Thursday, March 17, 2011

Israeli warplanes overfly s. Gaza, dropping leaflets warning Palestinians not to enter the 300-m no-go zone along the border fence. Israel seals the West Bank until 3/21 for the Purim holiday. During the day, the IDF patrols in al-Bireh, Ramallah, Tulkarm (randomly stopping and searching vehicles), 4 villages nr. Qalqilya (searching several shops in 1 village but making no arrests), and 3 others nr. Jenin (ordering 4 Palestinians to appear for questioning). Late at night, the IDF patrols in Jericho and conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin. Jewish settlers beat a Palestinian laborer working inside Shilo settlement; a settlement security guard intervenes, calling Israel border police who transport the Palestinian to a Ramallah hospital. Jewish settlers burn the cars of 2 Palestinian laborers working in Keddumim settlement nr. Qalqilya. Later, Keddumim settlers stone Palestinian cars on a nearby road; the IDF intervenes to disperse them. Jewish settlers fr. Karnei Shomron settlement nr. Qalqilya stone passing Palestinian vehicles. In Gaza, Hamas-affiliated police break up 40 protesters rallying in Gaza City calling for national reconciliation, arresting 1 protester and 2 Palestinian cameramen covering the event. (AFP, NYT 3/18; PCHR 3/24; OCHA 4/1)

The UNSC authorizes (10-0, with Brazil, China, Germany, India, and Russia abstaining) “all necessary measures” short of foreign occupation to protect civilians in Libya, including calling for an immediate halt to the heavy fighting ongoing nationwide, imposition of a no-fly zone, and interdiction of ships heading to support Qaddafi’s forces. (NYT, WP, WT 3/18)