Wednesday, December 13, 2017

For a 7th day in a row, Palestinians across the oPt gather to protest U.S. pres. Trump’s 12/6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital (attendance continues to steadily decline). Israeli forces violently disperse protestors in Hebron and 3 nearby villages (Dura, Bayt Umar, and Halhul), outside the Beit El settlement near Ramallah, Bethlehem, Tulkarm, Qalqilya, and along Gaza’s border near al-Bureij refugee camp, Bayt Hanun, Khan Yunis, and Rafah; at least 26 Palestinians are injured, including 1 journalist, and 5 are arrested. Meanwhile, IDF troops violently detain 2 Palestinian youths inside an ambulance in Halhul; arrest 3 Palestinians during late-night raids in Hebron and near Ramallah; and patrol in and around Hebron, Tulkarm, and Qalqilya. Israeli settlers throw stones at Palestinian students outside a school in Burin village near Nablus, sparking minor clashes; there are no serious injuries. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest 2 Palestinians during late-night raids in Issawiyya and Abu Dis. Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats near Jabaliya refugee camp, causing no damage or injuries. (HA, MNA, WAFA, YA 12/13; MNA, PCHR 12/14)

Unidentified parties fire 3 rockets from Gaza toward Israel in the evening; 2 are intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system and 1 falls in an open area, causing no damage or injuries. The IAF conducts air strikes on at least 5 Hamas sites across Gaza, causing damage but no injuries. The Israeli authorities announce that both the Erez and Kerem Shalom border crossings will be closed indefinitely as collective punishment for the week of rocket attacks emanating from Gaza. (HA, TOI 12/13; HA, PCHR, WAFA, YA 12/14; PCHR 12/21)

At an emergency meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul, reps. of the 57 OIC members jointly declare East Jerusalem to be the capital of the State of Palestine and urge all countries to recognize Palestine. Addressing the attendees, PA pres. Abbas says that Israel’s violations and of international law free the Palestinians from prior commitments made in context of the peace process, threatens to abandon the PA’s security coordination with the IDF, and announces the Palestinians’ intention to go to the UNSC for full UN membership. (AFP, HA, NYT, REU, TOI, WAFA, YA 12/13)