Monday, February 2, 2015

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops e. of c. Gaza arrest 4 Palestinians as they attempt to cross the border fence into Israel. In 4 separate incidents off the coast nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats, causing damage. In the West Bank, IDF troops violently disperse with tear gas and rubbercoated metal bullets dozens of Palestinians protesting Israeli pres. Rivlin’s visit to c. Hebron, injuring 1. Rivlin gives an inauguration speech at a Jewish history museum. It is the 1st visit to Hebron for a sitting Israeli pres. since 1998. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids nr. Salfit, Hebron, Jenin, Jericho, and in ‘Aqabat Jabir r.c; patrols nr. Qalqilya and Hebron. They also arrest a Palestinian at a checkpoint nr. Bethlehem who is on his way to visit his brother in prison. An Israeli settler deliberately rams his car into a car full of PA security forces outside al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, injuring 7. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces patrol nr. a school in al-Tur, sparking clashes with stone-throwing Palestinian youth; 4 of the Palestinians are arrested and dozens suffer from tear gas inhalation. An Israeli settler hits a Palestinian woman with his car nr. the Old City, moderately injuring her. (MNA, WAFA 2/2; AFP, WAFA 2/3; PCHR 2/5; EI 2/6)

The Jordanian govt. returns its amb. to Tel Aviv today after he was recalled on 11/5/2014 following serious clashes at the site that day and the Israeli govt.’s closing of Haram al-Sharif on 10/30. (AFP, HA, JP 2/2)

William Schabas resigns after 5 mos. as head of the 3-mbr. UNHRC’s commission investigating possible war crimes committed during OPE. In his resignation letter, Schabas cites Israeli allegations of bias and says he does not want to detract from the report’s findings. Israeli PM Netanyahu calls for the inquiry to be shelved, but UN officials say it will continue, as scheduled. (AJ, REU 2/2; AFP, WAFA 2/3)