Friday, March 15, 2013

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu finalizes a deal to form a new coalition government comprising of his joint Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu list, Yesh Atid (19 seats), Bayit Yehudi (12 seats), and Hatnua (6 seats), giving the Likud leader control of 68 Knesset seats (out of 120). For the first time in a decade, an Israeli coalition government does not include any ultra-Orthodox parties. (BBC, REU 3/15)

A Palestinian man dies from heart problems brought on by inhaling tear gas fired by the IDF during clashes 3 weeks ago. After his funeral in al-Ram nr. Jerusalem, Palestinians clash with IDF forces (no serious injuries reported). In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah in the morning; in Hebron, al-Fawar r.c. and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron in the afternoon; and 1 in village nr. Jericho and 1 village nr. Tulkam at night. IDF soldiers conduct house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin in the afternoon and in 2 villages nr. Hebron at night. The regular weekly nonviolent demonstrations by Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals against the Israeli occupation this week also express solidarity with Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. The demonstrations are also more widespread that usual (cf. 3/8), occurring in 5 villages nr. Ramallah (Abud, Bayt Liqia, Bil`in, Budrus, Ni’lin), 2 villages nr. Bethlehem (al-Khader, al-Ma’sara), Shuhada Street in Hebron, and 1 village nr. Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum). The IDF violently disperses the demonstrations, but no serious injuries are reported. (MNA 3/15; PCHR 3/21)