Monday, February 15, 2016

The IDF maintains, for a 2d day, the closure of Araqa where 2 Palestinians were killed on 2/14; declares it a closed military zone. They conduct raids in the village, arresting 2 Palestinians. Meanwhile, IDF troops conduct raids in al-Am‘ari r.c. nr. Ramallah, arresting 2 Palestinians and sparking clashes with stonethrowing and armed youths; 42 Palestinians and 1 Israeli soldier are injured. Late at night, they escort 17 busloads of Israelis to Joseph’s Tomb outside Nablus to perform religious rites, sparking more clashes with stone-throwers; there are no serious injuries. Israeli forces demolish 20 residential structures in a village nr. Nablus; deliver stop-work orders to 2 homes under construction in Qalqilya. Throughout the day, the IDF conducts raids and house searches in 2 villages each nr. Jenin and Salfit and 1 nr. Bethlehem, as well as in Qalqilya and Hebron, arresting 11 Palestinians and issuing an arrest summons to 1; patrols in 3 villages nr. Hebron and 1 nr. Tulkarm. Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats nr. Gaza City, causing no damage. Along Gaza’s border, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian farmers nr. Khan Yunis, causing no injuries. Meanwhile, the Egyptian authorities keep the Rafah border crossing open for a 3d and final day. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces assault and arrest a Palestinian youth outside the Old City after they search and find a knife on her person. They also arrest 1 Palestinian on a raid in Issawiyya. (HA, JP, MNA, TOI, WAFA 2/15; TOI 2/16; OCHA, PCHR 2/18)

Palestinian hunger striker al-Qiq refuses an Israeli court offer to transfer him from Emek Medical Center in Afula to a hospital in East Jerusalem, demanding to be treated at a Palestinian hospital in the West Bank. Al-Qiq has been on hunger strike since 11/24, days after he was captured from his Ramallah home and held under administrative detention. (MNA 2/16)