Monday, December 22, 2014

In the Gaza Strip, Egyptian authorities open the Rafah border crossing for the 2d day in a row, allowing students and around 220 tons of medical supplies to cross into Gaza. Off the coast nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats overnight, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, Israeli settlers, accompanied by IDF troops, attack around 30 Palestinian farmers nr. Bethlehem, causing no injuries. Meanwhile, the IDF improves conditions at the checkpoint nr. Tulkarm where thousands of Palestinians held an impromptu strike on 12/21. Separately, IDF troops detain Gideon Levy and Alex Levac, Israeli journalists with Haaretz, for entering Area A without a permit, as well as 2 Palestinians at a mobile checkpoint in al-Fawar r.c. The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids nr. Nablus, Ramallah, and Hebron; patrols nr. Qalqilya and Hebron; delivers 2 demolition notices to a village w. of Hebron. In East Jerusalem, around 68 right-wing Jewish activists enter Haram al-Sharif and tour the area. Meanwhile, Israeli forces detain 3 Palestinians in the Old City. Later, they raid a Palestinian shop in the area and assault its employees. In response to the recent crackdown on Palestinian businesses in the area, several Palestinian shop owners go on strike and protest nr. Jaffa Gate. Israeli security forces conduct overnight arrest raids in the Old City. Separately, Israeli forces issue 5 demolition orders to Palestinian homes in al-Tur; demolish 4 Palestinian homes and 2 barns in al-‘Izzariya. (+972, AP, IHY, JP, MNA, REU, TOI, WAFA 12/22; MNA 12/23; PCHR 12/25)

PA PM Rami Hamdallah forms a comm. to administer Gaza’s border crossings, implementing an agreement made by reps. of all the Palestinian political factions at their 12/18 meeting in Gaza. (MNA, TOI 12/22)

Imprisoned Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti calls on the PA to drastically reword the UNSC res. proposed on 12/17. He says that Palestinian prisoners should be a principal issue covered by the measure. (MNA, TOI 12/23)

Overnight, the Syrian army shoots down a Skylark-1 Israeli drone flying nr. the Israelioccupied Golan Heights. (IHY, JP, MNA, YA 12/22)