Thursday, September 28, 2017

In the West Bank, the IDF continues its crackdown on Bayt Surik, the Jerusalem-area hometown of the alleged perpetrator of the deadly 9/26 attack in Har Hadar. Israeli soldiers confiscate dozens of cars, conduct raids, and issue stop-work orders to various sites of unpermitted construction in the village. They also maintain the closure of 8 other Jerusalem-area villages for a 3d day. Elsewhere, IDF troops patrol in al-Thaher near Hebron and Ya‘bad village near Jenin, sparking clashes with stone-throwing Palestinians in both places; there are no serious injuries and 4 Palestinians are arrested. They also arrest 19 Palestinians during late-night raids near Hebron, Ramallah, Bethlehem, and Jenin, and patrol near Qalqilya and Jenin. (TOI 9/28; PCHR 10/5)

The IDF announces that the border crossings in and out of the West Bank and Gaza will be closed from midnight on 9/29 until midnight on 9/30, as Israel marks Yom Kippur. In an unusual addendum to the closure, the IDF says that Palestinian workers will be barred from entering Israel’s settlements in the West Bank on 9/30. The additional restriction is likely a response to the deadly attack on 9/26. (TOI 9/28)

The Middle East Quartet meets and releases a statement welcoming the Palestinian national reconciliation efforts: “[The Quartet members] urge the parties to take concrete steps to reunite Gaza and the West Bank under the legitimate Palestinian Authority. This will facilitate lifting the closures of the crossings, while addressing Israel’s legitimate security concerns, and unlock international support for Gaza’s growth, stability, and prosperity, which is critical for efforts to reach lasting peace.” (TOI, WAFA 9/28)