Monday, February 14, 2011

To demonstrate some accountability in light of the Palestine Papers and to give Abbas the chance to strengthen his base in advance of elections, his cabinet resigns. Abbas immediately reappoints Fayyad as PM to form a new government. (NYT, WP 2/15)

Israel’s Jerusalem municipal authority approves 120 new housing units in Ramot settlement in East Jerusalem. Israeli authorities also bulldoze 1 d. of Palestinian fruit trees in Shaykh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem. Timed with the swearing-in ceremony of Israel’s new IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz, unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel; coming after several days of relative calm on the Gaza border, Israel says it interprets the strike as a message fr. the Gaza factions that they will not “make life easy” for Gantz in his new position. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials in the fmr. settlement sites, wounding 1. OCHA reports that Gaza hospitals have received 2 shipments of medical supplies fr. the PA Health Min. in Ramallah in recent days (see 1/18), reducing the number of supplies at zero stock fr. 183 to 150 (out of 480 essential items tracked). In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Tulkarm, 2 nr. Ramallah, and 1 nr. Jericho, firing rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and percussion grenades at stone-throwing youths who confront them in 1 incident, causing no serious injuries; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem, Hebron, and Jenin. Jewish settlers fr. Halamish settlement nr. Ramallah uproot 12 olive seedlings in neighboring Nabi Salih. (JP, YA 2/14; PCHR, WJW 2/17; OCHA 2/18)