Sunday, February 8, 2015

In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops e. of al-Maghazi open fire on a Palestinian tending to lemon trees nr. the border fence, causing a moderate injury and then arresting him. In the West Bank, IDF troops arrest 5 Palestinians at a checkpoint nr. Jenin; assault a Palestinian university student nearby, causing moderate injuries. They also assault a group of Palestinians peacefully protesting outside an Israeli settlement nr. Bethlehem. IDF troops open fire on a Palestinian nr. Bethlehem after he drives his car toward them. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids nr. Bethlehem, Salfit, Hebron, and Tulkarm; patrols in al-Fawar r.c., as well as nr. Hebron and Qalqilya. Palestinians throw stones at IDF troops patrolling nr. Ramallah, injuring 1. In East Jerusalem, unknown assailants throw bottles at Israeli settlers’ buildings in Shaykh Jarrah and Ras al-Amud, causing damage but no injuries. Later, unknown assailants burn 6 Palestinianowned cars in Silwan and Abu Tor. Israeli forces conduct arrest raids and house searches in Ras al-Amud. In West Jerusalem, dozens of Palestinians from al-Tur, East Jerusalem, gather outside the municipal govt. offices to protest the increased arrests of Palestinian children. (MNA, TOI, WAFA 2/8; HA, WAFA 2/9; PCHR 2/12)

UNRWA’s office in Gaza announces that over the next week it will distribute $1.1 m. in cash payments to around 800 families whose homes were partially or completely destroyed during OPE. On 1/27, the office suspended its cash assistance program, which served these same families. Meanwhile, the PA Finance Ministry announces that, for the 2d mo. in a row, PA employees whose monthly wage is NIS 2,000 (around $520) or more will receive only 60% of their salary, and those with lower wages will receive their entire salary. (MNA, WAFA 2/8)

On the sidelines of the security conference in Munich, U.S. Secy. of State Kerry meets with reps. of the 3 other mbrs. of the Middle East Quartet. In a statement, they call for a resumption of peace negotiations and for all parties to avoid actions that may “prejudice final status issues.” (REU, TOI, YA 2/8)

Also at the Munich conference, Kerry and Iranian FM Zarif discuss the negotiations over Iran’s disputed nuclear program. Both Kerry and Zarif affirm that they do not want to extend the negotiations again. Zarif also meets with FMs of the rest of the P5+1. (AFP, HA, REU, TOI 2/8; ALM 2/12)