Monday, December 14, 2015

In West Jerusalem, a Palestinian driver rams a group of Israelis at a bus stop nr. Chords Bridge, injuring at least 14 (Hamas will claim the man as a mbr.); Israeli police and bystanders shoot and kill the driver. Israeli PM Netanyahu then orders the fortification of Jerusalem’s bus stops (a plan will be implemented on 12/20). In the West Bank, hundreds of Israeli settlers visit Joseph’s Tomb nr. Nablus overnight, sparking morning clashes between their IDF escort and Palestinian stone-throwers; 1 Palestinian is injured. IDF troops violently disperse Palestinians protesting in Jalazun r.c. nr. Ramallah, injuring 1 Palestinian and damaging his car. The IDF conducts late-night raids and house searches in Hebron and 2 villages nearby, Tulkarm, and 4 villages nr. Ramallah, arresting 16 Palestinians and confiscating personal property; patrol in Nablus, 6 villages nr. Hebron, and 1 nr. Jenin. (HA, JP, MNA, NYT, TOI, YA 12/14; TOI 12/15; WAFA 12/16; PCHR 12/17)

At a ceremony in Ramallah, 3 new ministers are sworn in to the PA cabinet at the request of Pres. Mahmoud Abbas. The cabinet’s secy.-gen., Ali Abu Diyak, is the new minister of justice, replacing Saleem al-Saqqa; Ehab Yasir Aref Bseiso is the new minister of culture, replacing Ziad Abu Amr; and Mahmoud Rashid al-Shaer is the new minister of social affairs, replacing Shawqi al-Aissa. Abu Amr and al-Aissa remain on the cabinet in their roles as dep. PM and minister of agriculture and prisoners’ affairs, respectively. (MNA 12/15; JP 12/17)