Monday, March 2, 2015

Off the coast of Gaza nr. Gaza City, Israeli naval forces fire on Palestinian fishing boats, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF floods an olive grove outside Bethlehem during a drill. The IDF also conducts house searches and raids in 1 village each nr. Tubas, Nablus, and Jenin, arresting 2 Palestinians and sparking clashes nr. Jenin; arrests 5 Palestinians in a village nr. Bethlehem; patrols in 3 villages nr. Hebron, 5 nr. Ramallah, and 2 each nr. Jericho and Qalqilya. A group of Palestinian youth affiliated with Fatah steal a Tnuva milk truck and dump its contents in the middle of al-Manara Square in Ramallah. Tnuva is 1 of the 6 Israeli companies targeted by the boycott initiated by the National Comm. against Israeli Punitive Measures on 2/9. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces conduct raids in the Old City and al-‘Izzariya, arresting 5 Palestinians and issuing summons to 3. In n. Israel, Israeli police arrest 68 Palestinian workers who have been sleeping and laboring in Israel without permits. (MNA, WAFA 3/2; MNA 3/3; PCHR 3/5; HA 3/9)

Israeli state prosecutors tell the High Court of Justice that they are no longer pursuing the punitive demolition of the Silwan home of the Palestinian alleged to have shot and injured right-wing activist Yehuda Glick, leader of the messianic Temple Mount movement, on 10/29/ 2014. The prosecutors argue, instead, for the man’s room to be blocked off. (TOI 3/2)

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry meets with Hamas officials in Gaza and proposes a 3–5-year hudna, or truce. (AFP, HA 3/2; HA 3/9)

In Washington, Israeli PM Netanyahu addresses the AIPAC conference, saying he has a “moral obligation” to warn the U.S. Congress on 3/3 of the dangers of a potential deal with Iran. Hours later, U.S. Pres. Obama tells Reuters that Netanyahu’s trip to the U.S., and the way it was organized, is a distraction, but not “permanently destructive” to the U.S.-Israel relationship. (NYT, YA 3/2; HA 3/3)

U.S. Secy. of State Kerry meets with Iranian FM Zarif and Iran’s atomic energy chief Ali Akbar Salehi in Montreux, Switzerland, for 3-day negotiations over Iran’s nuclear weapons program. (TOI 3/1; REU 3/2)

While in Switzerland, Kerry speaks in front of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva and urges its mbrs. to end their “unbalanced focus” on Israel. (AP, JP, NYT, TOI 3/2)