli Cabinet decided to hand over the Jerusalem affairs portfolio to Prime Minister Netanyahu. The Israeli Government also approved a five-year plan (2016-2020) for the development of Jerusalem – a term usually used to refer to Judaisation and settlement expansion. (MEMO)

Newly appointed Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely met with visiting Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende. She said that the Israeli Government expects Norway to put pressure on the Palestinian leadership to recognize Israel as the State of the Jewish people. She added, “The Norwegian Government has to realize that there is an Israeli consensus regarding the unity of Jerusalem.” (The Jerusalem Post)

Nabil Abu Zneid, the Palestinian Ambassador in the Netherlands, told Voice of Palestine radio that the PA will submit two suits against Israel to the ICC on June 25, related to the settlements and the war waged on the Gaza Strip last summer. (Xinhua)

The Swedish State Secretary for International Development Cooperation, Ulrika Modéer, announced a contribution of SEK 40 million ($4.8 million) to the PA to pay for May salaries and pensions of around 68,500 civil servants and pensioners in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. (IMEMC)

The IMF says that reconstruction of the Gaza Strip is going “far more slowly than expected’’ after the last summer’s war. Over a quarter of the $3.5 billion pledged for reconstruction made at the Cairo conference has been disbursed. (www.imf.org )

Several Israeli military vehicles and four armoured bulldozers carried out a limited incursion into an area east of Deir al-Balah in central Gaza. (IMEMC)

The Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory, James Rawley, and the Director of UNRWA Operations in the West Bank, Felipe Sanchez, expressed grave concern over recent Israeli plans to transfer Palestinian Bedouins in the central West Bank from their current communities. OCHA considered the plan to be part of a “discriminatory zoning and planning regime that facilitates the development of illegal Israeli settlements at the expense of Palestinians, for whom it is almost impossible to obtain permits for construction.” (www.reliefweb.int)

The Government of Saudi Arabia has signed seven agreements totalling US$111.5 million in assistance for Palestine refugees through UNRWA. UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl said that the total sum represents one of the largest ever signed agreements with one of the Agency’s principal donors. (www.unrwa.org)

Israeli naval ships fired at Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of Gaza, causing considerable property damage but no injuries. (IMEMC)

A bomb exploded in front of the premises of a Bank of Palestine branch in the north of Gaza. In the days before, demonstrators had protested against the alleged closure of bank accounts by the Bank and against the decision by the Bank to refuse to transfer money to charity organisations in the Gaza Strip. (Ma’an News Agency)

Børge Brende, Foreign Minister of Norway, visited Ramallah and met with President Abbas, Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and senior Government officials. The Foreign Minister’s visit was to prepare for the upcoming meeting of the Norwegian-chaired Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC, which will be convened in Brussels later this month. They also discussed the peace process and the situation in the region. (Office of Norway to the PA)

EU High Representative Federica Mogherini met with President Abbas and reaffirmed the EU’s commitment to promote conditions to renew peace talks, together with the US, Russia and the UN. Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat said that to renew peace talks, Israelis had to stop building settlements, set free Palestinian prisoners jailed before the signing of the Oslo Accords and accept the two-State solution. (Kuwait News Agency)

On the occasion of the visit of the EU High Representative Mogherini to Israel, the Israeli President Reuven Rivlin called for “restoring confidence” between Israel and the Palestinians “by starting with the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip”. She also met with Prime Minister Netanyahu who said he “supports the vision of two States for two peoples – a demilitarized Palestinian State that recognizes the Jewish State.” (AP, Anadolu Agency)

UNRWA released a report informing that health services delivered to refugees in five fields across the Middle East had improved despite pronounced challenges in the region. (UN News Centre)

The World Bank transferred about $77 million to the Palestinian Authority from the Palestinian Reform and Development Plan Trust Fund (PRDP-MDTF) to provide support to ongoing macroeconomic and public financial management reforms. The funds were contributed by the Governments of Norway, Australia, Japan, Kuwait and the UK. (The World Bank)

The Israeli municipality of Jerusalem approved the construction of 90 new settlement units in East Jerusalem. (Palestine News Network)

Former US Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations Martin Indyk has claimed that the US may deal with the draft resolution prepared by France after September. The US Administration is currently busy with negotiations with Iran over its nuclear programme and does not have the desire to enter into another confrontation with Israel. (MEMO)

21

The Israeli army entered the Jenin refugee camp, and searched several homes elsewhere in the West Bank arresting nine Palestinians. (IMEMC)

France has recently communicated its draft Security Council resolution on Palestine to the LAS as well as to London and Madrid. It would set an 18-month timeframe to reach, through negotiations, a solution to the conflict. Should there be no agreement in 18 months; France would recognize the State of Palestine. The draft calls for the creation of a Palestinian State, “based on the 4 June 1967 borders”, through a mutually agreed exchange of equivalent territories. Negotiations will have to define a plan which guarantees the security of Israel and Palestine through an efficient control of the borders and prevents the resurgence of terrorism and weapons infiltration. The system will have to respect the sovereignty of the demilitarised State of Palestine and foresees a phased and complete withdrawal by the Israeli army. The draft calls for a just, balanced and realistic solution to the refugee issue, which should be based on compensation. Jerusalem would become the capital of two States. The draft is not expected to be submitted to a vote before 30 June. (Le Figaro)

The Palestinian Ambassador to the Russian Federation, Fayed Mustafa, said that a commission of six Arab countries was preparing an updated draft resolution on creating a Palestinian State, following the failure of a draft Security Council resolution submitted to the Council in December. He said they would like to coordinate with France but were insisting on a number of points. (Fars News)

22

At the World Economic Forum, former Israeli President Shimon Peres said that a clear majority of Israelis favour a two-State solution. He also said that the status quo was not an option and that it was time to resume the peace talks as quickly as possible. (The Jerusalem Post)

Palestine was elected to chair the third Meeting of States Parties to the UNESCO 1970 Convention on Illicit Trafficking of Cultural Property week. (MEMO)

24

Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah pledged $50,000 to the Bedouin community of Abu Nuwwar east of Jerusalem that is currently facing forced displacement by Israeli forces, stating that it was “a blatant violation of the principles of human rights”. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) released a new report on the situation of Palestinians in Jerusalem. The percentage of Palestinians living in poverty in East Jerusalem has climbed from around 64 per cent in 2006 to over 75 per cent in 2015. 84 per cent of Palestinian children in the city live in poverty and only 64 per cent of households are properly connected to the city’s water network. (www.acri.org)

Several settlers smashed the doors of a number of Palestinian stores and shops in Shuhada Street, in Hebron’s Old City. (IMEMC)

Israeli authorities decided to confiscate around 820 Dunums (202 acres) of privately-owned Palestinian lands to establish new dumping grounds for settlements, in in the district of Ramallah. (PNN)

Speaking at a conference on the educational process in Palestine held in Cairo, ASG of Palestine Affairs in the Arab League, Mohammad Sbeih, stressed the necessity of Arab support to the educational process for Palestinian students. He denounced the Israeli occupation for imposing the Israeli curriculum on East Jerusalem educational institutes, preventing the establishment of new schools in East Jerusalem or renovating the old ones, which led to a shortage of about 1,000 classrooms. (Palestine News Network)

26

Several Palestinians, including children, suffered from suffocation as Israeli forces stormed the town of Jaba’, near Jenin, and fired tear gas canisters, grenades and live ammunition toward resident’s homes. (WAFA)

Israeli forces detained more than 20 Palestinians, most of them teenagers, from East Jerusalem. (Ma’an News Agency)

Prime Minister Netanyahu named Dore Gold as Director-General of the Foreign Ministry. Gold is considered to have relatively hawkish views on the Palestinian issue and has never publicly voiced support for the two-State solution. (AFP)

An Israeli official quoted by Haaretz said that Prime Minister Netanyahu had expressed his commitment to resume peace negotiations with the Palestinians during a meeting with EU High Representative Federica Mogherini. He added that initial focus was on identifying settlements that Israel would keep and be allowed to expand and those that would be left under Palestinian control. Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki dismissed Netanyahu’s statements. (MEMO, Reuters)

Venezuela has raised its representation in Palestine to ambassadorial level. The decision was announced by President Nicolas Maduro during a meeting with Foreign Minister Riad Malki. (Qatar news agency)

Gaza’s electricity distributor has accused Israel of refusing to repair a 12-megawatt grid supplying power to Gaza City that became disconnected in Israeli-controlled territory. The loss of the electricity grid will have a serious effect on the power supply to Gaza City. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli forces gave military orders to the Palestinian residents of Al-Qum village near Hebron to remove an electricity power grid and water well. (MEMO)

The Israeli military court in Ofer Prison sentenced the Speaker of the PLC to a year in prison. Aziz Dweik was also fined $1,500. (WAFA)

UNSCO released its report to be presented to the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee at the meeting in Brussels on May 27. The report warns that maintaining the current untenable status quo will “inexorably lead to the continued erosion of living conditions for Palestinians and for Israelis alike and will undermine the security and stability of all”. (PNN)

The Austrian Government has donated $1,382,743 to help UNRWA provide health care to Palestine refugees in Gaza and the West Bank. (www.unrwa.org)

Today, the IDF struck a number of sites in the Gaza Strip from the air, residents and the Israeli military said, after a rocket fired by Palestinian militants from the enclave landed near the Israeli city of Ashdod. The Israeli military said it struck four “terror infrastructure sites” in southern Gaza. There were no reports of casualties. Tuesday’s rocket was the longest-range launched from Gaza since a truce that ended the 50-day war last year. Israel’s Defense Minister blamed Islamic Jihad but there was no claim of responsibility from Gaza. It was reported that Hamas arrested the militants behind the attack and that mediation efforts were underway between Israel and Hamas to de-escalate the situation. (Reuters, Ma’an News Agency, Statesmen, Ynetnews)

Egyptian authorities opened the Rafah crossing, for the first time in nearly 80 days, to allow stranded Palestinians to return to the Gaza Strip. Traffic was not allowed in the opposite direction. Maher Abu Sabha, the Hamas-appointed director of Gaza crossings, said that more than 15,000 Palestinians, including 3,000 people seeking medical treatment, had registered with his office to travel outside the enclave. An Egyptian official said the crossing would also be open today. (Times of Oman)

Amnesty International released the report “Palestine (State of): ‘Strangling Necks’ Abductions, torture and summary killings of Palestinians by Hamas forces during the 2014 Gaza/Israel conflict”.

27

Israeli soldiers kidnapped thirteen Palestinians in West Bank and Gaza, including two women, one who was visiting her son in prison and another in the Erez Terminal, in northern Gaza. (International Middle East Media Center)

A Palestinian fisherman was injured as Israeli naval forces opened fire off the coast of western Gaza City. (Ma’an News Agency)

Senior Palestinian officials’ rejected a proposal made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resume peace talks that would allow delineation and annexation of settlements. Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told AFP the concept was “completely unacceptable. The borders that should be set are those of the internationally recognized State of Palestine based on the 1967 borders.” (AFP, Palestinian News and Info Agency)

The Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC), the donor coordination group for Palestinian people, is meeting today in Brussels to review the progress made by the PA in its reform agenda, take stock of the efforts to rebuild Gaza, assess the need for international support and in preparation for the ministerial meeting of the AHLC in New York in September. The meeting is being hosted by the EU High Representative Mogherini and Presided by the Norwegian Foreign Affairs Minister Borge Brende. (Kuwait News Agency)

The SG of the OIC, Ilyad Ameen Madani, called for reactivating the role of the International Quartet and expanding its membership. (Kuwait News Agency)

The Quartet announced that Tony Blair will step down as the Quartet’s Representative. (UN News)

Demolitions continued in the Silwan neighbourhood of occupied East Jerusalem as excavators escorted by Israeli forces demolished a newly built Palestinian house. Several demolition orders have been distributed in the area and Silwan neighbourhood residents face increasing pressures from the Israeli Government to leave the area. (Ma’an News Agency)

The UN Secretary-General met with EU High Representative Mogherini and expressed appreciation for the EU’s increasing global leadership, including within the Quartet on the Middle East (UN News).

The Director of UNRWA’s operations in the Gaza Strip, Robert Turner, said he had submitted his resignation and plans to leave his current post in July. His term comes amid one of the most severe financial crises the agency has seen in its history. (UNRWA)

Israeli soldiers repeatedly assaulted a young Palestinian man, and detained several others for a few hours in Nablus in the West Bank. (International Middle East Media Centre)

Speaking at the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee meeting in Brussels, EU High Representative Federica Mogherini called on Israel and the Palestinians to resume peace negotiations, saying the situation on the ground was “not sustainable.” She also urged the PA and Hamas to “restart a national reconciliation process”. (Ynetnews, The Times of Israel)

The Ad Hoc Liaison Committee called on the parties to rebuild trust and donors to strengthen their support. (EU website)

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said he was not opposed to negotiations with Hamas, adding that Israel and the Palestinians have a shared interest in improving the quality of life for residents in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli President urged an international initiative to reconstruct the Gaza Strip, with Israeli participation under a “non-negotiable” condition that the enclave ceases to “be used as a front to attack Israel”. (The Times of Israel)

Israeli authorities left posters in East Jerusalem neighbourhood of al-Isawiya notifying owners that the property was needed for urgent military purposes for two and a half years. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Arab Water Ministers’ Council at the Arab League called on all the Arab countries to look into the possibility of convening a donor conference on the water shortage in Palestine and a seawater desalination project in the Gaza Strip in collaboration with the Islamic Development Bank. The statement invited regional and international organizations as well as NGOs to the first Palestinian Conference on Water to be held in Ramallah later this year. (Kuwait News Agency)

Hamas denounced the Amnesty International report on abductions, torture and summary killings of Palestinians by Hamas forces during the 2014 Gaza/Israel conflict. (The Jerusalem Post, Albawaba News)

28

France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said he would travel to Egypt, Israel and the Palestinian territories in June as part of efforts to pursue an international consensus for a Security Council resolution that would set parameters for peace talks. Fabius’ aides said the visit would take place ahead of a final round of nuclear talks with Iran at the end of June. (The Jerusalem Post, Ynetnews)

UNRWA announced that 219 refugee families across the Gaza Strip will receive cash assistance for rental subsidies, repair work and reintegration grants amounting to US$ 282,500. (UNRWA)

The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency has announced a new contribution of US$ 4.8 million to UNRWA to addresses the humanitarian needs of Palestine refugees in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, including East Jerusalem. (UNRWA)

UNRWA has been forced to suspend its monthly cash assistance for housing to Palestinian refugee families from Syria living in Lebanon starting from July this year due to lack of funds. (Middle East Monitor)

An unknown group has launched a website, “Canary Mission” that profiles people affiliated with pro-Palestinian student groups – publishing their names, photos, occupations and sometimes universities and majors – in an effort to dissuade potential employers from hiring them. (The Guardian)

A 55-year-old Palestinian man died of wounds he had sustained during the Israeli offensive on Gaza last summer. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israel confiscated eight dunams of land in the village of Issawiya in East Jerusalem “for military purposes”. (IMEMC)

29

Israeli forces detained five Palestinians and injured five others in subsequent clashes at the south-western entrance to the Issawiya neighbourhood in East Jerusalem. (Ma’an News Agency)

30

Israeli forces detained one Palestinian and three foreign activists during a protest against Israeli settlement expansion near Beit Ummar in the southern West Bank. Israeli forces broke the arm of the Palestinian before arresting him. (IMEMC)

Speaking during a tour of Gaza, the president of the Qatari National Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza, Mohammad al-Amadi, announced the launch of a number of new projects for Gaza. He said that his Government would begin construction on 1,000 housing units and that 300 families had already received permits to rebuild. (Haaretz)

31

An Israeli ministerial legal committee approved a bill that could have protesters who throw stones at moving vehicles jailed for up to 10 years. (AFP)

A group of Israeli settlers broke into the Tal Rmedeh neighbourhood in Hebron and threw Molotov cocktails and stones at a Palestinian-owned house, partially burning the exterior of the house. No Injuries were reported. (WAFA)

During talks in Jerusalem with Israeli officials, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the Gaza Strip must be rehabilitated, warning that Israel’s fate was tied to that of the Palestinians in Gaza. (Ynetnews)

During a meeting with Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in Ramallah, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Israeli-Palestinian negotiations should be revived but “should not last for an eternity”. He urged the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table and demanded that Israel create conditions conducive to it. (DPA)

Hiba Masalha, a lawyer for the PA committee of prisoners’ affairs, said in a statement that Palestinian children were beaten and tortured in a “heinous” way by Israeli soldiers during interrogation. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli Cabinet Ministers approved legislation that imposes tougher penalties on stone-throwers, up to 10 years’ imprisonment. (Reuters)

Prime Minister Netanyahu said that Israel faced an “international campaign to blacken its name” with the objective of delegitimizing its very existence regardless to its policies. (The Times of Israel)

Activists around the world marked the five-year anniversary of the deadly attack on the first Freedom Flotilla in 2010 in which nine activists were killed. (www.telesurtv.net)


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