Thursday, March 23, 2017

IDF troops open fire on a Palestinian vehicle driving outside Jalazun r.c. nr. Ramallah, killing 1 Palestinian youth and seriously injuring the other 3 occupants (1 of the youths will succumb to his injuries on 4/10). IDF troops then shut down a major checkpoint nearby and violently disperse Palestinians from the camp gathering to protest the shooting; there are no serious injuries. Elsewhere in the West Bank, the IDF shuts down several checkpoints in n. Hebron in response to stone throwing in the area. Israeli forces raid and damage the contents of 2 Palestinian printing shops in Tulkarm, and arrest 5 Palestinians during raids nr. Salfit and in Hebron; and patrol nr. Nablus and Hebron. Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces arrest 2 Palestinian fishermen and confiscate their boat nr. Gaza City. Later, they open fire on Palestinian fishing boats nr. Jabaliya r.c., causing no damage or injuries. In East Jerusalem, an Israeli police officer assaults and injures several Palestinians in Wadi al-Juz after 1 of them reportedly rammed him with a car. (HA, MNA, WAFA 3/23; EI, MNA 3/24; PCHR 3/30)

Concluding 4 days of talks in Washington, Israeli and U.S. officials release a joint statement saying that the Israeli govt. intends to take the Trump admin.’s concerns regarding settlement activity in the oPt “into consideration.” They do not reach a broader agreement on the subject. The talks were focused on “concrete, nr.-term measures to improve the overall climate in order to advance the prospects for a genuine and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians,” including steps Israel could take to improve the economic situation in the oPt and the need to bring humanitarian relief to Gaza. (NYT, WP 3/23; HA 3/24; HA 3/26)

The U.S. Senate confirms Friedman as the new amb. to Israel in 52–46 vote. Only 2 Democrats vote in favor of U.S. pres. Trump’s nominee: Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Joe Manchin (D-WV). (CNN, HA, JP, TOI 3/23)