Friday, February 24, 2012

In the evening, IDF troops on the Gaza border e. of Gaza City fire an artillery shell at a Palestinian home but it does not explode, causing damage but no injuries to the 4 adults and 8 children inside. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 4 villages nr. Ramallah, 2 nr. Qalqilya and 1 nr. Tulkarm during the day; conducts late-night patrols in Jenin town and r.c., 4 villages nr Jenin, 2 nr. Qalqilya, 2 nr. Salfit, 1 nr. Tulkarm. Palestinians (sometimes accompanied by Israeli and international activists) hold weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall, land confiscations, and settlement expansion in Bil’in, Nabi Salih, and Ni`lin; demonstrations in Bil’in also call for solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. IDF soldiers fire rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters, causing no reported injuries. Palestinians and international activists also hold 3 large nonviolent demonstrations and marches in various parts of Hebron to mark the 18th anniversary of the Tomb of the Patriarchs massacre. IDF soldiers fire foul-smelling skunk spray, rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters. In total, 13 Palestinians are moderately injured and hospitalized 27 are lightly injured and treated by medical crews at the scene, and 2 Palestinians and 1 international are arrested. (PCHR 3/1; OCHA 3/2)

Meanwhile, Palestinians responding to rumors (claimed by Israel to be false) that Israeli security forces plan to escort a group of right-wing Jews onto the al-Aqsa Mosque compound march on the IDF’s al-Ram checkpoint into Jerusalem, blocking the access road with burning tires, throwing stones, and setting off fire works, injuring 11 Israeli soldiers and border police. The IDF fires live ammunition, tear gas, and percussion grenades at the protesters, killing 1 Palestinian. (WP 2/27; PCHR 3/1)

Speaking at Friday prayers in Cairo’s al-Azhar Mosque, Hamas’s acting PM in Gaza, Haniyeh, issues the movement’s 1st public call supporting the Syrian opposition, stating: “I salute all people of the Arab Spring . . . and I salute the heroic people of Syria who are striving for freedom, democracy, and reform.” (NYT, WP 2/25; JPI 3/9)