Tuesday, February 3, 2015

In the Gaza Strip, a bomb explodes in an Egyptian troop transport in the n. Sinai Peninsula along the border with Gaza. Then, Egyptian soldiers open fire on 2 Palestinian military posts across the border nr. Rafah, causing no injuries. The Hamas-run govt. in Gaza says that it was not involved in the initial bombing, while Egyptian authorities blame Hamas for the bombing. Off the coast nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats, causing no damage or injuries. Meanwhile, dozens of Palestinian refugees gather in front of the Ministry of Labor, protesting the lack of jobs in the Strip. In the West Bank, around 250 Palestinian and international activists set up a tent camp, named “Gate of Jerusalem,” in Abu Dis to protest the Israeli govt.’s settlement policies and its plans to displace Palestinian bedouins in the E1 area. Late at night, Israeli soldiers raid the camp and later return to demolish it and forcibly remove the activists. IDF troops conduct late-night house searches and arrest raids nr. Hebron and ‘Aqabat Jabir r.c.; patrols nr. Hebron, Jenin, Jericho, and Qalqilya. They also deliver demolition notices to the Palestinian owners of 3 tents and 2 barns nr. Ramallah. Meanwhile, Israeli settlers, accompanied by IDF troops, break into a Palestinian residential complex nr. Bethlehem and erect Israeli flags. In East Jerusalem, over 20 right-wing Jewish activists accompanied by 12 Israeli police enter Haram al-Sharif and tour the area. During a patrol in the Old City, Israeli forces arrest a Palestinian. (AFP, REU, WAFA 2/3; MNA, WAFA 2/4; PCHR 2/5)