Monday, September 18, 2017

In the West Bank, Israeli forces demolish the 2d floor of a Palestinian residential building in al-Za’ayem village near Jerusalem. IDF troops arrest 8 Palestinians, issue 1 arrest summons, and confiscate 1 car during latenight raids in and around Bethlehem, Hebron, Jenin, and Nablus, and patrol near Hebron and Qalqilya. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest 1 Palestinian during a raid in Sur al-Bahir. On 3 separate occasions, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats near Jabaliya refugee camp off Gaza’s coast. They arrest 2 fishermen and confiscate 1 boat. (MNA, WAFA 9/18; PCHR 9/21)

PA pres. Abbas tells Hamas leader Haniyeh by phone that he is “satisfied with the atmosphere” created by Hamas’s 9/17 pledge to dissolve its administrative committee in Gaza. He also promises to follow up when he returns from his trip to the UNGA in New York this week. (TOI, WAFA 9/18)

On the sidelines of the UNGA in New York, U.S. pres. Trump meets with Israeli PM Netanyahu to discuss the 7/14/2015 Iran nuclear deal and the Palestinian-Israel peace process. In a joint press conference, Trump says he still believes there is a “good chance” Palestinian-Israeli peace will happen. Netanyahu, for his part, focuses his remarks on Iran. After the meeting, the White House releases a statement saying that Trump and Netanyahu discussed their “continuing efforts to achieve an enduring Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, the optimism in the region about peace, and expanding economic opportunities to improve conditions for peace.” (HA, NYT, TOI 9/18; HA, TOI 9/19)

Also in New York, Netanyahu publicly meets with Egyptian pres. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for the first time. They discuss ways to resume Palestinian-Israeli peace talks, according to the Egyptian embassy in Washington. (HA 9/18; HA, YA 9/19)

The U.S. military opens its first base on Israeli soil in the Negev. The base will house dozens of U.S. soldiers, who will operate a large ballistic missile radar system. (HA, YA 9/18)