Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Approximately 1,000 Israeli settlers visit Joseph’s Tomb near Nablus overnight, sparking clashes between their IDF escort and stone-throwing Palestinians from nearby Balata refugee camp; 1 Palestinian is injured. Elsewhere in the West Bank, Palestinians steal and torch the car of 3 Israeli settlers in central Nablus, prompting the IDF to escort the settlers out of the city. IDF troops also arrest 4 Palestinians during late-night raids in and around Bethlehem, Ramallah, and Hebron; and patrol near Hebron and Salfit. Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats near Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. (IMEMC, TOI, WAFA 11/21; PCHR 11/23)

Representatives of Hamas, Fatah, and 11 other Palestinian factions meet in Cairo for the 1st of 2 planned days of reconciliation talks. (TOI, WAFA 11/21)

PA FM al-Maliki says that the Trump administration is reconsidering its threat, 1st reported on 11/17, to shutter the PLO office in Washington, following the Palestinians’ refusal to comply with their demands. He says that in the meantime, the Palestinians have decided to freeze contacts with the U.S. “In practice, by closing the office they are freezing all meetings and we are making that official.” A State Dept. spokesperson responds, “In our view, communications are not frozen.” She says that Trump administration officials are in contact with Palestinian officials “about the status of that PLO office in Washington, as well as having conversations with them about our larger efforts on the part of a lasting and comprehensive peace process.” (HA, TOI 11/21)