Tuesday, December 16, 2014

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces conduct a limited incursion along the border fence nr. Khan Yunis to level land. In the West Bank, over 10,000 people attend a funeral procession in Ramallah for the Palestinian killed by Israeli soldiers on 12/15, and a general strike is held in the surrounding villages. IDF troops clash with stone-throwing Palestinians during a raid of a village w. of Jenin, and several Palestinians suffer from tear gas inhalation. Israeli soldiers later detain a Palestinian at a mobile checkpoint nr. Jenin. Separately, Israeli forces deliver stopwork orders to 4 homes under construction nr. Bethlehem and patrol nr. Tulkarm. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest 6 Palestinians in Silwan during raids and house searches, as well as 2 Palestinian youths on their way home from school. After the 12/15 killing of a Palestinian in Qalandia, right-wing Jewish activists enter Haram al-Sharif early in the morning. Also, clashes break out in various neighborhoods around East Jerusalem and 3 Palestinians are arrested. (MNA, WAFA 12/16; IMEMC 12/17; PCHR 12/18)

A day ahead of the Palestinians’ promised submission of their draft res. to the UNSC, various Palestinian, U.S., EU, Arab, and Israeli officials meet to discuss their options. PA FM al-Maliki meets with French FM Fabius, and he offers to back the French draft UNSC res. if a couple of critical amendments are made. Separately, U.S. Secy. of State Kerry flies to London to hold talks with senior PLO official Saeb Erakat and PA intelligence chief Majid Faraj, and later with an Arab League delegation. Kerry asks the Palestinians to delay submitting their draft so he can conduct further meetings with PA Pres. Abbas. Russian Dep. FM Mikhail Bogdanov reiterates Russia’s support for the Palestinian UNSC res. during a meeting with Palestine’s Amb. to Russia Fayed Mustafa in Moscow. (AFP, HA, MNA, NYT, TOI, WAFA 12/16)

The Israeli Defense Ministry and the U.S. military conduct a 2d test of the Arrow-3 antiballistic missile system, designed to defend Israel from hypothetical Iranian nuclear weapons, but the test fails. (HA, TOI 12/16; AFP 12/17)