Monday, December 17, 2018

In the West Bank, Israeli forces carry out the punitive demolition of part of the Tulkarm-area home of a Palestinian suspected of shooting and killing 2 Israeli settlers on 10/7 (IDF troops shot and killed the suspect during an arrest raid on 12/12). The demolition sparks clashes with Palestinian residents of the area; 3 Palestinians are arrested and 6 are injured. Separately, IDF troops arrest 20 Palestinians during raids near Ramallah, Hebron, Bethlehem, and Jenin; and patrol near Hebron throughout the day. Israeli settlers assault and severely injure a Palestinian after they force him out of his car outside Bethlehem. In the evening, hundreds of Palestinians gather along Gaza’s northern border to continue the Great March of Return and to cheer on 20 Palestinian boats sailing in a symbolic challenge to the Israeli blockade. IDF troops and Israeli naval forces violently disperse the demonstrations; 22 Palestinians are injured. Also off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats near Jabaliya refugee camp and Khan Yunis, causing no damage or injuries. (MNA, MNA, TOI, WAFA, WAFA 12/17; EI, MNA, MNA 12/18; PCHR 12/20)

In response to the PA’s ban on Palestinian purchases of lamb from Israel on 12/2, Israel’s Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel imposes a ban on Palestinian fruit and vegetable imports. Ariel neglects to announce the ban to the public. Palestinian farmers export between 280 and 300 tons of produce to Israel per day, and the ban is expected to cost the Palestinian economy approximately NIS 1 million (approximately $265,545) per day. (JP 12/19; TOI 12/27)

After the IDF announced the discovery of a 4th Hezbollah-built cross-border tunnel on 12/16, UNIFIL states that 2 of the 4 were built in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war. “UNIFIL has requested the Lebanese authorities to ensure urgent follow-up actions in accordance with the responsibilities of the Government of Lebanon pursuant to resolution 1701,” a UNIFIL statement reads. Earlier in the day, the Lebanese Armed Forces go on high alert after several Lebanese soldiers confront IDF troops installing barbed wire along the border near Mays al-Jabal village. UNIFIL forces are deployed to the scene to defuse the situation and prevent misunderstandings, according to a UNIFIL spokesperson. (AP, HA, TOI, TOI 12/17)