Sunday, February 10, 2019

Dozens of Palestinians gather along Gaza’s border near Jabaliya refugee camp to continue the Great March of Return and to launch fireworks at IDF troops on the other side of the border fence, causing no damage or injuries. Amid the demonstrations, unidentified Palestinians attempt to fire a mortar into southern Israel. It lands short of the border fence, causing no damage or injuries. Also along Gaza’s border, IDF troops open fire on Palestinian shepherds working near Gaza City, causing no damage or injuries. Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces arrest a Palestinian attempting to swim from Gaza to Israel. They also open fire on Palestinian fishing boats near Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, Israeli settlers break into a Palestinian high school in Urif village near Nablus, sparking minor clashes; several Palestinian minors are lightly injured. Separately, settlers smash the windshields of a number of Palestinian vehicles in Huwwara village near Nablus; assault a Palestinian journalist and a Palestinian activist in central Hebron (no serious injuries are reported). IDF troops arrest 17 Palestinians during late-night raids near Hebron, Bethlehem, Nablus, and Ramallah; and patrol near Tulkarm and Hebron. (HA, MNA, TOI, TOI, WAFA, YA 2/10; JP, MNA, MNA 2/11; PCHR 2/14)

PA minister for civilian affairs Hussein al-Sheikh says that the Trump administration has asked U.S. and international banks to stop working with the PA in an effort to pressure the Palestinian leadership into accepting their long-awaited Palestinian-Israeli peace plan. “Major international financial institutions and parties have begun to accede to an American request to impose a tight financial siege on the [PA],” he says. “The sanctions began with preventing the transfer of an Iraqi grant worth $10 million, which was handed over to the Arab League recently. The League has not been able to transfer it because all banks have refused to accept it for transfer to the [PA’s] finance ministry or the national fund.” (AFP, TOI 2/11)

Haaretz reports that Israeli government officials have informed the Jerusalem District Court of their intention to invoke a legal justification approved by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit in 12/2018 to retroactively authorize several settlement housing units build on Palestinian land near the Ariel settlement. Mandelblit’s justification allowed for such retroactive authorizations if the initial allocation of Palestinian land was done in “good faith.” (HA 2/10)

U.S. representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN), one of the first members of the U.S. Congress to openly support the BDS movement, sends a tweet in response to a story about Israeli influence in U.S. politics: “It’s all about the Benjamins baby.” Her tweet draws criticism and allegations of anti-Semitism from many Democrats and Republicans. (NYT, WP 2/11)