Sunday, January 8, 2017

Israeli forces shoot and kill Fadi al-Qunbar, a Palestinian truck driver, outside the Old City after he rams a group of Israelis, killing 4 IDF soldiers and injuring at least 13 other people. Israeli forces then conduct raids on the alleged attacker’s home in Jabal Mukabir, interrogating his family for hours, threatening punitive demolition, and establishing checkpoints in the area. Their prolonged presence in the neighborhood sparks clashes with stonethrowing Palestinians; there are no serious injuries. After Israeli PM Netanyahu accuses the alleged attacker of supporting ISIS, Israel’s security cabinet decides to use administrative detention against any persons suspected of committing a crime who also identify as supporters of the group. The cabinet also decides to punitively demolish the attacker’s home as soon as possible, and to close down the attacker’s neighborhood, Jabal Mukabir. Meanwhile, the attacker’s family says he was motivated by U.S. pres.-elect Trump’s pledge to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. “He was very angry, and said transferring the embassy would lead to war,” his cousin says. (HA, MNA, NYT, TOI, YA 1/8; PCHR 1/12)

Elsewhere in East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers seize control of a residential building in Silwan. Along Gaza’s border, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian agricultural lands nr. Gaza City and later nr. Khan Yunis, causing no injuries or damage. In the West Bank, PASF troops block an IDF jeep from entering Qalqilya. Israel settlers assault and injure a number of Palestinians outside Huwwara village nr. Nablus and throw stones at Palestinian cars driving nearby. The IDF delivers stop-work orders to 11 Palestinian homes under construction nr. Bethlehem. IDF troops conduct raids nr. Nablus, sparking clashes with stone-throwing Palestinians outside Bayt Furik village; 1 Palestinian is arrested. They arrest 9 more Palestinians during late-night raids in Jenin and nr. Jericho, Hebron, and Ramallah, and patrol nr. Hebron, Salfit, and Nablus. (HA, JP, MNA, TOI, WAFA, YA 1/8; MNA, WAFA 1/9; PCHR 1/12)

Israel’s Ministerial Comm. for Legislation unanimously approves a bill that would ban representatives from the anti-occupation group Breaking the Silence and other groups that allegedly “defame Israeli soldiers” from speaking in Israeli schools. (HA, JP 1/9)