Thursday, December 18, 2014

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops e. of al-Bureij arrest 3 Palestinians as they attempt to cross the border fence into Israel. Late at night, Israeli soldiers stationed nr. Jabaliya open fire on a group of stone-throwing Palestinians, injuring 5. Off the n. coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces open fire on several Palestinian fishing boats, causing damage but no injuries. Meanwhile, the union of hospital sanitation workers suspends its strike after PA ministers agree to pay the salaries of 750 mbrs. who had not received full wages since 6/2. Overnight, 1 Palestinian is killed and 4 are injured in an explosion at a Hamas military facility in s. Gaza. In the West Bank, IDF troops clash with around 30 stonethrowing Palestinians nr. Nablus, lightly injuring 1 with rubber-coated metal bullets. Israeli soldiers also assault and arrest 1 Palestinian at a checkpoint nr. Jenin. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids nr. Jenin and Hebron; patrols nr. Hebron and Tubas. Dozens of Israeli settlers clash with Palestinians nr. Burin village, s. of Nablus, after the settlers cut down an electricity line that leads to a Palestinian home. In East Jerusalem, municipal officials accompanied by security forces deliver 11 demolition orders to residences in Silwan. Elsewhere, 140 right-wing Jewish activists enter Haram al-Sharif, sparking verbal confrontations with Palestinian worshippers. Israeli forces detain 3 Palestinian photographers during the incident. (HA, MNA, WAFA 12/18; PCHR 12/25)

Reps. of the major Palestinian political parties meet in Gaza and discuss a 5-point initiative jointly presented by the PFLP and Islamic Jihad to kick-start the national reconciliation process. Meanwhile, 1,000s of supporters of Mohammad Dahlan, the exiled former PA and Fatah official, gather in a Hamas-approved demonstration as a corruption trial against him opens in the West Bank. Pres. Abbas orders several Fatah officials to be fired from the PA for helping organize the demonstration. (AHR, AP, MEMO, MNA 12/18; FT 2/4)

The U.S. announces that it will oppose the proposed UNSC res. submitted by the Palestinians on 12/17. Meanwhile, a senior Palestinian official says that the Palestinian res. lacks the support of 9 mbrs. of the UNSC, which would be required for the res. to pass, and is vulnerable to a veto by a permanent mbr. state. (AP, HA, MDW 12/18; AFP 12/19)