Friday, December 12, 2014

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troopsstationed along the n. border open fire on a group of stonethrowing Palestinians, injuring 4. A Palestinian is injured in an explosion nr. the French Cultural Center in Gaza City. (A small armed group takes responsibility for the attack on 12/18.) In the West Bank, IDF troops violently disperse Palestinian, Israeli, and international protesters at weekly demonstrations against Israel’s separation wall, settlements, and occupation, as well as the recent death of a senior PA official on 12/10 nr. Ramallah, Nablus, Hebron, and 1 village nearby (Bayt Umar), and 1 village nr. Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum). Two Palestinians are hit by tear gas canisters in Bil‘in and 7 are shot with rubbercoated metal bullets elsewhere. Meanwhile, a Palestinian man throws vinegar at a family of 5 Israeli settlers nr. Bethlehem, lightly injuring all of them. (The Israeli press 1st reported the story as an acid attack.) Another Israeli settler hits the Palestinian man with his car and shoots him in the leg, moderately injuring him. Shin Bet officers arrive soon after to detain the Palestinian man. The IDF then conducts a raid of his home. Separately, Palestinians throw stones at IDF troops on a patrol of Bayt Umar nr. Hebron, sparking clashes in which 3 Palestinians are injured with rubber-coated metal bullets. The IDF also patrols in the n. Jordan Valley, where they assault a Palestinian farmer and lightly injure him. IDF troops fire tear gas at dozens of Palestinians throwing stones at the soldiers; 1 Palestinian youth and 1 Israeli officer are injured. Israeli soldiers also conduct a raid s. of Bethlehem; patrol in Tulkarm. Following a march marking Hamas’s 27th anniversary, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids nr. Hebron. In East Jerusalem, the Israeli police increase their patrols and deploy additional officers around Haram al-Sharif. (HA, JP, MNA, TOI, WP, YA 12/12; MNA, TOI 12/13; IMEMC 12/14; AFP, PCHR 12/18; EI 12/22)

The Israel Prison Service threatens to move the 70 Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike since 12/9 to criminal sections of their prisons, which would decrease their quality of life, if they continue their strike. (MNA 12/12)

U.S. Secy. of State Kerry phones Russian FM Sergey Lavrov and PA Pres. Abbas separately to discuss the French and Palestinian draft UNSC res. Kerry pressures Abbas not to end security coordination with Israel in response to the 12/10 death of senior PA official Ziad Abu Ein. Following the call, senior PLO and Fatah officials postpone their meeting to discuss a response until 12/14. (JP, MNA 12/13)

The Portuguese parliament adopts a recommendation calling on the govt. to recognize Palestinian statehood “in coordination with the EU.” (AFP, TOI 12/12; HA, IMEMC, WAFA 12/13)