Tuesday, March 7, 2017

In the West Bank, a Palestinian hitchhiker stabs and injures an Israeli settler driver who picked him up nr. Bethlehem. IDF troops violently disperse Palestinians outside the Ofer Prison nr. Ramallah protesting the 3/6 killing of Basel al-Araj and PA security coordination with Israel; 8 Palestinians are arrested. IDF troops also set up mobile checkpoints around the Bethlehem area in the evening, confiscate personal property, and arrest 8 Palestinians during raids in and around Hebron and Nablus; and patrol nr. Nablus and Hebron. Along Gaza’s border, Israeli forces dismantle an explosive device nr. Jabaliya r.c. Around the same time, Israeli forces shell an Islamic Jihad in Palestine (PIJ) post nearby, injuring 1 Palestinian, according to PIJ. The IDF says it will look into a connection between the incidents. Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats, causing no damage or injuries. In Israel, the Israeli authorities deliver demolition orders to several homes in the Bedouin village Rakhama nr. Beersheba. (JP, MNA, WAFA, YA 3/7; MNA 3/8; PCHR 3/9)

The Egyptian authorities open the Rafah border crossing for the 2d of 3 planned days. (MNA, WAFA 3/6)

During the U.S. State Dept.’s first press briefing under the Trump admin., a spokesperson says that the dept. is “working closely” with Trump on his new Middle East policy and that the admin. is working with Israel to figure out “what exactly it would look like” for Israel to restrict settlement growth. (USSD, JP, TOI 3/7; AFP, HA 3/8)