Monday, February 23, 2015

In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and kill a Palestinian man during clashes after a late-night arrest raid in Dahaysha r.c.; an Israeli soldier is lightly injured. IDF troops clash with Palestinians in Bethlehem and nearby Aida r.c., injuring 12 with tear gas, stun grenades, and live ammunition. They also demolish and evacuate the “Gate of Jerusalem” protest tent camp in Abu Dis for the 9th time, arresting a Palestinian woman nr. the camp hours later. The IDF raids the Birzeit home of the Palestinian teenager who stabbed an Israeli in East Jerusalem on 2/22. They also conduct raids and house searches in Bethlehem, and 1 village each nr. Nablus and Jenin, arresting 3 Palestinians and issuing summons to 2; patrol in al-Fawar r.c., 2 villages nr. Hebron, and 1 each nr. Jenin and Qalqilya. Israeli forces demolish tens of dunams of agricultural land nr. Hebron; seize 2 garbage trucks in a village nearby; begin demolishing a Palestinian’s home in another village nr. Hebron. Off the coast of Gaza nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats, causing no damage or injuries. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest a Palestinian lawyer who works on prisoners’ issues. (MNA, TOI, WAFA 2/23; HA, MNA, NYT, WAFA, YA 2/24; PCHR 2/26)

The state-owned Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) temporarily cuts electricity to 50 Palestinian communities nr. Jenin and Nablus in response to the PA’s inability to pay its debts. The PM’s office denies responsibility and involvement in the decision to cut power. The IEC says that the Palestinians owe NIS 1.9 b. (around $487 m.). Israel’s ongoing tax revenue freeze has worsened the PA’s economic crisis. (HA, NYT, WAFA 2/23; MNA 2/24; WAFA 2/25)

IDF troops stationed along the border with Lebanon fire warning shots at 5 farmers approaching the fence nr. the Lebanese Marun al-Ras, causing no damage or injuries. (HA 2/23)

Concluding the trial that began on 1/13, the New York Federal District Court delivers a verdict in a case brought under the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act by the families of American victims of 6 attacks in Israel from 2002 to 2004, finding the PA and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) liable for $655.5 m. in damages. The Palestinians intend to appeal the ruling. It is unclear how they could pay the penalty, with Israel’s freeze of monthly tax revenue transfers causing an economic crisis for the PA. If they are unable to pay, the court may order the PA and PLO’s assets be seized. (AP, NYT, REU 2/23; AFP, EI, MNA, WAFA, YA 2/24; MEMO 2/26)