Sunday, September 20, 2015

Marking the 3d such attack in 3 days, Sarayat al-Shaykh Umar Hadid fighters fire a rocket from Gaza into Israel nr. Ashqelon, causing no damage or injuries. Earlier in the day, the IDF deploys an Iron Dome missile defense battery nr. Sderot. Meanwhile,Israeli naval forces open fire on Gazan fishing boats, causing no damage. In the West Bank, around 2,000 Israeli settlers visit Joseph’s Tomb nr. Nablus under an IDF escort, sparking clashes with stone-throwing Palestinian youths; 1 IDF soldier is lightly injured. Palestinians throw stones at Israeli cars nr. Hebron and Jerusalem, and later at an Egged bus nearby, causing minor damage. In Dahaysha r.c. nr. Bethlehem, PASF troops disperse around 300 Palestinians protesting the PASF’s alleged use of excessive force in recent confrontations, including on 9/18. Israeli soldiers assault 2 Palestinian women during a raid nr. Hebron, demolish 5 Palestinian stores n. of Jerusalem, and patrol nr. Hebron and Qalqilya. Israeli forces conduct a series of raids throughout East Jerusalem neighborhoods, arresting 21 and sparking clashes with stone-throwing Palestinians (1 is injured) (HA, MNA, WAFA, YA 9/20; HA, JP, MNA, TOI, WAFA 9/21; PCHR 10/1)

In response to a statement released by PM Netanyahu’s office on 9/19, Israeli atty. gen. Weinstein says that he has not approved increasing minimum sentences for those convicted of throwing stones or Molotov cocktails and that he opposes changing the Israeli police’s rules of engagement in East Jerusalem. After meeting with Weinstein and the security cabinet, Netanyahu backs off his proposal. According to a statement released by his office, Netanyahu is “leaning toward the idea raised in the meeting to stiffen penalties— setting mandatory minimum penalties for stone-throwers by means of a temporary provision that would be in place for a year at the first stage.” (HA, JP, TOI, YA 9/20)