Israel and the West Bank
An armed Palestinian was shot dead June 28 by Israeli troops when the man opened fire in Hebron where an Israel Defense Forces undercover unit was searching for weapons in the West Bank. No Israelis were injured, and the man’s gun was confiscated.
About 20 Jews were arrested on June 25 as they tried to reach Joseph’s Tomb in the West Bank town of Nablus, a Palestinian city to which entry is forbidden to Israelis without prior authorization from Israeli officials. Four people reached to the tomb before they were arrested; the rest were apprehended on an approach road.
Over the past two weeks negotiations have increased between Israel and Hamas on the release of Israeli nationals held hostage in the Gaza strip by the militant group. The talks enlarged after Hamas’ leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, returned from a visit to Egypt.
Israel denied responsibility for three babies in the Gaza Strip who died recently. The head of the Palestinian Authority (PA) department in charge of authorizing treatment for Gazans outside the Gaza Strip, had said Israel refused to grant exit permits to the guardians of the children. Israel said it never received the applications. Since the feud between Hamas and the PA reached new levels in the spring, there have been reports of the PA delaying those visas.
Syria fired a rocket into the Golan Heights June 28. The IDF shelled a military position; its third response to missile strikes in the Golan Heights since June 24. The shell caused no casualties or damage.
Israel launched strikes on Syrian military positions on June 24. The strikes were targeted at three positions as a response to more than 10 projectiles fired into Israel from Syria. The rocket fire was believed to be misdirected as part of the Syrian regime’s internal fight against rebels. Two tanks belonging to the Syrian regime were also hit.
Security forces in Egypt killed 15 militants; 12 in airstrikes in the Sinai Peninsula and three in Alexandria. According to the armed forces, the strikes in North Sinai targeted a local Islamic State affiliate and also destroyed four vehicles.
Hamas has started creating a buffer zone along Gaza’s border with Egypt. Its goal is to assure Cairo that Hamas leaders are serious about preventing the cross-border flow of weapons to anti-Egyptian groups. Hamas officials hope the buffer zone will be the first step in easing Egypt’s blockade of the coastal territory.