Police arrested 12 people last night while dispersing crowds that began throwing stones and bottles at police near the Nablus Gate of Jerusalem’s Old City. The unrest, which has been continuing nightly since the start of Ramadan, has spread to cities in the West Bank and along the Gaza border.
Last night, Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai ordered the removal of the checkpoints and barricades at the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem. Following the announcement, hundreds of young Arabs in the area began “victory celebrations” in which they chanted, “In blood and fire we will redeem Palestine.”
Terrorists fired over 40 rockets from Gaza into Israel over the weekend after the Gaza leadership called for Palestinian resistance in Jerusalem. Four Israelis were lightly hurt while running for bomb shelters early this morning. The IDF carried out dozens of strikes against terror targets in Gaza in response to the rocket fire. Israel announced today that it has closed the fishing zone off the Gaza coast.
Naftali Bennett is engaged in talks with Yair Lapid to form a unity government, which would include the parties of Gideon Saar, Avigdor Lieberman and Benny Gantz as well as Labor and Meretz. Bennett would reportedly serve as PM first, in a rotation with Yair Lapid. Lapid would initially serve as Foreign Minister, Gantz as Defense Minister, Saar as Justice Minister and Lieberman as Finance Minister. However, Labor is threatening the deal by depending a senior Ministerial post for its leader.
PM Netanyahu reportedly offered to allow Shas leader Aryeh Deri to serve as Prime Minister in a rotation agreement. He also made the same offer to Gantz. Both men rejected the offer.