Monday, February 8, 2016

In Gaza, a Palestinian worker dies in a tunnel leading to Egypt in unclear circumstances. Residents of the area say he was repairing a section of the tunnel that had been damaged by Egyptian forces when it collapsed. In Israel, an unidentified assailant stabs and injures an Israeli Jewish youth in Ramla, then flees the scene. The Israeli police later arrest a Palestinian in connection with the attack. In the West Bank, Israeli forces issue 11 stop-work notices to homes and agricultural structures under construction nr. Salfit and Hebron. IDF troops conduct house searches and raids in Qalqilya, Tulkarm and 1 nearby village, Hebron and 1 nearby village, 2 villages nr. Ramallah, and 1 each nr. Tubas and Bethlehem, arresting 17 Palestinians; patrol in 5 villages nr. Hebron and 4 nr. Ramallah. (HA, MNA, TOI, YA 2/8; PCHR 2/11)

On the 2d day of Palestinian national reconciliation talks in Doha, Hamas and Fatah officials reach a tentative agreement. They pledge to form a new unity govt., prepare for a new round of presidential and parliamentary elections, and reaffirm their commitments to previous agreements. They also agree that PASF troops will take control of the Rafah border crossing in Gaza, with Hamas staff supporting them. (TOI 2/9)

The Israeli Knesset’s Ethics Comm. suspends MKs Haneen Zoabi, Basel Ghattas, and Jamal Zahalka (Joint List) from plenary sessions and comm. hearings for periods of 2 and 4 mos. in connection with their 2/2 solidarity visit to the family of a Palestinian whose body is being withheld by Israeli authorities. (HA, JP, MNA, TOI 2/8; NYT 2/9; EI 2/10)

The Knesset passes, 50–43, the 1st reading of Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked’s “NGO transparency bill,” which would require Israeli nonprofit organizations that receive funding from foreign govts. to disclose that information in a variety of ways. (JP 2/8; HA, MNA 2/9)