Friday, January 13, 2012

The IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah in the morning and in Jericho, 1 village nr. Jericho, and 1 nr. Jenin late at night. Palestinians (sometimes accompanied by Israeli and international activists) hold weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall, land confiscations, and settlement expansion in Bil’in, Kafr Qaddum, and Nabi Salih. IDF soldiers fire rubbercoated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters, causing no significant injuries; troops also temporarily occupy 1 Palestinian home in Kafr Qaddum as an observation post, confining the family to a single room. Some 250 Jewish settlers escorted by IDF soldiers march provocatively through Hebron’s Old City before and after conducting prayers at the Tomb of the Patriarch/al-Ibrahimi Mosque; the IDF declares surrounding areas a closed military zone for several hours, preventing Palestinian movement. (PCHR 1/19; OCHA 1/20)

Thai officials say that they have been working with Israel for weeks tracking “a group of people who appear to be from the Lebanese group Hizballah” who allegedly planned to attack tourist sites frequented by Israelis in mid-1/2012 in response to escalating U.S.-Israeli tensions with Iran and that Thai police have detained a Lebanese man in connection with the case. The U.S. and Israel issue warnings of a “real and credible” terrorist threat against Americans and Israelis in Bangkok. Hizballah officials deny the allegations as an Israeli fabrication. The suspect later (1/16) leads police to a warehouse containing large quantities of ammonia and fertilizer, commonly used to make bombs. (NYT, WP 1/14; WT 1/17)