Monday, March 26, 2012

The IDF makes a brief early morning incursion into c. Gaza, searching and firing on residential areas in Bureij r.c., but entering no buildings and making no arrests. In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes 4 tents, 3 barnyards, and 3 residential barracks in a bedouin encampment in al-Maleh in the Jordan Valley; demolishes 2 barnyards nr. Tubas. The IDF also patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, 1 village nr. Qalqilya in the afternoon, and 1 village nr. Ramallah in the evening; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron, nr. Bethlehem, and nr. Ramallah (firing on the occupants of 1 raided home, wounding 3 Palestinians); conducts late-night patrols in 1 village nr. Qalqilya. Jewish settlers fr. Brakha settlement nr. Nablus attack Palestinian farmers working their land nearby; the IDF observes but does not intervene. Jewish settlers escorted by IDF troops begin leveling a large area of Palestinian agricultural land in Kafr Lakif village nr. Qalqilya; local Palestinian gather to protest and are informed by the IDF that the area has been approved for construction of an industrial zone; the soldiers agree to suspend the digging until the matter is clarified but bar Palestinians from the site. (PCHR 3/29; OCHA 3/30)

Jailed Fatah tanzim leader Marwan Barghouti issues a statement on the 10th anniversary of his arrest by Israel that is read to a crowd of supporters in Ramallah, stating that “the launch of large-scale popular resistance at this stage serves the cause of our people.” He also calls for “stopping all forms of security and economic coordination [with Israel] in all areas immediately.” (JPI 4/6)

Israel severs working relations with the UNHRC over the 3/22/12 res. calling for an investigation into settlements, calling the council biased against Israel. (NYT, WP, WT 3/27; JPI 4/6)

The U.S. Supreme Court orders a lower court to decide whether Americans born in Jerusalem can claim Israel as their birthplace on their passports. Congress approved legislation in 2002 allowing this, but the executive branch has claimed Congress overstepped its authority by attempting to override the president’s right to set foreign policy. The U.S. officially recognizes Jerusalem as occupied Palestinian territory and does not recognize Israel’s claim to united Jerusalem as its capital. (NYT 3/27; WJW 3/29)

J Street holds its annual conference. Fmr. Israeli PM Ehud Olmert gives the keynote speech at the gala dinner, emphasizing that PA pres. Abbas “wants peace with Israel and he accepts the existence of Israel as Israel declares itself to be.” (JPI 4/6)