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Source: Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
31 May 2016


Division for Palestinian Rights

Chronological Review of Events Relating to the
Question of Palestine

Monthly media monitoring review

May 2016
Monthly highlights

A German Government official denied a magazine report which said Berlin might end its unconditional support for Israel. (1 May)

• Palestinian Official Saeb Erekat voiced his dismay over the Eurovision Song Contest preventing the Palestinian flag from being flown. (1 May)

• The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics said the labour force participation rate of persons aged 15 years and above in Palestine was 45.8 per cent in the first quarter of this year. (4 May)

• The Committee against Torture concluded its consideration of the fifth periodic report of Israel on the measures taken to implement the provisions of the Convention against Torture. (4 May)

• The leader of Hamas in Gaza said Egypt and other parties were working to defuse the worst flare-up in violence since a 2014 conflict. (6 May)

• The Israeli Defence Ministry is set to recognize a new settlement adjacent to the already-established settlement of Shiloh, near Nablus. (9 May)

• Prime Minister Netanyahu said that the French initiative “allows the Palestinians to avoid direct negotiations, thereby making peace more remote.” (9 May)

• Egyptian President al-Sisi said that his country will use its influence as chair of the Security Council to uphold the Palestinian cause. (9 May)

• A 14-year-old Palestinian boy was convicted of attempted murder for participating in a stabbing attack against a 13-year-old Israeli. (10 May)

• Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said he is willing to sit down with Palestinian Abbas in Jerusalem, Ramallah or anywhere else. (12 May)

• Egyptian authorities reopened the Rafah crossing with Gaza for the second day in a row, after an 85-day closure. (12 May)

• France agreed to delay the May 30th Ministerial meeting until summer to allow for the US to attend. (17 May)

• UN Coordinator Piper condemned the demolition and confiscation of humanitarian assistance by the Israeli authorities in the Palestinian community of Jabal al Baba. (18 May)

• The Palestinian Foreign Ministry said that the appointment of Avigdor Liberman to serve as a minister in Netanyahu’s Government shows that Israel favours extremism. (19 May)

• Israeli announced plans to upgrade checkpoints between the West Bank and Israel so more Palestinians will be able to enter Israel for work. (20 May)

• Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu rejected a multilateral French peace initiative, offering instead to hold direct talks with President Abbas in Paris. (23 May)

•After UNRWA halt its food distribution programme in all camps across the West Bank , the refugee camp committees decided to shut down Nablus-area UNRWA offices. (24 May)

•The Spokesperson of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights raised deep concerns about recent statements made by the authorities in Gaza of their intention to implement a number of death sentences. (26 May)

•The Representative of Japan to the Palestinian Authority and the Commissioner-General of the UNRWA inaugurated the reconstructed Health Centre in Qalqilya in the West Bank. (27 May)

•The Arab League backed France’s Middle East peace initiative and all international efforts to clinch an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord. (28 May)

1 May

Several Palestinians were injured when Israeli soldiers entered the village of Ni’lin, west of Ramallah, firing live rounds, rubber-coated steel bullets and gas bombs, after which clashes broke out between IDF and locals. (IMEMC)

An investigation into the killing of the siblings Maram and Ibrahim Saleh Taha at the Qalandiya crossing on April 27 determined that they were shot by civilian security guards after Maram hurled a knife at security personnel. The father, Salah Abu Ismail, 61, said his daughter had arrived at the crossing to obtain a permit to enter Jerusalem for medical treatment and that none of his children was carrying a knife. He said the IDF should release the footage. (The Times of Israel)

Israeli forces arrested 16 Palestinians in Hebron, Bethlehem, Nablus, Ramallah and a number of neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem. (Petra)

A German Government official denied a magazine report which said Berlin might end its unconditional support for Israel due to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s increasing frustration with Prime Minister Netanyahu’s policies. (Der Spiegel)

Palestinian Official Saeb Erekat voiced his dismay over the Eurovision Song Contest preventing the Palestinian flag from being flown during the event this month. In a letter to Jean-Paul Philippot, the Head of the European Broadcasting Union, Mr. Erekat said the decision is “totally biased and unacceptable.” (Statesman)

The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization condemned in a statement a ban on the Palestinian flag during the Eurovision Song Contest that will be held in Stockholm. The Organization said the decision was contrary to the UN recognition of Palestine as a State. (Alray)

Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said she was working to have Israeli law apply to the West Bank within one year. (The Jerusalem Post)

Hundreds of settlers entered the area of Joseph’s Tomb east of Nablus and performed religious rituals under the protection of the Israeli police. (Petra)

2 May

Palestinians residents in the town of Al-Issawiya, on the outskirts of Jerusalem, were notified by the Israeli authorities that a health centre and a fuel station in the town would be demolished for lack of permits. (WAFA)

The IDF demolished an agricultural structure in the West Bank city of Qalqilya, according to security sources. (WAFA)

Israeli military vehicles and bulldozers advanced tens of meters into Palestinian lands east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, levelling land owned by Palestinians. (Petra)

An 18-year-old Palestinian was detained by Israeli police on the suspicion of being involved in a stabbing attack injuring a Jewish man at the entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem. (Ynetnews, Ma ‘an News Agency)

Israeli authorities have decided to open a gate along the separation wall north of Jerusalem for the first time in seven years, an Israeli official said. (Ma ‘an News Agency)

A 16-year-old Palestinian has been convicted to by an Israeli Military Court of murdering Dafna Meir, a Jewish mother of six, in a stabbing attack in her home in the Otniel settlement in January. (The Jerusalem Post)

Palestinian hunger-striking prisoner Sami Janazra, who is on the 62nd day of his strike, has refused water. (Ma ‘an News Agency)

3 May

Local Palestinian police arrested a man near the city of Jenin for carrying a knife. (Ynetnews)

Israeli forces detained at least 31 Palestinians in overnight raids in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. (Ma ‘an News Agency)

Secretary-General of the PLO Saeb Erekat said that bilateral meetings with Israel over reducing the latter’s security control in West Bank cities have been suspended, adding that the organization’s Executive Committee will decide on Wednesday on next steps. (Ma ‘an News Agency, Haaretz)

The Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem ordered a local Palestinian family from Silwan to demolish three commercial stores under the pretext of construction without a permit. (WAFA)

The Israeli army demolished the house of a Palestinian prisoner suspected of partaking in the attack in which two Israeli settlers were killed near Nablus in early October 2015. (WAFA)

The Israeli prison authorities have reportedly shut down the supply of water and electricity to Nafha prison, where hundreds of Palestinian political prisoners are incarcerated. (WAFA)

The UN Committee against Torture in Geneva in the coming two days would review Israel on its policies with regard to torture on both sides of the Green Line. (The Jerusalem Post)

More than 2,000 Israelis, escorted by a large group of Israeli soldiers, entered the Palestinian town of Kifl Haris in the central West Bank to pray at a shrine. (Ma ‘an News Agency)

A Palestinian was killed and three Israeli soldiers were injured after a suspected car ramming attack at a junction near the settlement of “Dolev” northwest of Ramallah. (Ma ‘an News Agency)

The leader of a group that kidnapped and burned alive a Palestinian teenager two years ago was sentenced to a life sentence plus twenty years in prison. (Xinhua, The Washington Post)

EU made a contribution of €15 million to the payment of April salaries and pensions of over 66,000 Palestinian civil servant sand pensioners in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. (European External Action Service).

4 May

Israeli forces arrested 19 Palestinians in the West Bank cities of Jenin, Ramallah, Hebron, and Nablus and in East Jerusalem. (Jordan News Agency, WAFA)

Israeli forces arrested Hamas activist Attaf Ruhi Salah, who was involved in a shooting attack at Rimonim Junction on September 1, 2010 which injured two Israeli civilians. (Ynetnews)

Israeli forces notified Palestinians in the village of Al-Walaj eh, to the west of Bethlehem, about their intention to demolish eight homes and to stop the construction of a ninth one. (WAFA)

Following cross-border fire attacks on IDF units, Israeli armoured tanks bombed with artillery shells an agricultural area on the border with the Gaza Strip to the east of Rafah. (Haaretz, WAFA, The Jerusalem Post)

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics said the labour force participation rate of persons aged 15 years and above in Palestine was 45.8 per cent in the first quarter of this year, with 41.2 per cent unemployment rate in Gaza and 18 per cent in the West Bank. (WAFA)

The historic and holy city of Jerusalem remained at the heart of any negotiated solution to the Question of Palestine, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed at the International Conference on the Question of Jerusalem opened in Dakar, Senegal, in a statement delivered by Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA). (United Nations)

Israeli soldiers detained a Palestinian child from Jerusalem’s Old City and shot a disabled Palestinian man near Hebron, injuring him (IMEMC)

Thousands of Palestinians congregated at the funeral of Riyad Shehada, who was killed by Israeli soldiers on Tuesday following an alleged car-ramming attack. (Ma ‘an News Agency)

Hamas said that it has reached understandings with the Israeli military, mediated by Egypt, regarding a cessation of hostilities on the Gaza frontier. (The Jerusalem Post)

The Committee against Torture concluded its consideration of the fifth periodic report of Israel on the measures taken to implement the provisions of the Convention against Torture. (www.ohchnorg)

Israel is not opposed to the return of the bodies of Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces to their families, Justice Ministry attorney Avinoam Segal Elad told the United Nations Committee Against Torture in Geneva. (The Jerusalem Post)

In a statement, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process expressed concern about the security incidents that have taken place along the border with Gaza over the past 24 hours and called “upon all to exercise maximum restraint”. (www.unsco.org)

5 May

Israeli police prevented a Palestinian scout group from parading to celebrate the Islamic festival of Isra and Miraj in Jerusalem, under the pretext that the festival coincides with the Holocaust Memorial Day. (WAFA)

Israeli forces detained 14 Palestinians, including at least 3 minors, for alleged stabbing attempts and one at a Gaza border crossing. (WAFA)

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki, commenting on the French initiative, said that it “comes after over 23 years of political negotiations without achieving positive results”, adding that the failure of negotiations is “prompting us to look for a new way to solve the Palestinian issue”. (Middle East Monitor)

Israel has denied Hamas’ claims that it presented a withdrawal agreement from the Gaza security perimeter. (Ynetnews)

Israeli warplanes targeted several locations in the Gaza Strip and left one elderly Palestinian and three children moderately to critically injured. (WAFA)

The Israeli army has uncovered a tunnel adjacent to the security fence in the southern Gaza Strip and declared “closed military zone” in the area. (Ma ‘an News Agency, Ynetnews)

An Israeli Supreme Court’s recommendation called on the Government to hand over the bodies of Palestinians killed carrying out attacks to their families. (AFP)

A Palestinian woman was killed when Israeli tank shells hit her home in the southern Gaza Strip, the second day of exchanges of fire with Hamas. Four Palestinians, including three children, were injured earlier in the day when Israeli forces carried out several airstrikes. (AFP, Ma’an News Agency)

As per an Israeli Central Court ruling, the Jerusalemite family of Shafiq Al-Khayyat regained its home after it was taken over for 20 months by the Elad settlement society in September 2014. The court also rejected the Elad society’s appeal of of this ruling. (Palestinian Information Center)

6 May

Israeli Border Police arrested a 26-year-old Palestinian man in possession of a knife in Hebron. (The Times of Israel)

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is to convene a special meeting of security cabinet as cross-border attacks along the Gaza Strip border fence continue. (Xinhua)

Israeli authorities is investigating allegations that a shooting at the Qalandiyah West Bank checkpoint north of Jerusalem in which a 23-year-old Palestinian woman, Maram Abu Ismail, and her 16-year-old brother, Ibrahim Taha, were killed last week was carried out in violation of regulations. (Haaretz)

Israeli aircraft struck a Hamas facility in the southern Gaza Strip after cross-border mortar fire, the Israeli army said, as violence continued for a third day. An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed to Ma’an that at least eight alleged Hamas locations had been targeted by airstrikes since Wednesday. (AFP, Ma’an News Agency, The Financial Times)

The leader of Hamas in Gaza said that the Islamist group was “not calling for war” with Israel, and that Egypt and other parties were working behind the scenes to defuse the worst flare-up in violence since a 2014 conflict. (Reuters)

7 May

The secretary of Fatah’s revolutionary council said that a PLO decision to limit relations with Israel was “very serious this time.” (Ma ‘an News Agency)

8 May

Israeli forces stormed the central West Bank town of Birzeit north of Ramallah, targeting 2 female students and detaining at least 24 other Palestinians during raids across the Occupied Palestinian Territory. (Ma ‘an News Agency)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, contradicting his defence minister, rebuked Israel’s deputy military chief for suggesting that Israeli society was showing signs of Nazi-like behaviour. (Reuters)

The Palestinian group Islamic Jihad denied reports that it had an “understanding” with Israel allowing Israeli forces to operate hundreds of meters inside the besieged Gaza Strip (Ma ‘an News Agency).

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas arrived in Cairo for an official visit in which he is scheduled to meet with a number of Egyptian officials to discuss the latest Israeli escalation against the Gaza Strip. (Ma ‘an News Agency)

Venezuela’s envoy to the UN reportedly called Israel’s UN Ambassador to apologize for his remarks during a speech at an informal [Arria formula] meeting of the Security Council on 6 May. (The Jerusalem Post)

9 May

The trial of an Israeli soldier charged with manslaughter after he was caught on video fatally shooting a wounded Palestinian attacker in the West Bank has started before a military court in the coastal city of Jaffa. (Associated Press)

Israel’s military court has sentenced a young Palestinian woman from the southern occupied West Bank district Bethlehem to 45 days in prison over charges of incitement on her Facebook account. (Ma ‘an News Agency)

Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian farmers tending to their fields in the outskirts of the village of Khuzaa east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip. (Ma ‘an News Agency)

The United States will endorse a tougher tone with Israel in an upcoming international report that criticise Israel’s recent escalation of settlements, demolitions and property seizures on land the Palestinians claim for a future state. (Associated Press)

The Israeli Defence Ministry is set to recognize a new settlement adjacent to the already-established settlement of Shiloh, near the northern occupied West Bank city of Nablus, for 40 families living in the Amona outpost (Ma ‘an News Agency)

Israel expropriated land from an East Jerusalem Palestinian family, without a tender and against the rules, then handed it over to Amana, an organization that works to establish settlements and outposts. (Ilaaretz, WAFA)

Three Palestinian children have been killed in a Gaza house fire started by a candle, sparking internal finger-pointing and with Hamas blaming Israel and its “accomplices” for the deaths due to the current power crisis in the territory. (Ma ‘an News Agency, Associated Press)

Prime Minister Netanyahu said that the French initiative calling for a summit in Paris to discuss the parameters of a peace deal “allows the Palestinians to avoid direct negotiations, thereby making peace more remote.” (The Jerusalem Post)

Egyptian President al-Sisi said that his country will use its influence as chair of the Security Council to uphold the Palestinian cause. (Albawaba News, Prensa Latina, The New Arab)

Hundreds of Palestinians participated in a march called for by Hamas in the south of Gaza, in protest at the ongoing blockade and the electricity crisis. (The Palestinian Information Centre).

10 May

Israeli soldiers detained at least 14 Palestinians, including several children, in different parts of the West Bank. (IMEMC)

Israeli police said that two masked attackers had stabbed two Israeli women in Jerusalem, setting off a manhunt that led to the arrest of the suspects. (The Washington Post)

The Palestinian police force, in cooperation with Israel, has significantly increased its operations in villages and towns around Jerusalem. (The Times of Israel)

The US announced a $50 million aid program for the Gaza Strip, which will be used over five years to provide basic humanitarian assistance and create jobs. (The Times of Israel)

A 14-year-old Palestinian boy was convicted of attempted murder by the Jerusalem District Court for having participated in a stabbing attack against a 13-year-old Israeli last October. (The Times of Israel, Ynetnews, Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

Israeli forces issued orders to stop the construction of five privately-owned homes and a water pipeline project in the village of al-Aqaba to the east of Tubas, in the northern Jordan Valley. (WAFA)

Sweden has announced an $8 million contribution to UNRWA in support of the Agency’s Emergency Appeals for Syria and for the OPT. (www.unrwa.org)

UNRWA continued with the disbursement of Temporary Shelter Cash Assistance in Gaza, in the amount of $ 9.3 million. (www.unrwa.org)

An IDF officer was seriously injured when pipe bombs detonated near him at a checkpoint north of Jerusalem. (The Times of Israel)

Deputy Belgian Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders proposed that his country would host an economic conference aiming at building Palestinian-Israeli economic partnership. (Xinhua)

11 May

Israeli soldiers arrested two Palestinians, in Nablus, and in Jerusalem. (IMEMC)

Israeli troops shot and injured two young Palestinians, one of them seriously, during clashes in the village of Kafr Aqab north of Jerusalem and the nearby Qalandiya refugee camp. (Fars News Agency)

Palestinians will be barred from entering Israel today and tomorrow over a public holiday. (Middle East Online)

Sheikh Thani bin Abdullah Foundation for Humanitarian Services in Doha has granted 252 scholarships to low income students in Gaza. (The Peninsula)

Israeli authorities issued administrative detention orders, without charge or trial, against 13 Palestinian detainees, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society. (WAFA)

A Palestinian minor was indicted in an Israeli court for allegedly providing assistance in the protection of Hamas-built tunnels in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli army announced. (Ma’an News Agency)

An Israeli court sentenced Imad Barghouti, a professor at Al-Quds University, to 2 months’ detention over Facebook posts allegedly “inciting against Israeli occupation,” according to his lawyer. Academics across the world have signed a petition protesting his detention. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli authorities have refused to renew the travel documents of a prominent Palestinian leader in the BDS movement, Omar Barghouti, officials said. An Interior Ministry spokeswoman told AFP that Interior Minister Aryeh Deri was considering revoking his permanent residency. (AFP)

The US State Department said it was unable to confirm whether Secretary of State John Kerry would attend a planned 30 May meeting in Paris, which is part of the French initiative. (Israel National News).

Upon concluding his visit to Cyprus, Palestinian presidential envoy Nabil Shaath noted that Cypriot Government officials had assured him that Nicosia’s relations with Israel would not be to the detriment of its strategic commitment vis-à-vis the Palestinian people. (Sigma Live)

Israeli authorities issued 13 administrative detention orders against Palestinian prisoners. According to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society, 9 of these orders were issued against Palestinians who had already spent months or years in administrative detention. (Ma’an News Agency)

The PA’s Ministry of Interior cancelled the registration of 50 Ramallah-based NGOs over violations of a law which states that NGOs “which fail to begin operating within the first year of registration should be dissolved”. (Ma’an News Agency)

12 May

Israeli forces detained three Palestinians, including one teenager, during overnight raids in different parts of the West Bank. (WAFA, Ma’an News Agency, IMEMC)

Six Palestinian teenagers were arrested near Beitunia, north of Jerusalem, after allegedly lighting a fire near the separation wall. (The Times of Israel)

Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian farmers near the border in the southern Gaza Strip. (Ma’an News Agency)

At an event in London marking Israel’s Independence Day, the UK’s Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb condemned recent attacks against Israelis and the Palestinian incitement to violence. (The Jewish Chronicle Online)

The Saudi Embassy in Cairo issued a statement saying that the Saudi Fund for Development had transferred the equivalent of $60 million to the PA. (Middle East Monitor)

The Israeli municipality of Jerusalem handed a notice to the family of three Palestinian prisoners, informing them that their home would be demolished. While the municipality claims that the notice was issued due to building irregularities, the Palestinian family claims that the decision was an act of “reprisal”. (WAFA)

According to the Palestine Prisoner's Society (PPS), the number of Palestinians held in administrative detention has for the first time since 2008 reached 750. (WAM Emirates news Agency)

Israeli authorities postponed the indictment of Samah Dweik, a 25-year-old Palestinian journalist who has been detained for more than a month over allegations of incitement on social media. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli soldiers detained two young Palestinian men in the Bab Al-Amoud area of East Jerusalem. (IMEMC)

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, speaking at the annual reception for diplomats and heads of religious communities said he is willing to sit down with Palestinian Abbas in Jerusalem, Ramallah or anywhere else, and reiterated his commitment to a two-State solution provided that a demilitarized Palestinian State recognizes Israel as the homeland of the Jewish People. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold told The Jerusalem Post that one of the problems with the French initiative was the lack of recognition of a Jewish State, but even if that were changed, there were other fundamental problems. Gold voiced anger at France’s vote last month at UNESCO in favour of a resolution that rejects the historic Jewish connection to Jerusalem. (The Jerusalem Post)

Thousands of Palestinians participated in the annual “March of Return” near Bedouin towns in the Negev in southern Israel, commemorating the 1948 Nakba. (Ma’an News Agency)

Egyptian authorities reopened the Rafah crossing with Gaza for the second day in a row, after an 85-day closure. They also allowed the entry of eight trucks of cement into Gaza, with more trucks expected today. (Ma’an News Agency, Middle East Monitor)

13 May

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault will reportedly arrive in Jerusalem on 14 May, in a bid to persuade Prime Minister Netanyahu to accept the French initiative. (The Times of Israel)

The UN Committee against Torture, in its concluding observations on Israel, expressed concerns about allegations of “excessive use of force,” including deadly force, by Israeli security forces in Palestinian areas, and warned about authorities barring access to detained suspects, including minors. (AP)

After 18 years of legal battles, the Amana settlement group took over three dunums of land privately-held by 2 Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem, and is continuing construction, despite the families’ ongoing appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court. (Ma’an News Agency)

A Hamas PLC member Mushir Al-Masri, speaking to Quds Press, called on President Abbas to start implementing the reconciliation agreement and to put an end to the internal division, by activating the PLC and holding elections. (Palestinian Information Center)

Palestinian hunger-striking detainee Sami Janazra has temporarily suspended his hunger strike for seven days. (IMEMC)

14 May

Israeli forces raided multiple neighborhoods across the West Bank, detaining at least three Palestinians, and launching tear gas canisters and stun grenades, as Palestinians gathered to remember the 68th anniversary of the Nakba. (Albawaba, Ma’an News Agency)

Palestinian security officers prevented dozens of Palestinian demonstrators commemorating Nakba Day from reaching an Israeli military checkpoint near the settlement of “Beit El”. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli naval forces detained 10 Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip. (Ma’an News Agency)

A Palestinian worker was moderately injured when Israeli soldiers opened live fire at him near Bethlehem. (WAFA)

Prime Minister Netanyahu reportedly questioned the impartiality of the initiative advanced by France, a claim swiftly denied by Paris. (AFP)

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said that the conference in Paris will take place as planned, despite public opposition from Prime Minister Netanyahu. (The Times of Israel)

The head of the Norwegian Representative Office in Ramallah refuted Israeli claims that his country had decided to stop part of its financial support to the Palestinian Government. (Ma’an News Agency)

Gaza’s electricity company announced it would return to an electricity rationing schedule of eight-hour intervals followed by eight hours without power for all districts in the Gaza Strip. (Ma’an News Agency)

16 May

Israeli forces detained at least 11 Palestinian civilians across the West Bank districts and Jerusalem (WAFA)

Israeli forces stationed along the border to the east of Gaza city opened fire at Palestinian farmers forcing them to leave the area. (WAFA, IMEMC)

A Palestinian assailant stabbed an Israeli man in central Jerusalem, lightly wounding him. (Associated Press, Albawaba, Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

Russia’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Vladimir Safronkov, told Sputnik News that the Quartet remains the single legitimate mediation framework for an Israeli-Palestinian settlement and regional security. (Sputnik News)

Israeli forces dismantled 12 caravans which were set up with EU funding and were home to about 90 Palestinians in the Jabal al-Baba neighbourhood, near the town of al-Ezariya to the east of Jerusalem. (WAFA, Albawaba)

17 May

Gunshots were reportedly fired at an Israeli border guard vehicle near the Qalandiya checkpoint in the district of Ramallah. (Ma ‘an News Agency)

Israeli navy forces detained two Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip and confiscated their boat. (WAFA, Albawaba, IMEMC)

Israeli forces detained three Palestinians, including a member of the PLC, from across the West Bank, as well as summoned three others for interrogation. (WAFA)

France agreed to delay the May 30th Ministerial meeting until summer to allow for the US to attend. (The Jerusalem Post, AFP).

Egyptian President Sisi declared his support for the French proposal and said he was prepared to “make every effort” to contribute to an Israeli-Palestinian settlement. (Haaretz)

Israeli forces demolished the homes of two Palestinian families in the Old City of Jerusalem under the pretext of construction without a permit. (Fars News Agency, WAFA)

Israeli Prison Authority moved detainee Fuad Rabah Aassi to the Soroka Hospital due to a serious health complication, as he continues his hunger strike for the 45th consecutive day. (IMEMC)

President Abbas warned that the continued failure to revive peace talks will result in the rise of support for radical jihadi groups in Israel and the West Bank. (Newsweek)

The Jerusalem Magistrate Court of Justice ordered the evacuation of three Palestinian-owned properties in the neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem on the grounds that they had been owned by a Jewish family before 1948. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Commissioner-General of UNRWA, Pierre Krähenbühl, concluded a two-day mission to Italy where he met with senior government officials, parliamentarians, NGOs and local media to deepen ties with Italian institutions and raise awareness about the work of UNRWA and the current situation facing Palestine refugees. (UNRWA)

18 May

Israeli forces shot and injured one Palestinian in the al-Shujaiya neighbourhood, east of Gaza City. (Ma’an News Agency, WAFA)

During predawn detention raids across the West Bank and East Jerusalem Israeli forces arrested at least 24 Palestinians, including former Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs Wasfi Qabaha and Rafat Nasif, a member of the Hamas Political Bureau. (Ma’an News Agency, ABNA)

Israeli forces demolished a Palestinian family’s home in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Shuafat, marking the second time the al-Hawarin family saw their home destroyed in 15 years. According to local sources, the home was destroyed to connect the settlements of “Pisgat Ze’ev” and “Ramat Shlomo”. (WAFA)

The Bank of Palestine, the country’s largest financial institution, has set up its first international representative office worldwide in the Dubai tax-free zone. The bank will offer financial, investment, and advisory services to Palestinians in the diaspora. (Global Tax News)

One week after suspending his 70-day hunger strike, Sami Janazrah resumed his hunger strike in protest of being detained in an Israeli prison without charge or trial. (WAFA)

Israeli soldiers detained two teenagers and fired tear gas at nearby schools in the West Bank town of Beituniya. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli soldiers arrested an 11-year-old child in the town of al-Khadr, south of Bethlehem. (IMEMC)

The Arab League welcomed Egypt’s President’s initiative on reviving the peace process between the Israelis and Palestinians. (Kuna)

US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Egypt’s President in Cairo, with a State Department spokesman later saying the top American diplomat “expressed his appreciation” for Sisi’s “strong support for advancing Arab-Israeli peace.” Prime Minister Netanyahu also praised Sisi’s “willingness to invest every effort to advance a future of peace and security between us and the Palestinians.” (Voice of America)

The UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities for the OPT, Robert Piper condemned the demolition and confiscation of donor-funded humanitarian assistance by the Israeli authorities in the Palestinian community of Jabal al Baba. (OCHA)

19 May

Israeli soldiers opened fire targeting several Palestinian farmers east of Khan Yunis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, while navy ships also opened fire on fishermen in Palestinian territorial waters, near Gaza City. (IMEMC)

Israeli soldiers arrested six Palestinians in different parts of the occupied West Bank and detained schoolchildren, near Bethlehem. (IMEMC).

Secretary of State Kerry confirmed that he will attend the meeting of Foreign Ministers in Paris which will take place on 3 June. (Haaretz)

President Abbas is expected to visit South Africa next week to meet with President Zuma in Cape Town as part of a South African initiative to bring peace to the Middle East. The South African envoys - former ministers Zola Skweyiya and Aziz Pahad - were tasked with getting all the parties in the region to work towards peace in the Middle East and concluded three rounds of consultations that took them to Palestine, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Iran, Turkey, Qatar, UAE, Egypt and Syria. (Iafrica)

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry said in a press statement that the appointment of Avigdor Liberman to serve as a minister in Netanyahu’s Government shows that Israel favours extremism. (The Jerusalem Post)

The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People is holding the UN Seminar on Assistance to the Palestinian People in Stockholm today and tomorrow. Information on the programme and live webcast can be found here. (Division for Palestinian Rights)

A Palestinian farmer suffered moderate wounds after an unexploded object, reportedly dropped by the Israeli army during previous skirmishes, detonated while he was working on his land, east of Deir al-Balah, in central Gaza. (IMEMC)

Israeli police reportedly detained a 16-year-old Palestinian in East Jerusalem for allegedly planning to carry out a stabbing attack against police forces. (Ma’an News Agency)

An international conference to help relaunch peace talks between Palestinians and Israelis will go ahead in Paris on 3 June, allowing the US to attend, Jean-Marc Ayrault France’s Foreign Minister announced. (Reuters, the Times of Israel)

The EU condemned the Israeli demolition of Palestinian homes and the settlement policy, questioning Israel’s commitment to the two-state solution. (KUNA)

Israeli police extended the detention of Muhammad Arafat Ubeidat, a16-year-old Palestinian teen from East Jerusalem until 20 May when he will reportedly appear before a court. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli authorities released Palestinian journalist Muhammad al-Qiq, who had been on a 94-day hunger strike in protest of his administrative detention. (Ma’an News Agency)

20 May

Pierre Krähenbühl the Commissioner- General of UNRWA told Xinhua News in a written interview that it was crucial to find a political solution to the conflict affecting Palestinian refugees. (Xinhua)

The Israeli government announced plans to upgrade checkpoints between the West Bank and Israel with a view to ensuring that more Palestinians will be able to enter Israel for work. The Defense Ministry said the move, which will cost some 300 million shekels ($78 million), will also shorten the amount of time Palestinians will spend waiting in line to get through the checkpoints. (Haaretz, Xinhua, Arutz Sheva, Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

Two Israeli settlers held by Palestinian security forces near Nablus were released to Israeli authorities. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Israeli Salem Military Court adjourned the trial of seven Palestinian prisoners from Nablus who were charged for their alleged involvement in the Itamar shooting attack during which an Israeli army officer and his wife were killed. (The Middle East Monitor)

Numerous Palestinian groups condemned Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked‘s plan to apply Israeli laws to Jews living in West Bank settlements. The groups alleged that this move would further divide Palestinians and Israelis and give Israel the chance to annex these settlements. (Al Monitor)

In its Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 12 – 18 May 2016, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that Israeli forces continued to use excessive force in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. (IMEMC)

Scores of Palestinian patients protested in Gaza to express their need for a port to facilitate their travel abroad for medical treatment. The protest was organized by the Hamas-leaning National Movement Committee for Breaking the Siege and Reconstruction in Gaza, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health in Gaza. (Albawaba)

Israeli television reported on 20 May that Arab governments have communicated to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu their willingness to engage in negotiations over possible changes to the Saudi peace initiative so that it may serve as the agreed-upon basis of renewed talks with the Palestinians. (Jerusalem Post)

21 May

The United Nations Security Council held an unprecedented consultative meeting in Cairo with delegations of member States of the League of Arab States, discussing, among others, developments of the Palestinian issue. (UN News Centre)

22 May

Israeli naval forces arrested ten Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the Gaza Strip, well within the allowed parameters for Gaza fishermen according to local sources. (Middle East Monitor)

Israeli forces detained at least five Palestinians from Ramallah and Hebron, in the occupied West Bank. (Ma’an News Agency)

Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip welcomed a call by Egyptian President Al-Sisi to resume Egypt’s efforts to achieve internal Palestinian reconciliation. (Middle East Monitor)

Senior Palestinian and American officials gathered in Ramallah to renew the US-Palestinian economic dialogue. The topics discussed included enhancing Palestinian trade, the growth of natural resource sectors, promoting entrepreneurship in the IT sector, and improving water and energy resource management. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Palestinian Ministry of Labor said that the government had opened applications for 4,000 three-month jobs as the first phase of a project to employ 10,000 youths in the Gaza Strip, with the aim to “empower youths and graduates of both genders to give them the needed knowledge, skills, and expertise to immerse themselves in the Palestinian market.” (Ma’an News Agency)

23 May

Israeli soldiers have arrested 15 Palestinians from their homes, in different parts of the West Bank. (WAFA)

Israeli forces fatally shot a Palestinian woman at a military checkpoint to the northwest of Jerusalem, after she allegedly attempted to stab an Israeli soldier. (WAFA)

Dozens of illegal settlers accompanied by a military escort entered the Jabal Johar neighborhood, in the Old City of Hebron in the West Bank, which triggered fear among local Palestinians, especially children. (WAFA)

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu rejected a multilateral French peace initiative as he met his French counterpart, offering instead to hold direct talks with President Abbas in Paris. French Prime Minister Valls is visiting Israel and the Palestinian territories to advance his country’s plan to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts. Palestinian President Abbas has welcomed the French initiative to hold a meeting of foreign ministers from a range of countries on 3 June, without the Israelis and Palestinians present. Another conference would then be held in the fall, with the Israelis and Palestinians in attendance. After meeting with Netanyahu, Valls will travel to Ramallah for a series of talks with Palestinian officials, including meeting with President Abbas. (AFP, Ynet News, Times of Israel)

Dozens of truckloads of cement entered the Gaza Strip for delivery to the private sector, following a near-45-day ban on cement imposed by Israel. (Ma’an News Agency)

The State of Kuwait has strongly denounced, on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the presence of an Israeli poster at the UN headquarters in New York touting Occupied Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the Jewish people. Kuwait’s permanent representative to the UN, Ambassador Mansour al-Otaibi, affirmed in a letter addressed to secretary-general Ban Ki-moon that displaying such poster, especially at the UN headquarters, is “legally, politically and morally wrong.” (Palestinian Information Center)

At a meeting in Jerusalem, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected a French initiative for a multinational conference to relaunch Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts, telling visiting French Prime Minister Manuel Valls that direct negotiations were the only path forward toward a lasting agreement. (The Times of Israel)

Israel resumed cement delivery to the Gaza Strip for home reconstruction by private individuals after a 45-day ban, after accusing Hamas rulers of seizing some of the stock. (Reuters)

An Israeli court ruled to end the administrative detention of Palestinian prisoner Sami Janazreh, who has been on hunger strike since early March 2016, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) said. (Albawaba)

24 May

Israeli soldiers detained eleven Palestinians after searching their homes in several parts of the West Bank. (International Middle East Media Centre)

Palestine’s Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said that the Israeli proposal for direct negotiations instead of the French initiative was an attempt to “buy time”. (AFP)

Diplomatic talks spearheaded by Egyptian officials have been under way in the past few days in an attempt to schedule a summit meeting in Cairo between President Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu with Egypt’s President Sisi as mediator. A senior Palestinian official confirmed to Ynet that contact had indeed been established between the two parties via the Egyptians. (Ynetnews)

Israeli soldiers entered the Issawiya area in Jerusalem and demolished several strictures. They also entered Silwan, and demolished a storage room. (International Middle East Media Centre)

Israel’s Minister of the Interior Gilad Erdan ordered the police to stop returning bodies of Palestinian assailants from East Jerusalem to their families. He said his decision was made following “outrageous” photos of a mourning march in East Jerusalem. (Global Times)

After UNRWA’s decision to halt its food distribution programme in all 18 camps across the West Bank beginning next month and to replace it with a cash card system, the refugee camp committees decided to shut down Nablus-area UNRWA offices. (Ma’an News Agency)

UNRWA launched its 2015 Annual Report highlighting the remarkable gains achieved by UNRWA in reducing mother and child deaths, infectious and communicable disease transmission, and achieving nearly 100 per cent vaccination. (UNRWA)

UN Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov welcomed Israel’s resumption of the private cement shipments into the Gaza Strip, saying in a statement that “all sides need to ensure that cement deliveries reach their intended beneficiaries and are used solely for civilian purposes.” (UNSCO)

Palestinian Prime Minister Hamdallah dismissed on 24 May an Israeli proposal for direct negotiations instead of a French multilateral peace initiative. “Time is short,” Hamdallah said. Netanyahu is trying to buy time ... but this time he will not escape the international community.” (AFP)

Israeli forces delivered demolition notices for water wells, agricultural structures, and a 3 km agricultural road in the village of Qusra in southern Nablus. (Ma’an News Agency)

25 May

Israeli soldiers and border police arrested eight Palestinians and seized guns, ammunition and “military equipment” in a large-scale raid in the West Bank village of Kufr al-Dik, in Salfit district. Another 18 Palestinians were arrested across the Occupied Palestinian Territory, in Bethlehem, Hebron, Nablus, Qalqiliya and Ramallah districts and East Jerusalem. (The Times of Israel, WAFA)

Israeli troops opened fire at Palestinian farmers and shepherds in the southern Gaza Strip. No casualties have been reported. (Ma’an News Agency)

After 25 years of accountability work in the occupied West Bank, Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem announced its decision to discontinue their strategy of holding Israeli forces accountable for crimes against Palestinians through internal military mechanisms. The inefficiency of Israeli military mechanisms to provide justice for Palestinian victims led the organization to label their accountability activities as a “whitewash machine” for the continuation of the nearly 50-year Israeli military occupation of the West Bank. Since the start of the second intifada in late 2000, of the 739 complaints filed by B’Tselem of Palestinians being killed, injured, used as human shields, or having their property damaged by Israeli forces, roughly 70 percent resulted in an investigation where no action was taken, or in an investigation never being opened. Only three percent of cases resulted in charges being brought against the soldiers. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danon is set to host the “Building Bridges, Not Boycotts” anti-BDS conference in the United Nations on 31 May. The conference is a partnership between Israel’s Mission, the World Jewish Congress, Keren HaYesod, the American Center for Law and Justice, the Anti-Defamation League, the Zionist Organization of America, Israel Bonds, StandWithUs, B’nai B’rith International, Hillel, CAMERA as well as other organizations. (Jerusalem Post)

An Israeli court extended the detention of a 12-year-old Palestinian boy for a year, according to the head of the Jerusalem Committee for Families of Prisoners. He is currently detained in a juvenile facility in the town of Ablin in northern Israel. (Albawaba)

UN Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov briefed the Security Council noting a recent study showing that close to 60 percent of the Jewish population and over 70 percent of Palestinians remain in favour of negotiations. However, he underlined that circumstances on the ground continue to deteriorate, underscoring the fragility of the security dynamics, particularly the threat to the ceasefire in Gaza. He welcomed Egyptian President Sisi’s expression of readiness to mediate reconciliation between Palestinian factions to pave the way toward a peace agreement with Israel. (UN)

Briefing the Security Council on the Middle East Nickolay Mladenov, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process stated that the will to find a viable peace process clearly existed, but the lack of political will and necessary leadership to advance it into reality had deterred any potential progress. (Ma’an News Agency)

26 May

Israeli aircraft struck two Hamas sites in southern Gaza in response to rocket fire toward Israel, the Israeli military said. (AP)

Israeli soldiers opened fire on several Palestinian shepherds and farmers, east of Khan Yunis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip – no injuries were reported. (IMEMC)

Israeli forces overnight detained at least 11 Palestinians from the occupied West Bank, including two teenage girls from Hebron, according to Israeli and Palestinian security sources. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Palestinian Ambassador in Cairo said that the Egyptian peace initiative does not clash with the French initiative and that it does not constitute an alternative. His comments came ahead of President Abbas’ visit to Cairo scheduled for the end of the week during which he will meet with foreign ministers of the Arab League. (Ynetnews)

Israeli authorities handed out demolition notices for three houses, an agricultural structure and a power line in the northern West Bank. Since the start of 2016, some 600 Palestinian-owned structures have been demolished in the West Bank and East Jerusalem by Israeli authorities. (Ma’an News Agency)

Palestinian prisoner Fouad Assi suspended his hunger strike after the Israeli prosecution had agreed to not extend Assi’s administrative detention beyond four months, and to allow the prisoner to call his family. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Spokesperson of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights raised deep concerns about recent statements made by the authorities in Gaza of their intention to implement a number of death sentences. (OHCHR)

Israeli forces detained a Palestinian youth in the West Bank city of Hebron. He was allegedly found to be in possession of a knife. (Ma’an News Agency)

Tony Blair, the former British Prime Minister and envoy for the Quartet, said that Sunni Muslim countries were ready to normalize ties with Israel should Israel negotiate a peace deal with the Palestinian Authority on the basis of the Arab Peace Initiative. (The Jewish Journal)

During a meeting between President Mahmoud Abbas and President Jacob Zuma in Cape Town, the South African President pledged his support to Palestine. The two leaders met to strengthen socio-political, trade and economic relations. (Ma’an News Agency)

Hagai El-Ad, the CEO of B'Tselem noted that the rate of indictment for Israeli military authorities accused of killing or injuring Palestinians was around 3 per cent. Consequently, complaining against abuse by Israeli authorities was ‘useless’. (RT)

The Representative of Japan to the Palestinian Authority, Ambassador Takeshi Okubo, and the Commissioner-General of the UNRWA, Pierre Krähenbühl, inaugurated the newly reconstructed Health Centre in Qalqilya in the West Bank. The reconstruction of the Health Centre was made possible due to a US$ 4.2 million grant from the Government of Japan. (unrwa.org)

UNRWA denied rumours that it intended to close its headquarters in Gaza, stressing that these reports were false. (unrwa.org)

27 May

Israeli forces detained a Palestinian in the town of Silwad in the eastern part of the West Bank district of Ramallah (IMEMC, Ma’an News Agency)

The Israeli Navy reportedly opened fire on at least four fishing boats, in the Sudaniyya Sea area northwest of Gaza City, causing damage to two boats. (IMEMC, WAFA)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas arrived in Cairo to attend a meeting of Arab Ministers of Foreign Affairs to discuss the latest developments in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and prepare for the upcoming Arab Summit. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Israeli Minister of Environmental Protection and founding member of the Kulanu party, Avi Gabai, resigned from his position in the Government in response to the ultra-right Yisrael Beytenu party joining the Government coalition and appointment of right-wing Avigdor Lieberman as Defense Minister. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli authorities issued demolition orders against four homes, agricultural sheds and networks, in addition to an electricity grid in a Palestinian village, south of Nablus, in the northern part of the West Bank. (IMEMC)

In its Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 19 – 25 May 2016, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that a Palestinian girl was killed at a military checkpoint, northwest of occupied Jerusalem, while 5 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In addition, 54 civilians, including at least 16 children, were arrested by Israeli troops this week. (IMEMC)

3 Palestinians were injured and dozens suffered from tear gas inhalation as Israeli forces dispersed weekly protests in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. (Ma’an News Agency)

28 May

Israeli soldiers detained two Palestinians from the southern West Bank district of Hebron. (IMEMC)

Palestinian President Abbas called for NATO forces to replace Israeli soldiers in the West Bank as part of any peace deal that leads to the creation of a two-state solution. (The Jerusalem Post)

The Arab League backed France’s Middle East peace initiative and all international efforts to clinch an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord. (The Times of Israel)

29 May

Israeli forces detained at least 10 Palestinians during overnight raids in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. (Ma’an News Agency, Fars News Agency)

30 May

A 17-year-old Palestinian was arrested after stabbing an Israeli soldier in the shoulder in Tel-Aviv. (UPI, The Times of Israel)

Israeli troops detained at least 28 Palestinians, including a woman, in predawn military raids in several villages in the West Bank. (Ma’an News Agency, IMEMC)

Israeli forces detained 3 Palestinian minors suspected of being involved in a stabbing attack earlier this month in East Jerusalem. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said that his country is ready to discuss the Arab Peace Initiative to reach a settlement of the conflict with Palestine, if the Arab states are willing to negotiate “revisions to that initiative so that it reflects the dramatic changes in the region since 2002”. (Reuters)

Israel’s new Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said at his swearing-in that he supports a two-state solution to the conflict with the Palestinian. (Associated Press)

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) called for protests against the French Initiative in Palestine and abroad on 3 and 4 June, the dates of the ministerial conference in Paris. (Arutz Sheva, IMEMC)

Israeli authorities decided to reduce the fishing zone in Gaza territorial waters to six nautical miles, two months after they had extended it. (Ma’an News Agency, IMEMC)

After six years of negotiations the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee of the Israeli parliament passed a new bill on terrorism, which for the first time includes the specific crime of “digging attack tunnels” and establishes life sentence for being a “terrorist mastermind”, even if the person has not directly participated in the terrorist acts. (The Jerusalem Post)

The Ambassador of Turkey to Palestine Sarnic announced his country’s pledge to provide basic humanitarian needs to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, including fuel needed to operate 13 hospitals for six months and medical supplies. (Palestinian Information Center)

Israeli soldiers started the illegal eviction and removal of 42 Palestinian families from their homes in the Jordan Valley area of the occupied West Bank, in order to conduct live fire training in those areas. (IMEMC)

31 May

Israeli forces detained at least 10 Palestinians in multiple predawn raids across the West Bank (Ma’an News Agency)

A Palestinian was injured after Israeli naval forces opened fire on farmers and fishermen in Gaza, detaining four and confiscating their boats. (Ma’an News Agency, IMEMC)

Israeli military vehicles levelled Palestinian agricultural lands in northern Gaza, and fired many rounds of live ammunition. (Ma’an News Agency, IMEMC)

The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Mr. Nickolay Mladenov, welcomed the statements by Israeli Prime Minister and Defense Minister on the Arab Peace Initiative. (www.unsco.org)


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