Tuesday, January 20, 2015

In the Gaza Strip, Egyptian authorities open the Rafah border crossing for passage in both directions. Civil employees go on a 1-day general strike in protest of the fact that they haven’t been paid a full salary since 6/2, and dozens stage a sit-in protest outside the PA unity govt.’s headquarters in Gaza City. Off the coast nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, IDF troops violently disperse a peaceful protest outside Ofer detention center nr. Ramallah, injuring 1 Palestinian with live ammunition. Israeli forces demolish 2 homes, a store, and a barn in a village s. of Hebron; deliver 34 evacuation notices to Palestinian families in 2 villages in the Jordan Valley. The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in ‘Askar r.c., Balata r.c., al-‘Arub r.c., as well as nr. Ramallah and Hebron, where they arrest a journalist with al-Aqsa TV; patrols nr. Hebron, Qalqilya, and Salfit. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces clash with stone-throwing Palestinians in al-Tur and Issawiyya, injuring 2 with rubbercoated metal bullets. They also arrest Palestinians in al-Tur, Issawiyya, and Bab Hettah. Meanwhile, around 40 officials from Israel’s Foreign Affairs Ministry and 30 rightwing Jewish activists tour Haram al-Sharif accompanied by IDF troops. In Israel, Palestinian citizens observe a general strike protesting the killing of 2 Palestinian bedouin men in Rahat by Israeli police. Residents of Rahat continue their strike, which they began on 1/18, and around 200 Palestinians throwing stones clash with Israeli police; 4 Palestinians are arrested. (MEE, MNA, TOI, WAFA 1/20; HA, MNA, WAFA, YA 1/21; PCHR 1/22; MNA 1/23) 

In his annual State of the Union address, U.S. Pres. Obama reiterates his promise to veto any new legislation relating to the sanctions on Iran that would threaten the ongoing negotiations between Iran and the P5+1. (NYT 1/21; HA 1/23)

The IAEA publishes a report on Iran’s adherence to the Joint Plan of Action, which governs its negotiations with the P5+1. It concludes that Iran has not enriched any uranium above 5% or made any “further advances” at the Natanz or Fordow plants, or the Arak reactor. (AP 1/21)