Friday, December 19, 2014

In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire a rocket into s. Israel in the Eshkol region. Israel holds Hamas responsible and the IDF launches a latenight air strike at a Hamas military training site nr. Khan Yunis, causing damage to the site and a nearby UNRWA school. It is the 1st Israeli bombing in Gaza since the 8/26 cease-fire ended OPE. In the West Bank, Palestinians gather in Turmus ‘Ayya, Silwad, and Ofer detention center to protest the death of a senior PA official on 12/10, sparking clashes with IDF troops in which 9 Palestinians are injured with rubbercoated metal bullets and 2 are detained. In Silwad, Israeli soldiers deliberately fire at electricity transformers, causing a power outage. Also, IDF troops violently disperse Palestinian, Israeli, and international protesters at weekly demonstrations against Israel’s separation wall, settlements, and occupation nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Nabi Salih, and Ni‘lin), Bethlehem, and Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum), shooting 1 in Bil‘in with a rubber-coated metal bullet and 1 in Ni‘lin. The IDF conducts an arrest raid nr. Qalqilya; patrols nr. Ramallah, Hebron, Jericho, Tulkarm, and Qalqilya. Meanwhile, dozens gather in Balata r.c. to celebrate the 47th anniversary of the PFLP. In East Jerusalem, nearly 60,000 Palestinians pray at Haram al-Sharif, then march through the streets of the Old City in protest of Israeli policies regarding the site. Later, Israeli forces conduct house searches and arrest raids in the Old City, al-Wad, Silwan, and al-Bustan. Clashes break out between Israeli police and stone-throwing Palestinians late at night in Wadi al-Juz, Anata, and Silwan. Police injure 3 Palestinians with rubber-coated metal bullets and arrest 5. (AP, HA, MNA, 12/19; AFP, HA, MNA, WAFA 12/20; PCHR 12/25)

U.S. Pres. Obama signs into law the U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act, which includes increased intelligence and military cooperation and new congressional oversight procedures. (TOI 12/20; IHY, JP, JTA 12/21)

The UNGApasses 2 nonbinding res. regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict and Palestinian affairs: the 1st calls on Israel to pay Lebanon $856.4 m. in damages related to an oil spill Israeli forces caused during the 2006 war; the 2d recognizes Palestinian sovereignty over the natural resources in the oPt. (AFP, WAFA 12/20)

A leaked report from the IAEA concludes that Iran is upholding commitments made to the P5+1 related to its disputed nuclear program. (JP, REU 12/18)